By Lance Jenkinson
A black cat might have crossed paths with someone from Keilor Park because luck has not been on its side in Football Victoria men’s state league 1.
Eagles secretary Eric Psarianos is adamant a run of five games without a win is not a true reflection of his team’s form in the past month.
The Eagles have struggled personnel-wise, being struck down by a lengthy injury list.
To top off their luckless run, the Eagles hit the crossbar twice and had a shot cleared off the line in Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Yarraville Glory at Keilor Park Recreation Reserve.
“We were pretty unlucky not to get a point,” Psarianos said. “We had a very young squad and they showed a lot of spirit, but they couldn’t get the result.
He said the winless run had been hard on the players and coaching staff because they had “a winning mentality”.
Keilor Park is choosing to look on the bright side of life, despite picking up just two points from its past five games.
The Eagles’ long injury list is giving coach Paul Falzon a chance to blood young players in the seniors.
The seventh-placed Eagles can do so without the threat of relegation hanging over their heads – there will be no relegated teams in state league 1 when the leagues are re-structured at the end of the season.
“The upside of having so many injuries is you give a lot of these young boys a taste of first team senior football,” Psarianos said.
“You use what’s left in the year when the opportunities come up to give these guys a bit of a look in.
“The [positive] attitude and the closeness of the team is helping us get a few little results here and there. That will set us up for the future.”
No matter what Keilor Park tried in its quest to find an equaliser after Yarraville took the lead in the 25th minute, it just could not find the back of the net.
The Eagles fashioned some quality chances that found the woodwork or could not get through lunging defenders.
Sean Sacco was superb for Keilor Park in the midfield, playing a captain’s game to lead by example for his younger teammates.
“He’s been in and out with a lot of injuries this year, but he’s starting to run into a bit of form,” Psarianos said.
James Johnson excelled in two roles, firstly in the midfield and then when he was moved into defence.
Doug Cunnison was like a rock at centre back, while youngster Mikhael Reid, one of the beneficiaries of the long injury list, shone at left back. Reid, 17, is going to be hard to dislodge from the team on current form.
“He came in against Whittlesea United about seven weeks ago and has made that spot his own,” Psarianos said.
“He had a great game today playing on a more experienced player. He’s going to keep developing.”
Keilor Park will be going for its first win since June 15 when it travels to Ormond Park on Saturday to face Essendon Royals.
Elsewhere in the division, North Sunshine Eagles and Sydenham Park, two local sides gunning for the title, played out a 0-0 draw.
Brimbank Stallions were competitive before going down 1-0 to top side Preston Lions.
In men’s state league 2, Westgate scored a goal in each half through Steven Dimcevski and Daniel Soumelidis to overcome Moreland United 2-0.
Western Suburbs and Albion Rovers played out an thrilling 2-2 draw, with Dennis Koutroulis scoring twice for Suburbs and Fikret Sabanoski doubling up for Rovers.
In women’s state league 2, Spring Hills lit it up on Friday night with a 5-0 trouncing of Hume City. Isabella Dimoska scored a double for the Stallions, taking her season tally to 19 goals in 13 games.