Knights show heart in friendly

Melbourne Knights fell 2-1 to A-League club Melbourne Heart in a friendly match at Knights Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Heart players Alex Terra and Jason Hoffman scored in each half, either side of Anthony Colosimo’s strike for the Knights and kept Heart’s unbeaten run going in the pre-season.

Knights Stadium has proved to be a breeding ground for a number of stars over the years, with Heart’s current roster featuring three former Knights players, Adrian Zahra, Mate Dugandzic and Aziz Behich, with the latter two starting the match.

Alex Terra and Mate Dugandzic combined well to create the first chance of the match inside two minutes. Dugandzic played a through ball to Terra who forced a good save out of Melbourne Knights custodian Martin John.

Maycon registered his first shot on goal two minutes later by trying his luck from outside the area but it sailed harmlessely over the crossbar.

On twelve minutes Heart took the lead through Alex Terra. Triallist Karl Dodd played a long ball up-front to Terra and after a mix-up between defender Adam Zilic and Martin John, with Terra picking up the pieces and slotting the ball into an empty net.

David Williams tried his luck with a shot from outside the area on 20 minutes with the ball sailing harmlessely away from goal, and he came closer three minutes later after the ball fell to him at the back-post but he hit his volley just wide.

Alex Terra and Williams both had headers come close but the Knights found themselves level on 35 minutes. A corner was whipped into the area and Adam Zilic leapt highest to get contact on the ball but it was deflected right into the path of Anthony Colosimo who drilled a strike into the top left hander corner of the goal.

Triallist goalkeeper Ben McNamara was given no chance with his first real involvement in the game was picking the ball out of the net.

A cheeky chip by Kamal Ibrahim to David Williams almost gave Heart the lead going into the break but Martin John came off his line well to deny Williams.

Melbourne Heart head coach John van’t Schip brought on Jason Hoffman at the break, along with Brenden Hamill and Michael Marrone and it proved a masterstroke just a short time later.

A low ball was played into the area and Martin John could only parry the ball into the path of Hoffman, who like all good strikers, was in the right place at the right time to tap the ball into the net.

The second-half didn’t live up to the heights of the first with only a number of half chances falling to Heart after Hoffman’s goal.

Although with five minutes remaining Nick Kalmar almost turned a Josip Kozic free-kick into his own net, but the ball fizzed past the right post.

Heart held on to their advantage to secure a 2-1 against the two-time former National Champions.

The Knights now face Green Gully on Wednesday night and need a draw to secure a place in the Mirabella Cup semi-finals. Game kicks off at 7pm at Knights Stadium.

By David Manuca

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