The unbeaten Kings are coming off 5 league draws in a row, faced a trip to league leaders Adelaide Blue Eagles in round 8. A tough game against a well oiled unit on a big open pitch. After defeating Cove in the cup last week, the Kings knew they had to put in a better performance to trouble the Marden based side.
The cup game was to be fair, one of the worst wins in current years… but a win was a win and we move onto the next round (THIS SATURDAY v Playford at Polonia Reserve…. more on that later on).
Costanzo was once again without VC James Skeffington, just one week away from being match fit. Key defender Alex Sunasky was again putting in solid performances in the reserves and will look to slot back in the senior side again very soon. Young Alex Demasi was given another start with the pace of Stefanopoulos and Heinicke on the bench.
A 1st min blunder from keeper John Hall almost cost the visitors a goal, but luckily the ball didnt cross the line! Trimboli and Caraccia were linking up nicely early, creating a chance for the #11 who wasnt able to finish. 11mins in…. cue the Benny Hill music. An absolute comedy of errors from both the Kings defense as well as the ABE forwards. Ball hitting crossbar from a back pass, strikers missing from close range, defenders not clearing the ball… bloody hilarious considering no goal was scored and the visitors stayed at 0-0! Trimboli had another good chance in the 21st min, forcing a good save from the home keeper.
Unfortunately for Croydon, the Blue Eagles broke the deadlock in the 33rd min. Defense was opened up down the left wing and a quick, low, hard cross was met by inform McCabe from ABE who slotted into the back of the net. 1-0 Blue Eagles. 5 mins later, the Kings were 2 down after a poor clearance from John Hall to Adam Martinello in the middle of the park, just outside the 18 yard box. The midfielder didnt control the pass well and was easily tacked by the ABE striker who slotted home 1 on 1 with Hall. Poor defending all round. Far too much messing around the back half. The pressure the Blue Eagles were putting on the Kings backline was because we werent moving it fast enough up the park. The exact opposite to what we did against Adel City in round 1 where we dominated from start to finish. Extremely frustrating for the fans on the side line, as we know what our side is capable of. The playing around the back half isnt winning us games- simple as that.
Half time saw Zade Heinicke replace Alex Demasi and Kristos Stefanopolous come on the the disappointing Pete Mercurio. A much better start the the 2ns half, with intent and drive to go forward from the away side. We were putting them under pressure and causing errors. Pat Caraccia was getting stuck into the opposition, getting fired up! That’s the passion the fans wanted to see! Reward for effort came in the 70th min when some top passing and forward press by Trimboli was met by Nathan Munro who finished from close range. 2-1 and game on!
The Kings defense was holding firm in the 2nd half, lead by the outstanding efforts by John Panagaris and Jarrod Brazzale. Up the other end, Kristos nearly leveled the game with a rocket from long range- only just missing the crossbar. Guy Miller was brought on for Adam Martinello in the 80th min, looking for some fresh legs thru the midfield, With full time upon us, a highly controversial decision by the referee NOT to give the away side a clear cut hand ball. Earlier in the half, he gave a hand ball for much less against us, but absolute zero consistency through out the game. I know i’ve had a go at referees in the last couple weeks- but fans are frustrated by inconsistency and decisions made at different parts of the ground. But thats football. Roll with the punches.
Certainly a game of 2 halves… with the poor first half display ultimately costing us points. The vastly improved 2nd half with the the forward press, pressure, intent and sheer grunt is exactly what is needed from the first whistle… exactly the same as round 1. Defenders Panagaris and Brazzale along with the work rate and pressure of Munro were best on ground.
Earlier in the day, the Croydon sides both picked up wins! Pepper’s 18′s hammered 4 in while keeping a clean sheet. Brilliant work lads! Later, Vizzari’s reserves slotted 2 home again without conceding to record another win. Key defender Alex Sunasky getting on the score sheer too… well done boys!
This week we are back to FFA SA Cup action! We take on the impressive State League 1 side, Playford City at Polonia Reserve this Saturday Action kicks off at 9:30am with the U18′s, followed by the Reserves at 12pm and finally the seniors at 2:30pm. A huge, must win game. Not only to stay in the cup, but to find some form before a few big league games coming up!
Make sure we all get down to Polonia Reserve this Saturday to cheer the boys on!
ROUND 8 RESULTS
U18′s: 74-0 win
Reserves: 2-0 win
Seniors: 2-1 loss