Melbourne Knights equalled a trio of club records with a 5-0 win over Heidelberg United at Knights Stadium in NPL Victoria Round 13 action on Friday night.
Gian Albano, Ciaran Bramwell, Trevor Ssemakula, Josh Phelps and Mohamed Sumaoro were all on target as Knights secured their first league win over the Warriors since 2015.
With Friday’s win Ben Cahn’s side have now equalled the club’s longest NPL Victoria unbeaten run (six games), and longest unbeaten home streak in the league (seven games).
Both of the club’s unbeaten records have stood since 2015, the last time Knights qualified for finals football.
The 5-0 score line also matches the Knights biggest margin of victory in an NPL Victoria match.
Albano opened the scoring in the 15th when he turned a rebound into the back of the net at the back post after Nicholas Eres could only parry Luka Kolic’s initial effort.
15 minutes later the visitors were reduced to ten men when Ajdin Fetahagic received his marching orders after dragging down Kolic with the midfielder in on goal.
Knights made their numerical advantage count in the 42nd minute when Bramwell slid home an Albano cut-back with a deft finish to send the home side into the break with a 2-0 advantage.
Albano’s and Bramwell’s first half strikes see them hit the halfway mark of the 2023 NPL Victoria season with six and five goals to their names respectively.
It took until the 84th minute for Knights to nab their third with substitutes Sumaoro and Ssemakula combining for the latter to finish into an empty net at the back post.
Ssemakula’s first NPL Victoria goal for the Knights comes just days after the diminutive attacker bagged a hat-trick in his sides 3-0 midweek Australia Cup win over Box Hill United.
Two minutes later Knights had their fourth when Josh Phelps rose highest to nod home from a Gevaro Nepmuceno corner and open his goalscoring account in red, white and blue.
Sumaoro rounded out the scoring in second half stoppage when he latched onto an intricate Jack Morton through ball before slamming a finish into the bottom corner from a tight angle for what was his fourth league goal of the season.
Friday’s win sees Knights hit the halfway mark of the 2023 NPL Victoria season inside the competition’s top four as they seek a return to finals football for the first time since 2015.
Knights are back at Somers Street again next Friday night, playing host to St Albans in NPL Victoria Round 14 action.