Cardiff Dragons Community vs Diverse Cymru – 5-a-side

It’s the second fixture of the season for the Community team and this time we’re taking on the guys who work for Diverse Cymru in a friendly 5-a-side fixture.

Date: Thursday 26th September 2013

Kick-off: 8pm

Venue: Fairwater Leisure Centre Astroturf, off Waterhall Road, Fairwater, Cardiff, CF5 3LL

All Community players are welcome to play – let Amy or Darrin know if you are available!

Go Dragons!

Cardiff Dragons FC 4 – 1 Birmingham Blaze FC (GFSN National League)

The Dragons put out the Blaze with an outstanding football display

Match report by Dave Amos

Cardiff Dragons 4 Birmingham Blaze 1

Scorers for Cardiff Matt, Anthony, Liam 2.

The Dragons lined up as follows: Ryan, John A, Christian, Chris G (Capt), Adam, Matt, Emyr, Mike W, Liam, Anthony, Chris O.

Subs: Andy, Jay, Paul, Eddie.

This has been one of the most difficult match reports I have ever had to write. If I wrote down every slick pass, movement off the ball, possession and shear commitment, I’d be writing the report all day as this display must rate as one of the best performances in the Dragons 5 year history and I would know as I have seen 99% of our games.

Lets make a start on the report.

In all honesty the first 10 to 15 minutes was not brilliant, but having said that, in that period there were 2 goals, one for each side. On 7 minutes the Dragons won a corner and with Anthony’s pin point accuracy he found Matt who did well to lose his marker and head the ball home from 12 yards. 1-0 Cardiff.

On 9 minutes, Blaze hit the Dragons cross bar with a shot from 18 yards. Two minutes later on 10 minutes, the scores were level  after a ball over the Dragons back line was headed in over Ryan from 12 yards out 1-1. This was perhaps the wake up call the Dragons needed as too many times lately, once we have taken the lead we have conceded within minutes.

In the next period of the game the Dragons started to come into their own in a game that was getting rather scrappy with a lot a free kicks. With our defence well marshalled by our captain Chris G, Matts ball winning and passing in midfield and Liams skill and pace the game was starting to turn. Emyr, Chris G, Liam, Anthony, Chris O all had attempts on goal in a 20 minute period that the Dragons were dominating. On 41 minutes yet more good work by Anthony and Matt put Liam through on goal and he finished off well, shooting low into the bottom right hand corner of the goal leaving the goal keeper with no chance. 2-1 the Dragons. During the first half, Adam had performed admirably once again at the back and is growing in confidence each game. Mike W also made some great runs down left hand wing and is always available for the team when needed.

 

Half Time 2-1 Cardiff.

At half time Muzz made a few changes to give the squad game time. Adam came off and Paul replaced him and Mike W also came off and was replaced by Andy. The Dragons continued where they left off in the first half. The passing throughout the team was very fluid and it was all played on the floor and Birmingham didn’t have an answer to it.

On 48 minutes Matt took a knock and was replaced by Eddie in midfield. Emyr was the engine room of the team throughout the game and was one of the reasons why Blaze could not get settled in the 2nd half. Liam was making telling runs at the Blaze defence and Chris O, who was holding the ball up so well, was able to lay off the ball onto running players. Our defence was also very strong; Chris G was his normal solid self and with the experience of Paul in the second half we never looked in danger. Christian and John A also played their part in keeping Blaze at bay but also by contributing to the attacking play.

Andy did not waste any time in getting in on this fluid display with some excellent runs and link up play down the left side. During this period Matt was able to come back on and Eddie who played his part in the midfield came off. On 65 minutes it was 3-1 to the Dragons which came from a through ball by Matt to Anthony who controlled the ball well on a run into the box and managed to place the ball past a helpless Blaze keeper.

Anthony_Read_DragonsvBlaze

On 70 minutes the game overheated a bit when Chris O, who had been pushed and shoved all game by the Blaze back line, lost his cool and got into an altercation, or perhaps best described as a rugby tackle on a Blaze player. Both Chris O and the Blaze player received the yellow card, then 2 minutes later with temperatures still running high, Christian committed a late tackle on a Blaze wide man and was also given a yellow card. With the Dragons being very strong all over the pitch, there was very little for Ryan in goal to do but what he did have to do he did well and looked very comfortable. In the last 15 minutes there was much of the same from the Dragons with more efforts on goal and you could just not see them letting Blaze back into the game.

