Croydon have asserted themselves as genuine finals contenders after a solid 3-1 win over West Adelaide at the VALO stadium on Saturday evening.
In what could be described as a danger game for the Kings, the desperate West Adelaide were also playing on a knife edge given their realistic relegation candidacy.
The Kings started with the strong wind at their backs and took control of the game early, however the difficult conditions made it harder than usual to penetrate with any fluency. Westies looked to go long whenever they could but Brazzale and Stokes at centre back dealt with most efforts very well with Sunasky & Klimek in the full-back positions dominant.
Eventually after many forays into the penalty area, it was Patty Caraccia who broke through tucking away Croydon’s opener after 31 minutes after some bustling and fancy footwork between Trimboli & Munro caused mayhem for the West defence. Another effort by Patty hit the woodwork but as half time approached, a West free-kick/cross actually was bundled in however the flag was up for offside, so the Kings held on to lead 1-0 at half time.
The second half became a battle of the conditions as much as anything, and whilst Croydon coped much better, it was West Adelaide who got the equaliser through Lesi after 70 minutes and it was game on.
Alas for West, the Croydon lead was restored within just two minutes when Caraccia again latched on to a loose ball to smack home and 2-1 to Croydon.
Moments later another great Trimboli run after a great through ball saw his shot smack into the crossbar illustrating Croydon’s willingness to stay on the attack.
Westies heads started to drop and after both teams made subs to grind out a result, it was the combination of Croydon subs James Skeffington and Peter Mercurio that eventually had the latter finding the net on 84 minutes and thus putting the game to bed.
It was another game where it was hard to sort best players as all 14 that took the park made valuable contributions.
The win moves Croydon into sixth and with a home match with Blue Eagles up next (second on ladder and only 3 points ahead) we can jump even higher should we continue our great form and snag another win. We have now virtually no injuries (touch wood), and to start with a bench containing Skeffington, Mercurio & Panagaris (frequent first eleven players) the squad outlook looks ideal as the finals get nearer.
Earlier on in the day back at Polonia Reserve, Stevie Pepper’s U/18’s made up quickly for their previous week’s loss with a thumping 6-0 win over Westies, keeping them well and truly in finals contention. Another win this week could see them rise higher, much like the seniors position – we shall wait and see!
The Reserves continued their amazing form with Vizza’s boys getting up 3-1 to maintain their top ladder position. Ichiguchi, Papapetros and Scardigno scored for Croydon in a game where they always looked in control. Best part was the notable great form across the park form all contributors, proving the depth at Croydon has hardly been better.
There are only 4 games left in the minor round, the next 3 at home and all against teams above us, proving the perfect tonic in the lead up to finals, so let’s not leave it till later to get out in full force – let’s see if we can get some big numbers out to support our Polonia boys as we slowly edge towards our last ever game at Polonia Reserve (10th August) after 69 years.
All 3 teams deserve your support and you won’t be disappointed with the attitude, the quality and heart shown as we become the danger team that all others will want to avoid come finals. Hej Polonia!