Kensington Dragons 0 v 2 Spelthorne Sports MCFA Intermediate Cup
With two opportunities lost for Dragons to build a cup run, this would be their final chance in the highest standard cup competition a non-turnstile club can enter. With the promotion at this standard coming from last year’s cup win, Dragons were not given a favourable draw. It would be against a team that is currently leading the division above, unbeaten so far this season, and so effectively fifteen places separated the two sides. This would not be a deterrent as the home side had more of an incentive to test themselves against the kind of opposition they would hope to face after a successful league campaign and promotion.
The conditions did not promote a game for the purest and the game did not have any fluency in it until at least half way through the first half. Both teams with differing styles started to develop better attacks and asked the defensive units to remain compact and concentrated. Bowler and Batousol at the heart of the defence were able to deal with the threat of the Spelthorne strikers who were lively in their movement but lacked a supply to match. This was due to the midfield battle that was going on and as the half was progressing it would be Dragons who were moving the ball around more effectively though still not at the standard that they would expect of themselves.
With good counter attack opportunities going array with misplaced passes Dragons with ten minutes remaining in the half were able to fashion a chance down the left. When Scott got to the byline and whipped his cross into the near post Mariner timed his run to get across the defender but was not deft enough with his touch to apply the finish.
As the second half got under way it would become clear that Dragons were dealing with the conditions better than the opposition. Moving the ball around a lot better they would enjoy the lion share of possession though you could see why their opponents had gone undefeated as they remained stubborn defensively. On the hour mark another great chance for Dragons to take the lead fell to Mariner as he found precious space in the box and one on one with the keeper was not able to keep his shot down to trouble the goal or the scoreline.
This was one scare too many for the away side who felt it necessary to bring on last seasons and their current top goal scorer to try and address some balance. Though Dragons retained greater possession and looked the more likely to go in front, with less than ten minutes to play a deep cross into the Dragons box found the centre backs on their heels and the top marks man showed the difference at the level above, one chance one goal. This had a deflating effect on Dragons and the in-form striker was not about to take any prisoners and found space to drive at Muyanja in goal before finishing calmly.
A disappointing result after giving higher level counter parts a real scare and a performance that showed them in good stead for the rest of the season as well as the possibility of competing at a higher level.