R5 Wrap: Adelaide Comets v Croydon Kings
Croydon Kings downed Adelaide Comets 3-1 to stay within touching distance of top spot in round five of the South Australian Playstation4 National Premier League.
Shaun McGreevy put the visitors ahead early on with a header from an inch perfect corner. Michael Doyle gave Croydon a two goal cushion midway through the first half after he fired a shot low into the opposite corner from a tight angle.
McGreevy was unlucky not to have a second after his diving header was well saved by Comets keeper Pedran Sourjani, but substitute Mamadi Kamara was there to pick up the crumbs and put away Croydon’s third.
Comets managed to pull one back after a sweetly struck free kick from John Karatzas was forced onto the crossbar by Croydon’s Nick Munro, but the rebound fell to the feet of Samuel Tesfagabr who made no mistakes.
Croydon’s Captain in the absence of Luke Klimek, Rocky Visconte, said that the team’s performance was reminiscent of last season’s title-winning campaign.
“I think we got back to the way we were playing last year” he said.
“In the early stages of this year we forgot what won us the championship last year and that was our defensive efforts as a unit.
“The two games this week, we’ve got back to playing how we did last year: strong defensively and going forward, especially today, we put our chances away.”
Comets Coach Jim Karatzas was disappointed with his side’s defensive efforts at set pieces, which ultimately cost them the game, but was happy with the overall effort from the team.
“It was a game where we defended set pieces poorly and it cost us” he said.
“Up until the stage of the first goal I think we were in the game, but the two corners we defended poorly they scored from, and after that it was like climbing a mountain.”
He added, “But the efforts of the boys was fine, and we played quite well considering, but the result just didn’t happen for us.”
Croydon took the lead very early on in the contest, with McGreevy heading home from a corner in the sixth minute.
The delivery was perfectly weighted and placed just to the outside of the six yard box, which took Sourjani a little by surprise as he took his time to react. By this point, McGreevy outleaped the keeper and put the ball into the back of the net with a bullet header.
From there, it was all Croydon for well over the majority of the match, with most of it being played inside Comets final third as they struggled to stop the relentless attack by the defending champions.
Croydon’s second came again from a corner, as the delivery found Doyle at the front post who tried to guide it into the net with a clever backheel. His effort was saved, but Comets were unable to clear, as the ball found its way back to Doyle who finished from a tight angle.
Comets had Sourjani to thank for only being behind by two, as he kept out shot after shot.
Steven Pepper had a golden chance to put Croydon three goals up just after half time, as he was left all alone at the back post. He met a cross from the left with a volley, but it was blocked on its way to goal.
McGreevy almost had his second for the game in the 55th minute, as he met a cross from Chris Pepe with a dangerous diving header, but it was saved by Sourjani. Unfortunately for the keeper, it fell to the feet of substitute Mamdi Kamara who easily put it away for the third.
Comets did end up pegging one back after they worked their way into the match towards the tail end of the second half.
The home side were awarded a free kick some distance out in the 67th minute. John Karatzas stepped and hit curving shot. Croydon keeper Nick Munro helped it onto the crossbar, but Tesfagabr was there waiting who put it away easily.
The win sees Croydon jump back up to equal third with Campbelltown on eleven points.
Article by Brendan Simpkins