|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!
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
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
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
A typical winter day at Polonia Reserve was the venue for our round 11 clash with Adelaide City… our 2nd game against the white and blacks in 4 days. After unluckily losing to them in the cup quarters on Tuesday night at The Parks, the Kings were confident of taking all 3 points in a vital game for both sides. The home side needed a win to keep in touch with the top 6 and City needed to get out of relegation zone.
Ange Costanzo had a bit of a depleted side, with injuries keeping VC James Skeffington and striker Antoni Trimboli out of the line up. Youngsters Heinicke and Demasi were given starts while reserves players Kelvin Kamburu and Eric Scardigno were given their senior team debuts! Exciting times for the youth of the club- something we have always been proud of!
The weather was horrible for players and spectators early… making the game very even. Keeper John Hall had a couple saves to make early. Croydons defense was holding strong- lead by Captain Lukasz Klimek, nothing was getting past. Panagaris, Brazzale and Stokes were all having a good half. Up front, Munro and Caraccia were full of run- chasing down every ball fed to them. Neither team could handle the conditions well enough to find the break thru in the first half. 22 waterlogged players went into the rooms all locked away at 0-0.
The second half started with a bang for the home side! Captain Klimek carried the heavy ball beautifully from the back line then played the perfect pass thru the City defense to the hard running Heinicke. The youngster took the ball well and was in on goal, He was dispossessed by City defender Maracic but in the process, was taken down from behind. Yes the defender won the ball, but he clearly took the attacker with the ball. Penalty to the Kings up the “home end”. Regular spot kick taker Adam Martinello was once again trusted to take the lead…. and sure enough he did! A low hard shot just made it past the outstretched hand of City keeper Ryan Veitch. 49th min, Kings 1-0 up!
Shortly after Alex Demasi was replaced with forward Pete Mercurio. With almost instant success, Pete had the 2nd goal for the home side! Striker Nathan Munro was put thru on goal and was 1 on 1 with the keeper. Unfortunately his shot was well saved by Veitch but fell straight to the following Mercurio. The forward made no mistake with his first time effort- putting the ball in the back of the net and sending the home fans into raptures! 2 to the good after 66mins… now we just had to hang on!
The experienced Alex Sunasky was brought on in place of the hard working Heinicke to strengthen the back line. Martinello was once again running up and back in his midfield role- really getting stuck into every challenge and not giving City mids room! The running machine Nathan Munro was substituted for the debut of Eric Scardigno.. and the youngster chased EVERYTHING! With 8mins left, the Kings were doing a fantastic job keeping City scoreless. With a couple more chances well saved by Hall, it looked like the home side had done enough. A few minutes later, the referee blew his whistle and the valuable 3 points were ours! A magnificent win for Costanzo’s Kings as we look to press up the ladder where we belong! Magnificent defensive performances by Panagaris and Klimek was complimented with fantastic midfield efforts by Martinello, Caraccia, Heinicke and Munro.
Earlier in the day, the U18′s managed to pick up a point in a 1-1 draw. A decent result on a heavy pitch! Second up, the reserves pinched a win agaisnt City who went up late in the 2nd half, only to be beated by a determined Kings Reserves side who never say die! 2-1 win and 3 points for Vizzari’s lads! Top stuff! A very good 7 points out of 9 for the teams this weekend!
Next Saturday night we head to Jack Smith Park (Birkalla’s ground) to take on the high flying Adelaide Comets at 6pm. Come down and support the lads as we look to make it back to back wins!
Photo credit: Joe Janko
ROUND 11 RESULTS
U18′s: 1-1 draw
Reserves: 2-1 win
Seniors: 2-0 win
The one many of us were waiting for… The old rivals for the first time in a few years. Raiders at the Croatian Sports Centre on a Saturday night. Both teams desperate for wins, especially the Kings who havent recorded a win since round 2. Costanzo’s men were up for a challenge this week against former Kings Nick Munro and Rocky Visconte.
