Month: April 2014

U15A finish season with a PB

The U15 Nighthawks first beat Ruislip Rangers but then lost by 1 goal in the second game of the double header. This has been by far the best season for the Nighthawks and the team came really close to getting promoted to the second division. The statistics are – 18 matches: 9 wins, 4 draws, 3 lost – 45 goals scored, 25 received

U11s finish with a 100% record

Kensington Dragons U11s 3 v 1 Manor Youth

The Under 11s rounded their season off in style with a 3-1 home victory against fourth placed Manor Youth.

The Dragons had plenty of chances to score before finally finding the back of the net midway through the second half. Manor Youth soon equalised via a fantastic solo goal, meaning the Dragons took the 1-1 in to half time.

The Dragons were much better in the second half and Ollie completed yet another hat trick to settle a tense game.

The Dragons finish the season having won all of their league games.

Man of the match: Ollie.

KDFC U15 Eagles

Plucky U15Bs lose away to West Drayton

West Drayton 2 v 1 Kensington Dragons U15B

With the team once more diminished by three late no-shows the talk on the bus was of the film “300” in which an indomitable band of plucky Spartans holds off the massed hoards of invading Persians, some two and half thousand years ago. But who knows how Western Civilisation would have turned out if those ancient Greek warriors had stopped for a half-time breather?

In the first 40 minutes our intrepid nine were simply magnificent, with passing and movement and trickery and guile that left many of the massed Drayton hoards stock still and watching. Our goal, when it came, was uncharacteristically scrappy but at 1-0 up we looked very good for more…

But then the fatal break and some simple, intelligent coaching from the opposition did for us in the second. They finally started to run and to press and to think and to probe and two set pieces later they walked away winners.

Which, understandably, delighted the excellent Drayton coach. He’d said before the game we were the finest footballing side in the division. He’d scratched his head at some of our recent results. But with less than 11 for at least the fifth time this season, the reason is simple. And that’s why some older heads returned to St Mark’s ruefully recalling older, forgotten films. Our stuttering Eagles might have been such Raging Bulls. We too could have, should have been contenders…

Firsts rescue a point at home to Gymkhana

Kensington Dragons 2 v 2 Indian Gymkhana

After the win over title rivals Sporting Hackney in the week, it was down to Dragons to follow up on their 3-0 win over Indian Gymkhana from 3 weeks ago. With fixtures coming thick and fast, Manager Miguel De Souza chose to ring the changes with Luke O’Donoghue, Maddy Mkoloma, George Mariner, Seymour Scott and Pavi Bhangoo all dropping to the bench. The debut midfield pairing of Dean Humphrey and Jonathan Kasongo were tasked with driving on the side with Geoff Nalu Mosa being named as captain.

Both teams started slowly with little threat on show until Humphrey suffered a ‘Gerrard like’ slip in the midfield and as the ball went wide, a first time cross was met on the volley by the Gymkhana winger who smashed home from 6 yards. Falling behind stirred the Dragons but they fell into the trap of forcing the play long and the ball too often bypassed the midfield and with the wingers playing high, it was often a front 4 with little shape or possession.

Dragons striker Ali Soussi had the first real chance when he was set free down the right hand side, cutting in to face the keeper, his vicious shot was well saved at the near post. The resulting corner saw another chance fall to Soussi who volleyed well but the committed defenders blocked again. An early injury ended winger Zaine Gungadeen’s afternoon and Mariner came on from the bench. Straight away his pace and power set him through on goal but he unfortunately lifted the ball over the bar from 12 yards. Half time and 0-1.

The lacklustre performance from the home side saw De Souza demanding more, threatening to ring the changes if the players did not respond. Unfortunately they did not and it was Gymkhana who scored again. The striker was put clean through and he confidently rounded keeper Joseph Muyanja. De Souza true to his word withdrew Soussi for Bhangoo and changed the shape to a 3 man midfield. With news seeping through that Hackney were losing on the adjacent pitch, Dragons needed to respond to get anything from the game. The shape seemed to have the desired effect. Bhangoo began to take control in the middle of the park which released Humphrey and Kasongo to push forward. Humphrey had the first chance with his shot from the angle striking the post. Ricardo Ramos playing behind the 2 strikers was getting more of the ball but his shots too often found the keepers arms. The move of the match began with CB Bowler finding Billy Maxwell who played a neat one two with Kasongo before finding Ramos who intelligently squared the ball for Mariner with a free goal, 8 yards out. The striker composed himself only to fire his shot high over the bar.

Gymkhana were beginning to tick down the clock and Dragons had to raise it further. Another good move involving Ramos found Mariner again free at the back post. His first shot was saved but he managed to take defender, keeper and most importantly the ball into the net at the rebound. 1-2 with 15mins to go. Dragons pressed on and created numerous chances, none more clear than a ball to the back post from Sam Cole to Nalu Mosa who found himself with a free header from 2 yards which he somehow conspired to put wide. De Souza played his final card, Scott coming on for Kasongo which released full back Maxwell into the midfield.

