Kensington Dragons Reserves 1 v 1 Hillingdon ReservesUnbeaten in 10 the Reserves arrived in confident mood of getting a first win over their bogey team Hillingdon. Having lost to them 5 times on the bounce in previous years, twice in semi finals, this was a great chance to put the ghost to rest, particularly with a strong looking squad.
They started superbly, pressing high up the pitch and midfielders Emmanuel Alexander and Adam Finch clearly winning their battles from the outset. Striker Jon Laycock was winning everything in the air and the wide men and number 10 had numerous attempts to get in behind from flick ons. However the ball seemingly wouldn’t fall as they needed. Reiss Corr had a good early chance but just missed the far post with his snapshot. Winger Steve Cahill then got onto another flick but pulled his finish when one on one. They looked comfortable and just needed the opening goal to open the floodgates. However in typical “football” style Hillindgon were first to net on the break. A tackled clearance flew upfield and found the striker lunging first time to catch keeper Erwin Guy going the wrong way and the ball found the corner.
The Dragons responded well though and continued to press, finally just before half time they equalised. Corr took on his man and drove into the box. His attempted pinged cross to Laycock smacked a hillingdon arm and the ref blew for a deserved penalty. Dean Humphrey, superb at the back again, stepped up and kept his composure as the referee took forever to locate the spot to smash home from 12, or possibly 14 yards!
The second half was one way traffic. Billy Maxwell, his ears ringing from a half time management rant, was superb down the left. 4 or 5 times he drove and jiggled his way to the byline but every lay back was missed or found a defensive boot. As time wore on Hillingdon became more ragged and under pressure. Humphrey’s quick corner found Maxwell but his deflected header fell to Laycock who leant back and blazed over from 5 yards. Five minutes later, Maxwell did brilliantly again to wrong foot his defender and laid off a superb ball for Laycock to run on to in the box with just the keeper to beat. However the out of form number 9 only found the Hillingdon keeper when he should have given him no chance at all. There was just time for one last chance, the much improved Corr bamboozling the defence and striking on his wrong foot from 20 yards but his shot agonisingly just grazed the post.