FA Charter Standard Development Club Application – Kensington Dragons F.C
We are delighted to announce that after a concerted effort from all the Club officers, managers and coaches KDFC has been awarded FA Charter Standard Development Club status. There are currently 600 Clubs affiliated to Middlesex County FA of which 120 are Charter Standard Clubs and only 8 are Development Clubs. We hope this award will not only raise our profile within the county but help us develop even more partnerships with groups within the London area, support our applications for funding, attract potential sponsors and secure training and development opportunities for our coaches, managers and players.
More details on the FA Charter Standard Scheme can be found at the link below.
Charter Standard Coordinator
Kensington Dragons FC
“Thank you for your recent FA Charter Standard application which we have received at the Association office. I am delighted to inform you that after meeting the necessary criteria your application has been approved by our Raising Standards Working Group for the FA Charter Standard Development Club Award.
Middlesex County FA believe that it is a fantastic achievement and honour to achieve the FA Charter Standard Development Award and therefore I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate your club on behalf of us all. By achieving the award your club has demonstrated an excellent level of discipline, administration and operating standards with a commitment to developing new activity within the club over the next three seasons.”
Middlesex County Football Association
The Senior section made up of First and Reserve teams are well underway. Successful seasons for both teams in 2013-14 saw the Firsts finish runner-up in their debut season in the MCFL Prem and the Reserves just miss out as Champions in the Snr Reserve Division on goal difference. Training details are below. If you would like to attend a session or are looking to join KDFC please email the Secretary Luke O’Donoghue at email@example.com
Monday and Wednesday 7.00-9.00pm on the grass in front of the changing rooms at Wormwood Scrubs
Monday 8.30-10.00pm on Linford Christie 11aside astro pitch
Thursday 9.00-10.00pm on Linford Christie 11aside astro pitch
Kensington Dragons Reserves 4 v 5 Kensington Dragons Firsts – Saturday 10th May
This was the epitome of the phrase ‘a game of two halves’. With both squads having finished the season, availability was limited but the Reserves managed to start the game with 11 men including Director of Football Tony Smith in goal. The First Team fared less well having to start with 10 and manager Miguel De Souza between the sticks.
The First team having never played at Linford Christie Stadium before could be deemed the away side and indeed it was the Reserves who showed the confidence and quality to strike a 4 goal lead in the first half largely thanks to their season top goal scorer El-Habib who, being fed by captain Adam Finch’s through balls, beat De Souza time and again to show the First Team Manager what he’d been missing.
Thankfully at half time the First Team Captain arrived and although injured and planning to watch, wasn’t best pleased to find the Firsts 4-0 down and with 10 men so a quick kit change and reshuffle first from De Souza and then Bhangoo meant the team took to the field with a little more balance.
The game then became hotly contested and the Firsts managed to claw their way back largely through Mkoloma, Bhangoo and Bowler despite the cat like efforts of Tony Smith who pulled off two wonder saves before the First Team, now a man up themselves after Finch withdrew with injury, clinched the victory 4-5 ending an entertaining game for the supporters and a good way for the group to get together and end the season.
Come and support the first team in their final game of a 30 game Premier Division campaign. A win will guarantee 2nd spot in their first season and may well see them finish as champions depending on other results.
Kensington Dragons Vs FC Assyria
At Osterley Sports Club, Tentelow Lane, Norwood Green, Middlesex UB2 4LW, 020 8574 7055
Kensington Dragons 2 v 2 Indian Gymkhana
After the win over title rivals Sporting Hackney in the week, it was down to Dragons to follow up on their 3-0 win over Indian Gymkhana from 3 weeks ago. With fixtures coming thick and fast, Manager Miguel De Souza chose to ring the changes with Luke O’Donoghue, Maddy Mkoloma, George Mariner, Seymour Scott and Pavi Bhangoo all dropping to the bench. The debut midfield pairing of Dean Humphrey and Jonathan Kasongo were tasked with driving on the side with Geoff Nalu Mosa being named as captain.
Both teams started slowly with little threat on show until Humphrey suffered a ‘Gerrard like’ slip in the midfield and as the ball went wide, a first time cross was met on the volley by the Gymkhana winger who smashed home from 6 yards. Falling behind stirred the Dragons but they fell into the trap of forcing the play long and the ball too often bypassed the midfield and with the wingers playing high, it was often a front 4 with little shape or possession.
