Month: November 2014

U16A win away in Wembley

AFC Wembley 0 v 1 Kensington Dragons U16A

After having a few games called off, the U16A’s finally played away vs AFC Wembley.

In the new red kit the Dragons pressed the home team from early playing attacking football creating many chances. Paul & JP both tested the keeper but they were to be stopped.

The second half started with both teams wasting chances & playing some good football. Time began to run out for the boys until a brilliant delivered ball by JP was headed in by striker ‘Q’ to give us a well deserved lead with minutes remaining. An all round solid display by the boys earned them a hard fought 3 points.

Man of the Match: Benji

U13s hit four to win at home

KENSINGTON DRAGONS U13s 4  V  2 PRINCE’S PARK.

Goalscorers: Jake, Joseph (2), Joe.

Our first home match in what seems like an age pitted the Under 13s against Prince’s Park. We knew they would provide a tough test after a close fought match at their place at the start of the season.

A few absentees called for a reshuffle in the Dragons defence and it looked, on paper, to be a solid defensive unit. But the Dragons made their customary poor start and were a goal down when a Prince’s Park striker latched on to an under strength throw-out from Enrique and ruthlessly dispatched the ball beyond him. A few minutes later the Dragons found themselves 2 nil down to a great strike by the visitors.

An attempted Rabona by a visiting midfielder provided some light relief and brought chuckles from the Dragons’ substitutes as it had more in common with David Dunn’s comedic effort (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4fsLeCjB4s) than Eric Lamela’s wonder goal.

The Dragons finally started to play like we know they can and Jake, up from the back for a corner, halved the arears with a well-taken goal that he stroked calmly into the net. Sidney, returning to the team after a month out, had a stinging shot saved by the in-form Prince’s Park keeper and as the first period drew to an end Joe won the ball in the congested midfield and played a perfectly weighted through ball for Joseph to run on to. He held off the covering defender and smashed the ball past the keeper to open his account with the Dragons and make it 2 all at the break. As the second half started the Dragons picked up where they had left off and within 4 minutes of the restart Felix picked out Joseph who doubled his tally for the season with another fine finish.

The Dragons pushed on looking for another goal and as Joe chased a through ball he collided with the on-rushing keeper. There was a lengthly delay while the keeper’s head injury was assessed but eventually he decided to bravely continue. However he didn’t last long and was withdrawn from the field of play after complaining of blurred vision. The Dragons, buoyed by their goal advantage, went in search of the killer blow. The stand-in keeper was proving to be an accomplished shot stopper until a move straight from the Dragons’ training ground broke his stubborn resistance. Raaid peeled out wide on the overlap, the ball was played into his path and he delivered an exquisite right foot cross that Joe met with a precise header at the back post. 4-2 and the Dragons were in complete control. It was a convincing display by the home team. Franklin had one of his best performances in defence nullifying everything that came down the right flank. And Joseph’s first goals for the team, one with his left and one with his right, should give him the confidence to add to his tally in the coming weeks.

So the Under 13s continue to improve and look good value for their second place position in the league as they head into December. With many of the top teams already played they look perfectly poised to mount a serious tilt at the title.

U15A’s hit 14 past London Athletic

Harrow Youth League Division 3

Kensington Dragons U15A 14 v 0 London Athletic B

Scorers : Ilays x 4, Korey x 2, Magnus x 2, Alberto x 1, Josh x 1, Joel x 1, Danny (Pen) x 1, Emmanuel x 1,  Shaq x 1

MOM Magnus

We only had 11 as we turned up at LCS due to 4 of the team being out with injuries. A couple of calls later and Joel and Alberto managed to get their plans changed (well their parents actually) and managed to get to LCS during the 1st half to boost the squad.

The team put in a dominant performance from 1st to last as we took control of the game from the opening kick-off and camped ourselves around the LAB’s penalty area the only thing missing was a goal. However this was not long in coming as Josh received the ball on the edge of the penalty box and placed the ball into the net. Ilyas then scored the first of his four goals with a tap in and a Beckham-esc free kick from Joel from 25 yards out left the keeper with no chance. LAB’s only real chance of the game was a free kick which was calmly saved by Zak. Alberto then added the fourth just before half time with a shot from inside the penalty area to take us to half time with a comfortable lead.

