This was the Cup draw that all our players were after… State League side Modbury jets- featuring 5 ex Kings. This was sure to add some spice to the game that sends the winner to the Cup Final. Both sides went into Wednesday nights clash at The Parks knowing the winner will face Comets in the Final at Hindmarsh Stadium in a couple weeks time. Not only is it a big game for the club, but for our marvellous Captain Lukasz Klimek who plays his 250th senior game for the Croydon Kings.
A revised squad by coach Mark Brazzale came out of the change rooms. With noticeable outs of defender Alex Sunasky (injured) and left back John Panagaris (brothers wedding overseas), Croydon blooded young gun James Polli in left back with Yarad Abetew in the middle with the experienced Jarrod Brazzale.
The game started pretty tight- as to be expected. The Kings were looking to figure out the high flying state league side early. A positive and attacking Croydon were on the front foot early, once again creating chances down the wings. A dominating 30mins saw Modbury’s keeper pull of an unreal triple save in close while a goal line clearance from the Kings managed to keep the score at 0-0 going into the break. Modbury fought back late in the 1st half and put the Croydon boys under pressure for the last 15mins- all to no avail and the scores were locked at 0-0.
The second half started like the 1st- the Kings with all the ball and moving it around nicely. The height of Interieri, the pace of Toure and the skill of Skeffington combined with the experience of Klimek and Visconte was causing the Jets lots of problems. Not only that but the young defence and the quality of the best keeper in SA in Nick Munro, were all holding strong and not letting much thru.
Chances were frequent for the Kings with Captain Klimek going the closest as his long range effort rebounded off the post, across the face of goal and unfortunately unable to be poked in by Interieri. Skeffington’s runs and crosses were the flavour of the night- and why not with the midfielder in what some would say career best form. Then on the stroke of 80mins, yet again, another Skeffington delivery was pin point perfect for the run of the unmarked Adrian D’Alfonso who met the ball with his head from close range and this time made no mistake. A beautifully constructed goal by the Kings gave us the lead we really deserved,
From here the Jets threw not only the kitchen sink at us, but the whole kitchen. They were getting desperate but our defenders Abetew, Polli, Brazzale, Martinello and 15 year old Stokes didn’t give them a sniff. This left the Jets with gaps up front and the cool heads of our midfield played the ball cleverly to soak up the time and keep our forward pressure.
After just 4 mins of extra time, the referees full time whistle blew to the roar of the travelling Croydon faithful. The Kings were thru to yet another cup final and another trip to Coopers Stadium! A perfect way for Captain Lukasz Klimek to celebrate is 250th game for the club- a magnificent milestone!
A great night for the club and all the players- couldn’t fault any one of the lads. The effort, desire and the spirit was shining bright- just what we need to carry thru to the league game this Saturday against South Adelaide. Make sure we all get down to Polonia Reserve THIS SATURDAY to see if the boys can carry on with their good form and knock off Costa’s Panthers. Be there to celebrate James Skeffington’s 250th career game as well as Luke Klimek on his 250th senior game for the club.
Photo credit: Adam Butler (80kms photography)