MATCH PREVIEW | Sydenham Park SC v Essendon Royals SC | Men's State League 1 North-West

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Essendon Royals have been warned to keep their feet firmly on the ground heading into this weekend’s Men’s State League 1 North-West clash against Sydenham Park SC.

The Royals recorded their first win of the season last weekend with a 6-0 thrashing of Banyule City SC, but coach Vaughan Coveny says his team will need to keep working hard to build on that result.

“It was a good result last week but as a playing group we have just been concentrating on working hard at training and preparing for Sydenham,” he said.

“We need to continue to perform at the levels we reached at Banyule and results will take care of themselves.”

Feet On The Ground: Essendon Royals coach Vaughan Coveny is expecting a tough game away to Sydenham.

Feet On The Ground: Essendon Royals coach Vaughan Coveny is expecting a tough game away to Sydenham.

Sydenham is undefeated in its last three matches but drew 1-1 last week with Yarraville FC.

While the Royals scored six last week alone, third-placed Sydenham has only scored eight goals all season across its opening seven games. While Essendon’s opponents have struggled for goals, they have been a class above defensively, having conceded just three goals.

“Sydenham Park are a formidable side. They have a squad capable of beating any team on their day,” Coveny said.

“Defensively they are well organised and have many attacking options. It’s going to a difficult place to go and get a result.”

The Royals clicked into gear offensively last week and another big effort from last week’s hat-trick hero Joel Nikolic and his supporting cast of Graham Kelly, Chris Talajic and Callum Freeman will be crucial to Essendon’s success.

Danger Man: Joel Nikolic will be hoping to build on his hat-trick performance last time out.

Danger Man: Joel Nikolic will be hoping to build on his hat-trick performance last time out.

If history is any indicator, Sydenham’s defensive prowess may be challenged on Saturday.

Essendon’s travels to Sydenham have served up plenty of goals in recent matches, with 14 goals scored in the previous two meetings between the sides at Keilor Lodge Reserve.

The Royals won 5-3 in 2017 but lost 4-2 in 2018.

The Royals kept a crucial clean sheet last week and goalkeeper Andre Janesse will be hoping to deny the Sydenham forwards to help the Royals to a second-straight win.

Coveny said he has no injury concerns this week with the full squad back on the training track and available for selection.

“It’s a good headache to have,” he said.

Squad goals: Coach Coveny has a full squad to work with this week.

Squad goals: Coach Coveny has a full squad to work with this week.

The Royals climbed off the foot of the table with their big win last week and another win this week could see them rise to as high as eighth on the table.

Kick-off is at 3 pm at Keilor Lodge Reserve.

The Reserves will be hoping to get back to winning ways after their match last week was washed out in Banyule.

Sydenham takes a 2-0-5 record into round eight in the Reserves league after their 1-0 loss to Yarraville last week.

The Reserves kick-off at 1 pm.

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