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Marth’s men suffer first defeat of season

Melbourne Knights has seen its winning start to the season come to an end as it was dealt a 3-0 defeat by Bentleigh Greens at Knights Stadium on Thursday night.

The Knights were competitive in an even first half but a 28th minute screamer from Tyson Holmes gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at half time. After a deep corner kick had gone over several heads, Holmes was waiting unmarked to lash home an inch-perfect volley into the top corner from an acute angle.

Bentleigh went on to dominate the second half and two quick goals either side of the hour mark sealed a disappointing result for Andrew Marth’s men. On 59 minutes Holmes made it two as he headed a cross past a wrong-footed Chris May.

Former Gold Coast United forward Chris Lucas grabbed a third for the Greens just two minutes later as he sped into the area from the right channel and smashed the ball home to all but confirm the victory for his side.

There were few chances for either side in a tightly contested first half. Andrew Barisic threatened on 15 minutes as he got a shot away on the spin, which looked to be curling inside the near post before Alastair Bray dived to stop it.

The Bentleigh goalkeeper nearly got himself into trouble in the 24th minute as he was closed down by Barisic and kicked it straight into the Knights striker. The ricochet rolled just wide of the net.

John Anastasiadis’ side went into the second half with a one-goal lead and started on top as May had to be alert to make a strong save from Matt Thurtell after the striker had broken through one-on-one.

It was the first of three saves that May made from the league’s leading goal-scorer as the goalkeeper won the personal battle but couldn’t keep Bentleigh from inflicting further damage as the Knights went into their shell.

The home side threw caution to the wind in the remaining stages in search of a goal to reduce the deficit. The closest they came was late on as James McGarry curled a free kick over the wall and on its way into the top corner, forcing Bray to tip it over the bar.

From the resulting corner the ball was flicked on and Adrian Zahra reacted from eight yards out but couldn’t keep his volley down.

The result sees Bentleigh move into top spot, with goal difference separating them from the Knights.

 

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