The Adelaide United Youth Team defeated Croydon Kings 1-0 in Round 16 of the National Premier League on Saturday.
The Young Reds fought their way to a win throughout the 90 minutes, refusing to give up until Jordan O’Doherty broke the deadlock in the 88th minute.
United provided lots of pace and dominance across all areas of the field and made movement on the ball look easy. In the early stages of the match, it didn’t take long for the Reds to create a couple of decent opportunities through the ingenuity of Marc Marino.
First, Marino found enough space from distance to try his luck on goal, but his long-range effort brushed past the post. Shortly after, Marino made room to put in a dangerous-looking cross into the box for O’Doherty, but Croydon’s defence cleared.
In the 10th minute, it was Croydon with the ball, a dangerous Antoni Trimboli found teammate Rocky Visconte, but his shot was wide. Four minutes later, the Kings produced a well taken corner, a close call that was lead to safety by O’Doherty with a clearance.
Riley McGree had plenty of possession in midfield, and found O’Doherty in the 18th minute, but his shot was blocked. John Panagaris tried to test United keeper, Daniel Margush, but with an expert save, was denied.
O’Doherty burst through the blocks once again, this time his shot was just tipped away in time by Nicholas Munro. Marino had a few chances before half time, thanks to the presence of Captain, Dylan Smith, with passes and possession. In the 32nd minute, Marino captured Smith’s free-kick, but his header was not powerful enough.
Joshua Mori also came close to giving the Young Reds a lead to head in to the second half, as his foot just missed Marino’s pass in front of goal.
The second half was another tantalising 45 minutes, much of the same continued for both sides, but a tougher battle for the ball as the game became more physical. Shaun McGreevy was quick to have a shot, but a dominant Margush tapped the ball away, and Ben Warland cleared it out of any danger.
Luke Klimek tried to answer back for Croydon, as he found space for a clear chance on goal but Margush was not going to be beaten.
In the 82nd minute, Mori came very close, as his shot merely flew over the crossbar, after good possession by O’Doherty. It was only a matter of time for O’Doherty to score, and he did just that, getting the Young Reds back to winning ways.
Following the match, Head Coach, Mark Jones, was pleased with his team’s performance and the three points.
“It was quite clear that we dominated most of the game,” Jones said. “They did have a 10-15 minute period where they had to work hard for the ball but we sent balls forward and produced counter-attacks.
“There were definitely many chances where we could have scored more goals, but I was very pleased with the way we played.
“We played the full 90 minutes and they believed in themselves, can’t be anymore happier than that.
“Croydon are a great football team, and it was difficult to get the win, but to score in the 88th minute was magnificent and that’s enough to give us confidence for next week against West Adelaide."