We press on. It is that time of year that favours the resilient:
The Firsts beat Lancaster 3-1 Away. The week off did nothing to help the team’s rhythm where the tempo and quality in the opening exchanges were lower than expected. This was matched by limp attempts off the ball to regain possession with the inevitable consequence that ten minutes in a Lancaster counter attack split the defence to calmly open the scoring. The Dragons woke up and within 5 minutes a cross was fumbled by the keeper for the Dragons to score. Five minutes later a goal mouth scramble from a corner fell nicely to the Dragons to put them in the lead. This was to be the Dragons most productive spell up to the break. The second half began with the Dragons having the lion’s share of possession but a lack of quality and incisiveness meant no end product before eventually, with seven minutes to go, a good counter attack lead to the Dragons third goal.
The Reserves beat AFC Southall 3-1 away in the MCFL Cup. After the management shook things up the Reserves were able to cling on to some positivity after a poor run of 3 straight defeats. With players in new positions they started sloppily with an array of miss placed passes. The Dragons grew in confidence and began to move the ball around but again the final ball was lacking. After 30 minutes the Dragons won a corner and pounced on a poor clearance to clinically finish from 12 yards. The midfield was changed to 2 holders and one in front to give more solidity but a poor opening second half was compounded by a horror moment from the goalkeeper and it was 1-1. Instead of feeling sorry for themselves the Dragons responded with a resilient last 35 minutes which lead to the ball dropping conveniently for the veteran Dragon to prod past the static keeper. The game was now end to end. With 5 minutes left and under pressure, the ball was won by the Dragon striker who galloped on to score.
The U17’s defeated Celtic away 5-0. After a poor start to the season the Dragons needed to get points on the table having only 3 out of a possible 15. The game started with the Dragons playing the ball around well. It soon became evident that the Dragons were the better side as only near misses and good goalkeeping kept the score level. The Dragons midfield dominated, denying Celtic possession. Eventually the Dragons scored to put them ahead which made them thirsty for more before half time which they duly did to make it 3-0. Complacency at the start of the second half lead to the Dragons losing control and they were lucky not to concede after a disallowed goal from Celtic and a superb save by the goalie. This was a wake up call and the Dragons soon scored from a counter attack to leave the final score 5-0.
The U15’s had no game
The U14A Nighthawks beat top of division Springfield 5-2 in an exciting match. The Dragons were 2-1 up at half time after having conceded a suspicious penalty. Springfield fought back to equalize 2-2 before the Dragons took the lead again at 3-2 only for Springfield to equalize again to make it 3-3. The Dragons refused to let the game slip away and scored to make it 4-3 before sealing the result in the last 3 minutes to make it 5-3.
The U14B Eagles had no game.
The U13’s just lost 3-4 away to Brentham Colts. On a warmish Autumn morning the Dragons found a tight pitch and 3 huge Brentham players whose size would have not have been out of place in a first team fixture. Brentham opened the scoring following a goal mouth scramble. The Dragons replied with a great run and rasping shot from their striker. Then Brentham scored with two of their strikers clearly offside. A discussion on the offside interference rule followed but the Ref was unmoved. Both teams battled to make way through the congested middle of the field but neither team could score. The Ref then overruled the Brentham linesman’s call of a Dragons throw in and awarded it to a delighted Brentham who quickly took it catching the Dragons short at the back and scored. The Dragons fought back to 3-2 as their midfielder jinked passed two defenders and slipped a great pass for the striker to score. Unfortunately Brentham regained their 2 goal advantage scoring from a great overhead kick from a corner. The Dragons replied to make it 4-3 and had a great chance to equalise late in the game but the shot went past the post and this is how this highly entertaining game finished.
The U11’s lost 3-5 away to established Gibbons Wreckers. The Dragons found themselves just behind at 2-3 after an exciting first half. Three minutes into the second half the Dragons pulled level with an amazing goal only to go behind with a blatant offside that the Ref chose to ignore, much to the anguish of the away Dragons supporters. The Ref then chose to award two penalties against the Dragons to put the game out of reach. The Dragons showed great strength of character under pressure with a Ref whose judgement on the day was very questionable.