Richmond SC find themselves one step closer to facing relegation, after a demoralising 2-0 loss to the Eastern Lions at Gardiners Creek Reserve last Saturday afternoon.
Richmond had had reason for feeling optimistic as they approached last week’s show down after a 1-0 win against the highly competitive Murray United the week before, following back to back draws against Sunshine George Cross and Box Hill United in rounds 22 and 23 respectively. It was considered vital for the Eagles to achieve a victory against the Eastern Lions in order to continue their momentum and improve their chances of staying in the league.
It was a windy afternoon at Gardiners Creek Reserve and the first half was closely contested with neither team managing to score a goal. The Eastern Lions went on the attack from the start, but Richmond defended strongly and prevented their opposition from running away with the game in the early stages. Toward the end of the first 45 minutes, Richmond made several goal scoring attempts, none of the attempts met with success.
During the second half, things took a turn for the worst for the Eagles, who failed to capitalise on yet more opportunities to take the lead in the early stages of the half. Before long, the Eastern Lions had the match firmly under their control, managing to score the first goal of the match at approximately the 75fth minute mark. Less than 10 minutes later, their lead was doubled courtesy of Costa Droutsas and Richmond had no answers. The result was a 2-0 win in favour of the home side.
Although the Eagles and the Eastern Lions remain in 9th and 10th position on the NPL2 East ladder respectively, the battle to avoid relegation has intensified and Richmond will need to pull out all the stops for the rest of the season in order to remain in the league. They have a difficult challenge ahead of them this coming week, as they travel home to Kevin Bartlett Reserve to take on the in-form Moreland City while the Eastern Lions are set to face Bendigo City.