Plenty of forward pressure and drive is what the fans (and coaching staff) wanted… and thats what we got right from the start. Trimboli’s early header just missing the target after a top switch from Klimek and fabulous cross from the returning Skeffington. Both Captain and Vice Captain were going in hard early- not showing any love loss between the teams. Defender Jarrod Brazzale was very solid against the in form Terrence Carter from Raiders. Trimboli and Caraccia were looking sharp also… the Kings have come to play!
A free kick in a dangerous position in the 18th minute for the Kings proved to be fruitful! James Skeffington’s absolute pin point cross found the head of in form striker Nathan Munro who scored from close range. 1-0 Croydon and the travelling fans were up and about! The pressure and tough challenges kept flying in from both sides. And in the 33rd min, the home side were level. An easy walk thru the 18 yard box and tidy finish brought the scores to 1-1. Keeper John Hall was kept busy with multiple clearances from corners & crosses… as well as some great saves from shots. The forwards and mids were doing their job and keeping the forward pressure up!
Unfortunately, we were up against 12 men as referee Gary Mooney was having an absolute shocker. Every little challenge went the way of the home side and none the other way. A horrible challenge by Carter on Kings midfielder Andrew Maio went completely unpunished. Now as fans we just want to see consistency by the referee- but there was absolutely zero of it in this opening half. Poor is an understatement. This reporter will leave it at that.
Captain Klimek once again delivered a perfect ball to Skeffington and his shot was well saved by ex King custodian, Nick Munro. 1-1 at half time and this one was set for a cracking 2nd half.
Vice skipper Skeffington was withdrawn at the break suffering a hip flexor injury- shattering for the returning star who has battled thru injuries since mid last season. We wish him well with his recovery and hope for a quick return. Skeff was replaced with livewire Kristos Stefanopoulos. Again, both teams with early chances but no change to the score. In what could have only been a tactical change, hard running Trimboli was replaced with Pete Mercurio up front for the Kings. This is were it all started to fall apart for the visitors. Some really poor marking from the back 4 created the 2nd goal for the Raiders in the 73rd min. Just when we needed to find another gear, get back into the game, a 3rd goal for the hosts all but sealed the game. Unable to clear across then a goal line scramble (one Hall wouldnt want to look back on), the ball somehow found the back of the net.
Costanzo had to go all out and Brazzale was subbed for the debut of young Kelvin Kamburu. A bullet shot from Klimek was heading for the top corner if it wasnt for the diving effort of Munro in the Raiders goal. With defenders pushing up to try pinch a goal, gaps appeared down back… and the home side made the most of it. No cover by the Kings for the pressing Klimek, and the Raiders snuck in for a 4th. A night and second half to forget for the Kings. A stoppage time penalty for Croydon was taken by Mercurio- but as was the night- be blazed away well and truly over the bar. A horrible penalty- simple as that. With the game drawing to a close and the Croydon players out on their feet- the Raiders found a 5th with the last kick of the game. A result that didnt describe the contest- but we were very poor in the 2nd half. A must win game that we needed to win- and we got hammered. We now sit 9th with 2 big games to come this week.
The day began with an extremely undermanned under 18′s going down 4-1 to the Raiders. After taking the lead early- Pepper’s lads had a crazy 15mins that turned the game around and couldnt peg it back. 2 wins on the trot came to an end for Stevie’s lads. On the flip side, Adam Vizzari’s reserves squad had a resounding 7-3 victory! Yes, 7-3! A great win by the boys- one the seniors can learn from.
This week we take on the always dangerous Adelaide City… TWICE!
TUESDAY NIGHT: Cup Quarter Final @ The Parks 7pm kick off
SATURDAY AFTERNOON: Round 11 @ Polonia Reserve (10:30, 12:45 and 3pm) … followed by the Quiz Night!
2 must win games (especially the league home game)… so make sure we all get to both games and cheer on our lads as we look to make the Semi Final of the cup… and climb our way back up the league ladder!
