On a perfect day for football at Polonia Reserve, the Kings took on ex Croydon keeper Costa Zacharopoulos and his South Adelaide Panthers. With just goal difference separating the 2 teams (and 2 others), this was a must win game. On top of this, the club were celebrating the 250th games of James Skeffington and Captain Lukasz Klimek .Congrats lads, we’re all very proud to call you Croydon Boys!
Another young side for Mark Brazzale had 15 year old Kieran Stokes make his starting debut, as well as a long awaited return to senior football for Pete Mercurio.
The Croydon faithful were hoping for another fast and attacking start- much like the Cup Semi Final win mid week. And that’s what the boys gave us. The Kings were on top early- despite some dubious decisions from both referee and linesman. Some very solid defending by James Polli and Jarrod Brazzale, not letting South press forward. On the stroke of 20mins, a long switch from Alhassan Toure found an unmarked James Skeffington in the 18 yard box. With a nice touch to control the ball and a second touch to settle, Skeff belted home from close range- sparking celebrations from the large support of his family members in the crowd.
Just 8 mins later, goalkeeper Nick Munro was called into action after a deflected shot from the South striker had the “Big Mummy” wrong footed. A magnificent save to keep the home side ahead at the break. A dominating were Croydon 1-0 up and looking to get on with the job.
Unfortunately that’s where my positive report ends. 12mins into the 2nd half, an iffy penalty to the visitors brought the game back level. 1-1 with 30mins to go. South keeper Costa was having a blinder and keeping his team in the game… as well as the post. Rocky Visconte’s cracking strike left the post shaking for minutes. Nothing was falling into place for the Kings and not long after a free kick, a South counter attack saw the striker take on and beat 3 of our defenders before curling in a long range effort- leaving Munro with no chance. South 2-1 up.
Changes were made as we were now chasing the game. More chances came and sadly went for the home side. With players pushing forward in search of the equalizer, South once again went on a counter attack and slotted home their 3rd and sealed the game. A poor 2nd half from the Croydon boys left supporters, players and coaches alike, stunned and disappointed. A game we were dominating and had more chances in had slipped away. Not even the “good luck wine trip” from Fran Christison could help the Kings. The loss saw us slip below South and sit just above Para Hills who are in relegation zone.
Coach Mark Brazzale and his team have more than enough football left to turn the season around and not only escape relegation zone, but climb up into the finals (just 2 wins out). The question is how…
A better day for the U18′s and the reserves with both teams having quality wins! Well done to Adam Vizzari and the Reserves coaching staff on picking up the 3 points each! Lets hope those wins keep coming and rub off onto the seniors.
This week we travel to high flying Campbelltown, a team we have beaten this season and we generally play well against. Make sure to make the trip to Newton this Saturday at 3pm for the seniors.
On an other note- a big thank you and congrats to Julie and Maria on the success of the 2018 Quiz Night! A fantastic event enjoyed by all (too well for this “editor”- hence the delayed match report!)
U’18′s: 4-2 win
Reserves: 4-1 win