MATCH PREVIEW | Essendon Royals welcome La Trobe University SC as promotion race continues

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The Essendon Royals will need to overcome injuries and absentees this weekend to keep their promotion challenge on track against a tricky La Trobe University SC team on Sunday at Cross Keys Reserve.

With just four games remaining, including Sunday’s fixture, the Royals remain in the driver's seat for promotion from the State League 2 North-West division into the State League 1 equivalent.

Coach Johnno Clemente has worked hard with the team to get them into such a strong position but has worked doubly hard to ensure the girls do not let complacency creep in.

The Royals picked up a 2-0 win the last time these two teams met at La Trobe University, but Clemente admitted that of all the wins picked up on that particular nine-game winning streak, the game against La Trobe was one of the more difficult games.

“We’re coming off a great win, but we can’t be complacent,” he said.

“La Trobe caused some issues for us last time and we were a bit fortunate to get the 2-0 result, so we’ll be looking for a more consistent performance this time around.”

La Trobe comes into this game with one win from their last three, having drawn with Yarra Jets last week and losing to Lara United the week prior.

Their last win came with a 2-0 win over the Maribyrnong Swifts.

Clemente is counting on a bit of grit and determination to help the girls get over the fact they will be slightly weakened, although the Royals coach was coy on exactly who might miss the game.

“We’ve been struck by a few absentees and injuries, unfortunately, so the girls will need to show a lot of fight to get the 3 points,” he said.

The match kicks off on Sunday at Cross Keys Reserve at 3:15 pm.

The Royals remain in second place courtesy of goal difference, meaning Hume City remains ready to pounce on any Essendon slip-ups.

Hume, which remains the Royals main promotion threat, take on fifth-placed Melbourne University this weekend.

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