A wet week gave way to a glorious weekend:
The Firsts beat Imperial College 3-1 away. A poor start was disturbing with poor passing, movement and communication leading to two players going for the same ball to give Imperial a simple lead which is where it stood at half time. With the Coach’s stern message still ringing in the Dragons collective ears a good move on the left lead to a converted penalty. A couple of Dragons subs freshened things up and a slick six man passing move down the right lead to another goal. The next score would be all important and a rare chance for Imperial from a corner had their header crash off the bar. With warning bells sounding yet another corner suggested Imperial might break through but brave goalkeeping set off a counter attack and in seconds the Dragons were playing the ball across the six yard box to grab a third goal and 3 points.
The Reserves narrowly lost 0-1 to Indian Gymkhana. The lack of coach or manager made a vital difference at the margin for the Dragons. With an indecisive referee the tough competitive game was still 0-0 seconds from the final whistle when Gymkhana scored to win the match. Irritating.
The U17’s lost to London Tigers away in their first league match. Travel problems lead to key members of the squad arriving within minutes of kick off. The Tigers pounced on the ill prepared Dragons to score twice in the first 10 minutes – one in dubious circumstances with 5 Tigers being offside when the ball was kicked. Undaunted the Dragons faced up and dominated the remainder of the first half, scoring a lovely goal from the 25 yard line; followed by a nice slot in from a corner which was disallowed when the ref decided there had been some pushing involved. It was 2-1 at half time and the Dragons were sure that this was to be their day. Back on the field, despite some brilliant play from some Dragons, the nifty Tigers footwork won the day and the final score stood at 7:1 – a perplexing result for the spectators. With more attention to fitness and training, being properly prepared and arriving at the pitch in time would have lead to a different result.
The U15’s beat Kentish Town 2-1 at St Marks in the League Cup. This was a fast, furious game probably not entirely suited to the referee who was on his third match of the day. During a refreshing smoke between games the referee explained that his philosophy was to not use linesmen. Trouble was potentially afoot. The game proved to be a cracker with the huge crowd enthralled from start to climatic finish. As the ref started to hand out cards the Dragons clung to their 2-1 lead when a minute from the end disaster almost struck – Kentish Town scored and to celebrate a loose Kentish player kicked the ball as it crossed the line. The referee blew for offside. Kentish Town erupted with their managers dashing onto the pitch The referee was shaken but not stirred and the Dragons had won.
The U14 Nighthawks lost 2-4 at St Marks to Ruislip Rangers. This was not a great display by the Dragons but they were unlucky to miss converting numerous goal scoring opportunities.
The U14 Eagles demolished Manor Youth 9-1. Flicks and chips, passes spread far and wide, neat touches, deep crosses were all bread and butter to an Eagles team beginning to feast on fifth-tier football. The game was a delight to watch with the lethal penetration of the Dragons hard running forwards; the delicate artistry of their near-perfect number 10 as he delicately decided where to place the ball; The cool finishing for goals 3 and 4; the subtle assists that split Manor’s high back line time after time for goals 5 and 6 and 7. No wonder the Dragons are drawing bigger support each game and their vocal crew must think it’s like this every week; and as the game reached 8-1 it seemed for a moment they might be right. But then a final, emphatic finish made it 9-1, and the older heads could wisely nod: it’s not like this every week you know, it just gets even better. These Eagles can dare to dream.
The U13’s lost 1-5 against Hayes and Yeading away in the League Cup. The Dragons arrived to find the pitch covered in mist – more appropriate to a Sherlock Holmes mystery than a football match. The referee determined it was ok to play and, despite the one sided score line, the match was fairly even. The only real difference between the teams was the quality of the final ball. H&Ys first goal came as the ball was played between the Dragons centre half and keeper to allow their striker to push the ball just inside the far post. The Dragons fought back and launched a series of attacks but the final ball always seemed to end up in the keeper’s arms. A second shortly after half time for H&Y forced the Dragons to chase the game and in so doing opening the way for H&Y to counter attack and score. The Dragons eventually grabbed a consolation goal.
The U11’s had no match as Mill Hill FC had heard about their tremendous victory last week and had folded.