West End 3 v 2 Kensington Dragons Firsts
With Dragons having a cup game it would seem to have come as a welcome break from the League. Though in a week when sad news related to a member of the squad was shared, a few rotational changes to the line-up proved otherwise. The condition and dimensions of a council pitch would provide another variable for the team to contest with and that’s all before the opposition.
We played this team about this time last year in the cup and the win started a very good cup run. It must be said on that day they showed good attacking abilities and they wasted no time expressing them today when in the opening couple of minutes a loose ball was latched on by the opposition and a lack of pressure ended with a shot that bounced sharply up at the keeper to nestle in the far corner.
With heads still reeling, another sloppy piece of defending by the Dragons back four, led to a corner being conceded and the result of which was an unmarked header from eight yards to put the hosts two up in ten minutes. The one good thing in all this was time, with such a long way to go in the game the opportunity to turn the game around was still there just as long as there would be a steady improvement in performance.
This would start to happen as Mkoloma stand-in skipper for the day with the rested O’Donoghue and injured Dixon, started to drive attacks from midfield bellowing to players to step-up their game. Within moments Meremikwu and Nalu Moso started to combine with improved service and constant waves of pressure were being applied and the chances to score becoming more frequent. Within all of this the goal did not come with numerous opportunities being squandered and really no one to blame for the deficit as the game should have been at least level, this was due to the opposition missing two clear chances themselves.
With the the game still at two nil going into the second half it was still all to play for and there was a better level of intent about Dragons play in the second half. With better chances being created but still being squandered it was not looking as good as it could have but just approaching the hour mark a chance was taken with Mkoloma neatly dispatching a cut back from the right. Dragons needed to score the next goal but it was the hosts who caught them on the break away and a composed finish from the edge of the box restored the two goal advantage.
A change in personnel and formation meant the fight was sustained and a loose ball in the oppositions box from a set-piece was pounced upon by the returning Maxwell picking up were he left off from his two week break from action. Unfortunately close range misses from a number of players proved costly as an equaliser could not be found and a cup casualty from the Premier league was completed by the Division one side.