After a week off thanks to the round 1 cup bye, the Kings made the short drive down South Road to face Adelaide United Youth. With 3 ex Croydon lads in the young reds line up, the pacey kids were sure to be up for a battle with the more experienced Kings. The astro turf pitch at the Valo Football Centre was the venue for round 6 action!
After a great start to the season (2 wins and 3 draws), the unbeaten Kings went into Saturdays game with confidence knowing a win would keep them towards the top of the table. Coach Costanzo mixed up the starting 11 by starting gun Pat Caraccia and Adam Martinello starting from the bench (along with the youth of Chris Vivian, Alex Dimasi and Zade Heinicke).
Right from the start, Croydon pushed forward… quick feet and brilliant work by Pete Mercurio created a 1st min chance to VC James Skeffington, who had his shot well saved. Should have been put in the back of the net and 1-0 up early on, but wasnt to be. Up the other end, Kings custodian John Hall produced the save of the season with a diving effort to his left in the 20th min. A shot that was clearly going in if it wasnt for the star signing.
Apart from that, a very hard fought start to the game, both teams having purple patches. United were extremely fast, down the middle and the wings. Skeffington’s hard running combined with Caraccia’s attack on the ball and Munro’s constant forward pressure kept the home side on their toes. A first half scattered with poor, inconsistent refereeing decisions. Nether the less, both sides went in to the break with scores at 0-0.
Just 7mins into the 2nd half, vice skipper James Skeffington came off with a groin concern and was replaced with Alex Dimasi. Captain Lukasz Klimek was having a blinder- brilliant challenges in and out of the box to deny goals, as well as blocking crosses into the area. Once again, Captain Klimek leading by example. Coach Costanzo made another change in the 65th min, opting for the pace of Adam Martinello at the expense of hard running Nathan Munro. 5 mins later, in the 70th min, striker Antoni Trimboli found himself with the ball at his feet in the 18 yard box after a great cross. Only thing was he was facing away from goal, so the back heel was the only option! A brilliant finish from the number 11 who put the Kings in the lead!
United pushed even harder for the leveler and would have found it in the 74th min if it wasnt for the heroics of John Panagaris. Another great play from the left back who slid into a tackle and saved a certain goal! The back 4 were brilliant all game, plus keeper Hall! A few mins later, Kings fans were holding their breaths as United star Pasifique took on 2 defenders and hit a rocket into the post from 10 yards out. A lucky break for the visitors. Unfortunately for the Kings and their fans, United found the back of the net in the 82nd min thanks to a deflected header by ex King and son of Kings coach, Dom Costanzo. Poor marking from Guy Miller allowed the shorter midfielder to get a clean header away, and via a deflection, found its way into the net. 1-1 with 10mins to go.
A fast paced finish had both teams going for the win. Croydon came closest with a last minute strike from Miller that sailed over the bar. Finally the full time whistle (and terrible refereeing decisions) went with the score at 1-1. Lets hope the FFSA look back at the inconsistency and decision making of all 3 officials that frustrated and bemused supporters. Simply not good enough in this reporters opinion.
This is the Croydon sides fourth 1-1 draw in a row… still unbeaten in 2019. Another game that deserved a draw but disappointing we couldn’t hold on for the last 20mins. Brilliant performances from Klimek, Panagaris, Hall, Stokes and Trimboli along with hard running from Mercurio, Caraccia and Munro.
Earlier in the day both the U18′s and Reserves had days to forget! The young 18′s went down to the SA NTC side 5-1 and Adam Vizzari’s reserves gave up a 2-0 lead to eventually do down 5-3. We look forward to all 3 teams rebuilding during the week, ready to take on the winless South Adelaide at Polonia Reserve. Make sure all Kings fans (and guests) are at the ground this week for a beer and to cheer the lads on.
Thanks once again to Joe Janko for the pics- great work mate!
Round 7 v South Adelaide @ POLONIA RESERVE SATURDAY 13th APRIL
U18′s: 10:30am kick off
Reserves: 12:45pm kick off
Seniors: 3pm kick off
ROUND 6 RESULTS
U18′s: 5-1 loss
Reserves: 5-3 loss
Seniors: 1-1 draw