Knights lose out to Thunder

The Melbourne Knights kicked off its 2010 season campaign with a loss to last season’s Minor Premier and Runner-Up Dandenong Thunder.
A goal in the third minute from young Dandenong midfielder Shane Rexhepi put the Knights behind the 8-ball immediately. Experienced striker Joey Di Iorio doubled the Thunder’s lead in the 24th minute to give the Knights faithful a real scare looking at the season’s prospects.
The second half began with a new look Knights side – obviously Ivan Duzel succeeded in calming the lads down and getting them to play the simple and attractive soccer they are known for. It was to be expected that such a fresh side was to be a little shocked and not in tempo with the high intensity of a round one match against the previous season’s premiers.
Duzel’s job was not made any easier however with no less than five Knights players not receiving their International Clearance Certificate’s before the game – three of whom are first eleven players. He was at a loss for words in describing the debacle; “I don’t know how people expect me to play my full squad at full strength when they haven’t been cleared yet, not only do we have to start on three points because of other people’s mistakes, but we are punished this way as well. Judging by our second half performance when we got over the nerves, we have nothing to worry about this year.”
Lively forward Kevin Townson received two yellow cards within the space of 10 minutes which made the Knights’ job even harder.
The news was not all bad though, with the Knights showing much resilience and character in pulling a goal back in the 70th minute through a Jean-Charles Dubois tap-in courtesy of a Tomislav Skara header. The final 20 minutes of the game was dominated by the Knights and they were unlucky not to snatch a point off Dandenong.
Next Monday (Labour Day Holiday, 8th March) marks the club’s first home game of the year against Heidelberg United who lost to Sunshine George Cross on the weekend, going down 3 goals to 2. Kick off is a 6pm.

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