Chris Talajic popped up to score the winning goal as Melbourne Knights overcame Pascoe Vale 1-0 in a tight affair at Knights Stadium on Firday night.
The match looked to be heading for a stalemate before substitute Anthony Colosimo delivered a dangerous corner and Talajic, starting his first match of the season, obligingly headed it past Stefan Sardelic in the 72nd minute to cue joyous celebrations.
It was a forgettable first half at Somers St, with neither side able to create sustained pressure on the other’s defence.
Marijan Cvitkovic came closest to opening the scoring in the 35th minute, as he poked a shot inches wide of the upright while the home fans argued the midfielder was obstructed as he shot.
Pascoe Vale’s first effort on target came five minutes before the break, as Mark Pistininzi got plenty of power behind his strike but it was straight at Chris May who was able to hold onto it.
Davey van’t Schip had a chance to put the visitors ahead five minutes after the restart after being played in behind, but his shot was too tame to trouble May.
Andrew Marth’s side upped the ante with 20 minutes remaining. Stipo Andrijasevic saw his header blocked on the line before a corner soon after produced the game’s solitary goal.
The Knights’ jubilation seemed like it might have been short-lived, as Matthew Lazarides was brought down in the box moments after the goal with 75 minutes on the clock.
Michael Ferrante stepped up to take the penalty and hit it low and hard to May’s right, but the keeper guessed correctly and made an excellent save in the latest of a string of top shelf performances from the custodian.
Paco’s confidence seemed shot and Colosimo came closest to changing the scoreline, as his 89th minute curler was placed right in the top corner, before a super save from Sardelic saw it tipped onto the crossbar.
The win sees the Knights keeping in touch with the top three and solidifying its spot in the finals positions.