Category: Under 14A

A home win and happy holidays for the U14s


Goalscorers: Jack 2, Joe, George.

The under 14s claimed their first home win of the season at Linford Christie Stadium against a team who had narrowly beaten them in the reverse fixture earlier this year.

Jack raced through from a perfectly weighted ball from George, to put the home side one nil up after just four minutes had been played. Four minutes later the Dragons had doubled their advantage when Joe tapped in after his initial shot rebounded off the left-hand upright.

The visitors pulled one back on the half hour mark when a cross from the right was swept past Jordan.

The Dragons looked by far the better side as they fought hard to win the mid-field battle and assert their superiority. The defence looked solid and composed with new signing, Geldon, at centre-back looking like he’d been in the team for the team for weeks rather than just 70 minutes. Sonny had added some steel to his game and was also turning in a great performance. But with just a single goal lead at the break the tie was delicately poised.

17 minutes into the second half the Dragons won a free-kick 10 yards outside the Wealdstone box. Jack opted to test the keeper from distance and his sweetly stuck shot looped between the goalkeeper’s finger tips and the crossbar to restore The Dragons’ two goal advantage.

The game looked almost won but the Dragons conspired to deliver a nerve-jangling last 10 minutes when they conceded two goals in the space of as many minutes to make the scoreline three apiece. This was the third time this season the Under 14s had thrown away a 3-1 lead but this time the loss of points was finally to be avoided.

Joe slotted a ball through for Waleed to run on to and as he was being chased down by a defender he had the presence of mind to pick out George in space on his left who slotted the ball into the bottom left corner to seal the victory.

The perfect gift of three points to take us into the Christmas break and leave us ideally placed to mount a promotion push in the second half of the season.

Happy Christmas everyone. Here’s to prosperous 2016, the year of the Dragon, hopefully.

An off day for the U14s

KENSINGTON DRAGONS U14s 0 V 1 HANWELL TOWN A The Dragons were hoping to build on their fine away win last weekend. But they started slowly against the team in black and white striped shirts and sitting second in the league. Waleed made some great runs and on another day could have had a hat-trick, one was particularly un lucky not to find the net. Jordan played well and saved us on numerous occasions but our midfield wasn’t on song and we missed their creative spark. We needed a bit of composure on the ball, to pick out a pass and work our way up the pitch but too often the ball was sent speculatively forward and it came right back, far too quickly. For some reason we resorted to hoofing it away and playing long balls to chase after, not our style of play at all. On 25 minutes their busy number 10 broke through and shot hard and low into the left hand corner to put the visitors one up. The Dragons only really started to play in the last 20 minutes and by then they’d left themselves too much to do. They came up against a well-drilled team but they weren’t that much better than us as the score line showed. As the game drew to a close Jack flashed a shot into the side netting when maybe a cross might have been the better option. The Dragons kept pressing but couldn’t find the breakthrough they required. A draw would probably have been a fair result but as it was the first half goal was to be decisive.

Trophy loss for U14s


Linford christie stadium was venue for the under 14s first home game of the season against the side that sounds like a team that just stepped out of the pages of a Roy of the Rovers comic book.

Bessingby arrived for the Challenge Cup match lead by a new manager, the previous one presumably ‘let go’ after failing to secure promotion from Division 2 last season. It’s a cruel, cut-throat, results based business in the Harrow Youth League. As well as a new manager they had a new keeper. But he wasn’t really a keeper, just an outfield player in a orange bib and wearing gloves. Surely the Dragons would take advantage of this potential weak link and test him at every available opportunity?

They are always good, close games against Bessingby and after our great performance last week we had high hopes of progressing in the cup competition.

The early signs were promising when in the opening minutes Waleed made a great run that had been worked on in training, and should have put the Dragons one nil up. His resulting left foot shot trickled wide.

However there seemed to be a prevailing feeling of lethargy throughout the team. They lacked urgency and weren’t working hard enough for each other.

And sure enough, just six minutes into the game the momentum swung the other way.

The Dragons gave away a silly free kick on their right-hand side and Bessingby sent a hopeful high ball in on our goal. Our keeper misjudged the flight of the ball and it sailed over his head and into the net. These things happen, he’s saved us on numerous occasions in the past and it was still early in the game and there was plenty of time to get back into it.

On 23 minutes Bessingby launched the ball forward and Joe, who had been having a great game at centre back, went to head the ball away. Instead of forwards, the ball went back towards his own goal and a goggle-wearing Bessingby forward was the first to react, smashing the ball home.

