KENSINGTON DRAGONS U13s 5 V 5 BESSINGBY PARK RANGERS A
The white pitch markings were still drying in the September sunshine as the under 13s got their season underway at St. Mark’s Park on Sunday morning.
We had high hopes for this campaign after finishing so strongly last time out. But the referee’s whistle was still reverberating across the pitch when the visitors had the ball in our net. Surely this would spark the Dragons into action. Alas not. The second minute saw BPR find the net again, this time from a corner. And after 9 minutes the home side were 4 nil down due to some shocking defending and basic errors. It was like our boys were still on holiday. They looked nothing like the well-drilled team that had impressed in the run-in last term.
It was now 5 nil to Bessingby. Drastic measures were called for and 3 substitutions were swiftly made. But surely it was a case of damage limitation as the game looked surely to be lost. The changes had immediate effect. The Dragons started to play and take control of the midfield. The change in personnel had brought some bite and fight to the team. The Dragons were denied a blatant penalty when Rudi’s standing foot was taken away from under him in the box and the Dragons looked like the better team for the first time in the match. It wasn’t long before we made the pressure count as Waleed slotted home from a cross by Felix.
The Dragons didn’t want the half-time whistle to come, they’d finally found their feet and the opposition were rocking. At the break the coach pointed out that we were now the better team and that it wasn’t impossible to get ourselves back into this game and even win it if we continued playing the way we were. But how many really believed him?
The second period resumed as the first had ended with the Dragons looking like the team more likely to add to their goal tally and after 8 minutes they were awarded a penalty. Waleed dusted himself down and converted the spot kick for his second and the fight back was on. The home team battled hard and mounted wave after wave of attack. Enrique made a couple of vital saves and when Felix and Aziz netted to make it 4-5 we wondered if this could actually be possible. The Dragons were awarded a corner and Karim, who had put in a commanding performance at centre back made his way forward. The ball was whipped across the goal and Karim’s head sent it soaring into the net. 5 -5. The Dragons celebrated the equalizer then in the dying minutes Bessingby were awarded a free-kick just on the edge of our box. Surely the footballing gods couldn’t be this cruel. The shot flew over the wall but Enrique parried it away and the final whistle brought the game to an end.
It was a 5 all draw but it felt more like a win. There were some amazing performances (if you don’t count the first 15 minutes) and a lot of very tired Dragons but we must make a note not to give teams a 5 nil lead, even though it did make for an incredibly entertaining match.