A trip away to MetroStars is never an easy one so the Kings faced a mighty task on Saturday at the revamped TK Shutter Reserve.
Trimboli was out suspended and Klimek returned to right back, whilst Sunasky started at left back whilst the long awaited return of James Skeffington from injury was a pleasing sight albeit warming the pine to start off with.
Alas the start of the game did not go to plan and Metro were one up within a few minutes after an unmarked Solagna’s near post header from a corner had everyone looking around at each other wondering what just happened. Put simply, concentration was lost for that key moment.
Nevertheless, the response from the Kings was almost instant. A pearler of a through ball by Klimek found the fast paced Zade Heineke who expertly rounded the keeper and slotted home coolly to square the ledger.
The game was only 13 or so minutes old and another foray into the penalty area saw the Kings awarded a penalty after Nathan Munro was upended following a Haro cross and Adam Martinello taking care of business putting the spot kick away and suddenly it was 2-1 Croydon.
Rather than try and retain the lead, the Kings continued to press and looked dangerous all over the pitch with Carracia and Mercurio creating havoc for the Metro defence. Centre forward Nathan Munro was also running his heart out and proved to be handful for Metro whenever he was within range.
Half time came with the Kings looking the goods so the question now was could we replicate the fine football again in the second half.
All doubts were put to rest, so we thought after another penalty award after another clumsy challenge in the penalty area so again stepped up Martinello, although this time the Metro keeper was equal to the task and pulled off a great save to keep Metro in it.
However instead of dropping their shoulders, the Kings continued to press and unbelievably were awarded a third penalty after a handball in the box, and this time captain Luke Klimek stood up and put it away and the 3-1 scoreline was now looking more of a reflection of the Kings dominance.
Things got worse for Metro when they went a man down following a straight red card for a high-footed challenge on Mercurio, and Croydon now looked odds on to get the win.
Both coaches made changes, and eventually Skeffington played his part and despite getting an early yellow card for a late challenge (probably a result from a bit of rustiness) he was on hand to slot home a tap in goal following a Haro cross after a blazing run and cross from the left wing.
The final whistle blew to Metro’s relief, whilst Croydon celebrated a huge 4-1 win, one that you could sense was coming after a few games where luck was completely missing despite playing some good football.
The entire team played well including keeper, defence, midfield and attack but stand out performances were noted by Carracia, Heneike & Haro who shone in the win.
Earlier in the day, the U/18’s had a similar and amazing 4-1 victory against the higher positioned Metro whilst the Reserves continued their good form to come from 2-1 down to record a vital 3-2 win, in the 2nd v 4th clash. That win ensured Croydon would leapfrog the Metrostars and now be a serious threat to win the double this season.
We are back at home this week to tackle to in-form Adelaide United youth who cannot be taken lightly after consecutive 3-0 wins against West Adelaide & Para Hills respectively. We are on equal points, so if we are to push for the top six, we must win this one, so let’s remember to get out and support the Kings as our last few home games of ever more at Polonia Reserve count down.