In a frustrating afternoon on Saturday at Marden, the Croydon Kings had to make do with a share of the spoils when it drew 1-1 with Blue Eagles.
The Kings started the match on fire and could have been two up within a couple minutes when McGreevy broke free and narrowly missed with only the keeper to beat.
A similar chance presented itself a matter of moments later although this time McGreevy’s pass found a cunning Adrian D’Alfonso at the far post who smashed home from close range.
More chances beckoned and it looked like the Kings would finally be on track to smack a team, but again, many chances were unable to be converted and it all came down to how the Kings would react in the second stanza being 1-0 up at half time. The second half was a more even affair and to Blue Eagles credit, they never gave up trying to attack, albeit that most attacks were met with desperate defending and solid counter-attacks when dispossessed.
A little surprising to many in the crowd were the early second half substitutions in attack in which D’Alfonso, Skeffington and McGreevy who all looked the most dangerous on the park and likely to open the game up were all gradually replaced by Visconte, Trimboli and Sumaoro, something which appeared to be a pre-planned strategy. A re-shuffle of positions saw Visconte play as a no 10 with Radice being thrown further forward with McGreevy coming off, whereas the other subs were virtual straight swaps. Instead of freshening the attack, Croydon looked to have lost momentum and rhythm as the Blue Eagles came back into the game and had some close calls after forcing several corners. It was then a hope that Kings would hang on to their 1-0 lead and wait for the final whistle, but things turned for the worse when Trimboli won the ball following a Kings clearance and instead of turning and releasing the ball to create an attack, surprisingly stopped and held on to the ball and was dispossessed with Kings players streaming forward. Croydon then paid the ultimate price when Blue Eagles capitalized and a whipping cross from the ensuing play was brilliantly met with a powerful header which found the net despite a full stretched diving effort by Munro in goals with 10 minutes to go.
Croydon tried in vain to regain its lead and had more chances of its own, mainly via free-kicks from outside the box, but the Blue Eagles equaliser seemed to knock the wind out of the Kings sails and in the end had to settle for a draw, which felt like a loss given the game was there to be wrapped up much earlier.
It looks as though this season is more about player management, accumulation of points in the hope that the whole squad will be fully fit and cherry ripe as the finals approach, so we have to accept that despite confidence of the strikers may be a little low given conversion rates, and “part time” status as either rarely play out a full ninety minutes, so lets have faith and look at the bigger picture here. Keep it up fellas, at least we are in the mix!
The Reserves won again with a solid but hard fought 2-1 score-line, and still sits nicely in top spot and the pressure on the young team is now how it will handle being on this perch as the season nears the half way mark. Nevertheless, nine wins from ten games is very impressive and again underlines the depth at the Kings.
The U/18’s unfortunately are at the opposite end of the table but were gallant in going down narrowly by the same score of 2-1 and considering several circumstances they’ve had to deal with, they are at least there having a go and showing improvement and who knows, it might make them even stronger mentally and give them more incentive to show everyone what they can do if given time and patience.
Next week its quarter final cup action away to Metrostars which will only feature the seniors kicking off at 2.30pm at TK Shutter.
Pic – James Skeffington was dangerous with his piercing runs on Saturday and close to full fitness