The Melbourne Knights have suffered back-to-back losses – this week falling to NPL Victoria newcomers, Eastern Lions at home.
Melbourne Knights Starting XI:
Thomas Manos (GK), Jack Marth, Oliver Zafiridis, Nikola Jurkovic, Ayden Brice (C), Anthony Duzel, James McGarry, Gian Albano, Caleb Mikulic, Mohammed Sumaoro, Dor Jok
Melbourne Knights Substitutes:
Harry Cakarun (GK), Daniel Petrov, Trevor Zwetsloot, Felipe Sanchez, Trevor Ssemakula
The Knights welcomed new arrival Oliver Zafiridis to the starting eleven for the first time, starting at left-back as the Knights looked poised to return to the winner’s list.
Enduring a slow start, the Knights found their feet, plenty of options forward with nothing coming to fruition.
The Lions found the back of the net first. A defensive mishap allowed Christopher Droutsas to go 1-on-1 with Thomas Manos, sliding it to Manos’ left for the lead.
The Knights ended the half with a one goal deficit, plenty of work had to be done in the second half.
Substitutions arrived only 10 minutes into the half, as Trevor Zwetsloot replaced Dor Jok to offer some stability in midfield.
Caleb Mikulic came close to an equaliser but placed it wide. Minutes later, in efforts of boosting their attack, Steve Bebic injected Felipe Sanchez into the match, replacing James McGarry with 20 minutes remaining.
The Knights’ unlucky night up front went from bad to worse, when they had their second goal disallowed for offside, soon after the substitutions.
With the match entering the twilight phase, Gian Albano found the back of the net after a flurry of shots on goal. The equaliser looked to have saved a point for the Knights, as they carried the lion’s share of possession at this stage.
With minutes left on the clock, both sides were searching for an even later winner. It unfortunately went the way of the Lions. A thunderous strike from Ryan Losty bounced off the inside of the post an in, handing the Eastern Lions all three points.
“The boys were disappointed as the should be”, exclaimed Knight’s coach Steve Bebic. He continued, “hopefully we can learn from that”.
Bebic reflected on the first half of the season, stating, “there is no one out there that we fear, we’ll go again”.
The Knights face Port Melbourne for the second time this season, next week.