A THREE-GOAL first half proved the difference for the Eureka Strikers as they cruised past the Melbourne Knights away from home on the weekend, taking the points 3-1.
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Coming off a thumping 6-2 triumph over the Eltham Redbacks on the road last weekend, the Strikers were keen to uphold their record away from home at Knights Stadium.
The Ballarat outfit were again the aggressors in the opening minutes of play on Sunday, and it was not long until the creative Lujeyn Al-Huneidi found Alison Pym at the back post, allowing the striker to easily slot home the visitors’ first from five yards out.
Pym swiftly doubled the Strikers’ lead five minutes later, with an impressive shot from 30 yards out beating the keeper.
With the wind in their sails, Al-Huneidi managed to establish a comfortable three goal buffer when she beat two Knights defenders before finding the net.
While the home side managed to peg aback a consolation goal in the 80th minute, the Strikers’ early aggression allowed them to cruise home.
The victory did come at a cost for the Ballarat side, with midfielder Tessa Curtain going down with a knee injury in the 55th minute. Curtain has previously ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee, and was due to undergo an MRI scan on Monday afternoon.
Strikers coach Laura Brady said her side’s game plan was starting to come together, with the Strikers getting the early jump on their opponents twice in as many weeks.
“It’s certainly getting to the stage that we’re switched on from the start,” Brady said. “Getting those early goals is crucial because it gives you breathing space.”
While it was the Strikers’ experienced players who led from the front, Brady was again full of praise for her young players who again stepped up to fill the gaps left by injured players Lisie Dodds and Natalie Barbara.
“You need that consistency across the park so what’s happened now is the younger players are starting to understand their roles better.”
The success leaves the Strikers in fifth place with three wins and three losses for the season.
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