Croydon Kings weren’t expected to even get a point away to the previously undefeated Adelaide City, but no-one at the club took notice of this, and the Kings came away with an enthralling 3-0 victory which has rattled the league and changed people’s minds about what Croydon are capable of this season.
Whilst the first half was dictated by City in terms of possession, the Kings were able to withstand their pressure and looked to exploit them on the counter-attack, which resulted in Croydon’s first goal, just before half time when Paul Radice won the ball after some pressure in the middle of the park and found a sprinting Adrian D’Alfonso on the right, who slammed home a ground shot from just inside the box to give the Kings the lead.
A few heads were turned when before the game the Croydon bench consisted of Rocky Visconte, Nathan Farrell and James Skeffington, probably the strongest bench this century, and all played a pivotal part during the second half with cameo performances following some time off recently due to injury.
Croydon’s second came about after a foul on the right wing and Visconte’s wicked free kick found Jarrod Brazzale at the far post who cleverly toe-poked from close range to double the lead, much to the joy of the away fans. City were expected to fight back and this they did, but it was either Bility, or Munro in goals there to stifle the attacks. And crucial header off the line by Anthony Francesca looked to be the saviour for Croydon when City potentially could have struck back as we know they can so quickly. Mori’s men had to take risks, but Croydon continued to press their defence and midfield, with Klimek (pictured), Radice and Farrell becoming a handful for City, and a goalkeeping error paved the way for Croydon’s final goal, when a missed pass by Ostbye went straight to Radice, who gathered himself and calmly struck the ball into a gaping goal to make it 3-0 and his first goal for the club for premiership points. Hard to pick best players as all played above their usual game, but it was hard to not notice Klimek, Brazzale and Radice for their heroics and 90 minute all round effort.
The win was reminiscent of the Kings championship form of 2014 when no opposition was considered unbeatable, and the old Croydon swagger noticeable. Its huge win, but it doesn’t get any easier with the in-form Campbelltown coming to Polonia Reserve next week, also full of confidence following a gutsy 2-0 win against Metrostars.
The Reserves made a statement with a spanking 6-1 demolition of City’s counterparts, with goals coming at regular intervals with every player on the park contributing to the masterful performance and shows that coach Mick Doyle has assembled a team ready to step up to senior football whenever called upon.
The U/18’s went down 1-0, but to say they were unlucky is an understatement. The improvement this team has showed in the past few weeks has not gone unnoticed and kudos to Mario Catalano and especially Steve Pepper who have raised the boys attitude, fitness and hunger for the battle and a premiership win for them won’t be too far away. The effort during the 90 minutes was solid and only finishing in front of goal was the only thing lacking, but this will come good given the rise in intensity in the coming weeks. Keep it up lads!