Despite taking a 37 second lead, Melbourne Knights failed to capitalize on a number of gilt edged chances, and were ultimately punished by a clinical Avondale FC outfit 3-1 on Friday night.
Andrew Marth was forced to reshuffle his back four with Ivan Grgic missing though injury and Damian Miskulin suspended, so Timmy Purcell was selected to play in an uncustomary left full back position.
Jason Hicks got the Knights off to a dream start after just 37 seconds. Latching onto a Andrijasevic though ball, the Kiwi spotting Chris May well off his line to finish with sublime chip.
The Knights continued to press forward, and were unlucky not to have extended their lead in a dominant opening spell.
Nikola Jurkovic saw his header cleared off the line, before Stipo Andrijasevic dragged his shot inches wide of the upright from a one-on-one opportunity.
Avondale’s first threat on goal was a result of some fancy footwork and combination between Strano and Murdocca, however goalkeeper Michael O’Farrell was alert to the danger saving well.
Although it was the Knights who continued to create the better of the chances in the opening half. Jason Hicks tried his luck again from distance, and despite not having the same connection as his earlier effort it still caused some headaches for Chris May. Andrijasevic came close again in the 39th minute, flashing his header just millimeters wide of the far upright.
Avondale FC Coach Anthony Barbieri brought on striker Khrapko during the interval to inject some potency up front for the visitors, and the move almost paid instant dividends with the striker forcing an excellent save from O’Farrell.
The Knights spurned another opportunity in the 50th minute to extend their lead. Andrijasevic beat Chris May to a back pass, however his squaring cross to Colosimo had too much on it for the striker to control his header on target and into what would have been an empty net.
Having not putting their opponents away, Avondale struck back and made the Knights pay the ultimate price. Omar Ammache’s quick turn and shot beat found the bottom corner to level the game, before a speculative Nicholas Symeoy effort from outside the box found the top corner just 2 minutes later.
The home fans and players were left in shock seeing their lead overturned in a matter of two minutes, and Avondale pounced again in the 79th minute to seal the contest, with substitute Khrapko teeing up Symeoy for an easy tap-in and his brace.
The loss sees the Knights remain in 8th position, with a crucial fixture next week away to Pascoe Vale on Friday Night.
In the under 21’s the Melbourne Knights also succumbed to a 3-1 defeat.
Shots: MK 14 AV 10
Target: MK 6 AV 7
Corners: MK 7 AV 9
Melbourne Knights Squad. 1.Michael O’FARRELL, 5.Milan BATUR, 8.James MCGARRY, 9.Jacob COLOSIMO, (10.Marijan CVITKOVIC 67’), 11.Nikola JURKOVIC (12.Anthony DEZIC 80’), 13.Anthony KATIFORIS, 16.Jason HICKS, 18.Joshua BREKALO (17.Robbie ZADWORNY 75’)19.Nick GLAVAN, 21.Stipo ANDRIJASEVIC, 23 Timmy PURCELL.
Not Used: 2.Luke JURCIC, 20.Harry CAKARUN.
Goals: Jason HICKS 1’
Avondale FC Squad: 1.Chis MAY, 2.Nicholas SYMEOY, 3.James CUMMING, 4.Baki EFE, 5.Jeffrey FLEMING, 6.Anthony STRANO, 8.Massimo MURDOCCA, 11.Jem BERKANT (37.Abrahim Yango 80’), 13.Yitay TOWNS (10.Jonathon GERMANO 56’), 16.Omar AMMACHE, 17.Phillip RICCOBENE (9.Oleksiy KHRAPKO 46’).
Not Used: 12.Mathew SANDERS, 31.Michele CRAZIA.
Goals: Omar AMMACHE 69’, Nick SYMEOY 71’ 79’.