Dragons pressed higher and higher but were caught with a quick counter attack which saw the Gymkhana striker through with what looked like a tap in to seal the game only for Muyanja to pull off a vital save. Dragons moved the ball swiftly up the flank from the restart and won a throw in 10 yards from the goal line. Humphrey sent in one of his signatory long throws and Bhangoo timed his run to perfection, sending a left foot volley crashing in from 8 yards. 2-2. Dragons continued to press for the last few minutes but the tough opposition hung on well to earn the point.

Hackney had indeed lost 3-0 to Deportivo leaving Dragons’ failure to secure all 3 points, all the more frustrating. 16 points clear with one game to go. Hackney have 8 but with rumours abound that they will not be able to fulfil their final 3 fixtures and the League planning to put all unfulfilled fixtures to a Pools like panel, this season is still likely to produce a final twist before the end.

Kensington Dragons First Team Vs West Essex Pav Bhangoo signiture outside the foot
Kensington Dragons First Team Pav Bhangoo

 

Reserves finish with a home win

Kensington Dragons Reserves 4 v 2 Sporting Hackney Reserves

Kensington Dragons Reserves faced Sporting Hackney Reserves in the last game of the season. The team would like to finish the season in the same way how they started with another win in their way to the championship title. It was not easy to do especially with a very experimental defensive line. Without 2 key centre back available, James Shirley and Hassan Osman took their positions. This movement gave a place on the right side of defence to Matt Finch who’s position on the left wing was taken by Steven Cahill.

Dragons made a fantastic start. In the 5th minute of the match, team captain Adam Finch took a fantastic shot from distance and placed the ball into the right bottom corner of the goal giving no chance to the goalkeeper! This began a good period for the team! All players showed brilliant attitude and match commitment and moments later the score became 2-0. A young player Kamal Romain gave Dragons a comfortable advantage with a fine finish. Unfortunately a few minutes later the opponents scored with a fantastic free kick over the wall into the top corner of the goal and put a lot of pressure on us. Fortunately Dragons reacted very well, regained control of the game and kept possession.

At half time the management staff asked the team to stay calm and  play the same football. 2 minutes after the restart Tom Madden was served with a fantastic pass through the defence line and he beat the keeper in the one on one face to face situation.

After another 2 minutes the situation became even better when Elhabib Oumar took advantage of a terrible goalie mistake and put the ball into the empty goal. 4-1 and well on top allowed the manager to use the subs. Lamelle Williams replaced Andrew Scheck, Jamanhi Henry took Tom Madden’s place and Mohammed Al-Faisal on for James Shirley.

With a comfortable result in hand Dragons created more chances but failed to extend their lead further.

Over the last 15 minutes, Dragons lost their concentration and let Sporting Hackney take control on the pitch. Some very poor defending gave the opponents a goal for 4-2 and wound them up. The last few minutes saw Hackney create a few more chances but Ryan Moore in the goal did this job.

Kensington Dragons Reserves finished the season with a very important win. Unfortunately they have to wait for other results to be sure that a really successful season for the players will give them a championship crown!

Firsts draw at home to AFC Hayes Reserves

Kensington Dragons Firsts 2 v 2 AFC Hayes Reserves

Dragons’ profligacy in front of goal once more came back to haunt them in a home game where only maximum points keeps the pressure on Sporting Hackney in the title race. Manager De Souza opted to start with 3 at the back, 5 across the middle and 2 up top.  Dragons scored first, a burst of strength and pace from midfielder Dean Humphrey down the left wing saw his early through ball find striker George Mariner clear through and with all the time in the world to compose himself and finish coolly into the top corner. Hayes responded with their main threat, a giant of a centre back who up for the corner out jumped Maddy Mkoloma to level the scores. Almost immediately another good move found wingback Billy Maxwell with time to cross into the box for opposite wingback Zaine Gungadeen to send a diving header in from a few yards out.

Hayes were causing some problems with skilful wide players but with little to trouble Dragons keeper Daniel Byers it was simply left for the team on top to look to extend their lead. O’Donoghue missed the target from a Maxwell cutback, Mariner crashed an open goal onto the bar from 1 yard, Gungadeen dragged wide when clear through on the angle… and so it went on.

