BESSINGBY PARK RANGERS ‘A’ 3 V 5 KENSINGTON DRAGONS U13s
Goalscorers: Waleed (2), Karim, Felix, Joe.
No downpour of biblical proportions this week, instead a bright, crisp, autumnal morning. Ideal conditions for an away cup tie.
Our old adversaries, Bessingby Park Rangers were our hosts, the team we gave away a 3 goal lead to in a recent league match before pulling back to draw 5-5. The Dragons were sent out with strict instructions not give their opposition such an easy start this time. And after an impeccably observed minute’s silence to mark Remembrance Sunday the game commenced. The Dragons seemed to have heeded the warning words, keeping it tight at the back and being quick into the tackle in midfield. After 5 minutes Chester, playing at right back, angled a probing through-ball forward which Walleed latched on to and dispatched beyond the keeper with his left foot to put the visitors ahead.
The pitch was a little on the small side and this made for a congested game in midfield. The Dragons struggled to get their usual attractive, passing game going as the ball ping-ponged around the middle third. The Dragons took their slender lead into the break but just after the restart BPR’s goggle-wearing striker leveled for the home side. Midway through the second half the Dragons won a corner after the BPR keeper very honestly admitted that he had got a touch to a shot before it had gone out. Jake delivered and Karim buried a bullet of a header to put the visitors ahead. As the end of normal time approached, the home side piled on the pressure and notched up a deserved equalizer taking the game into extra time. Bessingby were now in the ascendency as they put the visitors goal under increased pressure. They won a free kick on the edge of the Dragons’ box and the resulting dead-ball flew over the wall and into the net, much to the delight of the home support. They were now in the lead for the first time in the match and the Dragons were on the brink of a cup exit with just one half of extra time left to play. It was time for a final throw of the dice. The Dragons were ordered to switch to a more direct style of play, to bypass the congested midfield and play with 2 up front, as they attempted to claw back the arrears. The visitors surged forward looking for the equalizer and when the ball fell to Felix on the edge of the box he hit a rocket of a strike which nearly ripped the net from the goal. ‘Gerrard-esque’ was one description. The wonder strike provided the impetus the Dragons needed to push on. A few minutes later Ilya burst through on the right and was brought down in the box. Waleed converted the resulting spot kick with aplomb. The visitors were now flying and Waleed turned provider with a perfectly weighted through-ball. Joe drove forward towards goal and smashed the Dragons in to the hat for the next round of the Cup.
The back four deserve a special mention for this performance. It was their best performance as a unit thus far, especially in the later stages. Franklin and Karim were immense. So the Dragons go marching on, cheered on by their loyal away support.