They say good things come in threes and Friday night was no exception when the Knights returned home to face off against Northcote City. The win, cemented in by a brace from Nate Foster, was the first time this season the Knights have been able to string together 3 consecutive wins. The points earned have allowed the side to re-enter the top 6, putting the Knights in a steady position to make a dash for the finals.
Angelo Svalina and Teeboy Kamara both remained in the starting 11 for their first match in front of a home crowd, with Knights newcomer Mitch Walsh was also included as a substitute. Harry Cakarun also remained between the posts, with Jordan Gifkins still out with an injury.
The Knights wasted no time in asserting their intent, pressing forward and creating a number of chances, the best of which fell to club captain Marijan Cvitkovic in the 5th minute.
Knights fans didn’t have to wait long in the rain to see a goal for their side as Nate Foster, who has found himself in a spell of form as of late, was able to beat his man and win the ball far on the right side of the park and proceed to carry it just outside the 6 yard box where he fired a bullet, beating Northcote City keeper Phillip Petrovski and giving the Knights an early 1-0 lead.
Northcote City looked to quickly equalise after winning a free kick no more than 25 yards from goal. Stepping up for the set piece for the visitors was Northcote regular Honos, who delivered a decent ball into the 18 yard box but was unable to cause any real threat, as the ball was headed high, giving Cakarun plenty of time to react.
About 20 minutes into the match, the forecasted rains arrived in full force, dumping a deluge of water onto the pitch and players making it difficult to see the ball, let alone control it due to the erratic winds.
Despite the change of conditions, the Knights were able to find their way onto goal after a Svalina free kick bounced around the 18 yard box, ultimately settling at the feet of Cvitkovic, who took a few strides into space, making a quick turn to put the ball into the back of the net, giving the Knights a 2-0 lead, which they were able to maintain for the rest of the half.
The Knights entered the second half with their clean sheet intact thanks to the heroics of Cakarun, but were left blindsided after a quick piece of attacking play saw Northcote City open their scoring. After beating his man, Northcote’s Theodoropoulos laid a grounded pass onto the feet of Sylaidos, who was well placed and unmarked to fire a shot into goal.
Looking to further extend their lead, the Knights looked to capitalise after winning a free kick due to rough contact on Svalina. Renowned for his set pieces for his childhood team back in Croatia, Svalina perfectly whipped the ball over Northcote’s wall and into the top right-hand corner, giving the Knights their third goal of the match.
Knight’s final goal fell in the 83rd minute after Foster received a long ball and tussled with Northcote’s Charlie Beverly for it, with Beverly taking to ground and looking for the foul. Petrovski, preoccupied with his teammate’s calls to Perry Murr, was unable to stop an advancing Foster, who was able to beat the keeper and place the ball comfortably into goal. The win signifies a unified outlook for the Knights, who have won 4 out of their last 5 encounters.
Next week see’s the side face off against Hume City FC, who they last met in round four of the competition and only managed a 3-3 draw. With Hume seemingly in a rough patch, the Knights will be looking for another strong performance at home to make it 4 in a row on Friday night.