Photo credit: 80km’s Photography
ROUND 10 RESULTS
U18′s: 4-1 loss
Reserves: 7-3 win
Seniors: 5-1 loss
A cold and wet Saturday at Polonia Reserve last week greeted both sides and a decent crowd. Costanzo’s Kings were coming off a cup win against Playford, knew they would be up against some tough competition… a solid Campbelltown City outfit.
Captain Klimek was back into the starting 11 and Vice Captain James Skeffington returned from injury from the bench. Youngster Zade Heinicke was given another start after impressing last week. The rain came down early- making the ball skid across the green Polonia Reserve surface.
After a couple early chances for the visitors, they broke the deadlock in the 11th min with some quality play down the right, cross and finish. However, just 4 minutes later the home side were back on level terms! Kerrin Stokes was un marked in the 6 yard box and headed home after a corner! His first goal for the season & one that got the home fans cheering in the rain! The wet weather was causing havoc for both teams and tackles were flying in all over the place!
32mins in, left back John Panagaris gave in form Marc Marion too much room down the left. The Midfielder’s “miscued cross” was hit perfectly and caught keeper John Hall off guard. The cross come shot rocketed into the top corner, leaving the home fans speechless. 2-1 Campbelltown with 10mins to go before the break. Young gun Heinicke came close to leveling again just minutes later- only to be denied by the crossbar. A late free kick caused problems for Costanzo, as DiTroia’s cross hammered into the head of Adam Martinello who hit the deck and was looking groggy. Trainer Josh Avery made the decision to sub the midfielder as he assisted Adam off the park. Guy Miller came on to replace him. Both teams hit the rooms for a dry shirt and a drink with the scores at 2-1 Campbelltown.
First minute of the second half… the referee gets sucked in to the diving Matsumoto and awarded the most ridiculous penalty. Even the Campbelltown players were surprised it was given. Ian Fyfe stepped up and slotted the penalty to make the scores 3-1. The Kings were up against it now. However, we kept fighting- the 11 Campbelltown boys and the referee (who was horrible all day for both sides). Hard running Trimboli was taken off for VC Skeffington, looking for some better options down the wing. A much better 2nd half performance from the home side with much more forward press and drive. Something we have been lacking from the start of the game since round 1… something we need to get back from the start ASAP!
62mins on the clock and Heinicke’s driving run in the box, caused a Campbelltown defender to bring him down and the ref once again awarded a dodgy penalty (taking a good 5 seconds to make the call!) Either way, the Kings fans were happy the ledger was evened up… unlike the visitors who realised the ref was having a shocker! VC Skeffington stepped up and buried the spot kick and brought the scores to 3-2. We were in with a sniff! More chances came and went for both sides. Keeper Hall was excellent in goals- his experience came thru. Unfortunately we couldnt make the break thru and level the game. A gallant 2nd half from the Kings who deserved a point at least. Hopefully the 2nd half performance will continue to the first whistle of this weeks game at rivals, Raiders.
Earlier in the day, the high flying U18′s continued their climb up the ladder with a 2-0 win! An impressive year so far from Steve Pepper and his boys! The Reserves were held to a 2-2 draw to their lowly opposition. A disappointing result for Adam Vizzari and his lads as they dominated the 2nd half and switched off after taking the lead.
This week we head down to the Croatian Sports Centre to take on old rivals Raiders (including 3 ex Kings players)… so its sure to be a fiery contest! Action kicks off with the 18′s at 2:45, reserves at 4:45 and league under lights at 7pm! If you’re going to go to an away game this year, this is the one!
See you all there!!
Photo credit: Ken Carter Photography
ROUND 8 RESULTS
U18′s: 2-1 win
Reserves: 2-2 draw
Seniors: 3-2 loss
The unbeaten Kings are coming off 5 league draws in a row, faced a trip to league leaders Adelaide Blue Eagles in round 8. A tough game against a well oiled unit on a big open pitch. After defeating Cove in the cup last week, the Kings knew they had to put in a better performance to trouble the Marden based side.
