Category: Match Reports

Rd 22… last one!

Final round of the year… sitting in a good, but by no means safe position before the tough game against the back to back NPL champions, Campbelltown City. A win would see us make the finals, a draw or a loss and we’d have to rely on other results… A big game!

A faced pace to the start of this one as both teams looked to press early. Both Japanese wingers, Matsumoto for the home side and Haruoka for the Kings were targets from each team with long balls.

The Red Devils took a very early lead. A 7th min cross and shot wasnt able to be cleared off the line and the home side were up 1-0. Some poor defending not long after gave C’Town another huge chance and luckily for us, Marino’s shot went wide. The Kings needed to hit back and soon! After some great lead up play in the middle of the park from Klimek and Martinello, Patty Caraccia was obstructed in the box. He didnt go down looking for a pen, but to the away sides amazement, referee Mooney blew his whistle and pointed to the spot!

Captain Klimek stepped up to take what could be the biggest kick of the season… A brilliantly dispatched penalty sent keeper Harpas the wrong way and the Kings were back in the game! 1-1 with 10mins to go before the break. Unfortunately the score line was short lived with C’Town awarded a penalty of their own when Dittroia was brought down in the box. spot kick was taken and scored. 2-1 to the home side. Just minutes later, the worst ever penalty call was made. Defender Alex Sunasky and midfielder Alex Mullen came together in what was nothing more than a tussle in the box as the ball was coming in. No shirt pulling, nothing… Mullen went down and sucked Mooney into blowing his whistle yet again.

A livid Kings bench and travelling supporters couldnt believe it. Always seem to get calls like this against us when these officials have our matches… however, justice prevailed as the horribly cheeky, almost smart assed penalty from Marino hit the crossbar. The striker then followed up and put the ball in the net and celebrated… not knowing the 2 touch rule, the goal wasnt counted… quite funny really!! 2-1 at the break and lots of work to do in the 2nd half.

As other results from games broke, as it was, the Kings, somehow, were out of the 6. Blue Eagles were on top of Raiders and Metro were easily dispatching of relegation favourite West Adel. The Kings now needed to win this game.

Again, a tight tussle to start the 2nd half with VC James Skeffington beautifully played in by Luke Klimek cross. Unfortunately Skeff only hit side netting and score remained 2-1. Not many more chances to either side to be fair, and the midfielders were earning their pay. Klimek, Caraccia, Stokes & Mercurio were among the best for the Kings. A frantic final 10mins sadly couldnt result in a goal or 2 the Kings needed… and that was it. Full time and we ended the season with a 2-1 loss at the hands of the impressive Campbelltown side.

Results from other games didnt go as expected, but ultimately the 6 draws in a row mid season cost us out deserved finals spot. We had the equal lowest goals conceded… just 1 point short of 6th spot (and 1 win from 2nd!) Earlier in the day, our U18’s continued their winning form before finals with a 1-0 win. Just what coach Pepper wanted before the business end! Unfortunately Vizzari’s reserves coughed up a cheap goal late to lose 2-1 and slide down the ladder. Still making finals, the lads could have finished top. but it wasnt to be.

Thanks to all the supporters for coming out this season- all the lads truly appreciate it.
Make sure you head down to support the 18’s and Reserves as they kick off their finals campaigns this weekend!
U18’s: v Comets: THIS SATURDAY: 10:15am @ SA Athletics Stadium, Mile End
Reserves: v West Adelaide: THIS SATURDAY: 3:30pm @ Valo Football Centre, Regency Park

BIG NEWS REGARDING OUR RELOCATION COMING SOON!!

ROUND 22 RESULTS

Under 18’s: 1-0 win
Reserves: 2-1 loss
Seniors: 2-1 loss

HEJ POLONIA!

Rd 21… the last at Polonia Reserve

Well this was the day… the day we all bid farewell to our home of 69 years! An emotional day for all involved… committee, players, fans and anyone involved in the club over the last almost 7 decades!

After a tough 0-0 contest last week against the Comets, the Kings looked to cement their spot in the top 4 with a win against old rival, Adelaide Raiders. A win would see a big shake up in the top half, so Costanzo’s men knew what to do.

