Month: December 2012

Results Round-Up 16 December 2012

An unbeaten week saw the Dragons score 24 goals to the combined opposition’s paltry 5 as they hurtled to the Christmas break in the secure knowledge that our wins have been deserved and our defeats down to perfidious refs or dastardly opposition tricks:

The U11’s beat TFA Crouch End 5-3 at home in sweet revenge. With a few international stars away the Dragons started with conviction and hunger, determined to continue their winning streak. The team was sharp and played with finesse as an early 20 yard scorcher started super Sunday. This was followed by a fast run down the left wing before a cut across three of the opposition ended in the ball landing in the back of the Crouch End’s net.  The Dragons defence withstood the pressure and the first half ended 3 – 0 to the Dragons. The second half started with Crouch End swinging into action to score two successive goals to take the game to a nail biting climax. It was then end to end football with the Dragons midfield scoring a great solo goal to stabilise the side.

The U13’s had no game

Both U14 teams had no game

The U15’s walloped Harrow St Marys 8-1 at home. With many of the Dragons squad away, including the goalie nursing an injured thumb in Brazil, it was an almost makeshift team that lined up against Harrow. The Dragons passed, ran and shot to little avail for much of the first half but eventually the essential talent of the Dragons showed through and the goals came. The U15’s remain undefeated in the League.

The U17’s beat Celtic 3-0 at Birbeck. The Dragons were keen to notch up a victory and were out in strength on this beautiful sunny December morning. Shortly after kick-off the Dragons scored from a lovely pass to allow the right midfield to slot the ball home. The Dragons were then thwarted from scoring again by a number of near-misses including hitting the crossbar. Back on the field the Dragons continued to press but again failed to score until two further goals were scored late in the second half when their persistence was finally rewarded.

The First Team  beat Pitshanger Dynamo 4-0 away to continue their winning streak. There is a long way to go but possible promotion to the Premiership has been mentioned.

The Reserves beat CB Hounslow 4-1 at home in the 3rd round of the MCFL Junior Cup. This was a big test for the Reserve squad with no less than 10 players unavailable. The Dragons started poorly, even with the strong wind helping the territorial advantage; both young and older Dragons kept gifting possession. In five crazy minutes the Dragons missed two open goals before then managing to fail to net with 4 attempts in one move hitting the post and bar in the process. Finally after 25 minutes the Dragons striker was felled and the resulting penalty converted. A superb Dragons corner was headed home before the striker scored again with a hooked left foot after reading a long throw from the right. It was 4-0 at half time when the ball was neatly tucked into the corner from the centre midfielder. If there ever was a poor first half that finished 4-0 up this was it! The second half was a drab affair with the Dragons dropping deeper with the wind and having to reshuffle due to injury at the back. Hounslow managed a consolation goal in the last few minutes but the result was never in doubt.

We will be back in the New Year

Kensington Dragons U11s 2012-13

U11s in a super Sunday at St Mark’s

Kensington Dragons U11s 5 – 3 AFC Crouch End

Sweet revenge as the Kensington Dragons beat a depleted AFC Crouch End, 5 – 3.  With a few of our international stars away for the Christmas break the boys started the game with real conviction and hunger to continue their winning streak.  The team were sharp and had finesse and an early 20 yard scorcher from Burleigh started super Sunday at St Marks Road. A fast run down the left wing by Tohevea soon followed, cutting across three of the opposition to land the ball in the back of the net. The defence came under pressure but were able to keep up and the first half ended 3 – 0 to the Dragons.

The second half started with Crouch End swinging into action and piling on the pressure resulting in two successive goals taking the game to a nail biting climax, it was end to end football with Ahmed scoring a great solo goal from his midfield position to stabilise the Dragon’s with a final goal and the game finishing 5 – 3 to KDFC!

Reserves dispute league form with another cup victory

Kensington Dragons Reserves 4 – 1 CB Hounslow Social 3rds – MCFL Junior Cup Round 3

Saturday was a big test of the Reserve squad with no less than 10 players unavailable due to absence, injury and being cup tied. This however gave others a chance to re establish themselves in the squad and also the starting line up.

