Melbourne Knights and Heidelberg United square off on Friday night in what could be considered a season defining match for Andrew Marth’s squad.
Three successive wins in league and cup competition saw the Knights head into last weeks match against league leaders Avondale FC full of momentum. Despite a positive opening to the match, the Knights didn’t live up to their expectations, eventually falling to a 3-0 defeat and ultimately undoing all the hard work achieved over the previous weeks.
Consistency is the biggest enemy currently for the Knights with daylight between their best and worst football. Their best has seen them dominate the likes of Hume City and Bentleigh Greens, whilst losses at home have left behind a bitter taste.
The Knights’ previous two losses of the season has seen the club immediately bounce back with a win, with supporters hoping this trend continues against the visiting Heidelberg United.
Harry Cakarun missed the game against Avondale due to a hand injury sustained in training, whilst the injured trio of Jurkovic, Barker-Daish and Gerhardt are still some weeks away from returning to full fitness.
Heidelberg head into the clash in red-hot form having notched up an impressive 15 goals in their past 3 games. A remarkable comeback against Green Gully a fortnight ago saw them overturn a 2-0 deficit in the last eight minutes of the contest to win 3-2. This was followed by a clinical 4-0 victory over Moreland Zebras in the cup, before slotting eight goals past North Geelong last week. Incredibly the ‘Bergers were only 1-0 up before winger Rueben Way saw red in the 10th minute, yet still managed to slot home another 7 goals.
Five goals to Shuan Ellis in the previous fixture sees him join striker Kenny Athiu as leading scorers for the club, combining for a total of 10 out of 13 goals for the season.
The absence of Rueben Way will provide the Knights with little respite, with the visitors boasting a dangerous attacking including the aforementioned Ellis & Athiu, along with the likes of Noon and former Knight Adrian Zahra.
Recent history between the two clubs does not read well for the Knights. In the past 10 encounters the ‘Bergers have claimed victory in 8 of them, with Knights managing just the 1 win coming in 2015. In addition Heidelberg have managed to score in each of the past 15 games between the clubs.
Match Stats (Past 10 Games)
Wins: Heidelberg 8, Knights 1, Draw 1.
Goals: Heidelberg 19, Knights 7.
Last Meeting: Melbourne Knights 0-1 Heidelberg.
Knights Goalscorers: Kamsoba 4, Hicks 4, Cahill 3, Dixon 1, Mikulic 1.
Heidelberg Goalscorers: Ellis 5, Athiu 5, Byles 1, Way 1, Zahra 1.
MELBOURNE KNIGHTS v Heidelberg United.
WHEN: Friday 7th April – 8:30pm
WHERE: Knights Stadium, Somers Street.