With the Dragons everywhere revelling in the bracing conditions few were dreaming of lying on sun drenched beaches:
The First beat Brentham 1-0 away. After last week’s big win this game was even bigger as it would consolidate the result. Brentham started with intent but gradually the contest started to become more one sided in the Dragons favour. Opportunities were missed and at the interval it was still 0-0. After the break neither side was really threatening to score though the Dragons remained in control and solid at the back. It was this foundation that meant a slip in Brentham’s concentration would get the result. With a corner on 70 minutes the ball managed to miss everyone at the near post to leave a Dragon to stab the ball home from eight yards. Both teams huffed and puffed to find the next goal but it did not come and a gritty one nil win was satisfactory for the Dragons who now entertain in the cup next week.
The Reserves had no game
The U17’s had no game
The U15’s beat Yeading 6-2 at St Marks. It was never in doubt that the Dragons were going to win. What was in doubt was could they keep their shape knowing they were going to win; or were they going to gallivant all over the place practicing back heals, kickovers etc etc. The verdict must be a bit of both. The Dragons remain unbeaten in the league.
The U14 Eagles beat Pitshanger 7-2 at St Marks. To quote the Manager “There were those who supposed this might be a stroll in the park. And so it appeared as we practically walked in two goals in the opening ten minutes. But this, of course, is football and the truths of the universe prevail. So however much talent you’ve got on the pitch it’s worthless without that magic ingredient – Hard Work. And as if to admire our early rewards, we sat back and watched Pitshanger respond in kind. Two swift hits, the first a text-book example of the striker’s predatory art, saw the Eagles knocked unceremoniously off their high perch, hard-earned pride momentarily scorched. The response, however, was as magnificent as it was immediate. A quick double substitution, some generalised shouting and the mighty Dragons were roused once again. Within minutes the lead was restored through a strike of rare quality (a high and rising half-volley from 15 yards kept so low and hard the keeper could be grateful he was nowhere near it). From there on in the Eagles applied themselves faultlessly into the break at 4-2 and pressing on right from the restart. It finished 7-2, with Dragons en-masse hungry for the ball, memories of the early wobble fading with the midday light”
The U14 Nighthawks lost 2-3 against Portobello in dubious circumstances. The close match was ultimately decided by two bad refereeing decisions. The linesman signalled a player carrying the ball with his hand as he assisted in a Portobello goal. The referee saw the lineman’s raised flag but blatantly ignored it, despite a Portobello parent commenting “it was a clear handball”; when asked why, he said “I’m the ref and I make the decision”. later when the Dragons scored the 3-3 equaliser the referee confirmed the goal. The linesman, a timid teenager from the Portobello team, under pressure from his coach who was shouting “offside” belatedly stuck his flag up. The ref duly changed his mind without consulting the linesman to see who was offside and disallowed the goal. When asked why, he said “the linesman raised his flag”. Outrageous.
The U13’s lost 1-3 to Yeading Wanderers. If this had been a boxing match the fight would have been stopped by half-time. The Dragons played an outstanding first half, dominating possession and territory. The midfield and defenders won the ball at will and the attack always looked dangerous. Eventually the opening goal came as the Dragon winger bobbed and weaved passed a couple of defenders to play a killer pass into his striker who clinically finished to give the Dragons a well-deserved lead. Yeading were on the ropes but the Dragons could not land the killer blow and this proved to be their undoing as they were caught with a sucker punch in the last minute of the first half. The second half was more even. As the Dragons started to tire however on the heavy pitch Yeading took cruel advantage to take the lead. The game was then held up for several minutes when the Dragons centre half took a blow to the nose from the ball and despite valiantly trying to carry on had to leave the pitch with a bleeding nose. The remaining 10 Dragons were now out on their feet and Yeading used their 5 subs to give the knockout blow. The Dragons tried to respond and created a couple of chances but had to settle for an undeserved loss. But like Rocky they will look forward to the re-match.
The Dragons lost 1-5 to Wealdstone in unusual circumstances. The Dragons arrived with a full squad only to be held waiting for hours in the freezing cold for the game to start. An exhilarating first half was dominated by the Dragons who came back from 0-1 down to equalise 1-1 from a well executed goal before half time. The second half saw a solid performance from Wealdstone resulting in the Dragons conceding four soft goals and as the Dragons came back into the game they ran out of time to pull back.