Knights bad dream continues against Altona

The Melbourne Knights have not made their run home in the Victorian Premier League any easier after surrendering control of their match against fellow danger zone side the Altona Magic.
The Knights kicked off well with experienced midfielder, captain and club legend Danny Tiatto marshalling the side into gear. The Knights were clearly on top of Altona in the opening minutes and could have capitalised after great work by Jean Dubois to beat his marker and gallop into the box, only to be crudely upended as he was about to shoot past Tommi Tomich – only for the referee to wave for a corner kick – leaving the passionate Frenchman bemused.
In the 18th minute – the Knights broke the deadlock after Danny Tiatto found himself free in the center of the park sending a long ball over the defence which the enigmatic Dubois chested down and slotted past Tommich to send the boisterous home support into raptures. The relegation six pointer swung in the way of the Knights after the goal with Altona creating only one chance for the half in the 33rd minute. Zippy Knights winger Adrian Zahra had his through ball cut out by Pece Cergovski which sent Koce Delev through on goal, but masterful pressure from Tiatto ensured that the lanky forward sprayed wide of the mark much to the relief of the Knights faithful.
The Knights went into the break content with the level of intensity shown in the first half and confident of putting Altona away and breaking away from the dreaded relegation zone.
The half time break reinvigorated Altona with the whites pressuring the ball and getting much more of it than in the first half. The tussle continued with Altona nearly having an equaliser in the 54th minute after Pece Sivevski volleyed from just outside the box only to see his dipping effort hit the back crossbar much to his dismay.
The Knights stepped up a gear in the minutes following, with three successive corners proving too much for the Altona back four resulting in a Ryan Filipovic goal in the 58th minute. The Knights were 2-0 up but the game was far from over – Altona were not killed off yet.
The Knights were forced into replacing Dubois in the 65th after injury and on came Tomislav Ples who really put in a stellar performance considering the fact that he was coming back from injury, putting his body on the line on numerous occasions and creating opportunities up front for strike partner Kevin Townson.
Altona grabbed a goal in the 67th minute after Slave Bozinovski skipped past Ivica Praiz in a defence splitting play when Bryan Bran was caught out. Bozinovski looped his cross over the defence and between the keeper and the last man, with John Thornley heading the ball over Loncaric in goals from three meters out into the far corner of the net. The Knights were 2-1 up and were still in control of the game.
The Knights side however, grew frustrated with some of the calls that the referee made.
Young Knights defender-come-winger, Ryan Filipovic was dangerous on the right wing continuing to get in behind the defence, only to see the ball being cut out on numerous occasions.
In the 86th minute, it seemed that Altona had their last throw of the dice. Tommi Tommich played the ball out to his right back Doug Mladenovic who it seemed as though he handled the ball into his favour, regardless the referee let play run on. Mladenovic pumped the ball long and across the field of play to Thornley who headed down only for Ben Surey clear the danger. However, the ball was cut out to Dejan Radojicic who played quickly to Pece Cergovski who lined up a shot from 25 meters out, pulled the trigger and watched the ball go past a hapless Loncaric bringing Altona back from the dead.
The Knights pushed in the last 5 minutes of the match, but couldn’t break down the Altona side who parked the bus and were content in taking a point from Knights stadium.
The draw sees the Knights and Altona locked on 17 points each, in 10th and 11th spots respectively – with Altona having a tough road ahead facing in form sides, Hume, Oakleigh and Richmond.
The Knights next week travel to Bentleigh with a tough task at hand. A win is an absolute must if the club is to avoid relegation. The game is as Kingston Heath Reserve on Friday the 30th of July at 8:30pm.

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