You’ll have to excuse the length of this report as i was running around most of the day- as were all of the committee! But its a good wrap up!

Both sides were greeted to the pitch by over 700 fans as they walked out with 2 junior teams and my proud as punch 3 year old son! Coin was tossed by 2 legends of the club, Marian Kolecki and John Kosmina… a wonderful moment for all involved.

The Kings dominated the first half, peppering ex Croydon custodian Nick Munro’s goal. Pacey winger Masahiro Haruoka and VC James Skeffington were causing havoc down the wings- whipping in dangerous crosses to tall timber Nathan Munro in the box. Not much work to do for keeper John Hall to do down the other end! At one stage in the first half, we struck the crossbar twice- bouncing straight up and back down again… the ball just didnt want to go in!

Shot after shot, attack after attack, the Kings just couldnt find a way thru and both teams went into rooms and out of the pouring rain at the break with scores locked at 0-0.

Second half was a lot more even… Raiders getting on the front foot and making the Kings defense earn their pay! Then finally on the stroke of 67mins, Patty Caraccia perfectly struck a long range effort just outside the 18 yard box and into the corner of the next.. sending the home fans wild!

Unfortunately for the boys in white, celebrations were short lived as Raiders got back into the game with one of their few attacks…5 mins after taking the lead, Croydons defense wasnt able to clear a dangerous cross into the box and was tucked away by the Raiders striker. 1-1 with 20mins left to play.

Both teams gave it their all… tough, hard, fair challenges were coming in left right and centre… long balls and shots from range were flying in…but with the sky getting darker and the cold breeze kicking in (tho most didnt feel it after all the beer and Krupnik shots), the referee blew the full time whistle for the final time at Polonia Reserve.

A huge round of applause for both teams as they walked off… and special mention to Adelaide Raiders who waited at the race and clapped the Kings off the park as a team- well played lads.

Celebrations, presentations, mixed grill plates and plenty of alcohol was to follow in the club rooms! Almost every person came back in for a drink or 2 (or 10) and reminisced about the memories at the ground. A long and enjoyable night had by all!

Both the under 18’s and Reserves sides picked up valuable wins and have cemented themselves in the top half of the ladders- ensuring finals football for those 2 teams! Extremely well done to Steve Pepper and Adam Vizzari and their sides for a fantastic season so far!

This week sees the Kings travel to Newton to take on Champions Campbelltown City who secured their 2nd consecutive title. A must win game for the senior side who need at least a point to play finals football. This is the last league game of 2019, so make sure you get down to the Steve Woodcock Sports Centre Saturday night! 7pm kick off for seniors.

Finally, i want to acknowledge the hard work of the committee who organised Saturdays game. All the planning leading up to the day and the running around on the day was all worth it. A successful day for the club… so thank you Julie, Angelo, Maria, Mark, Andrew, Roger, Simon, Brad, Fran, Theo and of course Eddie!

ROUND 21 RESULTS

Under 18’s: 1-0 win
Reserves: 2-0 win
Seniors: 1-1 draw

HEJ POLONIA!

4 in a row for the Kings!

It was another crucial match day at Polonia Reserve on Saturday when Croydon welcomed the visit of the high flying Adelaide Blue Eagles who sat in second position prior to kick-off.

The Kings knew a victory however would see them leap-frog Blue Eagles (at least) and possibly more, depending on other results.

The match started off with Blue Eagles looking sharper and a series of corners and attacking half free kicks saw them test Croydon early.

It took a finger-tip save from John Hall which clipped the crossbar as well to keep Blue Eagles at bay in the early exchanges.

Having weathered the storm, Croydon started to slowly get into the groove and began to assert themselves on the game and several corners and good chances were created at the other end, the closest being a close range clip from Munro, which somehow managed to go over the bar whilst everyone held their breath.

In a great end-to-end spectacle, you could see it would be a tight affair and that one goal could well seal a big advantage.

On 25 minutes, the game was opened up even more, when a great cross found the head of Haruoka who’s perfect timed run ensured the ball found the net with Blue Eagles defence wondering what just happened and the keeper out of position looking stunned. 1-0 up!

