A solid team effort led to Melbourne Knights picking up all three points against Green Gully as Andrew Marth’s side got back to winning habits with a 2-0 success at Knights Stadium on Friday night.
Andrew Barisic proved the difference in the first half with a superbly taken finish. Adrian Zahra, who was deployed in a more central role, fed the striker with a lofted pass which he raced onto and smartly poked through Rani Dowisha’s legs from an acute angle.
The Knights were rewarded for a dominant second half in the 70th minute through substitute Marijan Cvitkovic, who made his first league appearance this season after returning from injury. Cvitkovic had only been on the pitch for six minutes before he put an unstoppable volley into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
The first half had multiple chances for both sides. It sprung into life in the 19th minute when Barisic appeared to be brought to ground by a defender as he controlled Ivan Grgic’s through ball. The referee waved the penalty appeal away and Gully almost took the lead straight down the other end, but Matthew Breeze put his shot over with the goal gaping.
Barisic scored on the half hour mark and Knights conceded almost instantly, but Chris May loomed large in a one-on-one opportunity to block Rinor Muriqi’s strike at goal.
Andrew Marth’s men didn’t rest on their laurels after half time and came out firing. They almost made it 2-0 within seconds of the restart, as Stipo Andrijasevic provided one of several dazzling runs into the box, beating two defenders before squaring the ball to Josh Brekalo, who couldn’t get clean enough contact to trouble Dowisha.
James McGarry did beat the keeper five minutes later with a 25-yard missile that bounced off the crossbar, before Alex Dao volleyed Anthony Colosimo’s deep cross wide from six yards out.
The Knights eventually went two ahead and managed to keep a first league clean sheet since Round 4 to ensure a deserved win.