Melbourne Knights’ Westfield FFA Cup dreams are still alive as Andrew Marth’s men progressed into the round of 16 on Wednesday night, with a 2-1 win over WA outfit Cockburn City in torrential rain at Knights Stadium.
A vocal crowd of 1864 braved the conditions and were treated to a spectacle reminiscent of historic cup games at Olympic Park, with waterlogged pitches and the errant slide tackle adding to the entertainment.
A dominant first half saw the home side boss possession and keep Cockburn camped inside their half. Aden Da Luz proved the main threat for the visitors, with the winger playing a key outlet in rare counter-attacks.
Jason Hicks, James McGarry and youngster Anthony Dezic controlled the middle of the park despite the trying conditions, while Stipo Andrijasevic terrorised the opposition defenders.
The Knights took a deserved lead midway thought the first half, as long-serving striker Jacob Colosimo latched onto a perfect delivery from Nick Glavan to send the home fans into raptures.
Despite having much of the control, there were some nervy moments for the home side. Captain Milan Batur lunged into a goal saving tackle, while Nikola Jurkovic and Timmy Purcell intercepted key passes.
Moments before the half time break, a lapse in concentration allowed the visitors to level the scores. David Araya capitalised on a poor clearance to tap home from close range to undo all the hard work the Knights had achieved.
The rain subsided somewhat in the second half, allowing the Knights greater freedom in ball movement. Marijan Cvitkovic and Stipo Andrijasevic continued where they left off in the first half as the most likely to break the game open.
A dominant spell in which the Knights had a disallowed goal, numerous shots on goal, and successive corners finally paid off when Andrijasevic smashed home the winning goal, via a slight defection on 70 minutes.
The Knights could have extended their lead in the final minutes, but ultimately held onto their lead with relative ease the second time around.
Awaiting Melbourne Knights in the round of 16 will be current league rivals Green Gully. With Melbourne Knights having drawn a home tie, another large crowd will be expected to flock to Knights stadium. Confirmation of the date & time will be confirmed on Friday.
Speaking to Knights Media post match, goal scorer Jacob Colosimo described the elation of scoring, the crowd atmosphere and the Green Gully fixture.
“I missed out last time due to injury, and I really wanted to get on the scoresheet today and help my team. It’s a great feeling, but more importantly we got the result we wanted, this is what we came here to do”
“The fans have always been brilliant over the years and it was a great atmosphere tonight; you could hear the fans from start to finish. It really helps spur the players on.
“It’s going to be a tough game, as it always is against Green Gully. We’ve had two decent results against them already this season, but a cup game is completely different. Really looking forward to the challenge.”
SHOTS: MK 11 CC 4
TARGET: MK 5 CC 1
CORNERS: MK 7 CC 1
Melbourne Knights: 1.Michael O’FARRELL, 5.Milan BATUR ©, 8. James MCGARRY, 9. Jacob COLOSIMO (14.Caleb MIKULIC 89’), 10.Marijan CVITKOVIC, 11.Nikola JURKOVIC, 12.Anthony DEZIC (3.Ivan GRGIC 85’), 16.Jason HICKS (2.Luke JURCIC 92’), 19.Nick GLAVAN, 21.Stipo ANDRIJASEVIC, 23.Timmy PURCELL.
Not Used: 20.Harry CAKARUN, 17.Rob ZADWORNY.
Goals: Jacob COLOSIMO 21’, Stipo ANDRIJASEVIC 70’.
Cockburn City: 1.Luke RADONICH, 3.Joshua KUSER, 4.Euen GRANT ©, 6.Rueban TRISTAO, 8.Cameron EDWARDS, 9.Angel ANDRES, 10.David ARAYA (7.Ali GHOLAMI 64’), 11.Harry O’BRIAN, 13.Blake ADAMS (14.Liam MURRAY 80’), 16.Daniel DOLS, 18.Aden DA LUZ.
Not Used: 2.Nathan DE ABREU, 17.Jesse LAZZARO, 23.Ryan BARKER.
CROWD: 1864 @ Knights Stadium