Reds consolidate finals spot after Croydon win

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Adelaide United is poised for more RAA NPL SA Finals action, as both the Seniors and Reserves claimed crucial victories against Croydon on the weekend.

United’s first team secured their place in the last six, running out 2-1 winners against a spirited Croydon outfit on Saturday.

The Reds were bolstered by the additions of experienced players Jonny Yull and Luka Jovanović, the former of which broke the deadlock from range after just four minutes.

Jovanović added a second early in the second half, slotting home at the far post within six yards. 

“It was a good showing and both teams played quite well over the weekend,” Youth Head Coach, Airton Andrioli said.

“We knew that Croydon would be hungry as they are fighting for their own spot in the top six and they were throwing everything at us in the second half, so I was glad we were able to hold on.

“Croydon had good chances to take something away from the game, but Ethan (Cox) was equal to it in goal for us and I was pleased with our overall effort.”

The Reds can now finish as high as third after Adelaide City’s loss, with the relegated West Adelaide their opponent for the last game of the regular season. 

The Reserves are also in the box set for finals action, with a convincing 1-3 win against Croydon, thanks to strikes from Joey GaruccioFabian Grelli and Mohammed Hassan respectively.

A win or draw would certainly secure them a finals berth, while a loss would put destiny in the hands of seventh-ranked Campbelltown. 

Continuity the key

Timing is everything, and the two-week break for the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ came at an ideal time for the Young Reds who used the break to refresh.

Given players move up and down through United’s Seniors and Reserves ranks where needed and often to fill the gaps, the refresher enabled players that extra bit of time to return to full fitness.

Andrioli says they have been given a huge boost for the upcoming Finals series.

“We have had quite a few injuries in recent times which can be expected with the volume of games these young boys are playing, but it seems to be that everyone is back now for the most part,” he said. 

“That does help with selection and we can rotate the players, and have guys who can come off the bench and help us.

“That puts us in a good position for the upcoming Finals which we are looking forward to.”

United will have a chance to extend their pre-finals form against West Adelaide this weekend, with the Seniors clashing at 7:30pm on Friday night at ServiceFM Stadium, while the Reserves meet at 12:45pm on Saturday at the same venue. 

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