Melbourne Knights suffered a 0-2 loss at the hands of Heidelberg United in their Round 21 NPL Victoria match at Knights Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The first 45 minutes saw very few chances for both sides. Heidelberg’s Dan Heffernan had, what turned out to be, the best opportunity of the opening stanza when he was played in behind the Knights’ defence in the eighth minute.
With only Michael O’Farrell to beat, Heffernan placed the ball to the ‘keepers right. O’Farrell, who came into the team following Chris May’s suspension for a red card in last Tuesday’s FFA Cup match, dived the right way to pull off a strong save.
Captain Ben Surey rejoined the starting XI after an extended absence, and slotted into the midfield in place of Jordan O’Doherty who, like May was sent off in Brisbane.
Shayan Alinejad found plenty of the ball on the right wing, but most of his crosses were cut out by Heidelberg’s defence.
The 0-0 scoreline at half time was a fair reflection of the match up until that point.
Jack Petrie opened the scoring for Heidelberg from a 56th minute corner, his delivery was on target and while O’Farrell got to the ball, he couldn’t stop it from hitting the far side of the net.
Dan Heffernan doubled the visitors’ lead in the 84th minute, getting on the end of a lofted ball and cooly chipping over O’Farrell and into the net.
Milan Batur had a shot from the penalty spot saved just two minutes later and it proved to be the Knights’s final chance of the game.
Knights pushed for an equaliser, but found it difficult to break down Heidelberg’s defence of Luke Byles and Jordan Wilkes.
Second half substitute James Goulopolous almost made it 0-3 when he struck the crossbar from the edge of the area in the second minute of injury time.
The referee ended the contest with the score at 0-2 to the visitors.
Knights next game is on Friday 08 August against Port Melbourne. Kick off at SS Anderson is at 8:30pm.