The end-to-end football continued until the half time whistle and you could sense Croydon were ready to step up a gear in the second half.

Caraccia, Heinike and Martinello were kept busy in the midfield and Trimboli, Munro and Hauoka ensured the Blue Eagles defence had to work just as hard with their constant attacking threats. Mid way through the second half came a turning point when a scuffle following a Sunasky tackle on Evan Kounavelis saw the Blue Eagles attacker retaliate with a head-butt and whilst Sunasky got a yellow for the tackle, the referee, after consulting with her assistant had no option other to give Evan a straight red and the Blue Eagles quest for an equaliser just got tougher.

Coach Ange Costanzo again used his bench to effect and Panagaris came on for Sunasky, Skeffington on for the hard running Trimboli and Mercurio on for young Heinike and the fresh legs ensured Croydon would not let go and further chances were created, but again near –misses were the order of the day.

Despite being down to ten men, Blue Eagles still huffed and puffed and almost broke through but again it was John Hall who’s outstretched arm parried what looked a certain goal around for a corner which the Kings defence ultimately withstood. The final whistle came, and it emerged that Croydon would jump into fifth spot and a finals position almost secure and one that can be secured should they get maximum points next week.

Again it was pleasing to see every Croydon contributor play well, with captain Luke Klimek showing the way as we eye a best possible ladder finish with only 3 rounds to go.

Earlier in the day, the Under 18’s smacked Blue Eagles 5-1 to boost their finals chances, whilst the Reserves had a much tougher day in the top versus bottom clash, but still showed enough class to run out 2-0 victors to maintain top spot and make it another clean sweep for Croydon.

Attention this week turns to our next opponent, another strong finals candidate in Adelaide Comets and they will be keen to avenge their last defeat to Croydon, whilst we look to march forward in what could well be our second last ever game at Polonia Reserve. Even Comets reserves will remember their heart-breaking cup final defeat, so this is one fixture you’d do well to come early and watch all 3 games as each has it’s great importance as the minor round draws to a close.

So let’s see those red and white scarves and  the boisterous support continue because these are our Croydon Kings, your Croydon Kings and more silverware is there for the taking but we all need to band together to make this happen. Every one percent counts!

Hej Polonia!

Round 18 clean sweep!

Croydon have asserted themselves as genuine finals contenders after a solid 3-1 win over West Adelaide at the VALO stadium on Saturday evening.

In what could be described as a danger game for the Kings, the desperate West Adelaide were also playing on a knife edge given their realistic relegation candidacy.

The Kings started with the strong wind at their backs and took control of the game early, however the difficult conditions made it harder than usual to penetrate with any fluency. Westies looked to go long whenever they could but Brazzale and Stokes at centre back dealt with most efforts very well with Sunasky & Klimek in the full-back positions dominant.

Eventually after many forays into the penalty area, it was Patty Caraccia who broke through tucking away Croydon’s opener after 31 minutes after some bustling and fancy footwork between Trimboli & Munro caused mayhem for the West defence. Another effort by Patty hit the woodwork but as half time approached, a West free-kick/cross actually was bundled in however the flag was up for offside, so the Kings held on to lead 1-0 at half time.

The second half became a battle of the conditions as much as anything, and whilst Croydon coped much better, it was West Adelaide who got the equaliser through Lesi after 70 minutes and it was game on.

Alas for West, the Croydon lead was restored within just two minutes when Caraccia again latched on to a loose ball to smack home and 2-1 to Croydon.

Moments later another great Trimboli run after a great through ball saw his shot smack into the crossbar illustrating Croydon’s willingness to stay on the attack.

Westies heads started to drop and after both teams made subs to grind out a result, it was the combination of Croydon subs James Skeffington and Peter Mercurio that eventually had the latter finding the net on 84 minutes and thus putting the game to bed.

It was another game where it was hard to sort best players as all 14 that took the park made valuable contributions.

The win moves Croydon into sixth and with a home match with Blue Eagles up next (second on ladder and only 3 points ahead) we can jump even higher should we continue our great form and snag another win. We have now virtually no injuries (touch wood), and to start with a bench containing Skeffington, Mercurio & Panagaris (frequent first eleven players) the squad outlook looks ideal as the finals get nearer.