Against limited opposition they started poorly, even with the strong wind helping the territorial advantage, the young, and older Dragons kept gifting possession away when in dangerous attacking positions. However they did constantly look threatening and as the half wore on Luke Giles, Shegun Beckley and Reiss Corr began to link  well. Then in a period of five crazy minutes they managed to miss two open goals with poor cutbacks from Jon Laycock and Corr, and then failed to net with 4 attempts in one move hitting the post and bar in the process. Finally after 25 minutes Giles glided into the box and fed Beckley who was felled when clean through. The former dispatched his fourth penalty in 2 games and the Dragons relaxed. Adam Finch then drifted in a superb corner for Laycock to head home and the striker netted his brace goal with a hooked left foot after reading a long throw from the right. It was 4-0 at half time as Beckley and Giles linked up again with the latter producing the first decent cutback for Corr to neatly tuck into the corner. If there ever was a poor first half that finished 4-0 up this was it!

The second half was a drab affair with the Dragons dropping deeper with the wind and having to reshuffle due to an injury at the back. They still looked dangerous on the break but failed to test the keeper with Corr going close on numerous occasions. Hounslow managed a consolation goal in the last few minutes but the result was never in doubt through the 90 minutes and the Dragons make it through to the quarter finals to face British Airways in February. The Challenge is now to improve league form next week and end the year off the bottom of the league table, that challenge is a tough one with a hard looking game against the stronger Hounslow side, very physical and unbeaten in their last 8 and beating Division One teams in the cups along the way.

Results Round-Up 09 December 2012

Variable winter weather has seen the Dragons battle on through various vicissitudes laced with triumphs as we hurtle towards the Christmas break:

The Girls continue to train on Fridays from 5.30 – 7pm on the Westway main pitch – all girls from 9 years old welcome, just turn up.

The Firsts beat Brentham 3-2 away in the Cup. Brentham had tried to call off the game but were thwarted by the Dragons Secretary reminding Brentham that the decision could only be made on the day. The pitch passed inspection and the game duly kicked off. The opening ten minutes was one way traffic from the focused Dragons which lead to a moment of madness from Brentham’s goalie who upended the Dragon striker with the ball nowhere in sight. The referee had no alternative but to award a penalty which was duly converted. The half continued in much the same fashion when out of nowhere Brentham countered to equalise. Another reminder that chances shouldn’t be taken for granted just taken. This jolt did not de-rail the Dragons and a quick inter-play between forwards gave them a second goal. The tempo remained high and a clever Dragon through ball ended with the rushing keeper being lobbed to leave the Dragons 3-1 up at the break. The second half failed to reach similar heights with Brentham being kept at arms length and Dragons wasteful in possession. Brentham did score a consolation goal but the Dragons are through to the last eight.

The Reserves beat Shepperton 4-1 in extra time in the Middlesex Cup quarter final. The Dragons began poorly with the back four struggling although going forward was more positive. After 25 minutes sloppy play saw Shepperton nip in and the Dragons centre back slicing him down for a converted Brentham penalty. Testing times for the Dragons – it was about getting to half time and re-organising. The formation was switched to 4-4-2 and it was a different proposition from the restart. Shepperton knew they were now in danger and began to break up the game with the help of the referee blowing for the slightest touch on any player. Half chances came and went and with 15 minutes left the Dragons appealed for a penalty to equalise. It was into Extra Time and a dreadful Shepperton foul gave the Dragons another penalty and a 2-1 lead. Three minutes later yet another penalty gave the Dragons another goal. Shepperton were beaten and then killed off any chances of a revival by gaining 2 red cards. Another foul lead to yet another Dragons penalty and a 4-1 win to reach the semi final in February.

The U17’s lost 1-3 to Pinnstars at Birbeck in a disappointing day for the Dragons who lead 1-0 at half time. A combination of a lack of concentration in the second half with Pinnstars coming out much more aggressively, left the final score at 1-3 to give Pinnstars an unexpected win.

