Spelthorne FC 3rds 0 v 3 Kensington Dragons Reserves
With a possible County final to look forward to, the Dragons assembled their strongest squad of the season and arrived in Staines in positive mood.
Setting up with a sensible 4-3-3 formation the job was fairly simple. Keep it solid through the middle and allow fullbacks to join the front 3 in attack. After a tentative few minutes post kick-off the Dragons began to find their rhythm and tempo through the middle with Luke Giles, Goran Al Sourohi and particularly James Shirley beginning to take control of the game. A crisp flowing move found Ali Soussi in attack and his clever switch allowed Giles to drift in forcing the keeper into an excellent save. They continued to press and just needed a goal to settle the nerves. It came on 25 minutes, Shirley paying a delightful sliced lob over the back four and left winger George Mariner stole in and half volleyed into the corner. They now began to dominate, the back four clearing everything thrown at them with Kieran Cox and Will Conway in particularly imperious form. With this to rely on the more forward thinking Dragons stepped it up. A long clearance bamboozled the center backs and Soussi nipped round the back, steadied himself and rifled in a first time shot to make it 0-2. It should have been 3 before HT with Jack Lyons cutting in beautifully and rounding the keeper but a poor bounce made it difficult and he could only hit the post. HT 0-2
It would have been easy to think the job was done as they looked very comfortable but now playing into the wind and uphill the young Dragons knew it was still game on. For 20 minutes they were under pressure from a more direct approach from Spelthorne but they absorbed it well and as the half wore on began to look very dangerous on the break. As the coaches pleaded for calm heads and to keep it simple the Dragons responded superbly. A tidy build up from Shirley and Giles left Lyons in space. He looked up and played a slide rule pass through the defence for Mariner to control and smash into the top corner. 0-3 and game over.
Spelthorne then were reduced to getting a bit physical but the Dragons maintained their composure and could have added a fourth or even fifth in the closing stages.
Kensington Dragons Reserves will be in the MCFA County Cup final on Wednesday April 17th. Focus now returns to getting themselves back in the title race in the league, and after 5 wins on the spin confidence lacking in the early stages of the season is now in abundance.