Earlier on in the day back at Polonia Reserve, Stevie Pepper’s U/18’s made up quickly for their previous  week’s loss with a thumping 6-0 win over Westies, keeping them well and truly in finals contention. Another win this week could see them rise higher, much like the seniors position – we shall wait and see!

The Reserves continued their amazing form with Vizza’s boys getting up 3-1 to maintain their top ladder position. Ichiguchi, Papapetros and Scardigno scored for Croydon in a game where they always looked in control. Best part was the notable great form across the park form all contributors, proving the depth at Croydon has hardly been better.

There are only 4 games left in the minor round, the next 3 at home and all against teams above us, proving the perfect tonic in the lead up to finals, so let’s not leave it till later to get out in full force – let’s see if we can get some big numbers out to support our Polonia boys as we slowly edge towards our last ever game at Polonia Reserve (10th August) after 69 years.

All 3 teams deserve your support and you won’t be disappointed with the attitude, the quality and heart shown as we become the danger team that all others will want to avoid come finals. Hej Polonia!

Rd 17 wrap up!

Croydon Kings kept their finals hopes well and truly alive after prevailing in a must win game against the in-form Adelaide United youth team on Saturday at Polonia Reserve.

Starting the day on the same points, both teams understood the importance of the game and it was Croydon who took the early initiative with the returning from suspension Antony Trimboli creating havoc on the right wing early on.

With the game only a few minutes old, a right wing cross found the unmarked Nathan Munro on the far post who couldn’t have placed his header better and gave the keeper no chance with his placement. 1-0 to Croydon!

The game took on a midfield battle soon after and Martinello, Heinke & Caraccia were particularly busy, whilst the defence looked well focussed.

Alas it took an ex-Croydon King (again) to stand up for United and this time it was Alhassan Toure who broke free and spanked a low drive in off the post for their equaliser.

1-1   as it remained at half time.

The second half saw Kings take control of possession and attack after attack were initially well nullified by the United defence although after some goal-line clearances and similar amazing near-misses, you sensed it might be another one of those days where we couldn’t quite nick the winner and have to accept yet another draw.

Some changes were made and as many started to look at their watches, another goal scramble following a corner where players were jumping up to win header just on the edge of the penalty area after some “volleyball type spikes” and players half-calling for fouls, the ball fell near Munro and this time his outstretched leg clipped the ball perfectly to land in the net and it was 2-1 Croydon.

The Kings deserved this lead and despite United changing to 3 at the back in an effort to risk all or nothing to find a later equaliser, the Kings kept their composure and almost could have snagged a couple more late ones themselves but were more than happy to get the final whistle at 2-1, thus keeping our quest for finals football on track, and any minor worries of potential relegation quashed once and for all.

Earlier in the day our U/18’s were no match for the top of the table NTC team going down 5-1, although the score probably didn’t reflect the balance of the game. They are still in the hunt for finals and have some promising and winnable fixtures coming up so let’s back Steve Pepper’s lads to get the job done!

The reserves continued their amazing form with a 3-0 win over AU reserves, and now look the goods even to take out the minor premiership. That said, before kick-off, it was noticeable that there were only 4 points separating top from seventh, so anything could still happen in this league, so interesting times ahead.

This week we are away to West Adelaide. This away fixture will be at Valo (Angle Park) and the new kick-off time of 5.30pm is to be noted. That said, the U/18’s and reserves will play their games at Polonia Reserve at 11am and 1pm respectively, so let’s pop down to Polonia first to cheer on our youngsters before heading off for the short trip to Angle Park where our seniors take on our traditional rivals who, despite having a horror patch of form at the moment, will be desperate for points in their quest to stay in the premier league, so we don’t want to let this one slip and need total focus and of course the usual boisterous Polonia support!

See you there!

Photo credit: Joe Janko

Round 16 clean sweep!

A trip away to MetroStars is never an easy one so the Kings faced a mighty task on Saturday at the revamped TK Shutter Reserve.

Trimboli was out suspended and Klimek returned to right back, whilst Sunasky started at left back whilst the long awaited return of James Skeffington from injury was a pleasing sight albeit warming the pine to start off with.

