MATCH REPORT | Royals Ressies Catch Up in Style
Banyule City 1 Essendon Royals 4 (Vasilakakos 7’, Miano 27’, Agostino 46’, Montegan 73’)
With the senior men taking the week off, Essendon Royals’ reserve side took centre-stage on Saturday when they played their catch-up game against Banyule City to win 4-1.
The game was original cancelled due to concerns of a water-logged pitch to ensure the seniors could play the round seven clash.
The Royals desperately needed the win to keep pace the the league leaders and delivered in spades with a brilliant team performance at Yallambie Reserve.
George Vasilakakos opened the scoring for the Royals after just seven minutes when he latched on to lovely cross from new signing Gaku Matsuda.
Matsuda arrives from Brunswick City and used the reserves catch-up game as an opportunity to build on his late cameo appearance in last week’s senior win against Yarraville Glory FC.
Vasilakakos almost made it 2-0 when he got onto another deep cross, forcing a good save from the goalkeeper, who could only spill the ball into Andrew Miano’s path for a simple tap-in to double Essendon’s lead.
The Royals really should have extended the lead before half-time but spurned a number of good chances so had to settle for a 2-0 lead at the break.
Thankfully, the Royals didn’t have to wait long for the third, as Frank Agostino pounced on an errant back pass which took to the byline. He showed mesmerising footwork to work back towards the penalty spot, dodging three tackles on the way before unleashing a shot into the back of the net off the post.
The Royals were awarded a spot kick in the 52nd minute, after Vasilakakos was brought down in the box after getting onto the end of a brilliant pass from Alexander Eshak, but Agostino’s penalty was saved brilliantly by the Banyule keeper.
It didn’t matter in the end, however, as the Royals had their fourth after 67 minutes.
Eager to make up for the penalty he spurned, Agostino furiously chased down what the Banyule defence assumed would be a dead ball, producing a brilliant sliding tackle to cleanly win the ball and keep it in play on the byline.
He raced to his feet quicker than his opponent and sped off towards goal before cutting the ball back to substitute Christian Montegan for an easy finish.
In the end only a stupendous long-range strike from Banyule in the 73rd minute robbed goalkeeper Jude Hardy of his clean sheet.
The win is enough to move the Reserves into fourth spot, five points off Caroline Springs George Cross who sit in top spot.