Knights claim fifth of the season

The Melbourne Knights swiftly return to the winning column, defeating the depleted Eastern Lions 3-0, at home.

Starting XI: Thomas Manos (GK), Jack Marth, Fuki Ishibashi, Ayden Brice (C), Luka Celic, Gian Albano, Anthony Frangie, Mohammad Sumaoro, Trevor Ssemakula, Jack Morton, Luka Kolic

Substitutes: Harry Cakarun (GK), Joseph Colina, Justin Micallef, Steve Sokol, Lionel Masudi

It was 7th v 13th before the beginning of the match, with both sides roaring to go at the whistle. Both sides needed the crucial three points: the Knights wanting to break into the top six, the Lions trying to escape the relegation zone.

 In what was a static first half, both sides were unable to enact a change on the field. All was left in the second half for either team to take the three points. Head coach Steve Bebic opted for attacking options in the second half, substituting Justin Micallef on for Fuki Ishibashi in an effort to shift the tide of the match.

As the match continued, sore legs were becoming a factor, and 20 minutes into the second half, time was running out with a draw was looking increasingly likely. With Nneither side looking likely to score a breakthrough, the Knights opted for another substitution, bringing on the fresh legs of Steve Sokol for Luka Kolic.

With a little under 15 minutes to go, a refreshment was made in the front third again, as Lionel Masudi replaced Anthony Frangie up top.

After Masudi’s super sub last week against Gully, Bebic was hopeful the latest sub would prove to be impactful. Bebic was reward and Masudi made  an instant impact. After being on the pitch for five minutes, Masudi scored the breakthrough goal the Knights were looking for. Rising to the deficit,  the Lions were beckoned to play more attacking for their own goal but ultimately suffered a second against themselves.

The Knights doubled their lead just before additional time thanks to Mohammad Sumaoro, who now joins Anthony Frangie on four goals this season so far. The flood gates opened even further at Knights Stadium, as Gian Albano added a third to the tally with a punishing finish.

After a flurry of goals the Knights were able to secure their fifth win of the season, jumping into the top six. The Knights return home this week for the Australia Cup as they face off against the Bulleen Lions.

– Tom Hayes

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