Late goals in either half from Jacob Colosimo and Stipo Andrijasevic secured an important 2-0 away win against local rivals Green Gully on Saturday afternoon.
Captain Milan Batur returned to the starting eleven, while Robbie Zadworny was given his first start for the season as Andrew Marth’s men looked to make it 3 wins from as many games across all competitions.
It was almost a dream start for the Cavaliers when Christodoulou was played through on goal just six minute in. Opting to chip the ‘keeper, Michael O’Farrell positioned himself perfectly to gratefully clutch the ball in his safe hands.
Windy conditions prevented a fluent contest as either side struggled to fashion constant goalscoring opportunity, however it was the Knights who looked more comfortable in possession and attacking pressure.
It was this pressure that forced a Gully defender to lose possession at the back, with Zadworny forcing an error allowing an opportunity for Colosimo and Andrijasevic who failed to capitalise on Knights’ best opportunity to point.
Target Man Liam Boland was kept relatively quiet by Batur, however showed glimpses of his attacking threat having a shot deflected narrowly wide in the 30th minute.
Knights pushed for an opening goal in the final 10 minutes of the first half, with Hicks denied firstly by what appeared to be a handball in the penalty box, before having an effort cleared off the line moments later.
Five minutes before the break, Knights were gifted a perfect opportunity to solidify their dominance when a mis-timed header from Vargas struck his hand sending the visitors to the penalty spot. Jacob Colosimo confidently despatched the resulting penalty as Dowisha committed to one side early.
Chances were few and far between in the second stanza, as the home side looked short of ideas with Liam Boland starved of any opportunity from a hard working Knights back four.
A Gully corner in the 68th minute caused some headaches as Vargas and multiple other bodies collided in a jam-packed penalty area, but Knights ultimately dealt with the danger.
George Lambadaridis fashioned a good shooting opportunity for himself in the 76th minute, but his curling effort was was always drifting wide of the far upright.
Knights’ substitute Luke Jurcic could have put the result beyond doubt in the 82nd minute, finding himself on the end of a flowing counter attack with time and space, but the youngster failed to find the target.
The result was finally put to bed in the 90th minute, as Hicks released McGarry down the right flank and clear of the Gully defense, McGarry squared to the unmarked Andrijasevic who emphatically finished into the top corner of the net and securing a vital three points for his club.
The win sees the Knights make significant ground on the top 6, with next weeks game against Heidelberg United providing an opportunity for the club to leapfrog itself into a finals position.
Post-match, Tim Purcell spoke to Knights Media, about the importance of the result and the clean sheet, his new found role at left back and the upcoming fixture.
“This is a massive confident boost for the team, it was a really strong performance from everyone to get the three points here and quite convincingly in the end too,” Purcell said.
“We do our homework on all the teams, and knew about the big lad Liam Boland up front and how dangerous he is, but we nullified that early and cut out his supply and it worked out quite well for us”.
“It’s football, I’m happy to be playing be it on in the midfield on the wing or at full-back. I’m comfortable playing at left back and doing a job for the team”.
“You always look at a Melbourne Knights – Heidelberg fixture and expect a big game, we don’t like to speak about what happened last time we played them, but we have a lot to prove against them now and come into the game with some form.”
The Knights host Heidelberg at Knights stadium this Sunday at 3:00pm.
In the Under 21’s the Knights came way with a comprehensive 4-1 victory.
Shots: MK 5 GG 5
Target: MK 3 GG 3
Corners: MK 4 GG 5
Melbourne Knights Squad. 1.Michael O’FARRELL, 5.Milan BATUR, 6.Damian MISKULIN, 8.James MCGARRY, 9.Jacob COLOSIMO (3.Ivan GRGIC 89’), 10.Marijan CVITKOVIC (11.Nikola JURKOVIC 68’), 16.Jason HICKS, 17. Robbie ZADWORNY (2.Luke JURCIC 78’), 18.Joshua BREKALO, 21.Stipo ANDRIJASEVIC, 23.Timmy PURCELL.
Not Used: 12.Anthony DEZIC, 20.Harry CAKARUN.
Goals: Jacob COLOSIMO 41’p, Stipo ANDRIJASEVIC 90’
Green Gully Squad: 23.Rani DOWISH, 3.Yohei IWASAKI, 4.Daniel JONES, 5.Rodrigo VARGAS, 6.Callum RICHARDSON, 7.Tom MURPHY (8.Anthony RAGUSA 64’), 8.George LAMBADARARIDIS, 11.Evan CHRISTODOULOU, 16.Kliment TASESKI, 19.Luke WALKER (17.Alon BLUMGART 80’), 38. Liam BOLAND.
Not Used: 1.Sebastian MATTEI, 2.Matthew REID, 12.Nick KROUSARATIS.