The U15’s drew 2-2 with Ruislip Town Away. Through an unusual combination of usual circumstances Dragons had not played a match for over a month and it showed. It was not long before two superb Dragons crosses were deftly converted to goals and the Dragons were 2-0 up. Frustratingly Ruislip had a very determined side buttressed by a superb goalie and the Dragons lack of match sharpness lead to no more goals. Ruislip had no such inhibitions and crept their way back to 2-2 which is where it irritatingly stayed. Still the U15’s remain undefeated in the League.

The U14 Eagles beat Totteridge 5-1 away. To quote the lyrical Dragons Manager “Sorrow in Southall had left us cowed like crouching tigers. On Sunday we pounced back as Hendon Dragons. Playing at last beneath the Wembley arch (rising, just, to the darkening South) we were made to work for our victory. This was a Totteridge side transformed from the one crushed so elegantly at St Mark’s in October. Of some nine fine first-half Eagles strikes, only one found the net, and that was quickly cancelled out by a penalty inspired by the patron saint of falling timber, Arsenal’s St Santi Cazorla. The second half brought little relief on a day of graft and toil. And as the driving wind emptied the Hendon playing fields of light and people and possibly hope, the Dragons management began to fear the worst. But then a rebound nicked, a rasping strike and a final flash of brilliance saw a decent score racked up in time for the final whistle. 1-5 to us and every goal wrestled from the Totteridge mud to send us into the Christmas break more relieved than euphoric. After that very un-peaceful YAC Ealing, these Eagles deserve to take it easy. Until the New Year, then…”

The U14 Nighthawks had not game

The U13’s lost 1-3 to Yeading Wanderers at Wormwood Scrubbs. If this had been a boxing match the fight would have been stopped by half-time. The Dragons put up an outstanding half of football dominating possession and territory; the midfield and defenders won the ball at will and the attack always looked dangerous to give the Dragons a well-deserved lead. Yeading were on the ropes but the Dragons could not deliver a killer second goal which proved to be their undoing as Yeading equalised in the last minute before the break. The second half was more even with chances being created at both ends. The Dragons however eventually started to tire on the heavy pitch and Yeading took the lead. The game was then held up for several minutes as the Dragons centre half took a blow to the nose from the ball and, despite valiantly trying to carry on, had to leave the pitch with a bleeding nose. The remaining 10 Dragons were now out on their feet and Yeading counter attacked with fresh substitutes to score their 3rd. The Dragons tried to respond and created a couple of chances but had to settle for an undeserved loss. But like Rocky they look forward to the re-match

The U11’s beat Watling 5-3 at Wormwood Scrubbs. A nearly full Dragons squad started with a team photograph and looked intimidating from the start. After fifteen minutes they were leading 2 – 0, from two really well executed goals created from slick passing anchored by strong defending. The Dragons were playing their best football of the season and after a robust team talk at half time the second half was under way. The Dragons were soon winning 3–0 which lead inevitably to a false sense of security and a lack of concentration allowed Watling to apply the pressure to sneak two goals back. The Dragons coaches made two well-timed substitutions which resulted in a debut performance and a goal. The Dragons scored again just before the final whistle to end a 5–3 well deserved victory.

U15 Eagles

Eagles finish 2012 on a high

TFA Totteridge 1 ­v 5 Kensington Dragons U14 Eagles

Sorrow in Southall had left us cowed like crouching tigers. On Sunday we pounced back as Hendon Dragons.

Playing at last beneath the Wembley arch (rising, just, to the darkening South) we were made to work for our victory. This was a Totteridge side transformed from the one crushed so elegantly at St Mark’s in October.

Of some nine fine first-half Eagles strikes, only one found the net, and that was quickly cancelled out by a penalty inspired by the patron saint of falling timber, Arsenal’s St Santi Cazorla.

The second half brought little relief on a day of graft and toil. And as the driving wind emptied the Hendon playing fields of light and people and possibly hope, the Dragons management began to fear the worst.

But then a rebound nicked, a rasping strike and a final flash of brilliance saw a decent score racked up in time for the final whistle. 1-5 to us and every goal wrestled from the Totteridge mud to send us into the Christmas break more relieved than euphoric.

