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Knights unfortunate against Springvale

Springvale managed to hold onto a 1-1 draw during wet and windy conditions against the Melbourne Knights at White Eagles Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Springvale remain without a win after five matches in their return season to the Victorian Premier League, while Melbourne Knights remain two points outside the top five.
Over 150 Knights fans piled through the gates of ‘enemy territory’ of their cross-town rivals, Springvale, while a healthy contingent of around 400 Springvale fans meant the game’s atmosphere was always going to be tense. The Football Federation of Victoria wisely decided to allocate last season’s Referee of the Year, Shaun Evans to take charge of the game and he did his job superbly, never letting the game slip out of his control, dishing out 5 yellow cards in a game which was bound to be physical in the blustery and rainy conditions in which it was played.
The match kicked off with the Knights having much of the possession, albeit in their own half with Springvale doing well in pressuring the Knights to knock the ball about their back four. Centre-back Ryan Filipovi? went forward with the ball unchallenged on many an occasion only for his final pass to be cut out and the nippy forward combination of Goran Zori? and Miloš Luji? spreading wide giving Springvale quick counter-attacking options.
The first ‘chance’ of the game fell to Luji? who looked as if he had beaten Junior De Camargo in the penalty area, but at the final moment before winding up for the shot, he clipped his own legs and the referee waved play on, much to the disapproval of the home crowd.
At the other end of the ground, Jean-Charles Dubois and Mathieu Welmant were kept quiet as the deliveries available to them were limited to long balls and off-cuts.
As the game continued both Scott Agustin and Martin John became prominent in their goals by clearing numerous corners and attacks.
Springvale midfielder Zoran Vukas found space in the centre of his attacking half in the 36th minute with all the time in the world to place his curling shot into the top corner, but his effort was inches wide giving the Knights their first scare of the game.
Springvale took a deserved lead 5 minutes before the break after a third consecutive corner was punched away by Martin John only to see the ball fall into the mixer, falling favourably Gordan Mrdi? who poked the ball past the pack and into the net lifting the Springvale stand onto its feet in celebration after a half of reserved silence mostly, clearly not willing to celebrate prematurely against a dangerous Melbourne Knights side.
The first half fizzled out and could not have come earlier for Knights manager Ivan ?uzel who made a crucial game-changing substitution with Shaun Romein coming off for the dangerous attacking minded Daniel Dragi?evi?.
The substitution coupled with the half-time team talk changed the game with the Knights taking control of the fixture with Springvale clearly content with hanging on to their slender lead and winding the clock down.
The enigmatic Jean-Charles Dubois became more and more involved in the play and together with Welmant and Dragi?evi? had four chances between them to put the result beyong doubt.
Josip Magdi? had a golden opportunity for the Knights in the 60th minute as he was left unmarked, meeting an Anthony Colosimo cross that saw Magdi? place his header straight to Scott Agustin’s waiting arms.
The Knights got their deserved equaliser in the 68th minute as substitute Daniel Dragi?evi?  was released onto the wing by Colosimo, using his pace to get in behind the defence he weighted his cross perfectly onto the head of Jean-Charles Dubois who put his header into the corner for a well-finished goal giving the away fans something to celebrate.
Dubois, only moments later had a chance to hand his side the lead but his shot was well saved by the leg of Springvale goalkeeper Scott Agustin.
The Knights continued to pile the pressure on and looked threatening as winger Mathieu Welmant found himself loose inside the 18 yard box forcing Scott Agustin into a miraculous save towards his top left corner from a volley.
Springvale piled the players into their defensive half for the final minutes of play as it was obvious the Knights were not content with a draw away from home to the cellar dwellers.
Scott Agustin continued to keep the score level as the Knights failed once again to scramble through a goal as Agustin made another big save much to the delight of the home fans who sensed the Knights could snatch a win at the death.
The Knights midfield controlled by captain Ben Surey and Vice-Captain Josip Kozi?, continued to push for a defining goal and were handed their last chance of the game as Anthony Colosimo’s cross skimmed along the crossbar and out.
Springvale had the last throw of the dice as they found themselves in a counter-attacking move with the dangerous Gordan Zori? umarked on the wing, the diminutive striker took two touches and shot, his powerful effort smashing against the junction of the crossbar and post finding Vukas on the far wing, he sent in a cross which resulted in a scramble which Ryan Filipovi? managed to clear to the half way line upon which referee Shaun Evans whistled for full time.
In the reserves match the Knights youth team won their first game of the season, defeating Springvale 5-1 with Jacob Colosimo netting two goals, Stefan Bari?evi? and Joshua Berrios adding to the tally while Mateo Perkovi? rounded off the result with a penalty. The result lifts the Under 21’s off the bottom of the table and into seventh position.
Springvale look to earn their first win of the season next Sunday at Churchill Reserve against St Albans, while the Melbourne Knights look to enter the top five when they host VTC Football at Knights Stadium on Wednesday at 8:30pm following another home game on Sunday against Bentleigh kicking off at 6pm.

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