Northcote City maintained their perfect start to the season with a comprehensive 5-1 thrashing over a hapless Melbourne Knights at John Cain Reserve.
The patrons taking in the match barely had time to digest their pre-game souvlakis before the Melbourne Knights had found the back of the net in the opening minute as Northcote City goalkeeper Chris Theodiridis-Petropoulos failed to deal with a long throw allowing Thomas Fraser to head home.
However the home fans weren’t to be disappointed as they hit back almost immediately with Evan Kounavelis pouncing on a poor Craig Sweeney pass which allowed to him slot the ball pass Christopher May in the Melbourne Knights goal.
The Knights’ dream start soon turned into a nightmare as another defensive error in the twelfth minute allowed Milos Lujic to be one on one with the Knights’ keeper and it was an opportunity the former Melbourne Victory youth player didn’t pass up as he added Northcote City’s second goal.
Even though they only had a goal advantage Northcote City were controlling the run of play not allowing the Knight’s midfield any time on the ball and posing a constant threat with their speed in attack with goal scorer Kounavelis looking particularly threatening down the right. When the visitors did get into attacking positions they looked bereft of ideas when it came to finding the back of the net.
On the half hour mark Lujic almost added another as once again the visitor’s defence gifted him another chance but fortunately for the Knights, captain Adam Zilic was on hand to block a goal-bound effort. However on the stroke of half time Lujic did get his second as the Knights’ defence failed to mark him at the back post at a corner and he was able to fire home from close range.
Northcote City began the second half in much the same vein as they did the first with their constant attacks providing plenty of headaches for their opponents. However, it was the Knights who had the best chance of the half to open the scoring in 51st minute but Craig Sweeney sent his shot well wide with the goal at his mercy.
The Knights were made to pay for the profligacy almost immediately as Northcote City’s Dean Piemonte capitalised on yet another defensive mix up to add his team’s fourth goal in the 56th minute.
Three minutes later the match was all but over as a cross-turned-shot from left back Tremayne Sadler sailed over May’s head and into the back of the net for the home side’s fifth goal.
Northcote City continued to press for more goals with efforts from goalscorers Kounavelis and Lujic just going wide of the mark.
Melbourne Knights did have a chance to pull one back in the 70th minute from the penalty spot after Nick Tzoulis was adjudged to have fouled substitute Bobby Vidanoski in the area. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be as Northcote keeper Theodiridis-Petropoulos pulled off an excellent save to deny Thomas Fraser his second goal of the game.
Much of the sting went out of the game in the last fifteen minutes as the home side tired considerably and the wind had been well and truly been taken out of the sails of their opponents.
After the match Melbourne Knights’ coach Andrew Marth rued his team’s defensive errors and that they would look to put the match behind them before they take on newly promoted Port Melbourne in Round Five at Knights Stadium at 3pm on Sunday afternoon.
His counterpart Goran Lozanovski was obviously ecstatic with his team’s performance especially after conceding such an early goal. He was particularly pleased with his team’s ability to capitalise on the mistakes of their opponents with such ruthless efficiency. Lozanovski’s only concern in their quest to maintain their perfect start to the season were injuries to Alex Rojas and Hayden D’Agostino which saw them substituted early in the match.
Northcote City: Chris THEODIRIDIS-PETROPOULOS, Tremayne SADLER, Dean PIEMONTE, Bonel OBRADOVIC, Adriano CHIAPETTA (Michael CATALANO 46’) , Alex ROJAS (Nick TZOULIS 44’), Evan KOUNAVELIS, Hayden D’AGOSTINO, Milos LUJIC (Jonathan VOULGARIS 75’), Michael EAGER, Rashid MAHAZI.
Goals: Kounavelis (2’), Lujic (12’ & 48’), Piemonte (56’), Sadler (59’)
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None
Melbourne Knights: Christopher MAY, Adam ZILIC, David KUSTURA (Anthony DUZEL 36’), Thomas FRASER, Craig SWEENEY, Jacob COLOSIMO, Marijan CVITKOVIC, Anthony COLOSIMO, Joseph KONYIT (Abu KONTEH 60’), Abdoulaye DIALLO (Bobby VIDANOSKI 55’), Shayan ALINEJAD.
Goals: Fraser (1’)
Yellow Cards: Sweeney (15’)
Red Cards: None