Kensington Dragons U14 Eagles 1 v 1 Heathrow Club
It was a day of what ifs and might-have-beens: what if just one of our many rasping shots had hit home? What if our defender had not slipped in the mud to gift them an early goal? What if our mighty captain’s last second header had struck the inside rather than the outside of the post? And what if the Dragons management had called the game off instead of forging bravely ahead on that cold, wet, fateful February morning? For such is the fine finesse of our game nowadays that a dodgy pitch will always favour our opponents and hit us hardest.
We equalised soon after Heathrow’s surprise opener, and for the rest of the game we pushed and passed and ran and trudged and even, in one stunning passage of free-flowing improvisation, recalled the penalty-box ballet of George Best’s famous strike for the San Jose Earthquakes back in 1981. Except of course that our finish cleared the bar. And the only trembling here was from the spectators as the quagmire did its best to suck all quality from the game.
With ten minutes to go the ball burst and along with it, our hopes. So when, with the whistle in the referee’s lips, that final rising header skinned the post we all knew which way the ball would fall. It is true we needed to take our chances. But we also need to take some heart: for the roaring cheer from the away support, management and players that exploded at the final whistle spoke volumes for our growing reputation. Heathrow had stolen a point from the mighty Eagles. For us it was two valuable points lost, but a whole lot of mighty pride maintained.