The Melbourne Knights have suffered their second consecutive defeat in front of a bumper crowd of just under 2,500 people, going down 1-0 to South Melbourne in the Original Melbourne Derby last Friday evening at Knights Stadium.
Micky Colina was forced into making one change to his starting 11 that faced Avondale FC tin round seven. Tomislav Uskok who was unavailable due to suspension was replaced Daniel Visevic who made his first start for the Knights since signing on.
— Melbourne Knights FC (@MelbKnights) April 5, 2019
The Knights started off the game well, dominating early possession in the midfield and created a great chance in the 10th minute when Corey Sewell delivered an inch perfect ball to Marijan Cvitkovic but his header went just wide.
Despite having majority of possession, the Knights had difficulty penetrating a well organised South Melbourne outfit who were playing under new manager Esteban Quintas for the first time since former coach Con Tangalakis resigned at the end of round seven.
On the half hour mark it was the away side who nearly took the lead when a great through ball from debutant Ben Djiba found Nick Krousoratis through on goal but was denied a goal after a superb save from Harry Cakarun at his near post.
The Knights were forced to make a substitution in the 35th substituting Daniel Visevic with Atilla Ofli, after Visevic succumbed to a groin strain and was unable to continue play. Ofli’s first touch on the field saw him play a clever ball over the South Melbourne defence into the path of Cvitkovic, but the oncoming Nikola Roganovic saw enough of the play and was able to clear the ball to safety.
The Knights should have taken the lead before the stroke of half time when a looping Nikola Jurkovic header was saved by Roganovic forcing the sides to go into the half time break on level pegging.
A second half formation change saw the Knights adopt a 4-3-3 arrangement in an attempt to get more width to try and break down the stubborn visiting side. However, the task at hand became that much harder as on the hour mark the visitors took the lead.
A wayward pass from Ayden Brice in the middle of the pitch was intercepted by South’s Ethan Gage. As the Knights were scrambling to get back it would be South Melbourne skipper Brad Norton who made a gut busting 80 meter run to get on the end of a Leigh Minopoulos through ball to drive home the only goal of the game.
The home side continued to throw numbers forward but their efforts were in vain. On this occasion, it wasn’t their night, as the side couldn’t find a way to break down their opponents and find a way back into the match. The defeat would mark the sides first home defeat of the season.
The Knights now face a difficult away trip to 9th placed Pascoe Vale at CB Smith Reserve this Friday night with kick off scheduled for 8:15pm.
Melbourne Knights FC 0
South Melbourne FC 1
Melbourne Knights FC: 1. Harry Cakarun, 5. Ayden Brice, 8. Gian Albano, 9. Hamish Watson (AJ Inia 59’), 10. Marijan Cvitkovic (Atilla Ofli 72’), 11. Nikola Jurkovic, 12. Corey Sewell, 13. Ivan Grgic (Adrian Tardio 82’), 17. Daniel Visevic (Atilla Ofli 35’), 19. Anthony Duzel, 27. Joseph Franjic
South Melbourne FC: 1. Nikola Roganovic, 4. Luke Adams, 5. Jake Marshall, 8. Dean Bereveskos, 10. Marcus Schroen, 11. Brad Norton, 12. Nick Krousoratis, 15. Ben Djiba, 17. Ethan Gage, 18. Kostas Stratomitros, 45. Gerrie Sylaidos.