The referee’s whistle brought the first period of play to a close and it was 0-2 at the break. The Dragons were still very much in this game and the half time team talk was all about raising the tempo, keeping it simple and moving the ball quicker with less touches.

But alas, even the magical qualities of the half time oranges couldn’t turn the game around. And whilst there were encouraging Dragons debuts for David at Centre back and Waseem in goal, it wasn’t a great performance by any means.

We had another goal disallowed for off side, the second in as many weeks. But apart from that we barely had a shot on target to test their stand-in keeper, which was very disappointing. If we didn’t deserve to lose last week then we didn’t deserve to win this week.

We greatly missed one half of our central midfield partnership and lacked a potent threat up front against their rangy 6 foot five centre half.

Hopefully that’s got the below par performance out of our system and we can kick on and put in a good showing in the league next Sunday.

Tough opener for U14s

(Goalscorers: Sidney 2).

The under 14s got their 2015/16 season underway with a formidable tie away to last season’s division 3 Champions, Brunswick. The home side had started their new season last weekend with a rather impressive 12-3 victory, so we knew they had picked up where they left off last term and we were in for a tough game.

The match was scheduled for a rather annoying 2pm kick off and we arrived at the pitch flanked by the M4 and under the Heathrow flight path long before our hosts and even longer before the referee. Which meant the kick off was delayed until 2.15.

A slightly depleted Dragon team, due to injuries and illness meant we only had one substitute rather than the 5 allowed. A patched up defence bereft of a regular fullback on either side and experimental pairing of centre backs due to losing one of our regular central defenders to the Westway team during the summer break took to the field. (Surely he’ll discover the astroturf isn’t always greener and come back at some point).

But the replacements had been well drilled in the training sessions in recent weeks and looked disciplined and well organized as the match kicked off.

The first 20 minutes were very evenly matched with both teams having chances to break the deadlock. Jordan made and excellent save tipping a rasping shot over the bar and Milo came to the rescue with a headed goal-line clearance from the resulting corner kick.

The Dragons plan was to let their hosts have possession in their own half and only press when they entered our half. The defence was dropping off more than normal to negate the threat of the long ball over the top or into the channels for their pacey forwards to run on to.

It worked well until a speculative shot rebounded off the post for an easy tap in after 22 minutes putting the home team ahead. 5 minutes later Brunswick broke down the left and an exquisite cross was met at the near post heading the hosts 2 nil to the good. It has to be said, it was a great goal.

The Dragons stuck to their game plan and when they won a corner Raaid zipped the ball into the box and Sidney turned it in for 2-1. We were back in the game.

The half time team talk was all about how we could win this match, where in previous Brunswick encounters it has been all about damage limitation. They were finding it increasingly difficult to deal with Raaid and Sidney, who both had the beatings of their opposite number and we knew if we could draw level we had every chance kicking on and taking 3 points.
Joe was also having a great game at the back as a stand in centre half, sweeping up anything that got behind our back four but we were missing his attacking invention in the final third at the other end.

(Totally absorbed in their coaches’ instructions, no one seemed to notice that I’d completely forgotten to bring the half time oranges).

The second half got under way and we knew the next goal would be crucial. Unfortunately it didn’t go our way. After just 6 minutes it we were 3-1 down.

But we only had to wait another 7 minutes for the Dragons to pull it back to 3-2. If Sidney’s first goal was more down to being in the right place at the right time then his second was pure class. The ball came in from the left and he took a touch to steady himself before slotting home into the bottom left corner of the goal. The visitors were now in the ascendancy and had their opponents on the back foot.

A clever Dragons free kick caught everyone (including the Dragons coaches) off guard as they were expecting a shot on goal. The ball was played through to Aziz who tucked it past the keeper to level the match at 3-3. Unfortunately their linesman had his flag in the air and the goal wasn’t allowed to stand. It was a highly dubious call that had a serious impact on the outcome of the match.

Still reeling from the injustice of the disallowed goal, the Dragons had a rare lapse in concentration that allowed Brunswick to quash any attempts at a fight back with their 4th goal and the referee’s whistle bought the game to an end soon after.

The final score line some what flattered the hosts. We continue to improve as a team and on another day (and with another linesman) we would have drawn this match, which would have been a great achievement and no more than we deserved.

There are lots of positives to take away from this performance especially considering the depleted nature of the squad. But you can rest assured that we will be busier than Harry Rednapp’s car window on deadline day, working to make the team better and possibly even bolstering the squad with some new signings.

Brunswick will be one of the best teams in the league this season and if we can live with them like we did today we’ll be there or thereabouts come May.
(If only we’d had those half time oranges, I can’t help thinking they might have made all the difference).