The cup game was to be fair, one of the worst wins in current years… but a win was a win and we move onto the next round (THIS SATURDAY v Playford at Polonia Reserve…. more on that later on).
Costanzo was once again without VC James Skeffington, just one week away from being match fit. Key defender Alex Sunasky was again putting in solid performances in the reserves and will look to slot back in the senior side again very soon. Young Alex Demasi was given another start with the pace of Stefanopoulos and Heinicke on the bench.
A 1st min blunder from keeper John Hall almost cost the visitors a goal, but luckily the ball didnt cross the line! Trimboli and Caraccia were linking up nicely early, creating a chance for the #11 who wasnt able to finish. 11mins in…. cue the Benny Hill music. An absolute comedy of errors from both the Kings defense as well as the ABE forwards. Ball hitting crossbar from a back pass, strikers missing from close range, defenders not clearing the ball… bloody hilarious considering no goal was scored and the visitors stayed at 0-0! Trimboli had another good chance in the 21st min, forcing a good save from the home keeper.
Unfortunately for Croydon, the Blue Eagles broke the deadlock in the 33rd min. Defense was opened up down the left wing and a quick, low, hard cross was met by inform McCabe from ABE who slotted into the back of the net. 1-0 Blue Eagles. 5 mins later, the Kings were 2 down after a poor clearance from John Hall to Adam Martinello in the middle of the park, just outside the 18 yard box. The midfielder didnt control the pass well and was easily tacked by the ABE striker who slotted home 1 on 1 with Hall. Poor defending all round. Far too much messing around the back half. The pressure the Blue Eagles were putting on the Kings backline was because we werent moving it fast enough up the park. The exact opposite to what we did against Adel City in round 1 where we dominated from start to finish. Extremely frustrating for the fans on the side line, as we know what our side is capable of. The playing around the back half isnt winning us games- simple as that.
Half time saw Zade Heinicke replace Alex Demasi and Kristos Stefanopolous come on the the disappointing Pete Mercurio. A much better start the the 2ns half, with intent and drive to go forward from the away side. We were putting them under pressure and causing errors. Pat Caraccia was getting stuck into the opposition, getting fired up! That’s the passion the fans wanted to see! Reward for effort came in the 70th min when some top passing and forward press by Trimboli was met by Nathan Munro who finished from close range. 2-1 and game on!
The Kings defense was holding firm in the 2nd half, lead by the outstanding efforts by John Panagaris and Jarrod Brazzale. Up the other end, Kristos nearly leveled the game with a rocket from long range- only just missing the crossbar. Guy Miller was brought on for Adam Martinello in the 80th min, looking for some fresh legs thru the midfield, With full time upon us, a highly controversial decision by the referee NOT to give the away side a clear cut hand ball. Earlier in the half, he gave a hand ball for much less against us, but absolute zero consistency through out the game. I know i’ve had a go at referees in the last couple weeks- but fans are frustrated by inconsistency and decisions made at different parts of the ground. But thats football. Roll with the punches.
Certainly a game of 2 halves… with the poor first half display ultimately costing us points. The vastly improved 2nd half with the the forward press, pressure, intent and sheer grunt is exactly what is needed from the first whistle… exactly the same as round 1. Defenders Panagaris and Brazzale along with the work rate and pressure of Munro were best on ground.
Earlier in the day, the Croydon sides both picked up wins! Pepper’s 18′s hammered 4 in while keeping a clean sheet. Brilliant work lads! Later, Vizzari’s reserves slotted 2 home again without conceding to record another win. Key defender Alex Sunasky getting on the score sheer too… well done boys!
This week we are back to FFA SA Cup action! We take on the impressive State League 1 side, Playford City at Polonia Reserve this Saturday Action kicks off at 9:30am with the U18′s, followed by the Reserves at 12pm and finally the seniors at 2:30pm. A huge, must win game. Not only to stay in the cup, but to find some form before a few big league games coming up!
