With the Girls section still gathering numbers for their first game, Saturday saw the debut of our new U10’s and the Firsts continue their winning streak. Sunday saw frozen pitches:
The New U10’s drew with mighty South Ealing Saints and then narrowly lost 3-4 in the second half in the dark damp wilds of Ealing. The U10’s ignored the massive Saints support and battled their way on a muddy pitch to a standstill draw in the first half. Whilst the Saints then rolled on a seemingly new team the brave Dragons rolled up their sleeves and dug deep to withstand the repeated Saints onslaughts. With the lead constantly changing sides the massed fans held their collective breath but it was the Saints who narrowly squeaked a lucky late win. A great debut from the Dragons who are clearly a team to watch as they develop.
The U11’s was called off due to a frozen pitch.
The U13’s lost away 1-2 to Venceremos in a game that was in doubt right up to kick off with the sun just having enough heat to thaw the pitch. The frozen Dragons conceded in the first few minutes as they failed to clear the ball. A strong halftime talk from the coach lead to a marked improvement in the Dragons midfield as they crafted the equaliser. Veneceremos came straight back and only the post saved the Dragons from going behind until a long ball was allowed to bounce, bisect the defence and then beat the goal keeper. The Dragons still sensed they could grab a point but squandered a one on one with the keeper when the shot narrowly went the wrong side of the post to leave the Dragons pointless.
The U14 Nighthawks just lost 0-1 to Hanwell Town at St Marks. The match was evenly balanced but unfortunately the ref was inexperienced and ended up making – probably not by design – a few wrong calls that penalised the Dragons: disallowing a goal when the linesman incorrectly called off-side; not giving a free kick when a Hanwell player brazenly pushed a Dragon defender to score; and (astonishingly) ended the game early at 32 minutes when everybody (including opponents) knew that this was a mistake. The only and best line of defence in unlucky situations like this is to stay the course and try to play even better to overcome differences. The Manager was quoted as saying “So, heads up and let’s go win the next match!”
The U14 Eagles lost 2-4 to YAC Star Ealing at St Marks. The great Andres Iniesta has tried to suggest there is only one way to play football. As the mighty Eagles have discovered to their cost, that simply isn¹t so. Playing attractive, thoughtful football requires time to think, and when you face a team full of running, urgency and only-just contained aggression, you’re never going to get it. While last week the Dragons blamed the comedy conditions, this Sunday the truth was as sharp and clear as the cold blue sky that crowned St Mark’s. Again Ealing went one up and again the Dragons fought back to tie at half-time. After the restart Ealing pressed until the Dragons over-worked defence began to leak. Quicker in the box, harder in the tackle, and luckier in a key decision or two, Ealing worked their way to 4-1 up before they too began to tire. The Dragons pulled one back and finished the stronger side – a tribute to a deep resilience and a steely confidence. All is not lost. The Dragons maintain considerable strengths. As the man in the pub once unerringly observed, football is a funny old game. These Eagles may yet reach number one.
The U15’s game was called off at the last moment as the pitch was frozen
The U17’s game was called off after much inspection and debate due to a frozen pitch
The Firsts beat Hillingdon Abbots 7-1 away to continue their good form. There is still a long way to go but promotion to the Premiership has been talked about in some circles. One game at a time must be the watchword.
The Reserves had no game