Melbourne Knights have suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Oakleigh Cannons, going down 4-1 on Friday night at Jack Edwards Reserve.
Andrew Marth’s men got off to the perfect start following last week’s cup elimination against rivals South Melbourne with a goal after just three minutes.
Robbie Zadworny, who was rampant down the wing all night, got into a good area and hammered a low cross for Andrew Barisic to volley in from close range.
The Knights almost took a 2-0 lead in the 10th minute, as Chris Talajic was played through on the right, but John Honos made a save from the winger’s low angled drive.
Five minutes later, Oakleigh had their equaliser. An awkward back-pass from Josh Brekalo allowed Goran Zoric onto the ball ahead of Chris May and the nippy winger kept his composure to finish into the far corner.
Oakleigh had the lead in the 22nd minute as striker Mirjan Pavlovic latched onto John Black’s pass and finished calmly to make it 2-1.
Three minutes later, May had to be alert to parry away Dean Piemonte’s audacious free kick, which was curling into the bottom corner.
The beginning of the second half was tightly contested, until another defensive error from the Knights gave Oakleigh a two-goal buffer.
Dusan Bosnjak pounced to win the ball off Milan Batur and had a clear run at goal before slotting it low past May just before the hour mark.
The Knights went forward in search of a goal and had two near identical headers cleared off the line, both from corner kicks.
First James McGarry and then Barisic got great purchase on the ball only to see it blocked by the man on the post.
Zadworny was doing his best to reduce the arrears and another great run from the pacy winger resulted in Barisic shooting narrowly over in with 15 minutes to go.
Any hopes of a comeback were dashed in the 78th minute with Pavlovic’s second goal.
Some nice lead-up play from Oakleigh ended with the striker who swivelled on the edge of the box and put a low shot right into the bottom corner to round out a forgettable evening for the Knights.