AFC Southall 1 v 3 Kensington Dragons Reserves
After the management shook things up, the Reserves were able to cling on to some positivity after a poor run of 3 straight defeats. With numerous players in new positions they started sloppily with an array of misplaced passes. However the defence, also with a new look, seemed solid and dealt well with Southall pressure. The Dragons grew in confidence though and began to move the ball around a bit faster but as in previous weeks the final ball was lacking. After 30 minutes they won a corner, the clearance finding fullback Hassan Osman who found the byline and cutback for centre back Stephen Awoloja to clinically finish from 12 yards.
Coach Tony Smith changed the midfield having 2 holders and one in front to give the Dragons a bit more solidity. A poor opening 10 minutes was compounded by a horror moment from the goalkeeper who fumbled to the strikers feet and it was 1-1. But instead of feeling sorry for themselves the Dragons responded with a resilient last 35 minutes with the new shape offering a stronger line for the home side to pass. Subsitute Shegun Beckley won a corner and quickly took it, striker Jon Laycock challenged with the opposing center half with the ball dropping conveniently for the veteran to prod past the static keeper. The game was now end to end and Man of the Match James Shirley was leading by example at the back, having their strike force in his back pocket. With 5 minutes left and under pressure, sub Justas Krisciunas won a ball near his byline and played a cute line ball to Laycock who played the ball first time for Beckley to gallop onto down the middle. He held off his defender, drew out the keeper and finished cooly with his left to end the contest.
The Dragons now seem to have a line of winnable fixtures ahead and with this commitment from the whole squad the season could yet bear some ripe fruits. However they must learn quickly when to release the ball and attack with a more direct approach.