A return to Saturday night football- this time on the astroturf pitch at Jack Smith Park, the temporary home of Adelaide Comets (and let me tell you, its much better than Santos Stadium!). A cold night for both players and fans for a mouth watering game. The visitors were looking to make it back to back wins for just the second time this season, while the Comets were clearly focusing on the mid week Cup Semi final.
Costanzo’s side was strengthened with the return of forward Antoni Trimboli and the inclusion of Japanese winger Haruoka “Aru” Masahiro from South Adelaide.
A strong start to the game from the Croydon side- going out attacking and putting Comets on the back foot. Martinello & Caraccia running hard and making challenges stick. Keeper John Hall was relatively quiet which is always a good thing. A dominate first half was marred by the sending off of Captain Lukasz Klimek for a second yellow. Im not going to go on about the poor refereeing again- it happens week in and week out… but the Captain was very very unlucky to see red. Not long after, the half time whistle went and both teams were locked at 0-0… but the Kings were 1 man down.
Jarrod Brazzale led the team out in the second half. Some more “dubious” decisions rattled the Kings players and coaches, with both assistant coach Maurice Natale and then head coach Ange Costanzo asked to watch from the other side of the fence. The Comets then started to dominate the half, making use of the extra man. Hall was a bit busier but completely controlled his 18 yard box with safe hands and strong claims. Stefanopoulos was replaced with new signing Aru with almost immediate response! The pacy winger was involved in multiple defensive clearances and provided run down the right. Pete Mercurio also came on for the impressive Zade Heinicke not long after.
On the stroke of 77mins, a brilliant early cross for an under pressure Mercurio was met with the diving head of Aru and into the back of the net! The Kings with the lead against the odds! A brilliant goal that sent the crowd wild! But the 10 men of Croydon didnt park the bus… the press and drive was still there. We were on the front foot again, and 10mins later, in the 86th min we were 2 to the good! Some solid defending from the back 4 found Aru on the right wing. A pin point pass by the impressive Japanese, slicing the defense apart with a gem of a ball to the hard running Nathan Munro. The in form striker took a couple nice touches before slotting under the keeper! 2-0 and game was done!
The Kings managed to weather one last Comets storm and keep the clean sheet! A very impressive win from the lads- couldnt be prouder of each and every one of them. They all showed heart, guts and sheer determination. Not only that, but back to back wins since the first 2 games of the season.
Unfortunately the Under 18s and Reserves were unable to take home any points in the earlier games. The 18’s went down 4-2 and the Reserves lost 2-1. No doubt both sides will pick their socks up for the South Adelaide game next Saturday.
Next week (round 13) we make the long treck down south to take on the bottom of the table Panthers. A game not to take lightly! Make sure we all get down to the O’Sullivans Beach Sporting Complex THIS FRIDAY NIGHT (7th June) for a 7pm kick off. The 18’s and reserves will play on Saturday.
ROUND 12 RESULTS
U18’s: 4-2 loss
Reserves: 2-1 loss
Seniors: 2-0 win