MATCH REPORT | Clifton Hill stops Essendon Royals undefeated run at nine games

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The Essendon Royals undefeated streak in the Women’s State League 2 North-West division stopped at nine on Sunday, as the Royals suffered a 3-1 loss at Clifton Hill.

The Royals were battling for the chance to move into second and therefore into the promotion spots when they played their catch-up round game at Quarries Park following the postponement of the fixture earlier in the season.

However, it wasn’t to be as the Royals women fought valiantly but were ultimately outdone by the Clifton Hill team.

Stephanie Pantazopoulos scored what proved to be the consolation goal on a day when the Royals conceded two penalties.

Despite the result, coach Johno Clemente said he was incredibly proud of his team, adding that going nine games undefeated, including against top-two sides Spring Hills Stallions and Hume City, remains a huge achievement.

“Really, it was three rookie error that cost us today, it happens,” he said.

“But, this is football and we had chances of our own, so credit to Clifton Hill. 

“They had two penalties and they were converted well. 

“We’ve achieved so much this season and going undefeated for 9 rounds is an incredible feat. It was always going to come to an end, though, so now we’ll show everyone the character of the team and get that win back during the season.”

Clemente admitted that while the performance left a lot to be desired, the spirit his team demonstrated even in defeat was impressive.

“The performance was one of our worst, however, my girls carried themselves like champions out there and deserve full credit,” he said. 

“Win or lose, they conduct themselves like true professionals and set the standard in the league in that regard. That’s more important than any result for me.”

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