Spirit down Melbourne Knights 2-1 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Spirit down Melbourne Knights 2-1

By Glenn Cullen 29/11/2002 09:59:06 PM Comments (0)

Soccer fans voted with their feet as a paltry crowd of about 800 turned up to watch Northern Spirit down the Melbourne Knights 2-1.

If the powerbrokers at Soccer Australia were hoping their boardroom antics would not effect game nights, they were badly mistaken - at least on the evidence - as North Sydney Oval had one of its smallest national soccer league crowds in recent memory.

It was low enough for an official announcement on the turnout not to be made.

This from the Spirit - a team that used to regularly get close to 20,000 people through the gates in the club's inception year of 1998.

While it was a tumultuous week for SA with chairman Ian Knop and three other key officials resigning, things at least got a little brighter on the field for the Spirit, a deserving winner.

Atmosphere may have been lacking but not enthusiasm as the home side registered goals in each half.

Andy McDermott laid on the opening goal for the Spirit, leaving Adam Kwasnik to do the finishing in the 13th minute.

McDermott's cross from the left found the striker in some space and a nice side swipe got the ball past Knights keeper Martin John for a 1-0 lead.

After a quiet period just before and after halftime the Spirit stepped up a gear, eventually making it 2-0 after 68 minutes.

Kwasnik was heavily involved again, this time accepting a lofted ball from John Hutchinson before passing to the advancing Jonathan Richter, the striker making no mistake.

The Knights had their moments, particularly with striker Adrian Cervinski, but were rarely even on target.

That was until Uruguayan substitute Gustavo Biscayzacu potted a low free kick with two minutes remaining, giving the visitors a late sniff.

But that would be it for the Knights, who may slip out of the six pending other results this round.

The Spirit's win, the third for the season, pushed it from 12th on the NSL ladder to ninth.

The Spirit will now get a three-week break from the NSL because the club has more than three players representing the Australian U/20s team at the Oceania World Youth Championship qualifying tournament in December.

Coach Lawrie McKinna said he was pleased with his team's performance but believed his side had played better in recent weeks without getting results.

Of the poor crowd, he said it was a tough week for the game.

"You could have filled a paper with all the things that have gone on this week," he said.

"Then to have a storm before the match - none of it has helped.

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