The second half saw the team play some of their best football of the season so far where over the last few games we have overplayed and not taken full advantage of our chances. This half our passing was crisp and accurate, our free kicks and corners were of the highest order. Our runs were direct taking several defenders out of the game and our chances were clinically finished.

Goals were scored at regular intervals during the second half with Ilyas completing his well-deserved hat-trick, Danny expertly tucked away a penalty into the bottom left of the net, Magnus scoring 2 goals in 2 minutes, a great corner from Bailey was met in the 6 yard box by Corey who, unmarked, headed the ball in the net for his first of 2 goals. Bailey then grabbed a goal of his own and Shaq then scored the best goal of the game with 30 yard screamer. Emmanuel’s hard work and mazy runs were rewarded with a goal. The only 2 outfield players not to score were Filly and Noah our centre halves who provided expert cover at the back and earned the team a well-earned clean sheet to cap a great team performance.

U17s win at home to Pinnstars

Kensington Dragons U17s 7 vs 0 Pinnstars

After weeks of small squads and miserable results, the Dragons finally got their act together in emphatic style. Buoyed by a return of the energetic Ishmael, a returning fit goalkeeper, a new look strike force and new signings the Dragons settled into the game very quickly. Slick passing and a level of energetic pressing, which had been absent in the last few weeks, saw the Dragons win a penalty in the first 7 minutes. However, it was missed! This highlighted the lack of confidence coursing through the home side.

Instead of this being a precursor for doom, it acted as a wake up call, as within 10 minutes the Dragons were off the mark with Mo scoring the first goal. This proceeded in an opening of the flood gates, with Youel, who started slowly, getting his third goal from midfield this season. The scoring continued with Rinor scoring his 4th in three games and Kaise getting off the mark on his return from injury. These goals were built off the back of neat football in midfield with Tom dominant in both the air and the ground, and Ishmael’s unselfish movement and slick skills helping the team to put the ball into dangerous areas. 4-0 was the half time score and the question was would the Dragons be able to keep the clean sheet that had eluded them all season.

Changes were made at half time, which slowed the pace of the game but it didn’t stop Mo scoring his second goal. He will think long and hard about his penalty miss, especially as Rinor went on to notch two more. Rinor went home with the match ball leaving Mo to consider what if. Healthy internal rivalries aside, 7-0 actually flattered the opposition considering the Dragons failed to hit the target, when they managed to work the ball into good situations, and also an inspired goal keeper actually kept the score down.

After some tough results, the Dragons have made a step in the right direction, scoring goals, creating chances, working hard to win the ball, and managing to keep a clean sheet (which Ben contributed to with some fine saves). Altogether a good performance and a great result. However can the team now create some consistency and fulfil their undoubted potential? Time will tell.

U15A win away to Concorde Rangers

Harrow Youth League Division 3

Concorde Rangers 3 v 6 Kensington Dragons U15A

Scorers Pablo x 2, Dean x 2 , Korey, Joel (Pen)

MOM Filmon

We arrived at QPR’s training ground at Harlington and having negotiated our way past the security man and a Columbian TV crew I thought they were waiting for us but turns out Columbia’s national team were training there that morning. After changing and walking over to the pitch the Columbian team coach arrived with James Rodriguez and crew. A few players went hunting for selfies but I think drew a blank.

The first half against Concorde Rangers saw a lot of our players still being star struck and their heads were not in the game. We started ok but were guilty of not taking our chances as players chose the wrong options or failed to get off telling shots and the R’s keeper was largely untested. We were also guilty of losing the ball in midfield and were punished as the R’s counter attacked from one such opportunity and got behind our defence and scored from a deflected shot.

The Dragons equalised when Dean’s persistence paid off as he won a couple of challenges and slotted home the equaliser. The R’s responded and regained the lead with a penalty when their attacker was tripped by our defender in the box and a good penalty just beat our keeper Zac into the bottom left hand corner. The R’s hung onto the lead until the half time break.