Alas the start of the game did not go to plan and Metro were one up within a few minutes after an unmarked Solagna’s near post header from a corner had everyone looking around at each other wondering what just happened. Put simply, concentration was lost for that key moment.

Nevertheless, the response from the Kings was almost instant. A pearler of a through ball by Klimek found the fast paced Zade Heineke who expertly rounded the keeper and slotted home coolly to square the ledger.

The game was only 13 or so minutes old and another foray into the penalty area saw the Kings awarded a penalty after Nathan Munro was upended following a Haro cross and Adam Martinello taking care of business putting the spot kick away and suddenly it was 2-1 Croydon.

Rather than try and retain the lead, the Kings continued to press and looked dangerous all over the pitch with Carracia and Mercurio creating havoc for the Metro defence. Centre forward Nathan Munro was also running his heart out and proved to be handful for Metro whenever he was within range.

Half time came with the Kings looking the goods so the question now was could we replicate the fine football again in the second half.

All doubts were put to rest, so we thought after another penalty award after another clumsy challenge in the penalty area so again stepped up Martinello, although this time the Metro keeper was equal to the task and pulled off a great save to keep Metro in it.

However instead of dropping their shoulders, the Kings continued to press and unbelievably were awarded a third penalty after a handball in the box, and this time captain Luke Klimek stood up and put it away and the 3-1 scoreline was now looking more of a reflection of the Kings dominance.

Things got worse for Metro when they went a man down following a straight red card for a high-footed challenge on Mercurio, and Croydon now looked odds on to get the win.

Both coaches made changes, and eventually Skeffington played his part and despite getting an early yellow card for a late challenge (probably a result from a bit of rustiness) he was on hand to slot home a tap in goal following a Haro cross after a blazing run and cross from the left wing.

The final whistle blew to Metro’s relief, whilst Croydon celebrated a huge 4-1 win, one that you could sense was coming after a few games where luck was completely missing despite playing some good football.

The entire team played well including keeper, defence, midfield and attack but stand out performances were noted by Carracia, Heneike & Haro who shone in the win.

Earlier in the day, the U/18’s had a similar and amazing 4-1 victory against the higher positioned Metro whilst the Reserves continued their good form to come from 2-1 down to record a vital 3-2 win, in the 2nd v 4th clash. That win ensured Croydon would leapfrog the Metrostars and now be a serious threat to win the double this season.

We are back at home this week to tackle to in-form Adelaide United youth who cannot be taken lightly after consecutive 3-0 wins against West Adelaide & Para Hills respectively. We are on equal points, so if we are to push for the top six, we must win this one, so let’s remember to get out and support the Kings as our last few home games of ever more at Polonia Reserve count down.

Round 15 review

In a wet, cold glooy Saturday night, Croydon Kings ventured to their “derby neighbour” in Adelaide Olympic at the Valo Stadium in Angle Park.

 

Off the field, the hospitality was second to none, so kudos to Stav (Olympic chairman) and his “cooks” in their efforts to keep us warm and well fed!

 

Early news was that captain Luke Klimek was out injured and the anticipated return from injury by James Skeffington was to be delayed a further week, so Sunasky was brought in to start at Klimek’s usual right back position.

 

The Kings started on fire and took the game on early in the blustery conditions with Trimboli & Mercurio prominent and creating early chances.

 

Alas, every sortie into the attacking penalty box was thwarted by close misses, including a couple chances which shaved the goal posts and none better when a great through ball found Nathan Munro with only the keeper to beat. But you sensed it was just a matter of time before our luck would change.

 

However, somewhat against the run of play Olympic were awarded a free-kick in their attacking half and the floating cross met an Olympic head, which clipped the under-side of the cross bar and attempts to clear were in vain as the ball trickled into the net and suddenly it was 1-0 to Olympic.

 

Half time and 1-0 down but Kings didn’t look rattled and the defence was standing firm with Jarrod Brazzale and Kerrin Stokes playing masterful roles at the centre, and all took care of the dangerous and in-form attack of Olympic whenever threatened.

