NPL Round 4 Review: Melbourne Knights topple Hume City after red card

Round 4 saw Hume City FC travel to Knights Stadium to face a new look Melbourne Knights FC side, with both sides having solid starts to their respective 2021 NPL campaigns and were looking to continue their good form.

There was plenty of action from the get-go after Knights missed a brilliant opportunity at the 15th minute to open their account, after putting a deadly cross into Hume’s danger zone but failed to get a foot to the ball. At the 20th minute, a halfway interception by Hume saw Andy Brennan fire a cross aimed at Josh Bingham but Thomas Manos was on red alert and intercepted the pass. Moments later, Hume then turned defence into offense which saw James Brown’s cross to the back-post find an unmarked Theo Markelis, but his headed effort went wide. At the 30th minute, Mohammad Sumaoro managed to weave his way through Hume’s defence before his cross found Anthony Duzel but the header was way off target. Hume then managed to create a good chance at the 31st minute, after Theo Markelis’ trickery saw him pick out James Brown’s run but his volleyed effort went over the bar. Hume’s best chance came at the 36th minute when Danny Dixon’s corner found Josh Bingham, who rose above his defender to head the ball home for Hume before Thomas Manos pulled off a fingertip save to keep Knights in the game. Moments later, Bingham was called into action again after James Brown’s cross found the forward, but his headed effort went over the bar.

Both sides entered the halftime break scoreless despite an entertaining first half of football, and plenty goalscoring opportunities that were waiting to be converted. Nick Hegarty decided to make a tactical substitution by injecting Marko Delic into the side in exchange for Andy Brennan.

The opening chance of the second half fell to Hume, after Josh Bingham attempted to chip Thomas Manos but the shot-stopper stood his ground. At the 53rd minute, Marko Delic managed to dribble past his man before firing a low cross into Knights’ box, but Hume failed to get a man behind the ball. At the 59th minute, it was bad news for the away side after Ben Bowler received his marching orders after a second yellow card offence. Knights took full advantage of the extra man and at the 62nd minute, Caleb Mikulic fired home the opening goal for the home side. Moments later, Knights should have doubled their lead but Mohammad Sumaoro’s shot from a difficult angle hit the post. However, Knights then doubled their lead at the 74th minute via Gian Albano, who managed to get himself free inside Hume’s box before slotting in the second goal of the night. At the 81st minute and despite being a man down, Hume managed to create a chance via substitute Umut Bozdugan, who fired a volley from distance over the bar. Knights then put the game to bed after Mohammad Sumaoro fired home his side’s third goal of the night, at the 83rd minute. The referee signaled the full-time whistle at 90+3 minutes which saw the Knights outright winners on the night.

Hume City’s U21’s showed a brilliant test of character against Melbourne Knights’ U21 side, when trailing 2-0 at the half-time break but managed to salvage a valuable point, thanks to two second half goals from Mitch Cooper (80’) and Harrison Angele (81’) to level the final score at 2-2. Hume City’s U19 side continue to score plenty of goals but couldn’t overcome Melbourne Knights on Sunday’s clash, with the final score finishing 4-3 in favor of Knights. Sebastian Todorovski (14’), Sinan Gluhak (72’) and Adem Hakki (80’) were amongst the goal scorers for Hume City.

Hume City now have their sights set on Saturday the 27th of March, as we host Bentleigh Greens SC at ABD Stadium. Seniors kick-off at 7:30pm and our U21’s at 5pm, with our U19’s playing on Friday the 26th of March at 7:30pm.

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