U13s through to trophy semi-final

Kensington Dragons U13s  2  V  1  FC Real. After extra time.

Goalscorers: Felix, Joe.

After limping over the line into the quarter final of the League Trophy with a lackluster draw away to Ruislip Rangers on Saturday the Dragons faced a far sterner test against FC Real just 24 hours later at Linford Christie Stadium.

The boys knew this would be a much tougher game against an aggressive and well-drilled team who they’d only just overcome at home during the league campaign.

With Dean away assistant coach, Neil, took charge for the first time having just recovered from a nasty bout of gastroenteritis and a visit to A&E the day before.

The game got underway and quickly settled into a pattern. The visitors only had 10 men but they didn’t look outnumbered, more than making up for their lack of numbers in size and physicality. Their plan was to try and get their pacey number 9 on the ball as often as they could and attack down their left-hand side.

Their 3 coaches prowled the touchline, constantly barking their orders, drilling their team more like Sargent Majors than football coaches as their charges threw themselves into tackles and fought for every ball. The Dragons kept working away trying to break down their stubborn opposition.

At half time it was nil-nil with the visitors having arguably the best of the chances. But they had been reduced to long-range efforts and speculative strikes that failed to find the target in the main. The Dragons defence was coping well. It was in attack that lacked the invention or aptitude. Wanting too many touches when in the box and failing to get their shots off when they were in good positions. Surely it was must be worth testing the bespectacled, diminutive visiting keeper who was dwarfed by the large goals at Linford Christie Stadium.

A few changes were made at the break to introduce fresh legs and change things around but it had the opposite to the desired effect. Just 10 minutes into the second period their pacey number nine finally found a way through when he latched on to a through ball down the left and smashed the ball past the advancing Dragons keeper. The travelling support exploded with delight, the visiting coaches continued to bark their orders and the Dragons attempted to regroup and get themselves back into the match.

The 10 minutes after they had conceded provided some of the best Dragons football. They showed a little more composure as they worked the ball around the pitch and probed for an opening. But FC always looked dangerous and the home team had to be careful not to commit too many players forward in search of the equalizer and in so doing leaving themselves vulnerable at the back.

The Dragons tried changing the personnel further but still the breakthrough wouldn’t come. But the visitors were starting to show signs that they were tiring and with no substitutes to bring on and relive fatigued legs the Dragons sensed their time was coming. The big pitch at Linford Christie stadium had played its part but a tactical switch was to prove ultimately decisive. With about 8 minutes remaining and still a goal down, the home team changed to 3 at the back, pushing an extra man into midfield. The jaded opposition couldn’t cope with the extra man and the Dragons started to dominate as if this had been the game plan all along. All the action was now taking place in the opposing third as the visitors retreated and tried to defend their slender lead.

The away coaches were asking the ref how long was left on the clock and when he held up three fingers to indicate three minutes this seemed to spur the Dragons on further. Felix, now in a more advanced position, dragged a shot wide then on another occasion he hesitated when he should have shot and we felt maybe the chance had gone. The visiting supporters were now screaming for the referee to blow his whistle when the ball fell to Felix in an almost identical position to the one he had found himself in a few minutes earlier. This time he didn’t hesitate and hit a screamer that flew past the keeper and into the back of the net. Cometh the hour, cometh the man. He’s making a habit of scoring spectacular and crucially important, late goals to save his team. The Dragons celebrated, a few of the visitors dropped to their knees and once the game was restarted there were only 10 seconds of play before the referee blew for the end of normal time.

The first period of extra time was cagey, neither team wanted to overcommit and risk conceding at this crucial stage but the Dragons were in the ascendency and playing with confidence, their opposition were simply stunned. As the final period of extra time began the Dragons once again switched to 3 at the back as they pushed forward and went for the jugular in search of the knock-out blow. Joe cut in from the left, jinked past one defender, then another and then unleashed a curling drive that clipped the inside of the post and sent the Dragons into dreamland and the semi final of the League Trophy.

Although the scorers got their names at the top of this match report, this truly was an amazing team performance. Every single player played their part. To win a match like this shows real character and team spirit. To have the will and desire to keep going and refusing to give up when all seems lost is the sign of a great team who have an exceptional mental strength. That was what made the difference today. This team is on an amazing run and their refusal to surrender it was real pleasure to watch. It was one of the best, if not the best game I’ve ever seen.

Promotion for U13s followed by Trophy win at home

Kensington Dragons U13s  7  V  1  Ruislip Rangers B.

