Kensington Dragons Reserves 2 – 1 Sloane FC
Preparation this week was a struggle with key First and Reserve team players unavailable. This left the Reserves with a heavily weakened squad and the starting line up containing no less than 4 players carrying knocks that on another day would have kept them off the pitch. But with needs must they strapped up and manned up on a bitter winters afternoon in Osterley.
The opening gambits seemed to imply that they would still have too much for Sloane who they beat 1-0 away with a last minute goal in January. However, with a barely fit midfield, possession was being gifted away putting them on the back foot. A Sloane long throw confused the Dragons and as the ball ran across the edge of the penalty area, the excellent Sloane midfielder smashed a first time shot into the bottom corner. But the Dragons composed themselves and for the most part dominated the rest of the half. Adam Finch put striker Jon laycock clean but as he raced clear failed to compose himself and found the keeper rather than the net. 10 minutes later the same two players combined again, this time the keeper producing a super stop with the ball headed for the corner. Finch however took matters into his own hands and direct from a corner found the net via a flick from the Sloane Center back. HT 1-1
The second half was predominantly one way traffic with Will Conway again having a blinder at the back to mop up, tackle, head, sweep up and even bring the ball out of defence to start attacks. Hassan Osman was also having a cracker at right back, helping defend and create down the right side. But the front 4 just couldnt take control of the scoreboard with Lyons, Laycock, Billy Maxwell and Steve Cahill all spurning good chances. With no subs left Maxwell cramped up and basically it was 10 vs 11. As the game drifted to a close a late gamble from the Dragons management pushed the excellent Dean Humphrey out of defence into attack to avoid another home draw. Although he wasnt directly involved it gave the home team territorial advantage and finally in injury time Finch played in Lyons who’s spin and turn found Cahill wide in the box. He’d had a frustrating 20 minutes and took it all out on the ball as he smashed a shot with the outside of the boot and straight into the right hand corner and the Dragons celebrated accordingly. FT 2-1 and the reserves unbeaten in 9 games with 8 wins to boot.