The old saying of football is a game of two half applied to the Dragons on this occasion as the introduction of Joel at halftime changed the game as his short sharp passing kept the ball moving and good team possession began to tire the opposition midfield (they only had one sub) and opened up space for Korey, Bailey and Pablo to exploit. We were soon level as a great through ball from Bailey found Pablo in the box and he unleashed an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net.

The Dragons were now in charge and took the lead with another great finish from Korey and a second for Dean as he headed in from a corner. Our fifth goal was another powerful shot from Pablo which found the back of the net. At this point we were attacking in waves with Magnus marauding forward from left back and Emmanuel also nearly getting on the score sheet. The R’s responded and made it 5-3 as an attacker took full advantage of a lucky deflection to cut our lead. It could have been a nail biting final 10 mins but for 2 great saves from Zak and cool, composed defending by Filmon stopped our lead being further eaten into. The Dragons went 6-3 ahead when Josh JD was tripped in the box and Joel stepped up and converted the spot kick to seal the victory.

Cracking cup win for the U13s

BESSINGBY PARK RANGERS ‘A’  3    V    5  KENSINGTON DRAGONS U13s

Goalscorers: Waleed (2), Karim, Felix, Joe.

No downpour of biblical proportions this week, instead a bright, crisp, autumnal morning. Ideal conditions for an away cup tie.

Our old adversaries, Bessingby Park Rangers were our hosts, the team we gave away a 3 goal lead to in a recent league match before pulling back to draw 5-5. The Dragons were sent out with strict instructions not give their opposition such an easy start this time. And after an impeccably observed minute’s silence to mark Remembrance Sunday the game commenced. The Dragons seemed to have heeded the warning words, keeping it tight at the back and being quick into the tackle in midfield. After 5 minutes Chester, playing at right back, angled a probing through-ball forward which Walleed latched on to and dispatched beyond the keeper with his left foot to put the visitors ahead.

The pitch was a little on the small side and this made for a congested game in midfield. The Dragons struggled to get their usual attractive, passing game going as the ball ping-ponged around the middle third. The Dragons took their slender lead into the break but just after the restart BPR’s goggle-wearing striker leveled for the home side. Midway through the second half the Dragons won a corner after the BPR keeper very honestly admitted that he had got a touch to a shot before it had gone out. Jake delivered and Karim buried a bullet of a header to put the visitors ahead. As the end of normal time approached, the home side piled on the pressure and notched up a deserved equalizer taking the game into extra time. Bessingby were now in the ascendency as they put the visitors goal under increased pressure. They won a free kick on the edge of the Dragons’ box and the resulting dead-ball flew over the wall and into the net, much to the delight of the home support. They were now in the lead for the first time in the match and the Dragons were on the brink of a cup exit with just one half of extra time left to play. It was time for a final throw of the dice. The Dragons were ordered to switch to a more direct style of play, to bypass the congested midfield and play with 2 up front, as they attempted to claw back the arrears. The visitors surged forward looking for the equalizer and when the ball fell to Felix on the edge of the box he hit a rocket of a strike which nearly ripped the net from the goal. ‘Gerrard-esque’ was one description. The wonder strike provided the impetus the Dragons needed to push on. A few minutes later Ilya burst through on the right and was brought down in the box. Waleed converted the resulting spot kick with aplomb. The visitors were now flying and Waleed turned provider with a perfectly weighted through-ball. Joe drove forward towards goal and smashed the Dragons in to the hat for the next round of the Cup.

The back four deserve a special mention for this performance. It was their best performance as a unit thus far, especially in the later stages. Franklin and Karim were immense. So the Dragons go marching on, cheered on by their loyal away support.

Hanwell haunts the U13s

HANWELL TOWN ‘A’  5   V  3  KENSINGTON DRAGONS U13s

Goalscorers: Waleed (3)

There was an away match in the cup in Halloween week for the under 13s and they started off by handing out treats in the form of goals to their opponents, Hanwell Town.

The team in black and white stripes were 2 nil up in the space of 3 minutes (one from a dubious penalty) as the rain came down and the ball skidded across the greasy playing surface. The Dragons were defending too deeply, wary of the home team’s striker’s pace and propensity to fall over and this was looking like it might prove costly.