 

The second half saw Olympic claw back into the game as the rain pelted down and coupled with the all-too-familiar “Gary Mooney show”, bewildering decisions on the pitch began to frustrate the Croydon faithful, making any effort to get back in the game a harder task than could normally be expected.

 

Olympic had a great chance to sew the game up when Kamara broke free but his angled effort was somewhat selfishly smacked against the post when a pass across to an unmarked attacker may have been the better option.

 

The Croydon bench was used to invigorate Croydon’s comeback chances, including Eric Scardigno, 4 goal cup hero from last week in the reserves, but his brief  cameo wasn’t enough as Olympic played out the remaining time to run out winners by the sole goal put away by Jacob Butler-Bowdon.

 

There comes a time when one must try and cancel out the mental negativity when  the same referee (5 of last 7 games) walks out to officiate, but it’s something Croydon will need to come to terms with, whilst the appointment itself comes under scrutiny given it’s regular “co-incidence”.

 

Earlier on, the reserves continued their great form with a 4-2 win, however the depleted U/18’s were beaten 1-0 to mount pressure on their top six chances.

 

Attention now is on the next home game versus Metro Stars at TK Shutter Reserve on Saturday.

 

We watched the curtain raiser where United trounced West Adelaide 3-0, so it will sure be another tough game for Croydon. Both teams are on 19 points, so to say 3 points is vital is an understatement. And looking over the shoulder, given wins on the weekend to Para Hills and Adelaide City, too many losses could yet result in an undesirable clamor to stay up as teams begin to cluster up in desperation as the season end becomes in sight.

 

We need your support now as much as ever, so come along and support your Croydon Kings – they are playing some terrific stuff of late and very unlucky at times so any one per centers will surely help! Put simply – we are good enough and we can do it! Hej Polonia!

Round 14 wrap up

Croydon took on Para Hills in a vital game for both clubs as each seek to keep relegation spots at bay whilst maximising their finals chances.

The Kings welcomed back Luke Klimek and Kerrin Stokes back from suspension (as well as our coach and assistant coach), and were keen on getting maximum points after a somewhat disappointing draw with bottom-placed South Adelaide last week.

The game started with teams trying to ascertain their ascendancy, and the early stages belonged to Para Hills after Stokes was dispossessed in the Kings defense and the onrushing Para attack made the most of it and waltzed into the penalty box and despite the shot hitting the post, the rebound struck a Kings defender’s arm and the ref pointed immediately to the spot.

It was up to John Hall now and the spot kick was expertly saved and the rebound cleared! An early escape for Croydon!

Much of the remainder of the first half was a midfield battle with further good chances few and between.

The second half saw the Kings come out and take the game on in a more attacking sense, and they began to assert control. Trimboli was creating havoc on the left wing, whilst gun recruit Hiro was always a dangerous option on the right hand side. Several crosses into the box ensued, but the final touch eluded Munro and supporting attackers such as Mercurio & Martinello each time.

Croydon forced many corners, but again the Para defense stood firm and even a long range cracker form Hiro was brilliantly tipped over the bar by the Para keeper who was having a good game much like our on John Hall and the game became quite nervy as teams sought the breakthrough.

As a result, at times tensions were high and two all in scuffles broke out which added to the anxiety of both camps, but to the referee’s credit, rather than issue a swag of cards, he managed to calm things down without the need for excessive action. End of the day, most of it was just push and shove, with no major dramas and eventually a couple of yellows were issued (one to each team) even though instigators probably got away with it. Peter Mercurio’s ripped shirt was probably the biggest casualty of the melee!

Both coaches made substitutions in trying to crack open the game and as time was ticking towards the end of the regulation ninety minutes, Para got a free-kick just outside the box and it was Croydon’s turn to stack the defense to hold on. The free-kick struck the post, rebounded just in front of the goal line and was eventually forced away from danger. Another escape for Croydon.

End of the day, a point each was probably fair, even though Croydon had more opportunities overall, Para’s were what you could describe as “golden”. The result mean Croydon slipping out of the top 6 due to Olympic’s Friday night win over Comets.