Goalscorers: Joe 2, Sidney, Joseph 2, Waleed, Felix.

In the first game after securing promotion to the second division at Linford Christie Stadium, the jubilant Dragons were back at St. Mark’s park to host Ruislip Rangers B in the League Trophy. The Dragons had put 17 goals past Ruislip in their last two meetings so expectations of another high scoring game were on the high side to say the least.

There were still a few personnel missing after the Easter break but the Dragons had a strong squad to choose from and a few players who had missed out recently were given the nod to start.

As the game got under way the Dragons struggled to find their rhythm and showed signs that they were feeling a little rusty after 3 weeks without a competitive match. But slowly they began to go through the gears and after 6 minutes they took the lead through Joe who finished after a neat one two opened up the visitor’s defence.

The Dragons were lacking their usual composure on the ball and were in too much of a hurry to get the ball forward and add to their goal tally and that was leaving them vulnerable at the back.

When the ball sat up nicely for the Ruislip captain he hit a sweet shot that sailed over the defenders and into the net. A great strike and a well deserved goal. The first Ruislip have ever scored against the Dragons and ending a run of 3 back to back clean sheets.

But it only took a minute for the Dragons to get themselves back in the driving seat. With Joe claiming his second of the match.

We had to wait a whole nine minutes before the next goal, Sidney cutting into the box and finishing from close range after good work from Joseph on the edge of the area.

Ilya was proving to be a constant thorn in the opposition’s side down the left wing, all that was missing was the end product. Just before half time he rectified that by setting up Joseph who found the net with a clinical finish. So it was 4-1 at the break. The Dragons play was looking a little predicable and at the interval the coach asked for more composure and quality on the ball in midfield. A better class of opposition would have no trouble in working them out and nullifying their forays down the left.

The home team started the second period as they had finished the first, typified by Joseph’s busy industry on the right of the box before he crossed perfectly for Walleed to tap home from six yards. Three minutes later Joseph was rewarded with his second of the match after a typical dynamic run and cross form the all-action Jake. The visitors were reduced to long-range efforts from their diminutive captain, who began to cut a frustrated figure as the home team cut off the supply to him.

The game was now in the bag and the Dragons looked to see out the match. There was just time for Felix to add a seventh goal with a trademark half volley from the edge of the box and a final effort from the Ruislip captain that struck the angle of cross bar and post before the referee’s whistle brought the game to a close.

KDFC – An FA Charter Standard Development Club

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.

Luke O’Donoghue

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.”

Peter Clayton

Chief Executive

Middlesex County Football Association

Goals abound for the U13s

Ruislip Rangers  0   V   11  Kensington Dragons U13s

Goalscorers: Iyla 2, Felix, Aziz 2, Raaid, Jake, Joseph 2, Joe 2.

The Dragons squad was depleted this weekend due to half term absentees and their numbers were further reduced when a car-load of them took a scenic detour en route to leafy Ruislip. Their Sat Nav sending them on a round-about route to the location of last week’s match, bizarrely. Well, it was a lovely playing surface and the scene of a superlative performance so who could blame it for wanting to revisit it?

When the whole team was eventually assembled at the correct pitch the game got underway immediately without the Dragons being able to warm up and this showed in the first few minutes. It took the Dragons a while to get going but early nerves were settled when Iyla slotted home after 6 minutes. And the Dragons never looked troubled by the team rooted to the bottom of the table from then on. Joe put in a disciplined performance at centre back and Jordan made a big save to help the Dragons to their third clean sheet in a row.

At 2 nil up the home team hit the post but the Dragons were rarely stretched and this was a comfortable and some might say ruthless victory that showed little sign of love for their fellow man even though it was the day after St. Valantine’s Day. In fact the Dragons could have inflicted a far heavier defeat that would have resembled a massacre had they not been caught offside so many times and they hadn’t found the Rangers keeper in such sparkling form. (We were informed by the home team’s manager that the secret for his eye-catching performances are down to the fact that he gets a lot of practice in a team with such a leaky defence).

The Dragons showed flashes of the kind of football that has seen them rack up 23 goals in the last three matches but this one was a bit of a miss match and the only thing we learned was that we now have a very respectable goal difference. Waleed even managed to miss a penalty at 7 nil up. (Not sure he’ll thank me for reminding him of that but it had no baring on the overall outcome). Next week’s match promises to provide a much sterner test as we look forward to welcoming back players in key positions and an exciting new signing for our first home match in a while.

A strong squad and big victory for U13s

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?

U13s back on track with away win

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.