Dragons came out after the break and took their foot off the gas for the next 25mins. It took only 10 for the Hayes striker to expose the avenue between CB’s O’Donoghue and Gilbaut Batousol. The striker controlled, swivelled and pushed a tame effort past Byers and in off the post for 2-2. The team went to 4-3-1-2 but still couldn’t break the deadlock. The best chance came in the last 5mins. O’Donoghue gathered a clearence and found Mariner out wide who beat his man to cross for sub Ali Soussi  for an open goal tap in from 1 yard and yet he too somehow managed to cannon his finish off the crossbar leaving Dragons frustrated at not capitalising on their recent good run of 3 wins. Hackney up next at home on Wednesday night.

KDFC South Africa Tour 2010

KENSINGTON DRAGONS AT THE TRANSCAPE RURAL SOCCER WORLD CUP

After a successful 2009-10 campaign in the Harrow Youth League, the Dragons accepted the challenge to participate in the TransCape Rural Soccer World Cup to be held in South Africa’s Eastern Cape. TransCape is an NPO based in the rural Ngqeleni District, the poorest area in South Africa. It was started by the owners of Mdumbi Backpackers and Doctors working at Canzibe Hospital in an attempt to help the people living in the area face the many challenges of their daily lives.  With the benefits of the recent Fifa World Cup seemingly confined to the major towns and cities, TransCape sought to use Soccer to unite the local community and offer HIV/Aids testing and counselling to marginalised communities. Their 6 month project used a tournament qualification model to involve the entire region, culminating in the final 8 teams attending the Rural World Cup in Mdumbi.

A group of U16-U18 Dragon Players, Parents and Coaching Volunteers set off on in August 2010 on a 12,000 mile round trip from London to Mdumbi, situated on the remote, south east corner of South Africa.

Starting in Johannesburg to buy football equipment and kit to support local school and village football teams, the group embarked on a 13 hour coach drive to Mdumbi where they spent 10 days meeting local people, helping to teach in the local primary school, holding soccer and netball coaching sessions in the area and playing in the TRSC10 International Finals.

Not only a wonderful opportunity to support such a good cause but a key part of our own personal development with many of the youth players involved having little or no previous experience of travel, the great outdoors or what it is like for the people living in one of the poorest areas of the world.

Please take a look through our slideshow, a snapshot of the experience and of South Africa itself.

 

Dear Chris and the Kensington Dragons Team,

On behalf of TransCape, I want to thank you so much for making the effort to join us here for the TRSC10 International Finals tournament and to do such great work during your week here on the Wild Coast of South Africa!

I know that the villages we went to were so excited to see you all and greatly benefitted from your generous gifts not just of physical things but of your desire to serve and give of your time and efforts. You fulfilled the hopes and dreams of many here to play against an international team and you will not be forgotten soon.

Here at Mdumbi we all had a great time hosting you all and hope that it will become an annual trip for the Kensington Dragons Club!

Kindest regards,

Steve Bollon

Soccer Co-ordinator, TransCape NPO 

 

Click here more information on TransCape and their Sports Education Programme

You can also read all about the tournament and the positive effect on the local community.

 

 

 

KDFC U15 Eagles

U15B need their whole squad to pull together

Willesden Constantine 5 v 1 Kensington Dragons U15B

The floods of February may have floored us, but the rising tides of March had seen our rocky spirits lift. A second place finish now seemed once more within our grasp. Until this Sunday, of course. Already shorn of players, including our leading striker, we lost another key mid-fielder to a last-minute no-show. And despite our recent heroics when, outnumbered, our plucky few had penned legends in the West London clay, we knew the mighty Constantine would prove a different prospect.

An old foe with whom we have tussled, unfruitfully, on many an occasion, Willesden are a more than willing side. Our ten men were never going to be enough. Two goals shipped in the opening five seemed to sink us and while, of course, we fought and passed and probed and crafted highly polished chances we were simply too wasteful when it counted. So 5-1 it was. The defeat still sharply stings. Can our enormous promise deliver as we enter the season’s unforgiving end-game?

U14A lose away to Hanwell

Hanwell Town 3 vs 1 Kensington Dragons U14A

With Dean the coach away, I took control of the team and employed a 3-2-1-3-1 formation based on the availability of players we only had 12 on duty and the fact it works well for me on Football Manager. The game kicked off late as both teams and ref were locked out of the ground and had to wait 20 mins for the keys to arrive, it might have been better if they had not arrived at all.

The first half the Dragons started off well and kept Hanwell under pressure but were unable to test their keeper until we won a penalty and Corey successfully converted it to take the lead. As the half went on we got sloppy and were giving the ball away too easily and Hanwell began to create a few good chances, But we held out to half time.

We changed to 4-4-2 to be more solid defensively, however Hanwell took the inititive and equalised when their striker found some space in the box and finished well. Then a couple of bizzare goals firstly a direct free kick from 30 yards flew into our net and then a corner went straight in, some debate on this one as to the sideline it appeared to hit the post and not cross the goal line. It gave Hanwell a deserved victory as we failed to capitalise on a couple of golden chances late in the game.