Winter is still with us as our new Girls Team lead the way by winning their first ever Tournament:
The new Girls team won the Golden Girls Hackney Tournament by beating Hackney Community Club 3-1 then 2-0 before carrying on to beat Hackney Laces 4-2 on aggregate. A terrific achievement in the biting cold playing away from home against experienced sides with questionable refereeing. A fantastic effort.
The Firsts beat Chiswick 3-1 away. Despite dominating the Dragons found themselves behind as a slip at the back lead to Chiswick’s clinical finish. The Dragons refused to panic however and pulled back before half time. With a changed Dragons set up Chiswick were pinned back from the restart as the Dragons attacked in waves but as hard as they tried they just could not score. Finally on 75 minutes the Dragons made substitutions whilst remaining calm and with six minutes left a swift move down the left lead to the Dragons taking the lead before hammering the points home with another goal from yet another move from the left.
The Reserves beat Sloane FC 2-1 at Osterley. With key First and Reserve team players unavailable the Dragons had a weakened squad with 4 players carrying knocks that on another day would have kept them at home. The match started badly with a Sloane long throw confusing the Dragons to score first. The Dragons composed themselves and were rewarded with an equaliser direct from a corner before half time. With the Dragons now effectively reduced to 10 men through cramp the game was drifting to a close when a late gamble plucked a Dragons defender into attack to try to avoid another home draw. Finally in injury time a shot was smashed with the outside of a Dragons boot straight into Sloane’s right hand corner of the net as the Dragons celebrated. The Reserves are now unbeaten in 9 games with 8 wins to boot.
The U17’s beat Ariana 3-2 at Birbeck. In the opening minutes Ariana scored from a penalty but their enthusiasm was blunted when the Dragons took advantage of Ariana’s goalie misjudging his advance to score. Ariana then became increasingly fractious as the Dragons were awarded a penalty for a desperate challenge to take them 2-1 up at the break. Ariana refused to give in and drew level 2-2 giving them renewed vigour as their nasty challenges and holding onto Dragon players made for a messy game. Virtue was finally rewarded in the dying minutes as the ref awarded a free kick to the Dragons and a great kick sent the ball sailing into the top right hand corner of the net to give the Dragons a well-deserved win.
The U15’s beat Kodak 3-1 at Wormwood Scrubs. Football has many delightful aspects but playing at Wormwood Scrubs in the winter is not one of them – many a Dragon’s dream has been crushed at this bleak venue. The Dragon players however ignored the biting wind and rutted pitch to hammer in 3 goals in double quick time and then fiddled around allowing Kodak one consolation goal for turning up in the cold.
The U14 Nighthawks lost to Pinner United 0-5 with a weakened squad due to players being away for half term.
The U14 Eagles beat Kodak 11-0. At the post match press conference the Dragons manager said “We returned to a crisp St Mark’s with the pitch looking good. Bad news for our opponents, promising for those who bolted their Sunday lunch hoping for a feast of February football. Our boys did not disappoint with Kodak simply overwhelmed by our movement, spirit and imagination. It took a while to warm up but after the first goal went in on 18 minutes these Dragons were breathing fire. Plucky Kodak were left exposed in all areas as six separate Eagles found the net including one of our indefatigable centre backs whose rasping penalty-box drive proved less of a goal than an industrial stress-test for RBKC’s fresh nets. But amid the feints and twists, the flicks and dribbles, what really caught the eye was the graft, the teamwork, the relentless application until the final whistle.”
The U13’s drew 1-1 with Kodak. The focused Dragons controlled the first half with neat passing and penetrating runs from their wide players but could not score. Kodak rarely threatened and the Dragons keeper was more in danger of developing Hyperthermia than conceding a goal so the half ended goalless. The second half developed into more of a battle but the game became bogged down in midfield with the Dragon players forgetting how successful they had been passing the ball as they now tried to beat Kodak on their own. Disaster struck and a soft free kick somehow found its way passed the Dragons wall into goal. The Dragons responded well but it was a familiar story with great crosses not being met or just being a whisker away from equalising. Just as the management team were about to accept another good performance without getting a just reward the Dragons were awarded a free kick which was fumbled by Kodak’s keeper and like a flash the Dragons pounced to equalise.
The U11’s beat Parkfield 5-1. Conceding an early goal the Dragons regained their composure to play some super slick football to end the first half 1 – 1. The second half started with the Dragons passing the ball around the field and breaking down the Parkfield defence to score a beautiful second goal. Parkfield then struggled to get back into the game and the Dragons dominated to play their best football of the season including some fantastic individual goals to win handsomely.
The U10’s continued to train for their return match against South Ealing Saints.