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Vice skipper Skeffington was withdrawn at the break suffering a hip flexor injury- shattering for the returning star who has battled thru injuries since mid last season.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