Keilor Park has been a bit flat in the early rounds of the Football Victoria men’s state league 1 season, but it put the fizz back in its game with a resounding 3-0 win over high-flying Altona City at Keilor Park Recreation Reserve on Saturday.
The Eagles produced a timely reminder of their potential with easily their best performance of the season, making their move from the bottom half of the table and into fifth spot in one fell swoop.
“To beat the second side is no mean feat,” Eagles president Paul Portelli said.
“It makes a statement that we’re still there.
“It was like a six-point game for us.”
Keilor Park did most of its damage in the opening 20 minutes.
The Eagles set the tone with a goal through Malik Furlong after just 10 minutes. Furlong latched on to a well-weighted through ball and calmly slotted it past the keeper.
It was also a precursor to one of Furlong’s best games for the Eagles.
“He’s only a young boy, but he stepped up today,” Portelli said.
“He scored the first goal and he was very consistent, always winning the ball and creating.”
Goran Jozeljic doubled Keilor Park’s lead just eight minutes later.
Jozeljic forced the opposition goalkeeper into error and took advantage of the turnover to score with a tap in.
“He toiled away up front,” Portelli said.
“We kept the pressure on them in the first half.”
The half-time whistle brought to an end a first 45 minutes of dominance from Keilor Park.
The second half though was a different story.
The Eagles managed to get a third goal through substitute Adrian Barresi, but it was not a totally comfortable lead.
Altona City began to make more incursions into their front third and forced Eagles goalkeeper Frano Saric into action.
Three Keilor Park injuries – ankle complaints for Jozeljic and Harry Hillary-Jenkins and a leg injury to Barresi – meant coach Paul Falzon did not have the chance to make any tactical moves.
A red card to Sean Sacco for handling the ball in the box was another blow to the Eagles.
Saric ensured the Eagles’ clean sheet would remain.
“He made an excellent penalty save,” Portelli said.
It was a win with the lot for Keilor Park.
The Eagles played some breathtaking football and also showed character with a man down.
It might be the result that turns the corner for the Eagles.
“It was a top class performance today,” Portelli said.
“I think the boys were really frustrated last week drawing with Essendon Royals.
“They took their frustration out on Altona City this week.”
It sets up a huge fifth-versus-sixth local derby between Keilor Park and Brimbank Stallions at the Club Italia Sporting Club on Saturday.
“There’s always a bit of a rivalry between the two clubs, so it should be a good one,” Portelli said.