Nottingham Ballbois 7 – 1 Cardiff Dragons

The game was played in fine conditions on an excellent 3D Astroturf pitch, although a strong wind made things difficult at times for both teams. The Ballbois had the best of the early exchanges culminating in a couple of half chances wide of goal from long range shots.

The Dragons soon settled though making some forays into the opposition half with a lot of possession and, following a couple of blocked shots, took the lead on 20 minutes following a move down the left hand side and a well finished low shot from Lyons.

The lead was fairly shortlived however as Ballbois continued to make chances, as well with some good wing play, and just before the half hour mark the Dragons defence failed to deal with an inswinging corner and the ball found its way into the net for the equaliser.

This did not deter the visitors who nearly regained the lead when a shot from the edge of the area by Anthony Read was well tipped round the post by the Ballbois goalkeeper with the keeper tested again from a low shot from Gary Nash and testing cross from Lucas Owen.

The rest of the half continued to be played out evenly with further half chances at both ends from excellent crosses but consistently good defending and goalkeeping from both teams ensured the score remained 1-1 at half time.

The second half began in a similar vein as the first had ended, with both sides getting in a lot of timely tackles thus limiting any clear cut chances.Approaching the hour mark though the Ballbois took the lead for the first time when a ball through the middle caught the Dragons defence napping as they tried to play offside, the Ballbois forward scoring with a composed finish inside the near post.

A third goal followed shortly afterwards from a free kick which led to a bad injury to the Dragons goalkeeper Dave Amos, forcing him to leave the field and with Lucas Owen also having to leave the field. Injured, the Dragons lost their shape a little and some good and quick interplay by the Ballbois midfield resulted in another two well finished goals.

It was admirable to see the committment througout though from all the Dragons in what was their best all round performance so far against what was a strong and experienced team. This resulted in the Dragons continuing to be a threat to the Ballbois goal having good spells of possession of their own in the opposition half culminating in two excellent chances firstly a header narrowly wide from Anthony Read and then a low drive just wide from Lyons.

The Ballbois however capitalised well on a couple of defensive lapses near the end to add a further two goals as the game ended 7-1. Overall a highly entertaining game played in good spirit and well refereed throughout by Terry Connolly. Thanks go to him and to the Noittingham Ballbois for their hospitality throghout the day.

Dragons: AMOS, KELLY, SEARLE, HARVEY, COUSINS, OWEN, DA SILVA, ASHTON, LYONS, READ, NASH

Subs used: HUGHES, MONK, LATHAM, JONES, BULL

Subs not used: WALL