A Festive Puzzle: Since the Premier League started, which only club avoided relegation after being bottom at Christmas? A mince pie for the winner. Meanwhile, the Dragons kicked off December with most teams on the road:
The U16 Boys drew 4-4 away against arch nemesis Hanwell. The Dragons found themselves 1-4 down in the second half and, with a player dismissed, the game looked out of reach. However, an incredible long-range effort hauled Hanwell back into sight before, in the last kick of the game, the Dragons winger curler an equaliser into the top corner. Hanwell were poleaxed. Bend it like who?
The U15 Boys away match against Bessingby Park Rangers was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
The U14 Boys beat Pitshanger 6-0 away in the Middlesex Cup. The Dragons played silky, passing football having benefited from a valuable session in the classroom analysing their strengths and weaknesses. One conclusion had been that the Dragons simply did not shoot at goal enough. This failing was immediately addressed on the pitch. Great goalkeeping from Pitshanger kept the Dragons at bay for the first 20 mins, but then the onslaught began, with the Dragons racking up 6 goals to send them into the next round.
The U13 Boys beat London Athletic 3-1 away. After an even first half, the Dragons turned up the heat and boxed Athletic in their own half. The Dragons manager commented in the post-match press conference “this performance was very impressive and mature” as the defence mopped up every attack, reversed the ball, and sent the Dragons roaring towards Athletics goal.
The U12 Boys were beaten at Harefield away, ending their Cup run. The Dragons goalie did well to nullify several on target attempts but Harefield proved too dominant. In the second half, the Dragons performance dramatically improved but goals were just not forthcoming.
The U11 Boys lost at home to Northfield Utd. After a brilliant win last weekend, the Dragons were reminded that what football giveth, can be taketh away. Although the Dragons found a goal against Northfields, the pace of the game proved too much, and they will look to strengthen their defence.
The U10 Boys trained.
The U18 Boys did not play.
The U16 Girls narrowly lost 0-2 to Ashford Town away. The Dragons started well and had early opportunities to take the lead but could not finish, while a relieved Ashford Town kept pushing and pulled ahead with a tap in. The Dragons kept working hard and, on another day, would have soundly won – just not this time round.
The U14 Girls were beaten by Broomwood Albion away in the Cup. The Dragons were looking forward to this match against higher division opponents. On arrival, the Dragons seemed more concerned about the state of the poor pitch, which Broomwood used to capitalise on the Dragons mistakes. The 2nd half saw the Dragons dominate, scoring 2 goals to reduce the deficit, but mistakes crept in again and Broomwood put the game to bed. Lots to learn for the Dragons but they know they can compete with one of the top sides in Division 1.
The U13 Girls had their game cancelled at the last minute.
The U12 Girls drew 1-1 away in normal time, but just lost 3-4 on penalties to Limehouse in the Cup. The Dragons dominated the game with many attempts at goal that should have seen them through, but alas, the one chance Limehouse had they took with both hands. After superb penalties and a 3-3 draw, the game went to sudden death which unfortunately went Limehouse’s way.
The U11 Girls just lost 2-3 to Vicky Park Rangers away. The biggest challenge was finding the park, buried in the depths of East London. The next challenge was finding the pitch in the park. Eventually, enough Dragons had been reunited in the correct place to start. Rangers scored first and some might have thought that that was the beginning of the footballing end, but the Dragons responded magnificently. They were so very unlucky not to come away with at least a point.
The Firsts had a weekend off, with the game postponed.
The Blues were beaten at home by Bessingby Park Rangers. With a full squad, the Blues were champing at the bit, having beaten the same opponents with 10 players 4 weeks ago. Was it complacency or the BPR team raising their game? Regardless of dominating possession, the Blues were not clinical with their chances, whereas the visitors did not miss.
The Old Dragonians lost 1-4 to Hare & Hounds away. As the Blues also found this week, the resounding difference between the two sides was that H&H were clinical in front of goal, whereas the Old Dragonians just could not find the right finish to the chances they created. A classy chip from the Dragons midfielder bagged the squad an away goal and deserves a highlight.