Glenorchy Knights were flattered somewhat by this 2-1 score-line at KGV Park on Saturday evening, although no one can doubt their courage and commitment.
They were denied possession for long periods, and they had few chances. But, they were resolute in defence and did try to attack.
Melbourne Knights lacked penetration. They used the flanks well and played the ball around at the back without really threatening to score. When they did create chances, poor finishing and good goalkeeping by Ben Peter denied them.
Glenorchy Knights took a shock lead in the 65th minute through a penalty, awarded for Ryan Filipovic’s foul on Corey Smith. Jacob Huigsloot scored easily from the spot-kick.
The match changed when substitute Jean Charles Dubois came on during the second half.
In the 72nd minute, the French striker headed the equaliser from Ben Surey’s cross from deep on the right.
Two minutes later, Peter did well to turn the Frenchman’s shot from an angle on the right out for a corner.
In the 75th minute, Daniel Dragicevic cut the ball back from the left and Dubois made it 2-0 with a cool and clinical finish.
Peter kept his side in contention in the closing minutes. In the 81st minute, he denied Craig Sweeney, while in the 90th minute he blocked with his feet as the same player threatened to score.Glenorchy Knights coach, Nick Harrison, said: “I was pleased to only get beaten 2-1, I suppose, because all week we’ve been thinking we don’t want to get hammered and outplayed.
“I think the biggest factor was fitness. The 10-minute spell before half-time we were just hanging on and half-time came at a good time for us.
“We rewarded everyone who’s been training with us for the past couple of months with a game and I think we did well.
“Fitness did tell, but they’re not a bad side. They’re a good side and they pass the ball well. If they’d taken all their chances, it could have been a bigger score-line.
“I’m proud of our boys. They’ve done well and, overall, it’s a good result, even though we lost 2-1.
“I think extra-time would have killed us. There are a few positives we can take away from tonight.”
Melbourne Knights coach, Ivan Duzel, said: “I think the game was very competitive. We pushed the ball around a little better and had more possession, obviously, than them.
“But, after going down 1-0 we brought on our French striker. He’s a quality player and he scored twice. “It was our 90 minutes of running and trying to score that came good in the end.
“I’m happy with the performance and it was a friendly game. We’re looking forward to tomorrow’s game against the NTC / Glenorchy Knights.
Glenorchy Knights: Peter – Roberts, Holmes, Huigsloot, Millington – Garth, Russell, Clay, Griffin – Smith, Nowicki (Subs: Robb, Grainger, Knight, Bolonja, Frank, Langdale, Grundy)
Goals: Huigsloot 65 pen
Melbourne Knights: M John, R Filipovic, J Colosimo, A Colosimo, L Shin, A Zilic, B Surey, S Romein, C Sweeney, A Koroma, D Dragicevic (Subs: E Cetkin, J Franjic, JC Dubois, J Magdic, R Saglam, J Kozic, A Romein, S Alinejad)
Goals: Dubois 72, 75
Ref: B Kopra
Courtesy of former Hobart Croatia player Walter Pless