Jannese Heroics Help Royals Bounce Back | Match Report + Highlights
The Essendon Royals are back on the winners' list and have moved off the foot of the table following Saturday's 1-0 win over FC Clifton Hill.
Goalkeeper Andre Jannese saved a penalty with five minutes remaining before forward Christopher Talajic scored what proved the winner in the 91st minute to give Essendon its second win of the season.
Talajic reacted quickest to the chaos in the box from a late corner when he pounced on a loose ball to score a tap-in in the dying moments of the game.
The win takes the Royals off the foot of the table and sees them overtake their defeated opponents.
Coach Vaughan Coveny made six changes to his starting line-up after last week's terrible result against Sydenham SC and was full of praise for the way his new-look team dug deep to deliver the win.
While the match itself wasn't the prettiest game of the football ever seen, Coveny said the resilience shown by his players was a promising sign for the rest of the season.
"We said after last week that we knew it wasn't good enough and the players knew they had to roll up their sleeves this week and Clifton Hill made us work really hard to get the result," he said.
"But it just shows that when these boys put their mind to it and work hard, the results can come.
"I made six changes to the line-up which probably didn't help our fluency, but the boys just dug in. The whole team was really, really driven to deliver a good performance."
Coveny said while the Royals did not click in the final third as well as he would have liked, he was delighted to see a massive improvement in his team's defensive performance.
Jannese was singled out for his efforts, highlighted by his crucial penalty save.
Coveny said the moment was no less than the goalkeeper deserved after a string of brilliant performances this term.
"Andre picked which way the penalty taker was going perfectly, got down low and held it, it was a great moment for him," he said.
"If I had to single anyone out, it would be him. Not just for today, but for me he's been the standout this season.
"Every game so far this season he's made two or three big saves. He kept us in the game at times and even in the games we've been beaten it's never been his fault. If anyone needs a bit of applauding this season, it's definitely him."
In the earlier game, the Essendon Royals reserves put on another clinic in a 6-2 win.
An own-goal after 15 minutes in the Royals favour was the perfect start before Clifton Hill equalized on the 30-minute mark.
Goals from Gianluca Colangeli and Josh Tabone either side of half time had the Royals 3-1 up before the Clifton Hill scored in the 73rd minute to set-up what might have been a tense final 15 minutes.
But the Royals showed anything but nerves to plunder another three goals in the closing stages of the game through Andre Camilleri, Anthony Orlando and Frank Agostino to seal the 6-2 win.