Make sure we all get down to Polonia Reserve this Saturday to cheer the boys on!
ROUND 8 RESULTS
U18′s: 74-0 win
Reserves: 2-0 win
Seniors: 2-1 loss
Round 7 brought the winless South Adelaide to Polonia Reserve… always a danger game. The Kings have always struggled at home to lower ranked teams and a win was vital with such a tight ladder. Coach Angelo Costanzo rewarded the good work of young gun Alex Dimasi by giving him his starting debut. Kristos Stefanopoulos also makes his first team debut from the bench (returning from a pre season injury).
A few hard challenges came flying in early, with Adam Martinello copping the rough end of the stick. Poor refereeing by not cautioning the bad challenge on the Kings midfielder. Both teams got stuck in and at one stage looked like the game was about to get out of control. The in the 28th min, striker Nathan Munro got himself into some space in the box and his header was well saved by ex King, Costa. Luckily the number 9 responded quickly and tapped it in! 1-0 Kings and looking good. Munro had another chance 10mins later after a wicked cross from Guy Miller- but couldnt put it in the back of the net.
Defenders Brazzale, Klimek, Panagaris and Stokes were looking solid in open play… unfortunately in the 40th min, loose tracking on the back post was met by a free South forward. A simple tap in and the visitors were level. Nervous signs for Croydon. Luckily no more set backs and both sides went in 1-1 at half time.
The worst possible start to the 2nd half for the home side, conceding in the 2nd min. A clear foul on keeper John Hall went completely unnoticed by the referee and the goal stood. Kings 2-1 down with 45 to play. Yet again, another poor decision by the referee in my opinion. 10mins into the half, Stefanopoulos came on for his debut at the expense of Dimasi. The change brought almost instant impact with the pacey winger chasing down a long ball making the Souths defender put the ball out. From this passage of play, Stefanopoulos produced a pin point cross to the waiting Munro who headed home is second for the game. 2-2 with 30mins to play… game on!
Not long after, Costanzo replaced the hard working Martinello with excitement machine Pat Caraccia. “Robin Hood” almost scored minutes later but couldn’t quite finish off some nice work from Kristos. On the stroke of 77mins, Munro had his hat trick! Smashing home from close range after some good keeping by the Souths number 1. 3-2 Kings lead with just 13mins to go. 5 mins later John Hall was called into action and produced a brilliant double save to keep the Kings in the lead. Young star Zade Heinicke came on with 10mins to go for the hard running Pete Mercurio, who didnt stop all day!
The visitors piled on the pressure, pushing for an equiiliser. Hall once again denied them with a wonderful save- however minutes later, some more poor set piece defending from Croydon was punished. A free man, for the 3rd time in the game (2nd from set pieces) headed home. A hugely lot of disappointed Kings fans and players couldnt believe it. Full time 3-3 draw. Our 5th in a row.
On the plus side, the U18′s and Reserves recorded some high scoring wins! Steve Pepper’s 18;s smashed south in a 7-1 romp! Following that, Adam Vizzari’s reserves held on for a tight 4-3 win. Both were much needed wins for the young lads- great stuff and keep that winning form going!
This week we have our first cup game (round 2) against Cove at Polonia Reserve. First team kick off at 2pm with u18′s and reserves before that. Come down and cheer the lads on to a much needed win that hopefully sparks some form into our season!
CUP ROUND 2 v Cove @ POLONIA RESERVE: GOOD FRIDAY 17th APRIL
2PM KICK OFF
GOLD COIN DONATION ENTRY- proceeds to Zahra Foundation
ROUND 7 RESULTS
U18′s: 7-1 win
Reserves: 4-3 win
Seniors: 3-3 draw
After a week off thanks to the round 1 cup bye, the Kings made the short drive down South Road to face Adelaide United Youth. With 3 ex Croydon lads in the young reds line up, the pacey kids were sure to be up for a battle with the more experienced Kings. The astro turf pitch at the Valo Football Centre was the venue for round 6 action!
