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.