After that very un-peaceful YAC Ealing, these Eagles deserve to take it easy. Until the New Year, then…

Kensington Dragons U11s 2012-13

The U11s squad earn a deserved victory

Kensington Dragons U11s 5 v 3 Watling

A nearly full squad of Dragons started the morning with a team photograph, two of the regular boys were out due to illness and injury but there were three new players in the starting eleven with up to five substitutes itching to get a game.

The team looked intimidating from the start and after fifteen minutes were leading 2 – 0, with two really well executed goals, the passes were slick and the defending was strong.  The Dragons were playing their best football of the season and after a robust team talk at half time the second half was under way. They were soon winning 3 – 0 which lead to a false sense of security and with lack of concentration they allowed Watling to apply the pressure and sneak two goals back.

The KDFC Coaches changed the play with two well-timed substitutions resulting in a debut performance and debut goal by one of the new players.  A further KD goal and then the final whistle as the game ended in a well deserved 5 – 3 victory on a cold, windy but sunny Sunday morning at the Scrubbs.

Reserves through to County Cup semi-final

Kensington Dragons Reserves 4 v 1 FC Shepperton 1st. MCFA Junior Trophy Quarter Final (1-1 at 90mins)

The Reserves arrived at Birkbeck in positive spirits despite some up and mainly down performances of late. Two new arrivals gave the team a lift and with Director of Football Tony Smith away, Coach Dean Humphrey filled in to ease the burden on Player Manager Jon Laycock.

However, they began poorly with the mix and match back four struggling for shape and constantly on their heels. Going forward was looking no more positive with the team shape not working for the players chosen. After 25 minutes some sloppy play in central defence saw the striker nip in, the center back clearly slicing him down for an obvious pen which was slotted away. Testing times for the Dragons short on confidence and really it was about getting to HT with the score the same or better so they could re-organise.

Coach and Manager agreed the number 10 Luke Giles was dropping too deep and new striker George Mariner looked a little out of place on the wing. The switch to 4-4-2 would allow them both to play in the positions they were more comfortable with, and the game looked a different proposition from the kick off. As they turned the screw, Giles was commanding in a pair along side Goran Al -Sourohi. Mariner was now looking threatening and with two defensive switches they suddenly looked in total control, Miles Spooner and Kieran Cox making the difference. Shepperton knew they were now in danger and began to break up the game with the help of the referee blowing for the slightest touch on any player, on either side. Half chances came and went but the introduction of Shegun Beckley seemed to galvanise the team.

Now with the armband, Al-Sourohi was driving the team on and with 15 minutes left, as the Dragons appealed for a penalty, he composed himself and fired into the roof of the net for the equaliser and his first ever Dragons goal. Everyone present knew the game was headed one way but could the Dragons finish it off in normal time? The answer should have been yes as Mariner hit the post with a great header, and then inexplicably Laycock sliced over from one yard with the final kick of the 90 minutes, after more good work from Mariner.

Into extra time and the Dragons domination continued. Shepperton were now feeling the pace and a cast iron penalty was awarded for a dreadful foul on Mariner and Giles found the corner. 3 minutes later it was déjà vu with a Mariner penalty win and dispatch by Giles and game over. Shepperton were beaten and then killed off any chances of a revival with 2 red cards. The second was yet another foul on  Mariner in the box and Giles stepped up for a third time and beat the stand in keeper for his superb but slightly bizarre hatrick. FT (aet) 4-1

The Dragons can look forward now to a semi-final in February and enjoy a 3rd round cup game next week in the MCFL Junior Cup, weather permitting!

