|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!