Avondale FC demonstrated exactly why they’re the current league leaders with quality finishing and clean sheet in a polished 3-0 victory over the Melbourne Knights on Friday night.
Melbourne Knights made just the one change, with Hrovje Cakarun sustaining an injury during the week and being replaced by Fraser Chalmers, while Andrew Marth kept faith in the same starting outfield line-up that dismantled Port Melbourne last week.
The signs were positive early as the Knights looked dangerous in a open first ten minutes. Elvis Kamsoba saw his shot deflected wide, whilst Jason Hicks’ shot from outside the area was easily dealt with by Chris Oldfield in the Avondale goal.
Danny Dixon looked lively down the right wing and came closest to opening the scoring for the Knights. Cutting in from the flank, the winger’s left foot low drive went narrowly wide of the upright.
Avondale immediately punished the Knights just a minute later as Jonatan Germano was played though on goal, and finished sublimely past the on-rushing Chalmers.
Chalmers was forced into a good save from Sheppard in the 22nd minute, with Christodoulou’s second effort being headed inches over the bar by Towns.
Avondale’s unbeaten start to the season has been credited to their watertight defence, which has yet to concede more than 1 goal in a game. This was evident as the usually dangerous Kamsoba and Cahill were negated by a physical and unrelenting Avondale back four.
A rare opportunity presented itself in the 63rd minute, as the Knights earned a free-kick from just outside the box. Danny Dixon drove his effort low and towards the bottom left hand corner, only to by denied by a Chris Oldfield parry.
Just minutes later and Avondale would earn a free-kick from an almost identical position. However this time Germano curled his effort around the wall and into the top corner to net himself a brace.
With momentum behind them Avondale immediately searched for a third, which came 4 minutes from time via a long range effort from substitute Kamal Ibrahim.
The loss could see the Knights drop outside the top 6 with games still be to played over the weekend, while Heidelberg United are the visitors next Friday night it what could be a season-defining fixture for Andrew Marth’s men.
Melbourne Knights: 1.Fraser CHALMERS, 4.Ben SUREY, 6.Milan BATUR, 9.Kym HARRIS (10.Marijan CVITKOVIC 56′), 12.Anthony DEZIC (7.Robert ZADWORNY 76′), 13.Tom CAHILL, 15.Danny DIXON, 16.Jason HICKS, 18.Joshua BREKALO, 23.Timmy PURCELL, 27.Elvis KAMSOBA.
Not Used: 30.Gabriel MATTI, 2.Luke JURCIC, 5.Damien MISKULIN
Avondale FC: 1.Chris OLDFIELD, 2. Ramazan TAVSANOGLU, 3.James CUMMING, 5. Jeffrey FLEMMING, 8.Massimo MURDOCCA, 10.Jonathan GERMANO (6.Anthony STRANO 89′), 13.Yitay TOWNS (11.Kristian TRAJCESKI 78′), 17.Phillip RICCOBENE, 22.Kaine SHEPPARD (14.Kamal IBRAHIM 74′), 23.Evan CHRISTODOULOU, 55.Petar FRANJIC.
Not Used:20.Trevor Ssemakula, 44.Evan Markogiannakis.
Goals: Germano 14′, 66, Ibrahim 86′.