Month: February 2013

Results Round-Up 24 February 2013

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.

U15 Eagles

Eagles back in action with a thumping home win

Kensington Dragons U14 Eagles 11 – 0 FC Kodak

After another lost weekend we returned to a crisp St Mark’s to find the pitch looking as good as it has all season. 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, our spirit and our imagination. It took a while for us to warm up but after the first goal went in on 18 minutes these Dragons were breathing fire (and no wonder the falling snow, failing to settle, gave up and puffed off westwards).

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, somewhat sadly for us bewitched bystanders, blew.

The U13s fight back to earn a point

Kensington Dragons U13s 1 – 1  Kodak B

A focused Dragons team took the field against Kodak and controlled the first half right from the kickoff, with some neat passing and penetrating runs from our wide players and in particular from our midfielder who made several great runs into the box only for his shots to go narrowly wide of the goal. Kodak rarely threatened with some good defending and our keeper was more in danger of developing Hyperthermia than conceding a goal; however the half ended goalless with the Dragons unable to convert numerous chances.

The second half developed into more of a battle with Kodak coming more into the game. The game become bogged down in the midfield with the Dragons players forgetting how successfully they had been passing the ball in the first half and were now trying to beat Kodak on their own.  A soft free kick conceded by the Dragons was punished by Kodak as their shot somehow found its way passed our wall and nestled in the back of the goal.

The Dragons responded well and created several chances 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 going to accept another good performance without  getting the just reward. The Dragons were awarded a free kick. The kick itself could not be compared to a Ronaldo special but caused the Kodak keeper to fumble the ball; like a flash our striker pounced to score the equaliser. The ref blew up shortly after the re-start.

Kensington Dragons U11s 2012-13

A Half Term Victory for the U11s

Kensington Dragons U11s 5 v 1 Parkfield

The under 11’s roared back into action on a cold Sunday morning at St Marks Park!

After 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 team passing the ball around the field and breaking down the Parkfield defence to score a beautiful second goal!  Parkfield struggled to get back into the game and the Dragons dominated playing some of their best football of the season, there were a few fantastic individual goals and the game resulted in 5 – 1 to the home team.

The Reserves beat Sloane FC 2-1 at Osterley

Kensington Dragons Reserves 2 – 1 Sloane FC

Preparation this week was a struggle with key First and Reserve team players unavailable. This left the Reserves with a heavily weakened squad and the starting line up containing no less than 4 players carrying knocks that on another day would have kept them off the pitch. But with needs must they strapped up and manned up on a bitter winters afternoon in Osterley.

The opening gambits seemed to imply that they would still have too much for Sloane who they beat 1-0 away with a last minute goal in January. However, with a barely fit midfield, possession was being gifted away putting them on the back foot. A Sloane long throw confused the Dragons and as the ball ran across the edge of the penalty area, the excellent Sloane midfielder smashed a first time shot into the bottom corner. But the Dragons composed themselves and for the most part dominated the rest of the half. Adam Finch put striker Jon laycock clean but as he raced clear failed to compose himself and found the keeper rather than the net. 10 minutes later the same two players combined again, this time the keeper producing a super stop with the ball headed for the corner. Finch however took matters into his own hands and direct from a corner found the net via a flick from the Sloane Center back. HT 1-1

The second half was predominantly one way traffic with Will Conway again having a blinder at the back to mop up, tackle, head, sweep up and even bring the ball out of defence to start attacks. Hassan Osman was also having a cracker at right back, helping defend and create down the right side. But the front 4 just couldnt take control of the scoreboard with Lyons, Laycock, Billy Maxwell and Steve Cahill all spurning good chances. With no subs left Maxwell cramped up and basically it was 10 vs 11. As the game drifted to a close a late gamble from the Dragons management pushed the excellent Dean Humphrey out of defence into attack to avoid another home draw. Although he wasnt directly involved it gave the home team territorial advantage and finally in injury time Finch played in Lyons who’s spin and turn found Cahill wide in the box. He’d had a frustrating 20 minutes and took it all out on the ball as he smashed a shot with the outside of the boot and straight into the right hand corner and the Dragons celebrated accordingly. FT 2-1 and the reserves unbeaten in 9 games with 8 wins to boot.

