Western Knights 0
Ashfield SC 3
Written by Daniel Bodycoat
This Round 12 fixture of the All Flags State League Division 1 Competition saw Western Knights face Ashfield. Both teams went into this game with long undefeated streaks. A combination of questionable refereeing and a slight lack of discipline lead to the Knights’ downfall.
Early in the game, a miskick by one of the most reliable Western Knights midfielders fell to an Ashfield striker who decisively slipped it under Sam Hutchinson from a mere 6 yards out.
Relentless pressure from Ashfield forced Hutchinson into making many good saves to prevent the Knights from falling behind further.
A stunning cross from Purton found Johny Mirco’s feet but his shot that should have equalized the game, was denied by an Ashfield defenders lunge.
Western Knights were not winning the second ball and they struggled to clear the ball from their own box throughout the first half.
A well-earned freekick from Ben Coulter just outside the box brought about one of the best scoring opportunities in second half. Mirco took the freekick and his cross nearly trickled over the goal line.
A slightly mistimed challenge by Luka Jukic, who was already sitting on a yellow card, forced the referee to make a decision and Jukic was shown red in contentious circumstances. The Knights would have to battle on from behind with only 10 men.
The Western Knights goalkeeper was keeping them in the game with a number of saves but it couldn’t keep up forever. Ashfield, shortly after the sending off, scored their second goal, effectively ending the Knights’ hopes of a comeback.
Paul Lloyd nearly responded immediately but his shot dragged agonizingly wide.
Nick Carroll was also sent off in a dubious fashion with the referee claiming the second yellow was for dissent. However, there was no swearing or untoward action.
A late third goal broke the hearts of many Western Knights supporters and concluded a disappointing game for the Knights.