10-man Green Gully go top as Melbourne Knights crash

Green Gully's Stephen Hatzikostas and George Lambadaridis llok on as Melbourne Knights' Nikola Jurkovic looks to clear the ball. Picture Shawn Smits.

There was late heartbreak again for the Melbourne Knights in the PS4 National Premier League Victoria.

This time, the Knights coughed up a lead and ended with a 2-1 loss to a 10-man Green Gully Cavaliers at Green Gully Reserve on Saturday night.

It was all going swimmingly for the Knights when striker Jason Hicks got the go-ahead goal for the visitors early in the second half.

Hicks intercepted an errant pass from Cavaliers midfielder George Lambadaridis and confidently beat goalkeeper Rani Dowisha in a one-on-one for his fourth goal of the season.

The Knights looked headed for all three points for most of the second half.

They had breathing space on the scoreboard and the numerical advantage on the field after Cavaliers defender Luke Walker had received a red card in the first half.

In what has become an all-too-familiar tale, the Knights could not hold their lead, firstly giving up a goal to Nick Krousoratis, who scored after making a dazzling run that split two Knights defenders, and then conceding an unlucky own goal through Milan Batur, who was trying to clear a Jay Davies cross.

While the third-last Knights were down on their luck once more, Green Gully should be commended for not throwing in the towel.

Melbourne Knights host a crucial Friday night game against bottom side North Geelong Warriors at Knights Stadium, while Green Gully will be out to preserve first place in a showdown with fifth-placed Hume City at Broadmeadows Valley Park on Saturday night.

Green Gully will also play on Wednesday night in the FFA Cup sixth round against Avondale at Knights Stadium.

Meanwhile, St Albans Saints played out an entertaining 2-2 draw with North Geelong in the clash of the bottom two at Elcho Park. The Saints led twice through Luis Covarrubias and Caleb Mikulic, but were pegged back on both occasions.

Next up for the Saints is a winnable game away to Port Melbourne Sharks.

In NPL2 west, Sunshine George Cross was soundly beaten 4-1 by Nunawading City at Mahoneys Reserve.