The Melbourne Knights secured the A.H.D Cup after a comfortable 4-1 win over St. Albans Saints at Knights Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
A brace by Jacob Colosimo along with a goal a piece to Kayne Vincent and Josip Magdic sealed the three points and trophy for the Knights. Louis Fenton stepped up late to net a mere consolation for the Saints.
There is still a mathematical possibility that the Knights can reach the finals, needing to win all remaining three games and hope other results go their way.
However for St. Albans, they were officially relegated a fortnight ago after a 1-0 loss to South Melbourne. They will play in the State League 1 next season, with the aim of getting back into the Premier League.
The Knights came into the match undefeated in their past three, with wins against South Melbourne and Oakleigh, with their most recent match ending in a 1-1 draw with Heidelberg.
St. Albans had the week off last week with their match against Oakleigh Cannons at Churchill Reserve re-scheduled for this weekend.
The contest started off quite dull with both sides looking to find their rhythm early on. The first real chance fell to the Knights on ten minutes, one they put away for the opening goal of the match.
Josip Kozic sent in a cross from the right to Kayne Vincent who directed a header on goal which appeared to cause no threat, but, rather comically, St. Albans goalkeeper Steven Pavlovic dropped the ball with Jacob Colosimo lurking around the box to slot the ball home.
Maks Cuze had a great chance to equalize for the Saints ten minutes later and should have done better with his free header, instead directing it over the crossbar and wasting a glorious opportunity.
The rest of the half saw both sides cancel each other out with the game bogged down in midfield. The Knights came out of the break looking threatening and it was only a matter of time until they doubled their advantage.
Kayne Vincent and Jacob Colosimo had great chances to score before Josip Magdic put the Knights two goals up. Jacob Colosimo played Magdic into space in the penalty area and the attacking midfielder slid the ball underneath Pavlovic and into the back of the net.
The Saints looked demoralized after conceding that goal and just two minutes later they let in another. Josip Magdic returned the favour to Jacob Colosimo, cutting the ball back into the centre from the right for Colosimo to strike home from just outside the six-yard box.
Just three minutes later, on the hour mark, the Knights found another goal with Kayne Vincent scoring his second goal in as many games. An easy side-foot finish was enough to find the back of the net with Pavlovic and the Saints not knowing what hit them.
To the Saints credit, they kept on fighting and were rewarded in the closing stages of the match with a consolation goal. Just a minute after blowing a great chance, Louis Fenton was played in one-on-one with Martin John, going around the keeper and easily tapping the ball home.
The scores remained the same with the Knights keeping ninth spot on the ladder, just two wins out of a finals spot.
Melbourne Knights will take on Dandenong Thunder this Saturday night at George Andrews Reserve in the replay of the abandonded fixture from last month. St. Albans however welcome second placed Oakleigh to Churchill Reserve on Sunday afternoon.
Full-Time: Melbourne Knights 4 (J. Colosimo 10′ 57′, J. Magdic 55′, K. Vincent 60′) St. Albans Saints 1 (L. Fenton 83′).
Melbourne Knights: 1. Martin JOHN, 2. Shaun ROMEIN, 3. Ryan FILIPOVIC, 5. Leo SHIN, 6. Tomislav USKOK, 8. Josip MAGDIC, 9. Kayne VINCENT, 10. Josip KOZIC, 11. Anthony COLOSIMO, 20. Jacob COLOSIMO, 22. Craig SWEENEY.
Subs: 12. Shayan ALINEJAD, 15. Yusuf YUSUF, 17. Joseph FRANJIC, 19. Adam ZILIC, 21. Matthew HRASTOV.
St. Albans: 1. Steven PAVLOVIC, 5. Brian CHESSON, 13. Neven ANTIC, 16. Tom MILARDOVIC, 19. Michael GRGIC, 10. Daniel VISEVIC, 4. Maks CUZE, 17. Luka REARDO, 21. Daniel PIOVESAN, 15. Louis FENTON, 9. Matthew DEMO.
Subs: 20. Frano SARIC, 8. Liam CANNELL, 14. Anthony THEMISTORELEOUS, 7. Okan OZTEMIR, 3. Ivan LIVOJIC.
By David Manuca