We started to think that this might turn into a horror show of Texas Chainsaw Massacre proportions but the goals jolted the Dragons into life like Frankenstein’s monster. They jerkily started to go through the gears. Milo was introduced to the midfield in a holding role and he had an immediate impact with his enthusiastic work rate, energy and willingness to track back and selflessly help out his defenders.

The visitors got a foothold in the match when Waleed slotted home under the keeper with familiar composure before the home team replied with another goal of their own to make it 3-1 after just 6 minutes of play. There now followed a period of attrition with the teams looking pretty evenly matched despite Hanwell being a division above the Dragons. Joe fizzed an angled effort narrowly past the post from the left. A few minutes later Ilya cut inside from the right but couldn’t find the finish to match his quality approach play. And that’s how it remained at the break.

The Dragons emerged from the half time team talk (or whisper, as coach Dean had lost his voice) wearing bright orange bibs. Not because they were still in the Halloween spirit but because the home team were finding it difficult telling who was on their team.

Waleed started the second half where he had left off the first and curled a delightful shot past the keeper for his and the Dragon’s second. 3-2, the Dragons were still in this. Unfortunately the home side weren’t being obliging hosts and they netted again before Joe carved his way down the right like a knife through a pumpkin and delivered a devilish cross that Waleed (who else?) met with the perfect header to complete his hat trick (which if I’m not mistaken was one with his left, one with his right and one with his head, a perfect treble). 4-3. Could a cup upset be on the cards? Sadly not, as in the dying minutes Hanwell sent a speculative shot in on goal and the wet ball slipped through Enrique’s fingers to give the home team a winning margin that was rather more flattering than they deserved.

Again the Dragons were made to pay for a sluggish start but there were plenty of positives to take out of this battling performance. Least of all that in Waleed, we have a striker who can score goals against any team. And if you have that you always stand a chance and you should fear no-one. Even in Halloween week.

 

U15A have to earn the point against Yeading

November 09 2014

Harrow Youth League Division 3

Kensington Dragons U15A 2 v 2 Yeading Wanderers

Scorers Danny , Korey

MotM Korey

A testing game was expected as we faced our old nemesis Yeading Wanderers at LCS and this perception turned into reality.  After a minutes silence for Remembrance Sunday was impeccably observed by all concerned the battle commenced. The Dragons employed their centre half Danny as centre forward for this match to increase our physical presence up front.

The early stages saw the Dragons controlling the game without creating any clear cut chances and it was very much against the run of play that Yeading took the lead from a corner which followed the typical premiership routine of shirt pulling, pushing etc. causing the ref to “have a word” with a few of the offenders. The corner was then duly taken and the ball sailed through our 6 yard box through our keeper hands (unfortunately the ref failed to spot he had been pushed in the back) straight onto the head of an unmarked forward who despatched into the net.

The Dragons fought back and an equaliser was not long incoming as Danny picked up a loose ball in the box and passed the ball into the net. He nearly scored again shortly after a deft chip went over their keeper but also just went over the crossbar. The Dragons took the lead shortly before halftime as Korey cut in from the right and unleashed an unstoppable shot from the right edge of the penalty area which smashed into the net.

The Wanderers wound up by their coach’s halftime talk came out in determined mood and obviously had a plan to close us down earlier than they had in the first half as they tightened up their marking. Even to the extent our linesman was also being man marked by a member of their coaching staff! The Dragons continued to pass the ball but were guilty of giving the ball away allowing Yeading to use their favoured tactic of hitting their physical forward early which did prove effective but both sides failed to add to the goal tally.

That is until Yeading won another corner and scored directly from it as the ball somehow found its way into the net at the near post beating our defender who was positioned there. It turns out the goalpost moved from its original position allowing a gap to appear. These things seem to happen when we play Yeading. The Dragons went in search of a winner and created a few chances but were guilty of going for glory and wasted the chances. As one of the runners using the LCS track stated after the game, “You were the better team but were guilty of showboating.” These wasted chances nearly proved costly as only a fingertip save from our keeper Tom pushing a fiercely hit shot onto the post stopped us from dropping all 3 points and allowed us to collect a hard fought but valuable point