Sloane Reserves 0 v 1 Kensington Dragons Reserves
After trekking a “country” mile across to Hackney, the Reserves looked surprisingly sharp in the opening stages of the league match. What’s more they learnt they were facing, for the second time this season, a reserve side full of MCFL Premier League first teamers as their game had been called off.
Some cute link up play down the right between Luke Giles and Ethan Meyers was providing some secure possession and enabling the rest of the team to push up into Sloane territory. Giles found Jon Laycock midway through the half but the striker’s shot brought a good stop from the keeper with his right foot. With the defence looking sharp, James Shirley and Kieran Cox as standouts, there were positive signs in grabbing the 3 points. However as time wore on and half chances not capitalised on , Sloane shook off their Christmas cobwebs and evened the play up before the referee blew for half time.
After a similar opening 20 minutes, Coach Tony Smith cleverly switched to a 4-3-3 to allow the creative midfield Dragons, Giles and Owen Harper to get further forward and the game changed immediately. Suddenly it was a siege but with the final ball lacking, the Sloane keeper was rarely forced into a save. Laycock’s cutback however found an onrushing Reiss Corr but the keeper staying sharp tipped onto the cross bar. The referee was having a very poor game and countless Dragons were upended in the final gambits of the game but without a free kick in sight . As the time clicked through injury time the Dragons pushed down the left with Louay Da Costa making a sharp entrance from the bench. Finally a free kick was awarded on the by-line for what was nearly assault on the winger and the Dragons knew they had a last chance of taking the points home to Kensington. Giles curled a delightful delivery over the defence to the far post where the late running Laycock outstretched a leg and volleyed home. As the Dragons reorganised the pack, the referee looked at his watch and blew as Sloane kicked off and the jubilant Dragons had got the win they deserved.