Knights luckless in cruel defeat

Many believe that fortune favours the brave and the bold. The Melbourne Knights of 2010 under coach Ivan Duzel are both brave and bold in their style of play and committment. Duzel would probably disagree that fortune has favoured his side thus far in the Victorian Premier League.
A ten minute double salvo from Adriano Chiappetta made sure that Northcote City would keep the points against an extremely star-crossed Knights side who have come off with some very unlucky results in the past few weeks.
The game started off in typical fashion with the Knights dominating possession and playing to their slick passing system. It immediately reaped rewards when Gazmend Ajdini was brought down in the 2nd minute of the game after being put through one on one with the keeper and being upended. Liam Cannell stepped up to take his first of two penalties for the match. His effort was well placed but unfortunately for the Knights midfielder, Northcote’s keeper, Chris Theodoridis-Petropoulos picked the correct side and kept Northcote in the contest.
The game could only get worse moments later as Knights target man Jean-Charles Dubois and coach Ivan Duzel were both sent off leaving the Knights staff, players and travelling fans stunned at the decision. 16 minutes into the contest and the game had already seen it all – two red cards, a penalty miss and smooth flowing open play.
As the game bore on Northcote began to commit to more forward play bringing danger man Trent Rixon into the action. The lanky Crouch-like forward’s impact on the game however was dampened by tight marking from Tomislav Skara.
The Knights had their second penalty awarded in the 25th minute. This time it was Cannell who earnt the right to redeem himself from the spot as he skipped past Hayden D’Agostino and was brought down by Nick Curtis. Cannell stepped up to take his second penalty of the match and put the Knights deservedly ahead. His powerful effort rocketed off the cross bar, having the beaten Theodoridis-Petropoulos scrambling back on his feet to clear the danger.
Moments later a miscued back-pass from former Knights midfielder Bradley Norton allowed Gazmend Ajdini to outpace and outmuscle Hayden D’Agostino – having only the keeper to beat, Ajdini’s effort was below par and meant the score at the half time interval would be deadlocked at 0-0.
The second half began with a flurry of action with the Knights midfield duo of Josip Magdic and Adrian Zahra creating headaches coming forward, although Northcote on many an occasion dealt with the threat with numerical superiority. Three attackers onto six defenders most of the time meant that it would be slim pickings up forward for the desperate Knights from now on. Northcote had now come out of its shell while the Knights retreated to compensate for being a player down. The Knights counterattacks were futile with half chances falling to Adrian Zahra through his individual brilliance, Liam Cannell and Jacob Colosimo. Northcote’s back four remained strong in keeping a clean sheet.
Northcote, working industriously from the wings found the break they were looking for in the 81st minute. A Harry Kinigopoulos corner found the head of the unmarked Adriano Chiappetta who’s powerful headed had keeper Loncaric beaten from just inside the 6 yard box.
The Knights were in familiar territory – having come back from a deficit a couple of times this year. Captain Daniel Rocco pushed up into the midfield and caretaker coach Paul Magdic swapped Anthony Colosimo for Ryan Filipovic to plug the hole at the back.
The equaliser didn’t come as Chiappetta doubled his tally to effectively end the tie in the 87th minute. A looping cross from Norton found Chiappetta on the far post with his back to the goal. A quick turn and shot found its way past two Knights defenders and Loncaric to ricochet in off the post. A sublime goal to Chiappetta who was extremely lucky with the outcome.
The Knights next week (Sunday 16th May 2010) play at home in a must win game against perennial powerhouse Green Gully who has been struggling this year. Kick off is at 4 p.m. at Knights Stadium. After the VPL Round 11 match against Gully, the Melbourne Knights 1995 Champions will take on the Melbourne Knights 1996 Champions in a reunion showdown with a big crowd expected.

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