Hinton 1 v 3 Kensington Dragons
After a super cup season last year, the Dragons reward was to be promoted into the more senior County Cup for 2013-14. Being drawn away to last years semi finalists Hinton seemed a difficult step up, particularly as they lost 2 squad members early on Saturday morning and then another as one had a late call up to the First Team. So the management decided to take a different approach this week and simply focus on their football and not the result, hopefully allowing the players to relax a little and enjoy their football.
From the off they looked the better team with Captain Adam Finch setting the perfect tone from the off. Some cute passing moves then often lead to a more direct long ball out wide and but for some poor crossing and movement they could have been out of sight in the opening 20 minutes. However they had to be patient and soon after got their reward. Andrea Levato, playing a little deeper than usual, floated a ball over the Hinton center back for the offside George Mariner to chase on to. He realised he was offside and with the whole home back four stopped in his tracks, the onside left winger Justas Krisciunas did no such thing and raced on to the ball in behind before composing himself and slotting past the keeper. It should have been two shortly after with the returning Mariner being gifted a ball from the keeper but chose to take a touch with the net empty and the keeper recovered to put the striker off. As the half wore on Hinton became more of a threat, veteran keeper Irwin Guy making a great save onto the bar late in the half.
The Dragons were sleeping in the opening 5 minutes of the second half and paid the penalty conceding a sloppy goal when the ball should have been cleared on two occasions. The captain suggesting a switch of Levato and the excellent Andrew Scheck and the Dragons re-took control. Mariner was now a real handful and mid second half powered down the right and saw and fed the onrushing Krisicunas in the box and the winger banged home from close range to claim his brace and Man of the Match to boot. Hinton responded again and were probably unlucky not to equalise but then enjoyed a gift as Levato was thrown to the ground in the box when about to slot home the third, the ref not giving it because he “didnt like how he’d played through the game”. The Dragons were outraged and even more determined to grab the unexpected win. The manager brought himself on with 10 minutes left as the only sub available and 5 minutes later rued the decision as center half Kieran Cox dislocated his shoulder from an overly zealous challenge in the Dragons box. Cox went off to hospital and the Dragons had to hold on with 10 men. After a third straight corner in the final 2 minutes , finally the Dragons cleared, right winger Alvaro Ferrer, excellent throughout, grabbing the ball short of the half way line on his own. He drove into the home half and then the penalty box and calmly slotted the third and deciding goal. FT 1-3 and an excellent 4 wins from the start of the season.