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