First Team through to County Cup quarter-final

Brentham 2 v 3 Kensington Dragons MCFA Junior Cup 3rd Round

On Friday the weather looked to make up the mind of the home side as they made the decision to call the game off. Such was the full understanding of the rules by our Secretary that this decision could only be made by the referee on the day. The inspection on the day gave the green light for the game to be played and the chance of a place in the quarter-finals up for grabs. After a positive result and performance last week, Dragons were looking to use the momentum to produce a good start to the game and they did just that. The opening ten minutes was one way traffic from a focused Dragons side on and off the ball. Such was the pressure that it caused a moment of madness from the home goalie who upended Soussi with the ball not in sight leaving the referee no alternative but to give a penalty.  Nalu Moso stepped up and opened his and Dragons account for the afternoon. The half continued in much the same fashion when out of nowhere an attacking corner became an equaliser with a swift counter. Another reminder that chances shouldn’t be taken for granted just taken. This jolt to the Dragons was not enough to de-rail their play yet move it up a notch and quick inter-play between the forwards released Salmin who showed bravery and speed getting to the ball before getting clattered by the goalie but ensuring the ball hit the back of the net. Tempo remained high from the Dragons and a clever through ball from Hammond put Nalu Moso in the clear and strength and composure allowed him to shrug off the defender and lob the on rushing keeper to put Dragons 3-1 up at the break. The second half failed to reach the highs of the first with the home team being kept at arms length and Dragons wasteful in possession. A consolation was gained by Brentham but a pretty controlled game saw Dragons into the last eight.

Results Round-Up 2 December 2012

With the Girls section still gathering numbers for their first game, Saturday saw the debut of our new U10’s and the Firsts continue their winning streak. Sunday saw frozen pitches:

The New U10’s drew with mighty South Ealing Saints and then narrowly lost 3-4 in the second half in the dark damp wilds of Ealing. The U10’s ignored the massive Saints support and battled their way on a muddy pitch to a standstill draw in the first half. Whilst the Saints then rolled on a seemingly new team the brave Dragons rolled up their sleeves and dug deep to withstand the repeated Saints onslaughts. With the lead constantly changing sides the massed fans held their collective breath but it was the Saints who narrowly squeaked a lucky late win. A great debut from the Dragons who are clearly a team to watch as they develop.

The U11’s was called off due to a frozen pitch.

The U13’s lost away 1-2 to Venceremos in a game that was in doubt right up to kick off with the sun just having enough heat to thaw the pitch. The frozen Dragons conceded in the first few minutes as they failed to clear the ball. A strong halftime talk from the coach lead to a marked improvement in the Dragons midfield as they crafted the equaliser. Veneceremos came straight back and only the post saved the Dragons from going behind until a long ball was allowed to bounce, bisect the defence and then beat the goal keeper. The Dragons still sensed they could grab a point but squandered a one on one with the keeper when the shot narrowly went the wrong side of the post to leave the Dragons pointless.

The U14 Nighthawks just lost 0-1 to Hanwell Town at St Marks. The match was evenly balanced but unfortunately the ref was inexperienced and ended up making – probably not by design – a few wrong calls that penalised the Dragons: disallowing a goal when the linesman incorrectly called off-side; not giving a free kick when a Hanwell player brazenly pushed a  Dragon defender to score; and (astonishingly) ended the game early at 32 minutes when everybody (including opponents) knew that this was a mistake. The only and best line of defence in unlucky situations like this is to stay the course and try to play even better to overcome differences. The Manager was quoted as saying “So, heads up and let’s go win the next match!”

The U14 Eagles lost 2-4 to YAC Star Ealing at St Marks. The great Andres Iniesta has tried to suggest there is only one way to play football. As the mighty Eagles have discovered to their cost, that simply isn¹t so. Playing attractive, thoughtful football requires time to think, and when you face a team full of running, urgency and only-just contained aggression, you’re never going to get it. While last week the Dragons blamed the comedy conditions, this Sunday the truth was as sharp and clear as the cold blue sky that crowned St Mark’s. Again Ealing went one up and again the Dragons fought back to tie at half-time. After the restart Ealing pressed until the Dragons over-worked defence began to leak. Quicker in the box, harder in the tackle, and luckier in a key decision or two, Ealing worked their way to 4-1 up before they too began to tire. The Dragons pulled one back and finished the stronger side – a tribute to a deep resilience and a steely confidence. All is not lost. The Dragons maintain considerable strengths. As the man in the pub once unerringly observed, football is a funny old game. These Eagles may yet reach number one.

The U15’s game was called off at the last moment as the pitch was frozen

The U17’s game was called off after much inspection and debate due to a frozen pitch

The Firsts beat Hillingdon Abbots 7-1 away to continue their good form. There is still a long way to go but promotion to the Premiership has been talked about in some circles. One game at a time must be the watchword.

The Reserves had no game