Kensington Dragons U12s 2 v 5 St. Joseph’s A
At the end of Halloween week it was St. Joseph’s, the team dressed appropriately in orange and black who came knocking on our St. Mark’s park front door. But would the Dragons be giving them a tricky time of it or would they be handing their visitors a bucket-full of chocolate miniatures, Haribos and Gummy Bears in the form of a nice Sunday morning treat? We were soon to find out.
The away team seemed very excited by the prospect of having a changing room. Something they don’t have the luxury of at their home ground, as our team can testify to, having had to change in the car park amid a torrential downpour in the corresponding fixture, 3 weeks ago. But the sun was glowing like a friendly-faced pumpkin lantern over West London today.
The game started slowly and in spite of the large away following, St. Mark’s was spookily quiet. You might even say ‘ghostly quiet’ if you were trying to milk a tenuous Halloween theme. St. Joseph’s enjoyed much of the early possession as the Dragons lacked the urgency and tempo of last week’s impressive Cup win. There was no bite and intensity to the home team’s play and they seemed happy to play at the lethargic pace set by the visitors. It wasn’t long before St. Joseph’s broke through and took the lead. This seemed to shake the Dragons into action and Waleed attacked with purpose down the right flank, cutting into the box, quickly shifting the ball from one foot to the other before he was brought down. The resulting spot kick was dispatched with aplomb by Lavar. Having earned parity the Dragons looked to push on but were caught out by a swift St. Joe’s break-away that saw them take a goal advantage into the break. It was a cruel blow for the Dragons, who had fought bravely to be on level terms and had now handed the psychological edge to their opponents.
The away team made full use of our luxurious facilities during the interval, choosing to give their team talk in the changing room, rather than out on the pitch. I don’t know what went on in there but it certainly did the trick and they went 1-5 up in the second half. The game was now beyond the Dragons. But they kept fighting and funnily enough seemed to relax and start playing some better football, including the move of the match. A deft cushioned header from Zac that flicked the ball on to Enrique who volleyed a pass into the path of Karim who found a killer finish.
It wasn’t a Halloween horror show by any means. Sometimes you just have to admit that you came up against a better team. Although 2-5 did flatter the visitors somewhat.