Kensington Dragons Reserves 1 v 0 Broadfields Reserves
The Reserves beat Broadfields United 1-0 at Uxbridge Football Club to win the first Reserves silverware since the club began!
Having lost a cup final last week, been hammered by Southall in the league on saturday and facing a team they had lost to on their previous six meetings, the Dragons backs were firmly against the wall. After a roller coaster of a season the question was could they raise themselves one last time to get a second 2013 club trophy in the bank? With a bus load of Dragons fans they certainly knew the whole club was behind them.
The answer would only come in injury time but with a strong looking squad the pre-game feelings were all very positive having learned some key lessons in their final defeat last week. The management decided to switch to a 3-5-2 to spring a surprise on Broadfields while giving more support to a faltering attack of late. After a few minutes settling into the new shape, they began to slowly open up the Broadfields defence. James Shirley, at the central point of the 3 at the back was leading by example and with Luke Giles and Adam Finch controlling things in midfield the two wing backs were pushing on and causing havoc. Jack Lyons, responding to some heavy criticism in recent weeks, was cutting Broadfields apart down the right. He fed striker Jon Laycock after 20 minutes who in turn put in his new striking partner Steve Cahill. He drove into the box but the keeper saved his well hit effort superbly. Ethan Meyers, on the left flank was also pushing on and linking with Giles beautifully. But the second chance again fell to Cahill, taking a lovely touch with his back to goal and firing a swivelled shot that the keeper again saved well. However, after losing key players in last weeks final again they lost a key man in captain Dean Humphrey who was just starting to take control in the hole. Reiss Corr came on and the team needed a performance out of one of their youngest Dragons. A couple of half chances came and went but at half time it was 0-0, Broadfields being limited only to long pot shots at the excellent, as always, Joseph Muyanja.
The management team were happy with the performance, Tony Smith and Miguel De Souza only asking a few extra tactical additions as well as to be brave and push on for the goal. After a poor opening 5 minutes suddenly they burst into life, Giles and Finch dominating in midfield and putting in crunching tackles along with great build up play. On 60 minutes finally they got the break through. Finch laid the ball off to Laycock who span and released Corr down the left. His lung bursting run took him into the box and then showed immense composure to square the ball back to the onrushing Laycock who opened up his body to finish calmly into the far corner, the out of form striker’s first goal in 8 games. A great team goal but could they take it to the end or grab the killer second? The fans were driving them on, incredibly loud and passionate songs heard by all the players. The game was now end to end, and then unbelievably the Dragons lost another key player in the superb James Shirley. His nasty ankle turn brought another 18 year old on in Shegun Beckley. The back 3, all under 19 now, were reshuffled and they were coping brilliantly with Muyanja mopping up everything when needed. As Broadfields pushed on the Dragons were now looking sharp on the break. Laycock fed Cahill in behind but again found the keeper saving well. Lyons then drifted a beautiful cross in for Laycock at the far post but he headed tamely to the keeper with the goal at his mercy. Into the last 15 minutes and the Dragons began to sit deeper and deeper. Finch was now in full flow and all over the pitch while communicating superbly to his younger team mates around him. But Broadfields kept coming, and the back three in Will Conway , Meyers and Ade Akeredolu had to be at their very best to restrain the opposition forward line, Akerdolu standing out while marking the Broadfields excellent winger. Director of Football Smith then went to a 4-4-2, allowing a bit more defensive shape…. could they hold on?
Into injury time and it was now kitchen sink o’clock for the opposition, endlessly winning cheap free kicks. The keeper was now up for set pieces and in the final 10 seconds the biggest aerial goal mouth scramble ensued with the whistle in the referees mouth. Muyanja half cleared with a punch, the United keeper returning it with his head, another scuffed clearance and the ball headed for the net until Man of the Match Finch hooked it clear one final time. The referee pursed his young lips and The Dragons were MCFL county Champions, if just by the skin of their teeth.
Kensington Dragons Reserves, 2013 MCFL Junior Open Cup Champions!