Heidelberg United visited Melbourne Knights in Round 5 of the NPL men’s season at Knights Stadium, searching for back-to-back wins.
Luka Ninkovic made his first start of the season, forming a dangerous forward line linking up with Kaine Sheppard.
The Warriors started on the front foot with Sean Ellis whipping in a cross from a free kick, for Reuben Way to get the end of it and fell to Adrian Zahra who miraculously finished off with a quality goal to give Heidelberg the opening lead.
To have a reliable goalkeeper when called upon to make crucial saves can have an significant impact on the team. Nick Eres proved that point when he tipped a long range effort onto the bar for not only one of his best saves of the season, but one of the better ones in the league.
Heidelberg continued their dominance with a pinpoint cross from Zahra to Ellis who volleyed it into the back of the net to double the Warriors’ advantage.
The ‘Bergers were finding all the vulnerable spaces in a Knights team that was all over the pitch, as Sheppard ran down the wing to find Way with a smooth first touch to setup his shot which narrowly missed the target.
The Warriors came out in the second half the way they started the first, where a flicked on header from a long throw in from Way found Ellis who notched up his brace. The Scotsman is one who loves playing at this particular stadium with performances such as this one.
Moments later, the Warriors extended their lead yet again. A great save by the Knights keeper was to no avail as Sheppard pounced on the rebound to slot it home.
Ivan Franjic was called upon very late to deny a certain goal for the home side with a huge block to give the ‘Bergers another clean sheet for the second week running.
Heidelberg United will be full of confidence and will look for a win in Round 4 of the Australia Cup when they travel to Geelong SC at Stead Park on Tuesday at 7:30pm
Melbourne Knights 0 – Heidelberg United 4 (A. Zahra 15’, S. Ellis 28’, 47’, K. Sheppard 51’)
63 – Nicholas Eres (GK)
5 – Ajdin Fetahagic
6 – Joseph Franjic
7 – Reuben Way (C) (21 – Eoin Ashton 79’)
8 – Dominic Falla
9 – Adrian Zahra (15 – Brian Summerskill 66’)
10 – Ivan Franjic
12 – Deion Nikolaidis
14 – Kaine Sheppard
19 – Sean Ellis (22 – Kazuki Okada 71’)
20 – Luka Ninkovic (23 – Chudiar Tharjiath 79’)
Subs not used:
1 – Alex Golikidis (GK)
24 – Hussain Al Sharifi
By Alex Bagdasarian