After a great start to the season (2 wins and 3 draws), the unbeaten Kings went into Saturdays game with confidence knowing a win would keep them towards the top of the table. Coach Costanzo mixed up the starting 11 by starting gun Pat Caraccia and Adam Martinello starting from the bench (along with the youth of Chris Vivian, Alex Dimasi and Zade Heinicke).
Right from the start, Croydon pushed forward… quick feet and brilliant work by Pete Mercurio created a 1st min chance to VC James Skeffington, who had his shot well saved. Should have been put in the back of the net and 1-0 up early on, but wasnt to be. Up the other end, Kings custodian John Hall produced the save of the season with a diving effort to his left in the 20th min. A shot that was clearly going in if it wasnt for the star signing.
Apart from that, a very hard fought start to the game, both teams having purple patches. United were extremely fast, down the middle and the wings. Skeffington’s hard running combined with Caraccia’s attack on the ball and Munro’s constant forward pressure kept the home side on their toes. A first half scattered with poor, inconsistent refereeing decisions. Nether the less, both sides went in to the break with scores at 0-0.
Just 7mins into the 2nd half, vice skipper James Skeffington came off with a groin concern and was replaced with Alex Dimasi. Captain Lukasz Klimek was having a blinder- brilliant challenges in and out of the box to deny goals, as well as blocking crosses into the area. Once again, Captain Klimek leading by example. Coach Costanzo made another change in the 65th min, opting for the pace of Adam Martinello at the expense of hard running Nathan Munro. 5 mins later, in the 70th min, striker Antoni Trimboli found himself with the ball at his feet in the 18 yard box after a great cross. Only thing was he was facing away from goal, so the back heel was the only option! A brilliant finish from the number 11 who put the Kings in the lead!
United pushed even harder for the leveler and would have found it in the 74th min if it wasnt for the heroics of John Panagaris. Another great play from the left back who slid into a tackle and saved a certain goal! The back 4 were brilliant all game, plus keeper Hall! A few mins later, Kings fans were holding their breaths as United star Pasifique took on 2 defenders and hit a rocket into the post from 10 yards out. A lucky break for the visitors. Unfortunately for the Kings and their fans, United found the back of the net in the 82nd min thanks to a deflected header by ex King and son of Kings coach, Dom Costanzo. Poor marking from Guy Miller allowed the shorter midfielder to get a clean header away, and via a deflection, found its way into the net. 1-1 with 10mins to go.
A fast paced finish had both teams going for the win. Croydon came closest with a last minute strike from Miller that sailed over the bar. Finally the full time whistle (and terrible refereeing decisions) went with the score at 1-1. Lets hope the FFSA look back at the inconsistency and decision making of all 3 officials that frustrated and bemused supporters. Simply not good enough in this reporters opinion.
This is the Croydon sides fourth 1-1 draw in a row… still unbeaten in 2019. Another game that deserved a draw but disappointing we couldn’t hold on for the last 20mins. Brilliant performances from Klimek, Panagaris, Hall, Stokes and Trimboli along with hard running from Mercurio, Caraccia and Munro.
Earlier in the day both the U18′s and Reserves had days to forget! The young 18′s went down to the SA NTC side 5-1 and Adam Vizzari’s reserves gave up a 2-0 lead to eventually do down 5-3. We look forward to all 3 teams rebuilding during the week, ready to take on the winless South Adelaide at Polonia Reserve. Make sure all Kings fans (and guests) are at the ground this week for a beer and to cheer the lads on.
Thanks once again to Joe Janko for the pics- great work mate!
Round 7 v South Adelaide @ POLONIA RESERVE SATURDAY 13th APRIL
U18′s: 10:30am kick off
Reserves: 12:45pm kick off
Seniors: 3pm kick off
ROUND 6 RESULTS
U18′s: 5-1 loss
Reserves: 5-3 loss
Seniors: 1-1 draw