Ballarat Red Devils defeated Melbourne Knights 2-0 at Morshead Park on Saturday afternoon, in their Round 25 National Premier League Victoria match.
Ballarat, pushing for a vital win in an attempt to avoid relegation, came out of the blocks strongly and had the better of the chances in the first half – particularly in the latter stages.
Michael O’Farrell was called upon a number of times in the first half, but was rarely forced into any difficult saves.
For Knights, Stipo Andrijasevic had a golden opportunity to open the scores in the 26th minute, but with Aaron Romein out of position, he couldn’t get his shot on target.
Leo Athanasiou, the Knights’ man of the match, was superb in the middle of the park, distributing the ball well and creating a handful of chances.
Scores were level at the break, a reflection of the lack of genuine chances, though Ballarat’s dominance in the final ten minutes almost resulted in a late opener.
The second half was much the same story – while Knights had chances, Ballarat slightly on top – and this time, the Red Devils were able to capitalise by scoring two goals in the final ten minutes of the game.
This was the Knights’ third game in six days, and it began to show as Paul Harvey and then Sean Harding beat Michael O’Farrell in the 81st and 88th minutes, respectively.
The win hands Ballarat three vital points for their relegation battle, while Knights now looks forward to a week off ahead of the last game of the season against Bentleigh.
Melbourne Knights next game is against Bentleigh Greens next Sunday, 14 September. Kick off at Knights Stadium is at 3pm.