Croydon gained a cup quarter final spot after knocking out current NPL pace-setter Adelaide Comets at the SA Athletics Stadium on Saturday following a hard fought but impressive 3-2 victory.
The first half started cautiously, but the Kings, without the injured Rocky Visconte, slowly took control of the midfield and created some good chances, none better than when Luke Klimek skipped past the defence and squared a near perfect ball to Shaun McGreevy who’s shot sailed over the bar from 10 yards out. The Comets responded with a decent chance of their own when some good interpassing on the left wing eventually found a cross met by Andreas Wiens whose header just went over the bar by a matter of inches.
With only a couple minutes left in the half, Croydon were awarded a free kick near the edge of the left wing penalty box and a superb free kick by Adrian D’Alfonso flew into the far top corner of the net and the Kings jogged into the sheds with a deserved 1-0 lead.
The second half started with an expected Comets response and not long in it was that man again, Andreas Wiens who was at the right place and the right time and he was there to poke home from close range after a half deflected clearance missed its mark and suddenly it was 1-1. Comets had the better of the next 10-15 minutes and they snatched the lead after a corner was expertly headed home by unmarked Comets livewire Lewis Farquhar.
It then became a case of how would Croydon react after losing a lead plus going behind within a space of 17 minutes, but to their credit they didn’t lose their shape and continued to press and eventually an unmarked Shaun McGreevy sprung the offside trap and slotted home with the advancing keeper left stranded and it was 2-2. As spectators started to contemplate the possibility of extra time, they didn’t count on an excellent move where Luke Klimek sidestepped two defenders and marched into the box, with many thinking he would shoot, he instead put through Paul Radice who’s perfectly timed run saw him smash home a low drive from close range and Comets were left scratching their heads.
If anything from this point the Kings looked more likely to score again despite Comets trying unorthodox ways to combat the Kings defence and seemed to run out of ideas when long balls to Wiens didn’t come off, largely thanks to Jarrod Brazzale and Hosine Bility who are fast becoming a central defensive pairing as good as any in the league.
Nevertheless the Kings held on well until the final whistle and the 3-2 win sees it go into the quarter final draw, and will give them some confidence going into next week’s league game away to Para Hills.
It may sound repetitive but all played well again, so rather than only mention the standouts, let’s just say that Nick Munro, Anthony Francesca, Hosine, Jarrod, John Panagaris, Nathan Farrell, Luke Klimek, Jamkes Skeffington, Paul Radice, Adrian D’Alfonso, Shaun McGreevy as the starting eleven all played well and contributed to the brilliant victory!
The news wasn’t so good for the Reserves and U/18’s though, after the Ressies went down 2-0 in what must be said was a game that went against their current form and they just never could get any rhythm and will now have to concentrate on league form and continue to push the seniors squad. The U/18’s went down 5-1 to a better Comets outfit, although they will have a good chance to seal some league points when they face Para Hills next week.
Pic – thanks to Joe Janko – Shaun McGreevy has now scored four cup goals and will be keen to convert this into the league games over the coming weeks