Knights claim brag­ging rights with gutsy win

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Training Education - Tris­tan Tay­lor

WEST­ERN Knights Soc­cer Club claimed local brag­ging rights in the State League Divi­sion 1 com­pe­ti­tion, com­ing from be­hind to de­feat UWA Nedlands 2-1 at Nash Field.

Heavy rain­fall in the open­ing min­utes made it dif­fi­cult for both teams to im­ple­ment their style of play and it led to a num­ber of rash chal­lenges and early yel­lows for both sides.

UWA mid­fielder Conor Devlin tried to make use of the con­di­tions by fir­ing some long-range ef­forts on Knights’ keeper Sam Stone’s goal, but Stone was on guard to deal with the dan­ger.

At the other end, the Knights were re­stricted to lim­ited op­por­tu­ni­ties by a stern UWA de­fence.

Knights cap­tain Paul Lloyd had their best op­por­tu­ni­ties of the open­ing half hour, but he fluffed his lines and UWA keeper Alex Preece was able to com­fort­ably deal with his ef­forts. The break­through was fi­nally found on the half-hour mark cour­tesy of UWA’s Alex Kre­tow­icz.

The for­ward put pres­sure on keeper Stone and was able to de­flect Stone’s kick sky-bound.

UWA mid­fielder An­drew Xy­das was then quick­est to re­act and touched it through for Kre­tow­icz, who smashed it past Stone to make it 1-0.

Knights had a great chance to get level when cap­tain Paul Lloyd’s shot from the edge of the area was hit goal­ward.

Preece had dif­fi­culty see­ing the ball through traf­fic, but was able to get his body be­hind it be­fore Josh Maroc­chi cleared any dan­ger and sent UWA into half-time with a nar­row lead.

The half-time break did a world of good for West­ern Knights, as they emerged re­vi­talised and determined to change the course of the game.

Knights put pres­sure on the UWA goal straight from kick-off and had chances from a string of corners and free kicks.

The in­tro­duc­tion of sub­sti­tute Kevin Ash­wood for West­ern Knights proved to be de­ci­sive as the winger found him­self free at the back post from a cor­ner and made no mis­take from close range to equalise for the home side.

UWA was quick to look for a re­sponse and ex­tremely un­for­tu­nate to not take the lead when Kre­tow­icz found him­self in on goal.

The for­ward turned his man and struck an ef­fort on goal from the edge of the box, but Stone ap­plied enough pres­sure and his shot missed the tar­get.

Min­utes later, Kre­tow­icz had an­other op­por­tu­nity from an acute an­gle, yet again Stone was quick to put pres­sure on the for­ward and he was un­able to con­vert.

Knights thought they had found the win­ner when a free kick was headed home from the back post.

How­ever, the lines­men judged the Knights player to have been off­side and the goal was dis­al­lowed.

It was not to change the out­come of the game as Knights found the win­ner shortly after­wards.

Sub­sti­tute Adri­ano Je­len­ovic was played through by a fan­tas­tic through ball and the for­ward kept his com­po­sure to poke the ball past Preece and put the Knights 2-1 up.

The win puts West­ern Knights into third place, whilst UWA slip down to sev­enth.

An­drew Xy­das in pos­ses­sion for UWA.

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