The Reserves beat top of the table CB Hounslow 2-0 at Birkbeck

Kensington Dragons Reserves 2 – 0 CB Hounslow Reserves

With the First team having no game due to marital affairs the Reserves were able to put out a more experienced team with 3 players from the senior squad in the starting line up. The management pleaded with the team to absorb the overly physical style of Hounslow and concentrate on playing football around the desperate and dangerous lunging challenges that would probably be evident.

The game began and within minutes the prophecy was hugely evident but the Dragons  looked cool under pressure and slowly began to produce some lovely football on a barely playable pitch. Kieran Cox and re-signing Dean Humphrey looked commanding in defence with keeper David Hills sweeping up superbly to mop up Hounslow through balls. Pavi Bangoo, usually a first team regular, was coming back from a 3 month lay off and once the rust was shaken off he began to take control of the game with Captain Luke O’Donoghue in midfield. The wide men Jack Lyons and Billy Maxwell began to enjoy this midfield stability and caused trouble down both flanks. However the first goal was always going to be massive in this fixture and after 35 minutes Adam Finch swung in a beautiful free kick, as he has done on numerous occasions over the past few  weeks. Center back Humphrey out muscled his defensive opponent to head home and the Dragons had the goal they deserved. 1-0 at half time with a super half of committed play in difficult circumstances.

The coaches simply asked to keep it going and avoid succumbing to the bizarre taunts and screams of their opponents. Taking it fully on board the second half was generally one way traffic with O’Donoghue in majestic form, tackling his heart out but also starting the play off on numerous occasions. A swift move ended with Maxwell hitting the bar but 10 minutes later the crucial goal was claimed. And what a goal it was. Hounslow were now under severe pressure and after a looping cross from Humphrey was cleared, Finch pounced on it to drift a cross over to the far post where Ali Soussi looked to have mistimed his run and arrived too early, as the ball crossed his body with his back to goal he through himself into a half somersault to overhead kick into the top corner. Outstanding technique and with 20 minutes left the points looked safe.

As Hounslow pushed forward, desperate to maintain their place in top spot, the Dragons cut them apart on the break and the only disappointment of the day was they couldn’t add to the scoreline. FT 2-0. MoM Dean Humphrey.

Results Round-Up 10 February 2012

A wet week dribbled into a damp weekend and many games were called off:

The Firsts beat C.B Hounslow 6-1 at home in the Quarter Final of the Middlesex County Cup.

The Reserves drew 3-3 at home to Sporting Hackney. With a weakened squad the Dragons needed to produce their best and the early signs were they would rise to the challenge. A frantic first half began with the Dragons pulling ahead to 2-0 only to make errors and concede before then scoring again to make it 3-2 at halftime. The Dragons dominated the second half before the sucker punch came from a loose pass from defence being miss controlled and Hackney pounced to make it 3-3 which is where the score stayed despite the Dragons best efforts.

The U17’s beat Hillingdon Borough 6-3 theoretically away but actually at Birbeck. Despite the biting wind and horizontal rain the Dragons opened the play with a lovely early goal slotted in by the right wing which was soon followed by a converted penalty. With Hillingdon becoming increasingly frustrated in the heavy rain they conceded another penalty before pulling back a goal to make it 3-1 at half time. Back on the pitch the weather had deteriorated even further and it was difficult to move about the pitch and the ball stuck when kicked. Not deterred the Dragons spirits remained high and they scored again and then again. Hillingdon plugged away to score twice but were finally thwarted by the final Dragons goal to leave it 6-3.

The U15’s lost 3-4 to Belmont away whilst playing magnificently. Finally the Dragons began to show what they are capable of and controlled the game playing thrilling football on a muddy pitch. With the Dragons deservedly winning 3-1 Belmont were effectively given the game when the Dragons goalie collided with their striker and had to leave the pitch. Belmont showed no compassion and quickly scored twice before the Dragons goalie returned. The Dragons were awarded a penalty to win the match minutes from the end but in sporting gesture booted the ball over the cross bar and then let Belmont score to win. Life is cruel and football crueller.

