PREVIEW: Whittlesea Ranges – Dockerty Cup RD04

After a season opening win against Northcote City in the NPL Victoria, Andrew Marth’s men now turn their focus towards Whittlesea Ranges in what is the Club’s first game of the 2014 Dockerty Cup.


This year’s Victorian knockout competition comes with even more excitement after last month’s announcement of the FFA Cup.


The only way Victorian state league clubs can qualify for the new national competition is to reach the semi-final stage of the Dockerty Cup, and so the 2014 installment of the local competition will be contested more fiercely than ever.


Knights’ opportunity to take on interstate and A-League clubs starts with tomorrow afternoon’s home fixture against second division NPL Victoria club Whittlesea Ranges.


The Ranges have had a strange start to the new year, with the club’s inaugural NPL match cut short in the 83rd minute – while losing 3-2 – after officials were unable to turn off sprinklers which had halted play.


A week later, Whittlesea had its first Dockerty Cup match against East Brighton United, however was cancelled due to a forfeit at the eleventh hour which saw the Ranges progress to Knights Stadium.


The Epping-based club would have taken plenty of positives out of its first and only game of the season after pegging back two goals in the second half against Kingston City, after their opponents went into the interval three goals up.


However, the boys in Red, White & Blue come into the encounter with the superior form after a 3-2 win over reigning Victorian champion Northcote City last weekend.


Two goals from new signing Rodrigo Covarrubias and an 88th minute winner from VPL Gold Medalist Marijan Cvitkovic saw the club from Somers Street get off to a great start in the first ever NPL Victoria campaign.


Knights’ head coach Andrew Marth will want his forwards to be more clinical during tomorrow’s match, after his players made some wayward strikes despite playing well against Northcote.


The club will also be cautious about writing off the second-division Whittlesea outfit after being knocked out against Keilor Park in last season’s installment of the Dockerty Cup.


Speaking to KNIGHTStv mid-week, this was something Marijan Cvitkovic picked up on.


“We learned our lessons from last season,” Cvitkovic said.


“We played Keilor here last year and I think they were a Divy Two, Divy Three club and I mean, they went away with the win.


“So you can’t disrespect any sort of club, especially when they play against Melbourne Knights – they step up to the level and if we take the foot off the pedal and give five or ten percent less we could be walking away embarrassed.


“We know what that’s like, so we’ll treat this game as if there’s three points to play for, and we want to go as far as possible in this cup.”


Melbourne Knights and Whittlesea Ranges kick off at 6PM from Knights Stadium on Saturday (TOMORROW).


Knights members and supporters will need to buy tickets on the gate, as all cup game are not included in membership packages.

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