Bessingby Park Rangers  0   V   3  Kensington Dragons U13s

Goalscorers: Jake 3.

The Dragons desperately needed a win this weekend after their recent dip in form that had seen their promotion aspirations almost certainly slip away. They could have done with a nice easy trip to lowly opposition but instead they were handed a tough tie against BPR riding high in the league, currently in second place. Bessingby are a good team who play the game the right way and recent matches against the Dragons have always been close.

After a poorly attended training session on Saturday, due to illness and absentees, the Dragons were struggling to get 11 players together for the trip out to Northholt but in the end a reduced squad of 13 hardy souls made the journey along the A40 on a bitterly cold Sunday morning.

The boys in blue started well and dominated early possession but failed to make it count and we wondered if we might rue our missed opportunities. But the Dragons looked strong and disciplined at the back. Aziz and Felix were playing in slightly deeper midfield roles, breaking up any BPR attacks and working well together adding aggression and industry as well as composure and calm to the team. Which meant that Jake could maraud forward and attack at will. The 2 wide players were playing well too, with Ilya especially catching the eye, back to his best, testing the opposition with his pace and trickery.

The Dragons had a good shape and looked like a well-balanced side. And most importantly they had a grit and determination that had been lacking in recent weeks and there was an urgency and energy about their work-rate. The fact that they were playing on a decent playing surface was also an important factor. (Our recent slump has coincided with the onset of bad weather and the deterioration of the pitches, especially at St. Mark’s).

After 23 minutes the deadlock was broken. A clever ball from Waleed put Jake through on goal and he buried the ball in the back of the net to put the Dragons one nil up. And that’s how the first half came to a close. After the break the Dragons pushed on and the introduction of both substitutes did nothing to change the pattern of play that had transpired in the first 35 minutes. Jake struck again to make it 2 nil and the Dragons were in control.

Both centre backs were playing really well at the heart of a solid back four, limiting Bessingby to scraps in the form of a couple of long range efforts that Enrique was never troubled by. Confidence was now coursing through the team and when Jake completed his hattrick from a well-taken free kick the game was effectively over.

This was a great team performance from the Dragons, one of their very best. They dominated from the first whistle to the last against very good opposition. They worked hard for each other, executed their game plan and they should be very proud of this result. If the recent defeats have been character building then this was the proof. They should also remember one thing. Winning also builds character.