Melbourne Knights suffered their first loss in five games after a 4-2 defeat to Oakleigh Cannons at Knights Stadium on Sunday afternoon, courtesy of a Dusan Bosnjak hat-trick.The fixture would have no significant meaning in regards to ladder positions after the Southern Stars saga mid-week, as Knights were unable to clinch the league from winners Northcote CIty regardless of results that occurred during the day.
With second position and a home final confirmed, the Knights were off to a slow start, conceding within two minutes after Goran Zoric saw Chris May off his line and placed a superb lob over the ‘keeper.
Josh Berrios tried his luck at the other end in a similar scenario, however his attempt at the 11th minute mark curled past the goal face.
The Knights best chance of the first half came at the 16th minute mark when Jacob Colosimo managed to get around Oakleigh defenders and roll his shot across the goals, slamming into the upright and back into the hands of Griffin McMaster.
The second half provided a more entertaining spectacle, although the Knights’ slow start continued when Reece Vittiglia played a ball into the path of first half substitute Ian Kamau who ruined his one-on-one chance by playing his shot straight into May.
The Knights were dealt a blow at the 62nd minute mark when the referee deemed Chris May had tripped Kamau in the penalty area, gifting the Cannons a penalty. Dusan Bosnjak stepped up to the spot and made no mistake with his attempt.
It was that man again who would all but seal the game for Oakleigh, taking his chance from outside the box at the 74th minute mark with a wonderful long range strike past May.
Adam Zilic gave the hosts a glimmer of hope with his header past McMaster in a crowded penalty area with only 14 minutes remaining, however Bosnjak completed his hat-trick just seven minutes later after being granted a run through midfield, powerfully shooting into the back of the net.
Ben Surey’s very late consolation following great play by the Knights midfield ensured the fans had something to cheer about on an unsuccessful day at the office.
Melbourne Knights have earned the right to host Bentleigh Greens, who were given the week off after forfeiting their game against Southern Stars, in the first week of VPL finals on Sunday the 29th of September at Knights Stadium.
Melbourne Knights: Chris MAY, Adam ZILIC (Michael SIMMS 87’), James McGARRY, Williams MCLACHLAN, Jacob COLOSIMO, Marijan CVITKOVIC, Milan BATUR, Ben SUREY, Ivan GRGIC, Josh BERRIOS (Nicholas JURCIC 58’), Shayan ALINEJAD (Nikola SRBINOVSKI 87’)
Unused Subs: Matthew HRASTOV, Ryan FILIPOVIC
Goals: Zilic 76’ Surey 90’
Yellow Cards: Zilic 52’
Oakleigh Cannons: Griffin McMASTER, Hayden DOYLE, George KROMMIDAS, Casper ANDERSON, Andrew MULLETT, Evan CHRISTODOULOU (Zachery PARASKEVAS 68’), Laurent CORALIE (Daniel DOLS 79’), Reece VITTIGLIA, Dusan BOSNJAK, Goran ZORIC, Veton KORCARI (Ian KAMAU 5’)
Unused Subs: Alexander CONNELL, Gianni ALLEBI
Goals: Zoric 2’ Bosnjak 62’ 75’ 83’
Under 21’s Melbourne Knights 2-4 Oakleigh Cannons