Dragons striker Ali Soussi had the first real chance when he was set free down the right hand side, cutting in to face the keeper, his vicious shot was well saved at the near post. The resulting corner saw another chance fall to Soussi who volleyed well but the committed defenders blocked again. An early injury ended winger Zaine Gungadeen’s afternoon and Mariner came on from the bench. Straight away his pace and power set him through on goal but he unfortunately lifted the ball over the bar from 12 yards. Half time and 0-1.
The lacklustre performance from the home side saw De Souza demanding more, threatening to ring the changes if the players did not respond. Unfortunately they did not and it was Gymkhana who scored again. The striker was put clean through and he confidently rounded keeper Joseph Muyanja. De Souza true to his word withdrew Soussi for Bhangoo and changed the shape to a 3 man midfield. With news seeping through that Hackney were losing on the adjacent pitch, Dragons needed to respond to get anything from the game. The shape seemed to have the desired effect. Bhangoo began to take control in the middle of the park which released Humphrey and Kasongo to push forward. Humphrey had the first chance with his shot from the angle striking the post. Ricardo Ramos playing behind the 2 strikers was getting more of the ball but his shots too often found the keepers arms. The move of the match began with CB Bowler finding Billy Maxwell who played a neat one two with Kasongo before finding Ramos who intelligently squared the ball for Mariner with a free goal, 8 yards out. The striker composed himself only to fire his shot high over the bar.
Gymkhana were beginning to tick down the clock and Dragons had to raise it further. Another good move involving Ramos found Mariner again free at the back post. His first shot was saved but he managed to take defender, keeper and most importantly the ball into the net at the rebound. 1-2 with 15mins to go. Dragons pressed on and created numerous chances, none more clear than a ball to the back post from Sam Cole to Nalu Mosa who found himself with a free header from 2 yards which he somehow conspired to put wide. De Souza played his final card, Scott coming on for Kasongo which released full back Maxwell into the midfield.
Dragons pressed higher and higher but were caught with a quick counter attack which saw the Gymkhana striker through with what looked like a tap in to seal the game only for Muyanja to pull off a vital save. Dragons moved the ball swiftly up the flank from the restart and won a throw in 10 yards from the goal line. Humphrey sent in one of his signatory long throws and Bhangoo timed his run to perfection, sending a left foot volley crashing in from 8 yards. 2-2. Dragons continued to press for the last few minutes but the tough opposition hung on well to earn the point.
Hackney had indeed lost 3-0 to Deportivo leaving Dragons’ failure to secure all 3 points, all the more frustrating. 16 points clear with one game to go. Hackney have 8 but with rumours abound that they will not be able to fulfil their final 3 fixtures and the League planning to put all unfulfilled fixtures to a Pools like panel, this season is still likely to produce a final twist before the end.
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.
Cricklewood Wanderers 2 v 3 Kensington Dragons Firsts
1st vs 2nd in this top of the table clash saw the manager De Souza ring the changes yet again. Normal CB pairing Hamilton Bowler (sub as he was due to run the marathon the next day) and Gilbaut Batousol (serving a suspension for a previous red card) meant Maddy Mkoloma and Dean Humphrey started as the CB’s with Pav Bhangoo and Jonathan Kasongo either side of Luke O’Donoghue in a 3 man midfield. Ricardo Ramos started in behind strikers George Mariner and Geoff Nalu Mosa. De Souza came equipped with a game plan, to stifle the opposition and leave no space in behind for Cricklewood’s creative players. Consequently, Dragons adopted 2 banks of 4 without the ball and sat 11 men behind the ball for the whole of the first half looking to hit Cricklewood on the break.
Cricklewood accepted the lion share of possession as a result but were forced to play the ball around in their own half showing little attacking endeavour. It was Dragons with the first good opportunity. Winning possession the counter was on and Ramos drove past 3 players laying the ball wide for Nalu Mosa to put Mariner through who rounded the keeper only for the last defender to make an excellent last ditch tackle and prevent Dragons taking the lead. Several other promising breaks occurred but the Dragons striking 3 were too often isolated or failing to show the right level of quality in their decision making to capitalise. Consequently, very little else happened in what became a wearing, physical battle until 5mins before halftime and a throw in on the Dragons left side was received by a Cricklewood midfielder just inside the box. A one touch turn and some tight attention from Kasongo and the player went down. Penalty said the referee. A soft decision that in truth could have gone either way but the Cricklewood striker made no mistake and a slightly disheartened Dragons went in to the break 1-0 down.
