Kensington Dragons Reserves 5 – 4 Brentham Reserves
With the team salivating at the prospect of playing their football on the main pitch at Linford Christie Stadium, they had to contend with the pitfalls of the Scrubs surface while their new home pitch was being watered, fed and rolled.
New coach Martin Rusiecki joined Manager Jon Laycock in putting the side together and having all the squad well drilled into their 3-5-2 system. That squad included youth players from 4 previous seasons with Lamelle Williams and Andrew Scheck being re-dragoned after a 2 year absence, the former having a crucial role to play in grabbing the 3 points. With an average age of 20, the signs are very positive for the future as they made up the best reserve team line up in Dragon’s 6 year history.
From the off they looked the stronger outfit and once a few nerves settled they began to create numerous chances. Williams at right wing back was linking well with new recruits Josiah Johnson and Ben Ravenwood, playing in an unfamiliar number 10 role. Pressure produced a few corners and on the third attempt, Captain Adam Finch pinged in a beauty for Williams to rise like the proverbial salmon and thump his header into the corner. It was 2-0 shortly after, Johnson winning a deserved penalty, Finch tucking away the rebound from the keeper’s save from the spot kick. However on Brentham’s first break they scored with some sloppy team defending. The Dragons continued to push and should have scored 3 before half time, Williams finally finding the net with a cool finish from a superb Ravenwood slotted ball. HT 3-1
In the first 5 minutes of the second half, the Dragons would have been better finishing their oranges on the sidelines as they somehow managed to let 2 goals in from nowhere, the second a handball and penalty and 2 dreadfully bad failed clearances created the equaliser. So 3-3 and time to see if the new look team had some gumption. After a frenetic 15 minutes they re-took the lead, Williams grabbing his hatrick with a stunning rifled shot after another mazy run from deep. The game seemed over with 15 minutes left, Johnson getting his deserved goal with a super flick header from a set piece delivery. But it wasnt, and Brentham scored again from some more awful clearance attempts. With the Dragons unsure whether to press for a decider or sit on the one goal lead the game became quite tense but with some better defending they held on and bagged 3 early season points.