The start of November saw a spate of Cup ties, with Dragons triumphs and near misses aplenty:
The U11 Boys just lost 3-4 to Wealdstone at home, as the young squad learnt the value of ‘park the bus’. The Dragons were winning 3-0 for much of the game before Wealdstone found the magic to score 4 goals in quick succession. A shock result but the Dragons will learn from the heartbreak and come back stronger.
The U12 Boys demolished Ickenham, winning 11-0 away. The Dragons led early and were 4-0 up by the break. One would think a more solid Ickenham would return after their half time oranges, but our young Dragons broke their first half record, putting away another 6 in the second. Another well-deserved win and through to the next round.
The U13 Boys just lost 4-5 to Northwood at home in a very tough, Middlesex Cup match. The Dragons were mostly on top only for Northwood to be 3-1 up at the break. After conceding soon after the restart, the comeback was on as the Dragons never, ever give up. True to this tenet, the score was 4-4 with a minute to go. Alas, Northwood got the killer blow. The Dragons had nearly pulled off a legendary escape and can be proud of their efforts.
The U14 Boys soundly beat Barnet Azzuri 6-0 at home in the Middlesex Cup. A late 2pm start meant the U14s were raring to go by kick-off. An early goal set the tone for the Dragons as they went in at half time 2-0 up. The second half saw more Dragons goals, against a depleted Barnet, with all six goals from six different players. On to the next round!
The U15 Boys just lost away 3-4 against Hillingdon Abbots. This was a frustrating match with the Dragons not quite themselves, and possibly trying too many long-range shots, rather than working to get nearer the goal. The Dragons still could have won but for superb Abbots goalkeeping and a rather cruel offsite decision to thwart a vital goal. The home leg will be an interesting affair and one that an objective observer would judge the Dragons should win.
The U16 Boys were beaten 2-3 at home in the Middlesex Cup by Ashford Town. The Dragons were the better side in the first 30 minutes but failed to capitalise on multiple opportunities. After a few defensive mistakes the Dragons were 0-2 down but then fought back to level the score with 15 minutes remaining. But it was not to be as Ashford Town fired a free kick to deliver them the victory. Coach’s lesson for the week: When you are the better side for that long, the scoreboard must reflect this”.
The U18 Boys did not play.
The U10 Boys trained.
The U16 Girls were beaten away at Enfield Town in their toughest fixture of the season. Starting strong, the Dragons gave last year’s Division 1 and County Cup champions a scare missing a few early chances. Yet, a very technical Enfield side passed well and went into halftime 2-0 up. The Dragons couldn’t handle the pace of the game in the second as Enfield went through the gears. It was a good test for the Dragons and the girls now know what they need to work on to be a top-level team. Heads are high for Actonians next week.
The U14 Girls were just beaten 4-5 away by Ruislip Rangers. Despite not winning the Dragons put in a fantastic performance, playing with determination and team spirit. The Dragons started the second half 0-4 down and proceeded to dominate the Rangers half for the majority of the match. A thrilling game to watch.
The U13 Girls won 3-2 away against Most Wanted FC in a gripping game. The Dragons were in great shape regardless of the “totally biased referee who flouted the rules to get the opposition the win” – witnesses available by request. However, the Dragons dominated to make the Club proud, showing maturity and heart.
The U12 Girls looked to overwhelm their local rivals, but were eventually beaten 3-5 at home to Actonians. The Dragons came out firing on all cylinders to be 3-1 up at half-time. Although buoyant, it transpired to be a game of two halves as the wheels came off the Dragons wagon in the second half. Without their usual goalkeeper, the Dragons defence was overcome as their opponents took the lead. Nevertheless, the Dragons can take huge pluses from their first half efforts.
The U11 Girls just lost to Broomwood Swans away, despite scoring their first ever competitive goals. Broomwood had overwhelmed the Dragons at their first encounter, but this rematch was an entirely different affair. Play oscillated between ends, with the Swans pulling ahead, before the Dragons scored their first goal – a tentative, almost apologetic shot that rolled over the line. The Dragons were delightedly shocked as they realised scoring was allowed. Within minutes the Dragons charged up the pitch again to thunder in another goal – they had developed a taste for it but alas the final whistle blew to save the Swans their blushes.
The Firsts lost away to NW London despite a tight first half. It was equal up to the break with both teams scoring, but as the game drew on the Dragons defence broke down too often to stage a heroic comeback. Yet the chances created point to a silver lining as these Dragons work on finding the back of the net.
The Blues were close to forcing extra time in a division Cup tie, but were beaten 2-3 by Hammersmith at home. The Blues’ fate was out of their hands in the Eddy Mee Challenge Cup as the ref gave Hammersmith a late contested penalty. Hammersmith did not waste the opportunity. It is now back to focusing on the League.
The Old Dragonians lost 0-2 at home to Seshfield. For the second game running the Old Ds were to rue not taking their chances, failing to convert three gilt-edged chances in the first 20mins. Seshfield gradually grew into the game and took their limited attempts either side of the half to take the points.