VPL: Melbourne Knights rue riddle of the bulging net

MELBOURNE Knights and Pascoe Vale played a scoreless draw after being rendered powerless against Melbourne’s windy weather in the Victorian Premier League at Hosken Reserve on Friday night.

Scrappy play caused by strong winds led to limited opportunities and neither side was able to take control of a dour game. 

A point apiece was a fair result under the circumstances, according to Knights football manager Anthony Burin. “It was hard with the wind for the players to keep possession, so there weren’t many chances.”

The Knights had the best chance of the match in the first half on the back of a goal mouth scramble from a Shayan Alinejad corner.

The ball appeared to have  bulged the inside of the side netting and the Knights bench celebrated in unison. 

But the referee and the linesman didn’t agree, ruling the ball had not crossed the line. Burin was diplomatic about the disallowed goal. “Unfortunately, these things happen in football.”

The Knights welcomed three new faces into the line-up in what has been a busy transfer period.

Andrew Barisic and Will McLachlan got starts, while James McGarry came on as a substitute.

Barisic arrived from Indian I-League club East Bengal, while McLachlan and McGarry crossed from state league 1 FC Bulleen Lions.

Barisic, a 27-year-old striker with A-League experience, returns to the Knights after five years away.

Tommy Fraser, Tomislav Uskok, Craig Sweeney, Abdoulaye Diallo, David Kutura, Bobby Vidanovski and Brandon Zezovski have all departed.

“We’ve boosted the squad up to where we need it to be at,” Burin  said.

Meanwhile, Western Suburbs are back in the state league 1 top half after a 2-1 road win over Eastern Lions.

Keilor Park leapt into the state league 2 promotion places with a 2-0 victory over Brunswick City.

And it was a big day for Cairnlea, the 5-1 trouncing of Geelong lifting it to the top of state league 3, while Westvale was also goal happy in a 4-0 belting of Banyule City.

A last-gasp goal was needed for Western Eagles to get a 1-1 draw with Essendon Royals in state league 4.