The Melbourne Knights’ 2-1 away win over Hume City on Friday night, made for righting some of last week’s wrongs.
In their loss to the Stars the week before, a match that could have opened breathing space between themselves and the drop zone, the Knights dominated proceedings only to concede late.
On Friday however, it was the Knights who were able to somehow withstand the early pressure and come away with the much-needed three points.
Goals from Jacob Colosimo and Chris Talajic saw the Knights triumph despite having to defend for the greater part of the 90 minutes, but Aaron Romein was probably his side’s most important player, coming up trumps more than once in crunch situations.
Particularly Talajic, who came on as a substitute for goal scorer Jacob Colosimo, provided fresh legs for the Knights when it was most needed and was duly rewarded with a goal at the death, his first for the club in a competitive senior match.
“We were unlucky to concede with some fundamental errors, but you dream about these sorts of moments, and it’s just happened,” Talajic said after the match.
With Richmond and Heidelberg failing to win, the victory was all the more valuable as Andrew Marth’s side moved to seventh, a win away from the finals placings.
Given the manner of the Stars’ loss, there was a sense of justice in the air within the playing group after the match, with Tomislav Uskok commenting on the Knights’ fourth win in five under Andrew Marth.
“Soccer evens itself out I guess, but it’s nice to get a disciplined win in the end, now with the weekend off,” he said.
“Every team has their 15-20 minute patches. I think in some cases you could say we got lucky but we weathered the storm, and in the past we haven’t been able to do that. We capitalised on our chances, and that’s how games are won.”
With Ben Surey suspended, much rested in the midfield on Tomislav Uskok and Marijan Cvitkovic, who himself has been battling injury.
Cvitkovic’s substitution for Brandon Zezovski, as Jake Nakic dropped deeper, provided the Knights with greater endurance as the match wore on.
“Marijan told me at half time he was struggling because he hasn’t got a lot of matches under him, and I said to him to give as much as he could,” Knights coach Andrew Marth said after the game.
“He did that, and I appreciate when a player can say he’s had enough, and we had fresh legs on the bench who were able to come on and do a good job for us.
All too often this season it has been the Knights who have fallen away as matches progressed, and Marth commended his side for staying the course.
“They obviously didn’t give in and they worked hard. A draw could have been a fair result, but we’ll take a win any time.”
With a rejuvenated Moreland side still to play South Melbourne on Sunday afternoon, the Knights will have to back it up next Sunday against the Zebras.
The Zebras, who have won their last two, will be looking to make amends for their lacklustre 3-0 loss against the Knights in Round Two, which saw coach Dominic Barba given his dismissal.
Hume City: 1. Chris OLDFIELD, 4. Isyan ERDOGAN, 12. Jarryd BARNES, 3. Ben HARRISON, 11. Nick HEGARTY, 9. Pece SIVESKI (15. Zoran PETREVSKI 55’), 17. Phillip RICCOBENE, 6. Serdar PIR, 8. Jose GUERRERO, 20. Archie TOMIC, 22. Howard FONDYKE
Goals: Hegarty 66’
Yellow Cards: Erdogan 58’, Riccobene 90+’
Melbourne Knights: 1. Aaron ROMEIN, 3. Ryan FILIPOVIC, 4. Adam ZILIC, 6. Tom USKOK, 7. Shaun ROMEIN, 9. Jacob COLOSIMO (22. Chris TALAJIC 72’), 11. Anthony COLOSIMO, 12. Shayan ALINEJAD, 16. Marijan CVITKOVIC (18. Brandon ZEZOVSKI 62’), 19. Yusuf YUSUF, 23. Jake NAKIC
Goals: Colosimo 29’, Talajic 90+’
Yellow Cards: Cvitkovic 47’, Nakic 90+’
NEXT HOME GAME: Melbourne Knights v Moreland Zebras, Sunday 8th July, Knights Stadium, 3pm