Knights unlucky to walk away with points from Parkville

Melbourne Knights three match unbeaten run was brought to a halt with a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Avondale at Avenger Park on Saturday afternoon.

The league leaders came away with the points in Saturday’s NPL Victoria Round 7 clash courtesy of a Liam Boland brace and late Manny Aguek header.

Knights started the match strongly, coming close in the early exchanges through Gevaro Nepomuceno and Ciaran Bramwell but it was the hosts who drew first blood, with Boland rising highest to nod home from a Joey Katebian corner in the 28th minute.

Despite Chris Oldfield and Tom Manos both being forced into strong saves in an end-to-end contest in the dying stages of the half neither side was further able to impact the scorline with the hosts taking a slender lead into the break.

Boland scored his and Avondale’s second of the afternoon in the 75th minute from the penalty spot after Joey Franjic was adjudged to have handled his shot inside the area moments earlier.

Substitute Manny Aguek rounded out the scoring ten minutes later when he headed home a Dillon Jakupi cross to seal all three points for the Avengers.

Despite Saturday’s defeat Knights still finish the weekend inside the finals positions sitting fifth on the NPL Victoria ladder.

Melbourne Knights Head Coach, Ben Cahn said there were positives to take from Saturday’s performance despite the score line.

 

“We’re obviously disappointed with the result, but the score line wasn’t reflective of the performance,” Cahn said.

“Avondale are a top side and their quality showed in big moments but we were the better side for first half at least and can draw a lot of positives from the game. 

“It was a disappointing way to concede, Ivan (Franjic) was badly fouled in the build-up to the corner and it was missed and unfortunately it changed the course of the game. 

“The second goal was a tough one to take, the shot was going into the car park, I don’t really know the rules anymore but it looked incredibly harsh. 

“Football’s about moments and those moments had a large influence on the outcome of the game. And of course, when you’re chasing a 2-0 goal deficit against a top side with the attacking quality and mobility they have, there’s always a risk of conceding the third on the counter. 

“I’m proud of the players and their performance against a top side, we gave a good account of ourselves and we know if we take our chances and have a bit of luck on our side we’re very capable of matching them. 

“We’ll recover well and turn our focus to the cup on Thursday We take the competition very seriously and we’ll work hard this week to make sure we bounce back with a win.”

Next up for Knights is their 2023 Australia Cup opener against State League One North-West outfit Corio SC at Somers Street on Thursday night.

Thursday’s match is the first of two at Somers Street over the Easter long weekend with the Knights also celebrating their 70th anniversary with an Easter Monday NPL Victoria clash at home against North Geelong Warriors.

MATCH DETAILS

NPL Victoria 2023 – Round 7: Avondale FC v Melbourne Knights

Avenger Park, Parkville

Saturday, 1 April

Avondale FC – 3 (Liam BOLAND 28’ 75’, Manny AGUEK 85’)

Melbourne Knights – 0

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