The Melbourne Knights have returned to the winner’s list, enduring a 3-nil win over a 10-men Hume City at Knights Stadium.
Melbourne Knights Starting XI:
Thomas Manos (GK), Jack Marth, Ayden Brice (C), Anthony Duzel, James McGarry, Alun Webb, Gian Albano, Caleb Mikulic, Trevor Zwetsloot, Mohammed Sumaoro, Nicholas Glavan.
Melbourne Knights Bench:
Harry Cakarun (GK), Lachlan Weier, Nikola Jurkovic, Daniel Petrov, Trevor Ssemakula.
For the first time this season, the Knights weren’t ahead at the break. A lacklustre first half saw the teams enter half time in a stalemate. Both sides showed promise getting into goal scoring positions but failed to challenge either goalkeeper.
The only caution of the half went the way of Ben Bowler for a sloppy challenge on Gian Albano, just before half time.
All of the action was saved for the second half, the Knights started the half with a defensive swap. Lachlan Weier replaced Jack Marth in the 54th minute, who had a busy spell.
Moments later the match was blown wide open, when Hume City’s Ben Bowler received his second yellow of the match, leaving Hume with 10 men for the remainder of the match.
It only took a matter of minutes for the Knights to capitalise on their advantage, when Caleb Mikulic scored in his second consecutive match, with a neat finish into the near corner.
Not long after, the Knights were two to the good. This time Gian Albano found the back of the net, for the first time since round 1. Mohammed Sumaoro and Alun Webb linking up nicely with Albano before he slotted it into the far corner.
The Knights used their final two substitutions before the 80th minute, Caleb Mikulic and Anthony Duzel were replaced by Trevor Ssemakula and Nikola Jurkovic respectively.
The match was capped off with a much-deserved goal from Mohammed Sumaoro. The swift finish from outside of the box was Sumaoro’s first for the club, putting the Knights three ahead with just a matter of minutes left on the clock.
Post-match, Sumaoro explained how glad he was to get off the mark: “I’ve been looking for my first goal in the last few weeks”, happily adding, “it finally came tonight”.
Another three points for the Knights allowed them to reclaim top spot on the table after four rounds, sending Hume packing empty-handed.
Coach Steve Bebic praised the work-rate of his team in the second half: “we went to another level in a lot of areas”. His message at half time was to “keep going”, and keep going they did.
Next week, the Knights play their first Saturday afternoon match at Avenger Park, against third-placed side Avondale FC.
– Tom Hayes