Knights fight to prove a point

Melbourne Knights have fought back from conceding an early goal to almost taking away all three points, in a much improved performance against top four side Avondale FC at Knights Stadium on Friday night.

Ben Surey once again took charge of the squad and welcomed back Nikola Jurkovic into the starting line up following suspension.

Kamsoba created the first notable chance of the contest in the 7th minute cutting in from the left and shooting low, with Markogiannakis doing well to fingertip the effort around the upright.

The game’s first controversial call came just minutes later as Milan Batur was adjudged to have brought down his opponent in the box, despite what looked like minimal contact. Germano stepped and and slotted home the resulting penalty to give Avondale the early lead.

Unlike previous weeks, the Knights didn’t let this setback affect them and fought back to wrestle control of the contest.

In the 18th minute the Knights fans were up in arms as it appeared Kym Harris was pulled down in the box, with the referee’s non-decision further infuriating the home faithful.

Knights continued to create chances and looked certain to score in the 21st minute as Timmins’ through ball released Dixon beyond the Avondale defence and one on one with the keeper, with time and space the normally cool winger agonisingly sent his effort just inches wide of the upright.

The goal did eventually come for the Knights right on the stroke of half time, after some decent build up play down the left was finished off by Kym Harris from close range.

Into the second half and it was still the home side creating the bulk of the chances. Tom Cahill set up Elvis Kamsoba who was again denied from a tight angle by Avondale keeper Markogiannakis.

Avondale were finding the Knights hard to break down in the defence with opportunities restricted to long range efforts which were easily dealt with by Fraser Chalmers.

Melbourne Knights looked the most likely to pinch all three points in the closing stages of the game, with Elvis Kamsoba striking the woodwork in the 73rd minute.

In the final moments of the match, the home fans thought they would be celebrating a late winner as Tom Cahill hit the back of the net, only to be cruelly denied by the linesman’s flag for offside.

Despite not coming away with all the points, Ben Surey and his squad will be encouraged by the performance and desire shown as they battle to escape from the relegation zone.

Next week the Knights face the daunting task of travelling to face Heidelberg Untied at the Olympic Village.

Melbourne Knights Squad: 1.Fraser CHALMERS, 3.Shaun TIMMINS, 4.Ben SUREY, 6.Milan BATUR, 9.Kym HARRIS (10.Marijan CVITKOVIC 79′), 11.Nikola JURKOVIC (12.Anthony DEZIC 74′), 13.Tom CAHILL, 15.Danny DIXON (8.Kamal IBRAHIM 69′), 16.Jason HICKS, 17.Mehdi MARTIN, 27.Elvis KAMSOBA.

Not Used: 20.Gabriel MATTI, 5.Nick APOSTOLOPOULOS

Goals: Kym HARRIS 44′

Avondale FC Squad: 44. Evan MARKOGIANNAKIS, 2.Ramazan TAVSANCIOGLU, 3.James CUMMING, 4.Nicholas SYMEOY, 5.Jeffrey FLEMING, 7.Kristian TRAKCESKI (13.Yitay TOWNS 75′), 8.Massimo MURDOCCA, 10.Jonathon GERMANO (17.Evan CHRISTODOULOU 17′), 18.Jip BARTELS, 19.Tyler FISCHER (20.Trever SAEMAIKULA 68′), 55.Petar FRANJIC.

Not Used: 6.Anthony STRANO, 21.James RICCOBENE.

Goals: Jonathon GERMANO 9’pen.

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