The U14 Eagles drew 1-1 with Heathrow. To quote “It was a day of what ifs and might-have-beens: what if just one of our many rasping shots had hit home? What if our defender had not slipped in the mud to gift them an early goal? What if our mighty captain’s last second header had struck the inside rather than the outside of the post? And what if the Dragons management had called the game off instead of forging bravely ahead on that cold, wet, fateful February morning? For such is the fine finesse of our game nowadays that a dodgy pitch will always favour our opponents and hit us hardest. We equalised soon after Heathrow’s surprise opener, and for the rest of the game we pushed and passed and ran and trudged and even, in one stunning passage of free-flowing improvisation, recalled the penalty-box ballet of George Best’s famous strike for the San Jose Earthquakes back in 1981 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2HWUbFGHMU). Except of course that our finish cleared the bar. And the only trembling here was from the spectators as the quagmire did its best to suck all quality from the game. With ten minutes to go the ball burst and along with it, our hopes. So when, with the whistle in the referee’s lips, that final rising header skinned the post we all knew which way the ball would fall. It is true we needed to take our chances. But we also need to take some heart: for the roaring cheer from the away support, management and players that exploded at the final whistle spoke volumes for our growing reputation. Heathrow had stolen a point from the mighty Eagles. For us it was two valuable points lost, but a whole lot of mighty pride maintained.”

All other games were called off due to waterlogged pitches

U15 Eagles

U14 Eagles share the points with Heathrow Club

Kensington Dragons U14 Eagles  1 v­ 1 Heathrow Club

It was a day of what ifs and might-have-beens: what if just one of our many rasping shots had hit home? What if our defender had not slipped in the mud to gift them an early goal? What if our mighty captain’s last second header had struck the inside rather than the outside of the post? And what if the Dragons management had called the game off instead of forging bravely ahead on that cold, wet, fateful February morning? For such is the fine finesse of our game nowadays that a dodgy pitch will always favour our opponents and hit us hardest.

We equalised soon after Heathrow’s surprise opener, and for the rest of the game we pushed and passed and ran and trudged and even, in one stunning passage of free-flowing improvisation, recalled the penalty-box ballet of George Best’s famous strike for the San Jose Earthquakes back in 1981. Except of course that our finish cleared the bar. And the only trembling here was from the spectators as the quagmire did its best to suck all quality from the game.

With ten minutes to go the ball burst and along with it, our hopes. So when, with the whistle in the referee’s lips, that final rising header skinned the post we all knew which way the ball would fall. It is true we needed to take our chances. But we also need to take some heart: for the roaring cheer from the away support, management and players that exploded at the final whistle spoke volumes for our growing reputation. Heathrow had stolen a point from the mighty Eagles. For us it was two valuable points lost, but a whole lot of mighty pride maintained.

The U17s celebrate a win worth waiting for

Hillingdon Borough 3 v 6 Kensington Dragons U17s

The U17s were playing Hillingdon Borough away but due to their home pitch being water-logged, the game was switched to our home ground.  A full strength Dragons were keen for a game not having had one since mid-December.  The weather was not kind and with a biting wind and horizontal rain, the ref tentatively kicked off proceedings.  He had warned beforehand that with the conditions as they were, he would take a look at how it progressed, and would not hesitate to call off the game if the play was not proceeding appropriately.  The Dragons opened the play with a lovely early goal slotted in by Emmanuel Mtimba on the right wing.  This was followed by a foul on Carjez Best-Bryan in the penalty area, with a score to the Dragons from the ensuing penalty – 0:2 to the Dragons.  With the opposition becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of anything on their scoreline and with the heavy rain, another bad tackle this time on Miley Casey, meant a further penalty slotted home by the Dragons.  The opposition managed to pull back a goal before the half time whistle with a messy goal from a goal-mouth scramble and the score stood at 1:3 to the Dragons.

Back on the pitch, the weather had deteriorated even further and it was difficult for the boys to move about the pitch and the ball did not respond when kicked.  However, spirits remained high and the Dragons scored again, from a header from Jacob Hargreaves from a corner.  A further goal,  this time off Miley Casey’s boot, left the score at 1:5.  But the opposition did not give up and scenting the Dragons flagging legs from the long break, they fought long and hard to get further scores on the board.  They succeeded with 2 more goals, pulling the score back to 3:6.  Despite the conditions, the Dragons managed a further goal not long before the final whistle, leaving the final score at 6:3 to the Dragons.  Despite the heavy driving rain, the Dragons were glad they had turned out.