It’s third versus fourth in a local derby clash this Friday night against the Melbourne Knights and Green Gully. With the Knights looking to cement their place in the top three and the Cavaliers looking to move into third position, it’s safe to say we have a fiery clash on our hands this Friday night.
The last week and a half have seen the Knights clock up two wins, one over Pascoe Vale in round 9 of the NPL and one over Mooroolbark SC in round four of the FFA Cup. A hard-fought win over Paco saw the Knights bounce back from a 1-0 goal deficit in the opening minutes of the match. After dominating the second half, the Knights were able to walk away from CB Smith Reserve with the three points after defeating Pascoe Vale 3-1. The win decidedly set up the Knights for the coming FFA Cup clash against Mooroolbark in five day’s time. Played at Knights Stadium, the Knights went 1-0 up in the first half and maintained that till half time, slowly wearing down their opponent, hoping that they wouldn’t have enough gas in the tank to continue defend at the back in the second half to come. The second half opened up in the 60th minute as Gian Albano was able to find the back of the net. This led the way for Hamish Watson – who collected his first hat trick – Tomislav Uskok, Atilla Ofli, and Ivan Grgic, all of whom found themselves on the score sheet by the end of the 90 minutes.
With a considerable eight day rest up their sleeve over the Easter break, the Knights return to Somers Street to face off against fourth placed Green Gully, who are hot on their tails. The Knights – with 18 points – sit in third position, a position they’ve comfortably made their own over the last nine rounds of football. With only two points separating the sides, the Knights will be looking to keep the Cavaliers further at bay and to jump into second place over Heidelberg on 19 points. Provided Dandenong City can cause a major upset against the Bergers, a win over the Cavaliers can see the Knights move into the second place.
The Cavaliers on the other hand have occupied places anywhere between 8th to 4th over the last nine rounds, but for the most part, have always been in the top half of the table. After parting ways with head and assistant coach, Arthur Papas and Shaun Ontong respectively, the Cavaliers have sought to rectify their woes of 2018, first by appointing new head coach Stephen Downes. Amongst a handful of other signings, the Cavaliers added some former Knights to their 2019 squad, Teeboy Kamara and Timmy Purcell. The Knights should be paying close attention to Gully danger man Alex Salmon, who has already netted ten goals for his side, making him the second highest scorer in the competition, under Liam Boland of Avondale FC.
Head to head, the sides have faced off a total of 53 times since 1975. Of these matches, the Knights have claimed 19 victories compared to Gully’s 22 victories. Of the last five match ups, the Green Gully has claimed three victories and the Knights two. Round ten on the other hand is a slightly favorable round for the Knights, having played 50 matches since 1965 and winning 46% of them (draw – 22%, loss – 32%). With the head to head more or less equal, the task it up to the Knights to continue to build on a strong home presence, established over the last nine rounds.
Last 5 matches against Green Gully:
2018 NPL Rd 21: Green Gully 0-1 Melbourne Knights
2018 NPL Rd 8: Melbourne Knights 1-5 Green Gully
2017 NPL Rd 24: Melbourne Knights 1-2 Green Gully
2017 NPL Rd 11: Green Gully 2-1 Melbourne Knights
2016 NPL Rd 14: Green Gully 0-2 Melbourne Knights
Round 10 Match Details
Date: Friday 26th April 2019
Venue: Knights Stadium
Match Official:Alejandro Azcurra
Melbourne Knights FC Squad:
1. Harry Cakarun, 2. Luke Jurcic, 4. Tom Podaridis, 5. Ayden Brice, 6. Tomislav Uskok, 8. Gian Albano, 9. Hamish Watson, 10. Marijan Cvitkovic, 11. Nikola Jurkovic, 12. Corey Sewell, 13. Ivan Grgic, 14. AJ Inia, 15. Adrian Tardio, 16. Marcelo De La Plaza, 17. Daniel Visevic, 19. Anthony Duzel, 20. Jordan Gifkins, 25. Atila Ofli, 27. Joseph Franjic.
Green Gully SC Squad:
1. Lucas Spinella (GK), 2. Emanuel Muscat, 3. Jordon Lampard, 4. Jordan Hall, 6. Daniel Jones, 7. Jay Davies, 8. Nicholas Kalmar, 9. Alex Salmon, 10. Andy Brennan, 11. Teeboy Kamara, 14. Matthew Fletcher, 16. William Tsiamis, 17. Adisu Bayew, 19. Michael Tzoutzidis, 21. Timmy Purcell, 23. Jonathan Bounas, 25. Jeremy Walker (C), 30. Jerrad Tyson (GK)