This week’s attention turns to cup final action at Hindmarsh with our reserves getting our first chance of silverware this season. They will take on Comets in the final starting at 12.15pm, so we hope to see the boys get big supporter numbers in the red and white, and hopefully get some redemption for our seniors who lost the cup final against the same opponent last season in controversial circumstances.

The Kings reserves are in good form after winning the midweek semi against Metro 1-0 and accounting for Para on Saturday 2-1. Our 18’s earned a 2-2 draw earlier in the day to keep their finals hopes on track.

ROUND 14 RESULTS
Under 18’s: 2-2 draw
Reserves: 2-1 win
Seniors: 0-0 draw

HEJ POLONIA!

Round 13 wrap up

Friday night football from a bloody cold O’Sullivans Beach Sporting Complex saw the Kings take on bottom of the ladder South Adelaide. Last time we played South at home, we played out a disappointing draw. The suspended coaches, Costanzo and Natale, as well as suspended captain Klimek were all hoping for a change of luck as goalkeeper coach Robbie Matosovic took the reigns.

Japanese forward Masahiro Haruoka earned his first start and young gun Chris Vivian made his starting debut at right back. The experienced Alex Sunasky also returned to the starting 11. Skipper Lukasz Klimek and defender Kerrin Stokes were forced to watch due to suspensions. Jarrod Brazzale took the Captains armband for this match.

The visitors looked to be on top early, but a desperate South pinched the lead in the 27th min with a tidy finish from the edge of the 18 yard box. The Kings slow play out from the back allowed the home side to pressure up and force the Kings to play long balls far too often. South had their tails up and were pushing hard for the 2nd.

Best chance for Croydon fell to Nathan Munro in the 40th min. A wonderful ball from Patty Caraccia found “Aru” down the wing… an equally as good cross by the new Japanese player wasnt able to be turned in from the arriving Munro. No talk from the rest of the boys, as Trimboli was coming in just behind him and could have tapped it in.South went into the break with a 1 goal lead. Plenty of work to do in the 2nd half for the Croydon boys!

After a tight few opening minutes, ex Panther “Aru” struck from almost the same spot as Souths goal in the first half! Great work from Caraccia in the middle opened up the pitch for Aru to strike! 1-1 with 35mins to play! The travelling Kings fans were up and about and cheering on their boys- urging for more!
South hit back and a rocket strike bounced off the crossbar and out to safety- thank God!

Nathan Munro had another few chances to finish the game in the second half, coming from quality delivery from Vivian and Martinello- just wasnt able to put it in the back of the net. A lightening quick Antoni Trimboli split the Panthers defense and was then clearly taken out by the goalkeeper outside the box which then sparked an all in brawl! A South player was rightfully sent off for his involvement in the brawl- but for some reason the goalkeeper himself was only yellow carded. Referee Gary Mooney really had to have the balls to show 2 red cards- 2 deserved red cards. A clear foul outside the box from the keeper- red card everyday of the week! None the less- the home side was down to 10 men.

Both teams had a chances in the last 10 mins. Keeper John Hall made a wonderful full stretch save to his left while Munro hit the crossbar from a glancing header- wasnt to be the strikers night. Unfortunately, the full time whistle went… along with 2 more points and a chance to keep up with the top 4. A strong second half by the Kings- but simply not good enough in the first half. A disappointing draw on a cold night for players and fans… but at least it wasnt a loss.

Saturday the Under 18’s and Reserves returned down South for their matches. First up the 18’s narrowly went down in a high scoring encounter, 5-4. Shortly after, Vizza’s reserves continued their good form this season with a 3-2 win. A mixed bag from the lads, but an even spread!

We now turn our attention to Round 14 next Saturday, back at home against the tough Para Hills. A vital 3 points up for grabs at home- a must win game if we want to challenge for the finals. Coaches Costanzo and Natale return this week… as well as Captain Klimek and key defender Stokes. Caraccia will miss due to having 5 yellow cards.

Be at Polonia Reserve this Saturday to cheer all 3 teams on and hopefully take all 9 points for the first time this season!

ROUND 13 RESULTS

Under 18’s: 5-4 loss

Reserves: 3-2 win

Seniors: 1-1 draw

HEJ POLONIA!

Back to back wins for Kings in Rd 12!

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

HEJ POLONIA!