Makeshift striker, Luke Sherbon provided the winning firepower for Dandenong Thunder to defeat an inform Melbourne Knights 3-1 at home in their catch up match on Saturday, arising from an abandoned Round 12 match due to light failure.
Sherbon’s triple strike over a 20 minute spell in the first half stunned the visitors who started the match in confident style, following strong recent performances against more fancied opposition. An early header by Knights stiker Josip Magdic narrowly missed the target.
But in the 17th minute, a Denis Sabanovski pass found Sherbon who struck a powerful drive from the edge of the box which Knights’ keeper Martin John could only parry into the net. Down at the other end, Magdic had the chance to equalize almost immediately but was foiled by a desperate Shane Rexhepi challenge in the box.
Sherbon then showed great composure to control a Liam Kearney cross from the left on his chest and beat John for the second time in four minutes.
Kearney was again instrumental in the third goal when his shot hit Knights’ defender Anthony Colosimo’s arm inside the box and the referee pointed to the spot, allowing Sherbon to step up and complete his hat trick.
The Knights pressed forward in the second half creating several good chances ensuring Thunder keeper Stuart Webster had a busy afternoon. He produced a fine save to foil Magdic early in the half, before substitute Kayne Vincent mistimed a good chance shooting wide of the target. The Knights had to wait until the 81 st minute before it was finally rewarded for its second half endeavour, when Vincent earned a penalty kick after a mistimed tackle from Thunder defender Jarryd Barnes.
Vincent converted the spot kick and although the visitors continued to strive for a second goal, Thunder withstood the challenge to score a win which leaves it in eighth spot just one point outside the five with two matches remaining.
In fact such is the closeness of this year’s VPL finals run in, that a mere four points separates second placed South Melbourne from ninth placed Richmond Eagles.
The Knights must quickly recover from their disappointment as they fave Cobram Victory in a mid-week Mirabella Cup clash on Wednesday night (8pm) at Knights Stadium, with the winner of the match advancing to the Victorian Cup competition quarter-finals.
Webster, Stuart; Barnes, J., Rexhepi, S., Harrison, B., Webster, Scott;, Tomic, A., Azizi, F., Sabanovski, D., Kearney, L., Stott, A.( Korcari, V. 87’), Sherbon, L.
Sherbon 17’, 21’, 34’ pen
John, M., Romein, S., Filipovic, R., Shin, L.( Uskok, T. 77’), Magdic, J.,Kozic ( Yusuf, Y. 67’), Colosimo, A., Franjic, J.( Vincent, K. 46’), Zilic, A., Colosimo, J., Sweeney, C.
Vincent 81’ pen
Written by George Stogiannou (Goal Weekly)