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NPL R14 Preview – Knights vs. Cannons

It’s back to back home games Knights fans! With the rounds now officially ticking over into the second half of the season, it’s time to revisit all the NPL teams. This week, the Knights take on their round one opponent – Oakleigh Cannons FC – who they defeated swiftly 2-1 all the way back in February.

Going into round 14, the Knights come off the back of a last minute draw against Dandenong Thunder. The last match of the first half of the season saw the Knights at one point trail three goals to one, only to get themselves back into the game thanks to newcomer Mohamed Awad’s 18 yard screamer. Making his debut in a 33rd minute substitution for Atilla Ofli, Awad’s 74th minute goal was crucial in getting the Knights a point out of the match. Reflecting on the match, Awad had this to say:

“I thought we were a bit slow in the first half and that they wanted it a little bit more than us but in the second half we got going. Everyone just gave a little bit more. They went two goals up but we still managed to stick in there and get a point out of it.”

“I knew if anyone was able to get a goal, it was going to be a crucial point in the game. I managed to get the ball on my left foot, have a hit and it went in.”

The final equaliser was delivered at the feet of Gian Albano, who was tripped up in the box by Thunder’s Jayke Cuschieri. Albano converted the spot kick and secured a point for the Knights. The match was a classic tale for the Knights, conceding early in the first half and following up with a stronger second half.

At the end of round 13, the Knights finished where they started – in fifth place on the ladder – still on equal points with Green Gully SC, who also managed a round 13 one all draw against the Oakleigh Cannons.

This week sees the side play host to Oakleigh Cannons FC, who the Knights were able to defeat 2-1 back in round one. Since then the two clubs have had a vastly different season, with the Knights not dropping out of the top six in the first half of the season and the Cannons not able to make it past tenth place on the ladder, spending the majority of the season in the bottom three.

The Cannons on the other hand have managed to chalk up two wins and a draw in their last five outings. Overall the side has only managed three wins, three draws and seven losses. Out of their last 13 matches, the Cannons have found the back of the net in all but two occasions, with Joe Guest their most prolific in front of goal, already nabbing six for himself and sitting in tenth place on the leading goal scorer tally. To date, the Cannons haven’t made any announcements regarding their squad in this current transfer window.

With the Knights eager to reignite their season and send a strong message going forward into the second half coupled with Oakleigh’s equal desire to turn their season around in the second half, should make for a thoroughly entertaining match up come Friday night. The Knight’s most reason signing, Mohamed Awad, should excite fans, with the youngster still out to make a name for himself at his new club.

Round 14 Match Details

Date: Friday 24th May 2019

Kick-off: 7:45pm

Venue: Knights Stadium

Match Official: Ioannis Zisis

Team News

Melbourne Knights FC Squad:

1. Harry Cakarun, 2. Luke Jurcic, 4. Tom Podaridis, 5. Ayden Brice, 6. Tomislav Uskok, 8. Gian Albano, 9. Hamish Watson, 10. Marijan Cvitkovic, 11. Nikola Jurkovic, 12. Corey Sewell, 13. Ivan Grgic, 14. AJ Inia, 15. Adrian Tardio, 16. Mohamed Awad, 17. Daniel Visevic, 19. Anthony Duzel, 20. Jordan Gifkins, 25. Atila Ofli, 27. Joseph Franjic.

Oakleigh Cannons FC Squad:

2. Thomas Matthews, 3. Ramazan Tavsancioglu, 4. Dominik Jamriska, 5. Blair Govan, 7. Nicholas Epifano, 8. Ryan Paczkowski, 10. Joe Guest, 11. Wade Dekker, 13. Hamish Millar, 14. Marcus Dimmanche, 16. Harry White, 17. John Honos (GK), 18. Vasilios Floros, 19. Goran Zoric, 20. Matthew Green, 23. Matthew Foschini, 24. Liam Theodore, 31. George Tzamouranis, 33. Rory Brian, 41. Luke Pavlou, 99. Milos Lujic

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