Shamrock Rovers Perth SC 2 Western Knights 1
Written by Daniel Bodycoat
Western Knight faced Shamrock Rovers in Round 4 of the All Flags State League Division 1 competition. It would mark Luka Jukic’s first game of the season due to a suspension.
The injection of Jukic into the team brought enthusiasm and fervour into the Western Knights side, however, it was short-lived as there was an early sending off.
Tom Sellers would be shown a red card midway through the first half after receiving two yellow cards. The first was first dissent and the second was for a rash tackle on the halfway line.
Shamrock nearly capitalized on their advantage immediately. A strong punch away from a corner cleared the danger but it fell to a strikers foot and his subsequent shot was tipped over bar.
Following the heroics of the Knights keeper, a drive down the wing resulted in a cross into the box that was headed into the net from a few yards out, past the helpless goalkeeper. Shamrock had finally broken the deadlock.
It was always going to be an uphill struggle for Western Knights after conceding the goal and playing with a handicap but Knights certainly weren’t doing themselves any favours as passes were not hitting targets and the team appeared slightly lethargic.
The Western Knights would have to utilize on every venture forward if they were to get themselves back into the game. Moments before halftime, a number of desperate tackles by Knights players forced the ball forward and the ball fell to Paul Lloyd at the edge of the box, who was able push the ball against the post and into the goal.
The second half began and an onslaught of Shamrock Rovers forays tested the Knights defense. The solid pair of Dave Annall and Craig Riley at centre back withstood the attacks of Shamrock, until a desultory toe poke from outside the box slipped past the keeper.
Western Knights would challenge for the equalizer, often leaving themselves exposed on the counter, but the score would remain at 2-1 as the referee blew the whistle for the final time.