Sporting Hackney Reserves 2 – 0 Kensington Dragons Reserves. Division Cup Semi-Final
When you play against the same opponents 2 weeks running it is clear that things might go wrong. However, when Kensington Dragons Reserves beat Sporting Hackney Reserves last week they were sure it is possible to do it again. Unfortunately over the weekend all things around the team went wrong. Dragons Res Manager couldn’t use all available players as MCFL rules dictate all must have played 5 games for the team and no 1st Team cup fixture. All became even harder just before kick off when Ade Akeredolu and Ashley Akrahm the starting CB pairing didn’t turned up for the game. Now with only 1 available sub, it took a great attitude from Matt Finch who had to start on the central position at the back. Dragons started in a 1-4-2-3-1 with Justas Krisciunas as a right midfielder and Ali Suossi as a left. The final third was the kingdom of El-Habib and with an offensive formation looking strong, the defence line wasn’t that good. Abdullah Hussein and Matt weren’t the strongest Reserves couple of CB’s but both of them tried their best.
Dragons starred very very slowly. Players couldn’t find a quick answer for well organised opponents. Hackney created 2 clear chances in the first 10 minutes of the game. They hit the post once and missed the goal with the second shot. Unfortunately the game didn’t change after that. Dragons sat deep and tried to play quickly on the counter after winning possession. This way of play brought the team one great opportunity. El-Habib made a fantastic run but missed the target. That was all the incidents of note in the first 45mins with Hackney trying to play all the balls through the central defence line but Dragons dealing with it admirably.
At half time the manager was focused on correcting the team mistakes as well as inspiring them to adopt a winning attitude. Just after the restart Hackney gave us a warning. They created a good chance but missed the goal. A few minutes later Hackney passed the ball into free space behind the central defenders leaving their striker to win the running competition with Matt Finch and pass unselfishly to his teammate who beat Dragons’ keeper. To compound matters, just after that, injured Matt Finch had to leave the pitch. There were no subs available for his position so the team needed reorganisation. Hassan Osman went into the vacant CB position and Justas Krisciunas dropped into right back. The team tried to press higher and take control but it was not their day. Players were to slow in their play as well as some of the players not reaching their normal performance levels.
What is more in the 60th minute team captain Adam Finch got injured. Unfortunately Dragons Manager now without any available subs, was forced to leave his captain on the pitch. The players continued to try their best but a good scoring opportunity didn’t come. The team took a risk, went higher and opened the game. Our well performing opponents scored one more goal after a centre back mistake. A lack of pressure allowed a shot from distance and keeper Ryan Moore couldn’t do anything. The last 10 minutes Dragons played with 2 injured players as El-Habib couldn’t make any runs with a muscle injury.
It was one of the most difficult games for Dragons Reserves this campaign. Players didn’t perform well in opposition to their opponents and off the pitch things were also far away from the expected commitment levels. Despite the result Ali Soussi showed good performance and he was Kensington Dragons Reserves Man of the Match. There is nothing more to dwell on but to look ahead to the league and play a great match next week and come back in the right way.
Coach Marcin Rusiecki