Knights hold Greens to point
By Damir Kulas
Bentleigh Greens has missed its chance to extend its lead at the top of the ladder as the side was held to a 1-1 draw by the Melbourne Knights at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex on Wednesday night.
The Greens opened the scoring via Jack Webster in the 51st minute before the Knights equalised not long after through Stipo Andrijasevic, with visiting goalkeeper Chris May producing a spectacular save to deny Liam McCormick from the spot in stoppage time.
The hosts began the contest on the front foot and Ryan de Vries almost gave them the lead within two minutes of play as he pounced upon a defensive mistake, only to see his shot deflected narrowly wide.
Jamie de Abreu was next to fire a shot at goal but his goal-bound hit was deflected over the bar by Knights skipper Tomislav Uskok, with Troy Ruthven coming close from the resulting corner.
A poor pass in the Knights defence from Milan Batur saw Chris Lucas presented with a chance on goal but May was equal to it, producing a sharp save.
Another mix-up just over a minute later, this time by Ivan Grgic and May, saw de Vries shoot from an acute angle only for the ball to be cleared out for a corner.
Up the other end, some great play from Robbie Zadworny saw him set up James McGarry, but the former Bentleigh midfielder saw his goal-bound shot blocked before it was able to trouble Alastair Bray.
The home side stepped up its intensity after the break with de Abreu hammering the crossbar after a great run into the box saw him unleash from the edge of the area.
Bentleigh was finally rewarded for its efforts when a mazy run-around from Steven Topalovic in the box saw him tee up his central-defensive partner Webster, who slotted the ball past May for the opener.
Some good build-up play from Bentleigh saw Tyson Holmes hammer a shot directly at May as the Knights moved captain Uskok into midfielder in an attempt to find an equaliser.
Zadworny almost got the Knights back on level terms as he met Andrijasevic’s flick into the box, only to be denied by Bray.
However the visitors would get their reward as Uskok won back possession in midfield, which gave Andrijasevic a chance to launch a strike from just outside the box which caught Bray unawares and went directly under him for the equaliser.
The Knights went close to seizing the lead as Ben Surey’s low drive was looped onto the crossbar by Zadworny before being safely collected a relieved Bray.
Bentleigh went in search of a winner and were given the perfect opportunity to grab all three points in stoppage time as substitute Liam McCormick was fouled in the box.
However he saw his effort brilliantly saved by the inspired May who earned Knights a point as the Greens dropped points once more and missed a chance to extend their lead at the top of the ladder.
Bentleigh Greens 1 (Webster 51) drew with Melbourne Knights 1 (Andrijasevic 65) at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex
BG: 21. Alastair Bray (GK), 4. Troy Ruthven, 5. Jack Webster, 7. Jamie de Abreu (16. Luke O’Dea 89’), 8. Wayne Wallace (6. Liam McCormick 75’), 9. Chris Lucas (19. Daniel Visevic 80’), 10. Tyson Holmes, 11. Dion Kirk, 23. Ryan de Vries, 24. Luke Pilkington, 36. Steven Topalovic
Unused Subs: 1. Ryan Scott (GK), 17. Ryan Love
Yellow Card(s): Webster 70
Red Card(s): None
MK: 1. Chris May (GK), 4. Ben Surey, 5. Milan Batur, 6. Tomislav Uskok, 7. Chris Talajic (18. Joshua Brekalo 46’), 8. James McGarry, 11. Anthony Colosimo (2. Luke Jurcic 59’), 12. Ivan Grgic, 14. Rodrigo Covarrubias, 17. Robbie Zadworny (15. David Herrera 84’), 21. Stipo Andrijasevic
Unused Subs: 3. Anthony Katiforis, 25. Michael O’Farrell (GK)
Yellow Card(s): None
Red Card(s): None