Cannons silenced by fired up Knights

Friday night football in the Victorian Premier League saw a new look Melbourne Knights dominate an Oakleigh side who were lost for ideas when presented with the Knights attacking pressure football system.
Oakleigh lined up with no less than three Knights players from 2009, Cameron Watson, Jamie Cumming and John Fitzgerald. Knights leading goalscorer Jean Charles Dubois had an opening in the first minute when the lively Adrian Zahra combined with Kevin Townson to put the nippy Frenchman through on goal with only the keeper to beat but his powerful effort was saved by Oakleigh’s new recruit from Brisbane Roar, Jamie McMaster.
The first half also saw the Knights pressure Oakleigh’s back four to no avail, while Oakleigh kept pumping long balls to Michael Curcija and Ricky Diaco who were helpless against the aerial prowess of Tomislav Skara and Bryan Bran. The pair went into the break deadlocked at 0-0 with the Knights having the momentum and chances to carry into the second half.
The electric atmosphere at Jack Edwards Reserve was only further heightended with the Knights passing game being played at a blistering pace which as the match bore on took its toll on an ageing Oakleigh side.
The game-breaker came in the 73rd minute when Kevin Townson beat his man on the wing and with a short burst of speed skipped ahead of the defender to give himself time to pinpoint a cross to Jean Charles Dubois who headed the ball past an outstretched McMaster to give the Knights faithful a sigh of relief seeing the side going ahead deservedly with the bulk of the play.
Oakleigh coach John Anastasiadis made changes immediately taking off former Knights defender Neven Antic and putting on another former Knight Nick Kalmar as well as taking off another midfielder for a striker in the lively Jerry Karpeh. Knights coach Ivan Duzel also made a quick substitution – taking off goalscorer Dubois for Canadian Tommy Ples.
It was at this stage of the match that it really opened up as Oakleigh chased the game giving Knights wingers Adrian Zahra and Gazmend Ajdini the time to receive the ball and take on players with a numerical advantage up front. At least three golden opportunities fell to the Knights but a combination of bad luck and good goalkeeping kept the score at 0-1. Deep into injury time Oakleigh received a dangerous freekick from just outside the area only to see the ball fly over the bar. A quickly taken goal kick by Ante Loncaric saw Adrian Zahra receive the ball deep in his half and give it off to Tommy Ples up front who put Josip Magdic through an already sretched Oakleigh defence. Magdic passed off to Jacob Colosimo inside the box and the young striker made no mistake, calmly slotting past McMaster and ensuring a victory against one of this season’s favourites.

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