Knights score four to go fourth!

Melbourne Knights recorded their biggest win of the 2023 NPL Victoria season with a 4-1 victory against Moreland City at CB Smith Reserve on Saturday afternoon.

Gian Albano netted a brace while Corey Sewell and Felipe Sanchez were also on target in Knights Round 9 win which leaves Ben Cahn’s side at least temporarily level with Oakleigh in third.

It was the hosts who struck first at CB Smith Reserve with Fletcher Fulton heading home in the 15th minute to give Moreland an early lead.

Undeterred by the setback, Knights fought back and found a breakthrough in the 31st minute through Albano who slid a finish under City keeper Alex Kondolean after some tenacious work to force his through the Moreland defence.

Knights enjoyed the vast majority of possession and chances throughout the contest but were unable to add to the score line before half time despite coming close through Ciaran Bramwell and Gevaro Nepomuceno.

Within two minutes of the re-start Albano had his and Knights second of the afternoon, sliding a Luka Kolic cross into the bottom corner with a first-time finish on the end of a slick team move from Ben Cahn’s side.

Saturday’s brace sees Knights all-time leading NPL Victoria scorer take his tally to five in the league for the 2023 season.

Knights grabbed a third in the 55th minute when Corey Sewell rifled a thunderous volley in off the underside of the crossbar on the end of an Ivan Franjic corner for what was his second goal in as many games.

Substitute Felipe Sanchez rounded out the 4-1 score line moments after entering the match, beating an unsighted Kondolean with a poked finish in the 87th minute.

Knights have only ever bettered Saturday’s 4-1 margin of victory once in NPL Victoria away action. 

Speaking post-match, Melbourne Knights Head Coach Ben Cahn said his side were pleased with the points and performance against difficult opposition on Saturday.

“We’re very happy with the result, Moreland are a good side with some excellent footballers and they’ve caused problems for most teams they’ve played,” Cahn said.

“It was a top performance on a very difficult pitch. I’m proud of the quality the boys showed to control the game and the belief they had in the way we play.

“It was a disappointing goal to concede, but the character to bounce back was excellent and showed the strength, togetherness and belief of the squad.

“It’s been an intense schedule with a few short turn arounds so it’ll be nice to get a full week of training to freshen up, work hard and make sure we’re ready for Gully.”

Saturday’s win leaves Knights at least temporarily level in third ahead next Monday’s match up with Green Gully at Knights Stadium.

Ben Cahn’s side will look to continue their unbeaten run at home so far this season in Monday’s match which falls on the eve of the ANZAC Day public holiday.

Green Gully currently sit fifth on the NPL Victoria standings and suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Hume City in their most recent outing.

MATCH DETAILS

NPL Victoria 2023 – Round 9: Moreland City 1-4 Melbourne Knights

CB Smith Reserve, Fawkner

Saturday, 15 April 

Moreland City – 1 (Fletcher FULTON 15’)

Melbourne Knights – 4 (Gian ALBANO 31’ 48’ Corey SEWELL 55’, Felipe SANCHEZ 87’)

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