Despite chances of finals football being out of their hands, Richmond did all they could on Friday, with a 2-0 win over Melbourne Knights at Kevin Bartlett Reserve.
Much like in Round 10, with Ben Surey’s long-range strike proving the difference in a tight contest, it took a wonder free kick from Daniel Visevic to break the game open.
With Northcote defeating Oakleigh, the win meant little for Richmond. Nevertheless, a pleased Richmond coach in Michael Chatzitrifonos commented post-match, about the win and what it all means.
“Even though Daniel was a good 35 metres out, I fancied him. I’m sure Andrew (Marth) would have said his keeper could have saved it, but it needed something special to break this game open because it was going nowhere. Once the goal went in, the game opened up from there,” he said.
Chatzitrifonos also commended Tom Cahill for his efforts, since making the move from Sunshine George Cross in State League One the robust striker has bagged ten goals in effectively half a season.
“He’s made a huge difference, because of his all-around game. We were fortunate to get him, but I would love to have had him from Day One. That would have been very interesting.”
It was in essence a hardly fought midfield battle, again much like their previous fixture, with many meaty challenges and frayed tempers.
The Knight’s best chance of the match fell to Shaun Romein minutes before the interval, but they ultimately looked disjointed with a makeshift frontline of Marijan Cvtikovic, Shayan Alinejad and substitute Brandon Zezovski, after Chris Talajic went off through injury.
When Zezovski moved centrally and played off the shoulders of opposition captain Erhan Karahan, the visitors looked a bit more threatening, but Richmond broke the deadlock in the 77th minute through Visevic’s 35 metre strike from the dead ball.
There was scope to say Aaron Romein, despite having a very good game until that point, shouldn’t have strayed off his line and effectively opened the angle, but he couldn’t stop Tom Cahill from scoring and rounding out the match in the 88th on the counter.
“It (finals football) was never going to happen, but I’m just glad that we could end our last game at home with a win. It wasn’t pretty, but we got the result,” Chatzitrifonos concluded.
Knights coach Andrew Marth meanwhile, lamented on what he believed a crucial error from Aaron Romein, but his side ultimately hadn’t much to play for.
“The strike was a decent free kick but the goalkeeper should have had that well saved. Aaron had a great first-half, and probably cost us the game in the second, so it’s a bit disappointing,” he said after the game.
“I thought we did quite well in the first half, and could have even gone up. The boys fought and did exceptionally, but when you go down 1-0 after a mistake, the game opened up and the result didn’t eventuate.”
Last night marked the first senior appearance for Nicholas Jurcic, as a number of youngsters warmed the bench for the visitors, allowing Marth to try a few things for the squad’s future make-up.
“To be honest we’ve got a depleted squad and we had no options. Nicholas and a few young boys who were on the bench played full games for the ressies, but they weren’t out of sorts which is good.”
Richmond line-up: 1. Stjepan GAL, 3. Erhan KARAHAN, 4. Anton KOVACIC (2. Andrew VIOLA 64’), 5. Liam CANNELL, 6. Tom MILARDOVIC, 8. Steven TOPALOVIC, 9. Tom CAHILL, 10. Kyle JORYEFF (17. Josh KWEIFIO-OKAI 60’), 14. Daniel VISEVIC (27. Mitch BEAMISH 89’), 23. Scott MUIRHEAD, 25. Nick KROUSOURATIS.
Goals: Visevic 77’, Cahill 88’
Yellow Cards: Cannell 2’, Kovacic, Milardovic 62’
Melbourne Knights line-up: 1. Aaron ROMEIN, 3. Ryan FILIPOVIC, 4. Adam ZILIC, 6. Tomislav USKOK, 7. Shaun ROMEIN (17. Joseph FRANJIC), 8. Craig SWEENEY, 12. Shayan ALINEJAD (5. Nicholas JURCIC 86’),16. Marijan CVITKOVIC, 19. Yusuf YUSUF, 22. Chris TALAJIC (18. Brandon ZEZOVSKI), 24. Ben SUREY.
Yellow Cards: Surey 74’