British Airways 1 v 2 Kensington Dragons Reserves
The Dragons had the chance to make their second semi final appearance of the season and couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity on the beautiful show pitch at Concorde. Also boasting one of their strongest squads of the season the outlook was bright. Something wasnt clicking with the players in their formation in the early stages though and the signs were a little worrying against a clever, very experienced and powerful BA side. However they still managed to take the lead on 10 minutes. Ade Akerdolu drove a monster throw for Jon Laycock to flick on into Steve Cahill’s path. The winger drove into the penalty area and thumped a shot at goal but a lunging defender threw himself across the goal line but it hit his hand and the ref pointed to the spot. BA were incensed but so were the Dragons as it should have been a red card. The returning Luke Giles stepped up but the keeper saved well, Giles smashed the rebound toward the corner but again the keeper made a brilliant stop but amazingly the ball fell to Giles a third time and this time he found the net. It should have been two shortly after with Jon Dixon heading over from close range from a corner.
With a quick switch in swapping Giles into holding midfield and Dean Humphrey further forward, the Dragons seemed to have sorted themselves out. BA were now, expectedly, resorting to hurling long balls in to the two big strikers but Will Conway and Jon Dixon headed away comfortably. However after a succession of corners, Laycock headed away only for the loose ball to be collected by a BA midifelder. Adam Finch got to him and cleared but the ref bizarrely pointed to the spot, seemingly trying to even things up after all the BA protests earlier. This penalty was dispatched with less fuss and at HT it was 1-1
Player/Coach Laycock took a hard line with his players at half time as the opposing team shouldnt be causing them any problems with the level of the 11 Dragons on the pitch. The response was good and they took control. Humphrey was now dictating things and surely the goals would come. Full back Ethan Meyers put a great ball over the top for Laycock but the out of form number 9 failed to finish when one on one. However he made amends a few minutes later as he rolled his marker on the half way line and played a diagonal ball through the defence for Cahill to drive on to and finish clinically into the far corner.
The game should have been dead in the last 20 minutes with Laycock again responsible, first hitting straight at the keeper after great work from sub Reiss Corr and then from 6 yards with the keeper saving well after a sublime move involving Giles and Justas Krisciunas.
They almost paid a heavy price with a super rifled shot in the closing stages but 49 year old keeper Erwin Guy making an outstretched save that defied his years and the Dragons held on. Generally not a great performance but a very good win nonetheless.