MATCH REPORT | Clemente's Women Make It 5 Wins In A Row
Two of State League 2 North-West Women's most potent attacking forces clashed at Ormond Park on Sunday to provide a shower of goals when the Essendon Royals welcomed Lara United.
But it was the Royals who prevailed 4-2 winners with Talia Silvestros stealing the show with a superb goalscoring display, finishing with a hat-trick, with Eileen Nissan scoring the fourth.
The game got off to a tough start for coach Johnno Clemente's team as Lara took an early lead inside the first 10 minutes.
However, his team's response was as quick as it was emphatic as Silvestros put away her first two goals in quick succession to put the Royals in the lead.
Silvestros sealed her hat-trick before half-time to give the Royals a richly deserved 3-1 lead.
As one of the best attacking teams in the lead, Lara United still believed it could get a result and the United girls gave the Royals something to think about when it pulled a goal back early in the second half.
The Royals showed great composure and fitness to continue to relentlessly press the Lara defence deep into the first half and got the goal they deserved when Nissan forced a mistake from the Lara goalkeeper before slotting the ball home to give her team a 4-2 lead.
Lara came at Essendon with everything it had in the second half but the Royals defence stood up to the pressure in impressive fashion.
Still, Lara did manage to win a penalty with 15 minutes left, which – if converted – would have made for a tense final period to the game.
But Royals goalkeeper Celia Talbot would not be beaten for a third time and produced a world-class save with her top hand to halt the scores at 4-2 and help her team to a crucial fifth-straight win.
Coach Clemente was left breathless after the final result but said he was delighted with the result and the performance.
"It was a crazy game of football and lived up to the hype expected of it," he said.
"We knew they could score goals but so can we and it was a very open first 45 minutes.
"It was probably too open for our liking as it’s the first time we’ve conceded 2 goals in a game since round 1, but the girls were brave out there today, got stuck in, won the second balls and got another three points.
"We'll enjoy the win but Tuesday we focus on our next huge game v Clifton Hill."