MATCH PREVIEW | Essendon Royals welcome Keilor Park to Cross Keys Reserve

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The Essendon Royals senior men return to Cross Keys Reserve tomorrow afternoon when they welcome Keilor Park SC for another important Men’s State League 1 fixture.

The Royals battled well last week but could not overcome the early concession of a goal at Caroline Springs George Cross SC and they will need to find a new level of ruthlessness in the final third this weekend to take three points off a resolute Keilor Park team.

The two teams played out a highly entertaining 2-2 draw last time they met.

Keilor Park sits four points ahead of the Royals, but are without a win in the last five games, drawing two and losing three.

The Royals have just the one win from their last five games.

Key to getting the three points this week will be a much stronger start to the game than the previous weeks.

With no relegation from State League 1 North-West this season, the Royals can continue to tinker as they plan for next season but will be hopeful of finishing the season on a strong note with some good form.

Coach Vaughan Coveny will be looking to see which players can step up over the coming weeks.

Graham Kelly has arguably been the team’s strongest performer over the course of the season, but with his outstanding ability now very-much a known quantity to his opponents in the second half of the season, he will need to deal with greater attention for the remainder of the season.

Coveny backed Kelly to rise above his markers last week but said his team needed to do more to exploit the space left by the opposition markers who pay such close attention to one player.

He will also hope to see a much more incisive attacking display from his forwards, who will be looking to provide much more penetration this week.

A win at home to Keilor Park would go a long way to set up what could still prove a successful end to the season.

In the reserves, the Royals and Keilor Park sit neck-and-neck in the table, with Essendon’s superior goal difference separating the two sides.

The Royals have won two and drawn one of their last five games, while Keilor Park picked up a win against Yarraville FC last week which was preceded by four-straight losses.

The action kicks off at 12.45 pm on Saturday with the reserves, before the seniors kick off at 1 pm.

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