Cannons cruise past Knights with 4-1 win
By DAMIR KULAS (@DamirKulas)
Oakleigh Cannons have moved within touching distance of the top six after a resounding 4-1 victory over the Melbourne Knights at Jack Edwards Reserve on Friday night.
The Knights were made to pay for a serious of defensive blunders as a brace to Mirjan Pavlovic, as well as strikes to Goran Zoric and Dusan Bosnjak, cancelled out Andrew Barisic’s opener.
The visitors came into the clash without their suspended skipper Tomislav Uskok and were looking to bounce back from a heartbreaking cup defeat at the hands of rivals South Melbourne last week.
They made the perfect start when Robert Zadworny’s great run into the box on the left saw him cross the ball into the goal area where Barisic was on hand to bundle the ball over the line for his ninth league goal of the season.
That lead was almost doubled soon after when Chris Talajic forced Cannons goalkeeper John Honos into a good save down low as Oakleigh struggled to deal with the early intensity and pressure exerted by a motivated visiting outfit.
However all the Knights good work was outdone soon after as a defensive mix-up from Joshua Brekalo and Chris May paved the way for Zoric to slot in the equaliser in what was an entertaining start to the contest.
Oakleigh’s joy was extended seven minutes later when a ball up forward from John Black saw Pavlovic pounce up the opportunity to give the hosts the lead with a cool finish past May.
The lead was also extended minutes later when Dean Piemonte’s free-kick almost caught May off guard but the Englishman did well to get down low and parry the ball wide.
The Knights could have gone to the break level had James McGarry’s cross-cum-shot sneaked in under the crossbar but it was not to be as it struck the woodwork and bounced back into play.
Arthur Papas’ men came out of the sheds the sharper off the two sides and once more made the Knights pay for a sloppy defensive error as Bosnjak broke through before converting the ball past the oncoming May and into the back of the net.
The Knights were then unlucky not to reduce the deficit as McGarry had a header cleared off the line before a good ball in from Zadworny saw substitute Cvitkovic have a goal line shot blocked by the lunging Aron Wilford.
Cannons goalkeeper Honos had to be at his best to claw out a powerful Barisic header from the corner as the Knights saw countless attempts at goal come to no avail.
Up the other end, the home side weren’t without their chances either before a great turn from Pavlovic saw him open up space for himself before launching outside the box to make it 4-1 and give Oakleigh all three points.
The Cannons travel to South Springvale for an FFA Cup Quarter-Final mid-week before visiting Hume City next week while the Melbourne Knights are at home to the lowly North Geelong Warriors.
Oakleigh Cannons 4 (Zoric 15', Pavlovic 22', 78', Bosnjak 57') defeated Melbourne Knights 1 (Barisic 4') at Jack Edwards Reserve
OC: 76. John Honos (GK), 3. John Black, 5. Aron Wilford, 6. Steve Pantelidis, 8. Dusan Bosnjak (26. Lambros Honos 67’), 10. Dean Piemonte (21. Jakob Williams 75’), 12. Tremayne Sadler, 14. Mirjan Pavlovic, 18. Adam le Cornu, 19. Goran Zoric, 22. Matthew Foschini (15. Jake McLean 30’)
Unused Subs: 16. Rowan McNamee, 36. Lajos Hun (GK)
Yellow Card(s): None
Red Card(s): None
MK: 1. Chris May (GK), 4. Ben Surey, 5. Milan Batur, 7. Chris Talajic (10. Marijan Cvitkovic), 8. James McGarry, 11. Anthony Colosimo (14. Rodrigo Covarrubias 67’), 12. Ivan Grgic, 17. Robert Zadworny, 18. Joshua Brekalo, 21. Stipo Andrijasevic, 27. Andrew Barisic
Unused Subs: 2. Luke Jurcic, 25. Michael O’Farrell (GK)
Yellow Card(s): Barisic 45, Grgic 76
Red Card(s): None