De Souza praised the tactical discipline and that the plan had worked until the penalty but bemoaned the lack of quality in the final third. He asked the same level of discipline but asked the lines to move up 15 yards and press Cricklewood slightly higher up the pitch and for Kasongo and Bhangoo to get forward in support. The players welcomed being let of the leash and all went out determined to not let their season slip away.
Sure enough, Dragons saw a spell where every player played to their potential and left a shell shocked Cricklewood to find themselves 1-3 down within 20mins of the restart. The first goal saw a fantastic move from the back into midfield and wide to Kasongo who played through Nalu Mosa who with a one touch finish arrowed the ball into the corner from 15 yards. Game on! The second came from a set piece with Kasongo drifting the ball in for Mkoloma to control past his marker and poke home from 2 yards. Dragons kept the best until last with a contender for goal of the season from Dean Humphrey. Mariner won a free kick 25 yards out to the left of the box and Humphrey strode up confidently to whip a ball straight into the stanchion with his right boot. He couldn’t have hit a cleaner strike and the game had now tuned in Dragons’ favour. Cricklewood made substitutions and the fresh legs in midfield slowly got them back into the game. The referee was showing leniency to both sides as the opposing midfielders battled hard against each other. Their best opportunity saw the forward brush through two Dragons challenges and in one on one situation with keeper David Hills who spread himself admirably to block the shot.
At the other end, Dragons had the chance to put the game to bed. Zaine Gungadeen came on for Kasongo and Soussi for Nalu Mosa. It was right back Billy Maxwell who attacked down the right and released Gungadeen through with only the keeper to beat but as he lobbed the ball over the keeper, the Dragons saw the ball hit the top of the cross bar and bounce agonisingly behind for the goal kick. Cricklewood did get themselves back into the game with 10mins to go. A poor clearance was snapped up and some quick interplay released the striker who fired in past Hills from 12 yards. Bowler then came on for Ramos to sure things up and release Humphrey in to bolster the midfield and Dragons pressed their opponents back to see out the game and take the valuable 3 points.
4 games left with Cricklewood 13 points behind in 2nd with 4 games in hand and so Sporting Hackney remain the biggest threat although having to play 13 games in the next 4 weeks and only 15 points behind. Looks like this race will go all the way.
Kensington Dragons 3 v 2 Deportivo
The Dragons faced their second game of the week knowing again that only maximum points would do. The Manager rotated the squad giving starts to Jonathan Kasongo, Ali Soussi and Seymour Scott leaving a strong bench of Luke O’Donoghue, Dean Humphrey and George Mariner.
It was a slow start from both sides with neither really gaining an advantage in possession. Deportivo however were playing a high line and on several occasions a simple ball in behind was releasing the attacking Dragons only for the assistant’s flag to repeatedly halt play. The first real chance however came when Ali Soussi beat the offside trap and found himself clear through but his lob over the keeper nestled on the roof rather than in the net. As Dragons were working their way into the game it was Deportivo who struck first. Left back Seymour Scott swept up a bouncing through ball only for the assistant to raise his flag claiming he had handled it and the referee who had not seen the incident duly awarded a penalty which the Deportivo striker fired home past keeper David Hills. 0-1.
The disappointment was evident across the pitch for the home side but some rallying cries from the touchline saw them raise their heads and press on. Kasongo and Maddy Mkoloma in the heart of the midfield were now starting to take control. A good 10min spell saw Dragons win a corner. Geoff Nalu Mosa floated in the cross which dropped for a goal mouth scramble and Soussi’s shot hit a Deportivo arm and the referee evened the stakes by pointing to the spot. Nalu Mosa stepped up confidently and fired low and hard into the corner 1-1. Keen not to lose the momentum, captain Mkoloma pushed the team on and after winning possession in the midfield drifted a perfect ball in behind the full back for winger Ricardo Ramos to control, take across the defender and score to put Dragons into the lead. 2-1 at the break.
