The Melbourne Knights have suffered their first loss of the 2021 season, falling short to the St. Albans Saints, 2 goals to 1.
Melbourne Knights Starting XI:
Thomas Manos (GK), Jack Marth, Ayden Brice (C), Anthony Duzel, James McGarry, Alun Webb, Gian Albano, Caleb Mikulic, Trevor Zwetsloot, Mohammed Sumaoro, Nicholas Glavan.
Melbourne Knights Bench:
Harry Cakarun (GK), Lachlan Weier, Nikola Jurkovic, Felipe Sanchez, Trevor Ssemakula.
For the third successive game, the Knights were first to hit the scoresheet, through Caleb Mikulic. Gian Albano darted the ball across the keeper, allowing Mikulic to tap the ball in the far corner.
Caleb Mikilic send the Knights one up in the first half!
— Melbourne Knights FC (@MelbKnights) March 14, 2021
Although the Saints managed to play the first half with high tempo and intensity, the Knights held a 1-nil lead at half time.
The first personnel change for the Knights saw Alun Webb replaced by Trevor Ssemakula in the 64th minute, in an attempt to combat the attack of St. Albans.
Moments later to freshen up the midfield, James McGarry was replaced by Nikola Jurkovic, who returned from his suspension in the opening match.
Before the midfielder could settle into the clash, the Saints had equalised. Darren McCauley neatly finished from outside of the box, tucking the ball into the bottom right corner, just out of Manos’ reach.
A flurry of good chances from either side went begging, as both teams were searching for a winner in the dying stages.
In extra time, Thomas Manos conceded a foul on the edge of the area as he attempted to clear the ball, giving the Saints one last chance on goal, at the death.
From the set-piece, the shot forced an impressive save from Manos however the ball fell in the path of Christopher Dib, who headed the ball into an open net to give St. Albans all three points.
With this result, the Knights sit in third and still within the top three on the table, sitting behind Bentleigh Greens in second, also on six points and Green Gully in first on seven points.
Next weekend, the Knights will be back at home to face Hume City FC, who are currently in fifth on five points.
– Tom Hayes