We are off to a great start with the Firsts beating the league leaders to take the number one spot:
The Firsts beat Sandgate 5-3. With only one league defeat the Dragons aim was to hit the ground running against top of the table Sandgate. The game started better for Sandgate who took advantage of poor defending to open the scoring. The Dragons upped their play to dominate but at half-time Sandgate remained a goal up. Within 5 minutes of the restart the Dragons had drawn level from a header and then shortly after scored again via a corner to take the lead. It was now one way traffic and a last ditch Sandgate tackle lead to a penalty to make it three. Dragons were now in cruise control and only a mistake would let Sandgate back in but alas an error from the back line did just that. The Dragons responded with substitutions with one contributing to a great move down the left as the other sub finished calmly to restore the two goal advantage. Two would become three when Sandgate crudely brought down a Dragon to give away another converted penalty. There was still time for Sandgate to grab another goal but a great second half by the Dragons ensured that for the first time this season they claim top spot.
The Reserves beat Sloane away 1-0 at Hackney Marshes. The Reserves looked surprisingly sharp in the opening stages as they faced, for the second time this season, a reserve side full of Premier League first teamers as their game had been called off. Some cute link up play down the right lead to a Dragons shot but a good stop from Sloane’s keeper thwarted the Dragons. With the defence looking sharp there were positive signs that the Dragons would grab the 3 points. However as time wore on and half chances were 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 first 20 minutes the Dragons coach switched to a 4-3-3 to allow the creative midfield to get further forward and the game changed immediately but with the final ball lacking terribly leaving the Sloane keeper largely unchallenged. The referee had a poor game and countless Dragons were upended but without a free kick in sight. Finally in injury time a free kick was awarded on the line for what was nearly an assault on the Dragons winger. A delightful delivery over the defence to the far post lead to the Dragons veteran striker saving the day with an outstretched leg and volley home. The referee looked at his watch and blew as Sloane kicked off and the jubilant Dragons had got the win they deserved.
The U14 Nighthawks lost 2-11 away against a mid division team that they had beaten at home. It was one of those days with not enough players and no keeper. The Dragons were the better team and were 2-3 down at the break but simply did not have the energy reserves for the 2nd half.
The U14 Eagles beat Heathrow Club 7-3 away. The Dragons manager said at the post match press conference: ” It wasn’t quite purple Hayes, but the Dragons certainly brought welcome patches of colour to a damp, fog-shrouded West London this Sunday. Bright, creative and hungry for the ball, our boys carried on from where they’d left 2012. Heathrow bustled like their airport (albeit with fewer strikes) but after a hearty start from both sides it was the Eagles who really took flight. And though our early break was cancelled out by a soft penalty (their eager striker colliding with a slice of late-departing fog) our class was always going to tell. While the home side laboured in Economy, we showed great maturity by appearing as comfortable in Business (with hard, direct balls to the our tireless forwards) as First (with patient passing, crafty movement and slick finishing to delight the connoisseur). Five-one up at half-time, there were signs of easing in the second as the heavy pitch drew strength from weary legs. Heathrow pulled two back against the run of play, but for them it was all too late. The damage was terminal and despite a flurry of scything tackles the roaring Dragons jinked and skipped their way to an emphatic 7:3 victory. These Eagles, it appears, have most definitely landed.”
The remaining teams had no games.