What was supposed to have been a 6pm KO had been delayed to 6.15pm as the Deportivo players drifted in late. Consequently the officials had decided only 80mins could be played with the fading light. Manager De Souza had planned halftime rotations but as the starting 11 had only just hit their stride, he sent the same team back out in the hope of completing the job. However, the same old story came back again with Dragons missing chance after chance. First Ramos clear through again dragged his shot wide from 6 yards. Then the opposite winger Zaine Gungadeen was clear through and opted to shoot from the angle with 2 players free in the middle. The keeper saved and another chance lost. Another 6 clear opportunities were halted by the assistants flag as the Dragons young front line failed to show the composure and savvy to beat Deportivo’s high line. 20mins to go and O’Donoghue came on for Nalu Mosa. Mkoloma was pushed up behind the striker and Kasongo and O’Donoghue sat in the midfield.
The game was becoming stretched and Dragons were not using the ball as well as they should. Both teams seemed intent on attacking and it was Deportivo looking the more likely to score. Their first chance came from a corner with a back post header sent screaming towards the net only for Hills to pull off a remarkable save clawing the ball from behind him out and away. He could do little about the next chance however. Deportivo worked it well down the right hand side and whipped a ball to the penalty spot and the midfielder steamed onto it powering his header into the Dragons net. 2-2 with 10mins left on the clock.
De Souza rang the changes bringing on Kamal Romain for his first team debut at right back and Dean Humphrey on for Gungadeen. The shape also changed with Humphrey coming into a 3 man midfield with Mkoloma in front. The wingers were sacrificed and Billy Maxwell and Ramos played centrally as strikers. Dragons pressed on and began to dominate physically. The Deportivo challenges became ever more desperate and one saw Ramos taken down just inside the oppositions half with 3mins left. Dragons piled forward awaiting the kick from CB Hamilton Bowler. As he fired it towards the back post, the giant Mkoloma rose to nod down into the space. O’Donoghue pounced on the second ball taking it wide round the keeper and swivelled to cross back across to find Humphrey waiting to fire in with his head. A jubilant Dragons knew they had given themselves a lifeline in the title race and saw the last few moments out to take the 3 points.
Truly a great squad performance with Mariner not even getting on shows the depth and unity of the group and a fully fit squad looks forward to 2nd placed Cricklewood away on Saturday.
Indian Gymkhana 0 v 3 Kensington Dragons Firsts
Losing last week meant the title was out of their hands but Manager De Souza made it clear what our objectives were. To finish as high as possible in our first season in the Premiership, concentrate less on what other sides were doing and get back to concentrating on the game at hand. Dragons did just that with a vastly improved performance that saw them match a very physical Gymkhana side and show a clinical edge that had been missing in previous weeks.
Strikers Geoff Nalu Mosa and George Mariner both scored in the first half to end their personal droughts. Geoff pounced on a second ball to chest and volley home from the edge of the box. Mariner then ended a good passage of play controlling a pass from Madelitso Mkoloma with his back to goal, a quick Cruyff Turn took out the whole defence and he finished coolly into the corner of the net. One lack of concentration allowed a Gymkhana forward through for a one on one but he poked wide and that was as close as the visitors came all day.
Chances continued to fall to Dragons who were threatening from all over the pitch. Left back Sam Cole finished a superb dribble with a thunderous effort that the keeper tipped onto the bar. The ball came back to Ricardo Ramos 6 yards out who chested and volleyed straight at the keeper who didn’t know much about it but somehow kept the ball out. 2-0 at halftime and a much more positive performance from Dragons.
The second half was a tight affair with Dragons creating more chances as they pressed high up the pitch. Ramos was having a fine game until the final moments in each move scuffing 3 good opportunities wide. A young player with a lot of promise learning his trade and once he gains that final composure in front of goal will become a very dangerous opponent.
Manager De Souza made 2 changes to freshen up the midfield with Nalu Mosa and Mariner being replaced with Jonathan Kasongo and Ali Soussi. Although in control, the score line still offered something for Gymkhana to fight for which they did, competing all the way until Mkoloma sealed the victory when he found himself unmarked at the back post and met Zaine Gungadeen’s whipped corner with a firm header into the roof of the net. Game over, a clean sheet and job done.
The first of 3 games in 7 days for Dragons, so it’s on to the next as De Souza put it…one at a time.