Hendon Youth  0   V   8  Kensington Dragons U13s

Goalscorers: Waleed 2, Jake 3, OG, Joseph, Felix.

There was an embarrassment of riches for the coaches this weekend with every player in the squad, bar one, available for selection for the trip out to North West London. But this luxury also comes with it’s own set of problems. Like how to make sure everyone gets some game time without disrupting a team that is playing so well. Never the less, we were pleased we had a strong bench when we saw the size of the pitch we were playing on. It was vast and with a beautiful playing surface ideal for the Dragons expansive passing style of football.

Before kick off an impeccably respected minute’s applause was observed by both sets of players and supporters in memory of Hendon’s fixture secretary who sadly passed away this week.

The game got under way and it didn’t take long for the Dragons to get used to the increased pitch proportions. After a surging run from Jake he pulled the ball back for Waleed to open the scoring with just 4 minutes on the clock. The Dragons had their noses in front but the game seemed pretty evenly matched in the early exchanges. The home side got behind our defence down the left side and sent a rasping shot on goal. But Enrique was perfectly positioned to parry it away and the Dragons’ defence swept up. This was a crucial save at an important stage of the match. If it had gone in it could have been a key turning point. But after 17 minutes Waleed doubled his (and his team’s) tally, showing composure to head home for 2 nil.

It only took another 8 minutes before the Dragons made it 3 when Jake drove forward, exchanged a neat one two with Sidney and clinically finished. He’d got the taste for goals now and five minutes later he notched up his second to take the away team into the break 4 nil to the good. The Dragons were now dominating the play. Enjoying the extra space afforded them by the pitch dimensions and their superior technical skill. It was time to use some of the full compliment of substitutes and changes were made with strict instructions to keep up the levels of performance and work rate. The replacements didn’t disappoint. When the Hendon keeper came rushing out of his box towards the touchline and Jake crossed, we thought Rudi had headed in number 5 but it was given as an own goal. Sidney was having one of his best performances in a Dragons shirt. Time and again he beat his man on the right and delivered dangerous balls into the box. One such ball was met by Joseph who’d worked himself into a great position and buried the ball beyond the keeper.

There was just enough time for Jake to complete his hat trick, his second in successive weeks and Felix to dispatch a birthday spot kick, given for handball. The Dragons could easily have had double figures as they cruised towards the final whistle if not for some errant finishing and a good performance by Hendon’s keeper who was definitely their best player despite the scoreline.

It was a great performance by the Dragons who were simply too good for the opposition today. The defence was organized, well drilled and rarely troubled, turning in another impressive display and second clean sheet in a row. The midfield was strong and oozed quality. The goals will also be a much needed fillip to our goal difference column as we head into two games either side of the half term break which will undoubtedly see number of players available fall. But seriously, who would want to go away when your team is playing this well? Surely trips to picturesque Ruislip, Hanwell and Acton are far more exciting than the likes of Cornwall, Devon and Somerset?