Kensington Dragons Reserves 3 v 1 CB Hounslow Reserves
Usain Bolt and Sergio Aguero had to contend with the long long grass midweek as they made their Puma Advert (see youtube) but Hammersmith and Fulham County Council had it cut on friday for the Dragons.
The Dragons were looking for their 3rd straight win but as is usual with reserve team football, many factors meant they had to make a further 7 changes to the team from last week, having made 8 changes the week before. In all truth it looked a tough task with a very young looking squad, thin on numbers and options, 4 players being called up and making their competitive debuts and also bringing Manager Jon Laycock out of semi retirement to lead the line, the veteran heading towards the big 40 in April.
But the opposition, although big and physical weren’t a side to be feared necessarily and the Dragons took to the pitch intent on 3 points, anyway they could. They began brightly, Captain Adam Finch setting the tone and linking well with debutant Andrea Levato playing in the hole. Numerous corners were scrambled away and after 20 minutes Laycock was put through by Finch but hesitated to let the defender recover. The Dragons then went a little quiet and physicality was looking to be winning the game as CB pressed for a solid 20 minute period. Keeper Dave Hills was on good form though and saved well on more than one occasion. However there was nothing he could do as the away team took the lead. Growing hesitancy was apparent in the Dragons defence and they failed to clear the danger on four attempts and paid the ultimate penalty as a long cross/shot found its way into the top corner. However as part of the contract for a Dragons player, you nearly always have to deal with being a goal down and they responded well with another new debutant Alvaro Ferrer easing his way into the game from wide left. His clever link with the excellent Hassan Osman created a corner. Finch’s delivery met by Laycock’s head and Levato sneaking in to poke home the equaliser right on the the half time whistle. Goals change games but excellent coaching decisions do the same and Coach Martin Rusiecki conferred with DofF Tony Smith and they reluctantly switched to a 3-5-2, having decided to generally try and play in the first team’s formation. But positive club results are also important and given the restriction of player option it was the only sensible choice.
The change in play was immediate, the team looking stronger in all areas. The game was a little more end to end and the back three still needed to be on their toes however Ashley Ankrah hobbled off and young Will Conway had to step in and did very well. Levato was now in his pomp though, his only restriction being his lack of English. He fed Laycock who hooked a ball into the box for Shegun Beckley to turn his defender and was brought down in the process. Lack of English yes, composure no, as Levato tucked the pen into the bottom corner with ease. The Dragons then withstood some pressure with young Kyle Edwards on a steep learning curve at right wing back. But they would not be denied the three points on their debut at their new home and Levato decided he needed an assist to cap his display and promptly delivered with a super cross for Laycock to head home and seal the points.
3 games, 9 points and the Dragons very happy in their new home.