It’s been a long time since a round 2 fixture had so much importance for Croydon Kings, especially since its poor opening game and other teams in the league just as desperate to pick up early season points.
Fortunately after a good week on the training track, the Kings turned things around and prevailed with a performance worthy of 3 points when they triumphed 1-0 at Jack Smith Park against the highly fancied Birkalla.
Noticeably a few minor positional changes in defence and midfield proved to be worthwhile when a more settled defensive effort nullified the Birks early on. In fact, it was the Kings who forced the better chances in the first half and whilst Birks defended well at times, they did enough to thwart the Kings from scoring in the half despite a decent breeze in the Kings favour.
Things turned sour for Birkalla late in the first half when they were forced down to 10 men following a second yellow card offence, meaning an early shower for a key Birks player.
The Kings grew in confidence as the second half gathered momentum, but several chances went begging and as the clock ticked over to the 75th minute mark, it looked like it could be a 0-0 draw with the positives being the much improved defensive effort. But then came the golden moment, and who else but Luke Klimek was the instigator after a quick one-two play on the left wing, he cleverly skipped past two defenders and squared back a perfect pass to Mohammed Sumaoro who caressed the ball into the net to break the Kings scoring duck.
This knocked the stuffing out of Birkalla and whilst they tried hard to get back onto the game, the Kings looked more likely to add to their goal tally with gaps appearing in the Birks defence.
Nevertheless, the final whistle came and it must be said with some relief the Kings prevailed with the 1-0 win.
Best part of this performance was the vast improvement from that of last week, a clean sheet and something to build on for next week now that the Kings are off that bottom rung.
The entire team played well, but special mention to Jarrod Brazzale, Luke Klimek and Paul Radice who shone throughout the 90 minutes.
The Reserves kept their 100% record intact with a 2-0 win, which again, could have been much more given long periods of domination, however the U/18’s whilst having some good moments during the match, succumbed to another 4-0 defeat, although it must be said that Gianni in goals stopped it from possibly being double with some fine saves, including one from the penalty spot.
Pic, courtesy Joe Janko – Nathan Farrell toiled hard as ever and was pivotal in the Kings victory on saturday