No goals, but plenty of tension, periods of great football, solid defences and good goalkeeping were the order of the day when Campbelltown came to Polonia Reserve to snatch a vital away point for the visitors.
Croydon started on fire with some fluent passing and dangerous forays into attack and the first 20 minutes or so looked like they were keen to continue from their superb second half from last week’s game at Adelaide City.
Campbelltown withstood the pressure and as the half wore on Iain Fyfe proved to be a thorn in several Kings attacks, and the midfield battles became more prominent. In fairness, the Kings were rarely threatened at the back, largely due to another huge performance by the back four, and young Hosine Bility the most noticeable who looks a player way beyond his years.
Croydon had reason to go into the second half with confidence, but to Campbelltown’s credit, they gave as good as they got and every player had to be on red alert so not to give any easy passes away or submit to unforced errors.
The refereeing was frustrating at times due to inconsistency, however it must be said that no major decisions influenced the eventual 0-0 outcome, with both sets of supporters agreeing the draw was probably a fair result.
On a positive note, Croydon has only conceded twice in the past six games meaning the defensive side of their game appears to be well and truly mended, although it must be a concern for coach Mark Brazzale that we have only scored once in four home games this season, meaning that old adage of having the home ground advantage is of little consequence these days. We want Polonia Reserve to be a fortress again!
Nevertheless the draw, after other results from the weekend means that Croydon slip to seventh on goal difference, albeit the 3 teams above them (Campbelltown, West Adelaide and Olympic) are on the same points (eleven).
Best for Croydon were Bility, Panagaris, Radice and Farrell, but you could argue all other players being worthy of at least one of those spots.
The Reserves kept up their winning form with a tough but deserved 2-1 win and they are looking the goods in their league, and pleasing for all to know the depth at Croydon is second to none.
The U/18’s continue to improve and despite a 3-1 loss, it was against the top team and they at least drew the second half, meaning they are putting together 90 minute performances, something which eluded them in the early games.
Next week its cup time and a chance for Croydon to make the quarter finals should they prevail.
Drawn away to Comets, all three teams have a chance to redeem league losses from 3 weeks ago and the seniors having a chance to make a statement that the top of the table side are of no worry to the improving Kings team.
The Athletics stadium has had mixed results over the years when the teams clash, and who knows, maybe the “undefeated” away yellow strips might just be enough to sway things in Croydon’s favour.
Pic – courtesy Joe Janko – Nick Munro has been solid in goals with another clean sheet and he’d be thankful for the better defensive pressure in front of him of late