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