Knights claim bragging rights with gutsy win
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.