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