On 80 minutes the final nail was put into the Blaze coffin when yet more dominance in ball winning by the Dragons lead to Liam being put through on goal. With an excellent finish he scored his 2nd of the game and his 5th goal in 2 games to make it 4-1 the Dragons. In the closing minutes Eddie came back on for Matt who was still carrying a knock from his original injury earlier in the game. Emyr had one final shoot saved well by the Blaze keeper.

Final Score Cardiff Dragons 4 Birmingham Blaze 1.

MOM Matt with an outstanding midfield performance and scoring his first goal for the Dragons. The game was refereed well by Gary and a huge thank you goes to John W who ran the line for us. Also thanks to the huge support we had from Ali, Amy, Darrin, Hannah, Michael J, Jason, James, Jay, Chris G’s family, Adam’s dad  and me. If i’ve missed any supporters i apologise as there were so many. A final mention goes to Muzz our Manager who as unable to play today because of his broken nose hopefully he will back and fit for the Newcastle fixture.

 

 

Rainbow Laced Dragons

rainbow_laces

What a great time to reflect on what Cardiff Dragons FC does for the LGBT community whilst the media is full of Stonewall’s and PaddyPower’s Rainbow Laces campaign to kick homophobia out of sport. If you haven’t come across it already, both organisations are prompting footballers this weekend (and beyond) to wear rainbow laces in support of tackling homophobia in all levels of the game.

Brave move. For one, its brave to even consider any campaign that approaches the realms of men’s football with its reputation for taking such a traditional, blinkered approach to anything new, let alone anything that attempts to tackle discrimination. Secondly, brave to use the strap line “Right Behind Gay Footballers” (#RBGF). The jokey innuendo didn’t go unnoticed by our players last Sunday when it started to hit the media headlines as we were being battered by the wind and rain in a fixture against Bristol. On the whole though, it was met with a few laughs.

Since then, its been astounding to watch this campaign gather momentum and reach the likes of Gary Lineker (who will be wearing rainbow laces on Match of the Day) and also for several high profile male and female professional players to openly show their support by agreeing to wear the laces at the weekend.

Wow. A huge well done Stonewall and PaddyPower! With one small item of clothing, they’ve captured the nation’s attention and broken into the Premier League with what seems to be very little effort. Okay, so the strap line maybe could have been a little different but this is a major step in the right direction to get people talking about the issues that some of us face on a regular basis when it comes to homophobia, not just in sport, but in every day life too. No, its not going to be an instant win, but its already opened several high profile doors and I’m sure that this is just the beginning. Massive applause.

Now, lets not forget that the likes of the Gay Football Supporters Network (GFSN) have been #RBGF for many, many years and without the tireless efforts of their volunteers, there wouldn’t be a league dedicated to gay footballers who can play in a safe and welcoming environment. Then there are the established and growing network of gay / LGBT football clubs across the UK that play in the GFSN leagues – those clubs, including ourselves have been #RBGF for many years and area also run by a dedicated team of volunteers who give up countless hours of their time to provide opportunities for the gay community to play football without fear of homophobia. Massive applause to you guys too.

On the back of the #RBGF campaign, its great to see the GFSN being inundated with messages of support and requests for information. Onwards and upwards.

In an ideal society, we wouldn’t need a GFSN league; we’d all feel happy and safe playing in the many affiliated leagues within our home nation league structures. Until that day comes (probably not in my lifetime), we, like many other clubs provide opportunities for all to play, regardless of sexuality.

For Cardiff Dragons FC, its not all about sexuality. Yes, a predominant proportion of our membership is made up of gay men, but they also play alongside straight men, and bisexual men, and gay women, and straight women, and bisexual women. Sexuality is not an issue.

As for gender, that’s even less of an issue for us. Men and women play 5-a-side and 11-a-side football together and are permitted to do so in the GFSN Leagues and tournaments. Its all about ability, not gender, sexuality or any of the other equality strands for that matter. Bottom line is, we don’t discriminate, never have, never will, and I truly believe that our current membership stats shows that we’re probably the most equitable football club in Wales. We’ll be wearing our rainbow laces on Sunday with pride.

#RBGF since 2005 and many more years to come.

Proud to be a Dragon.

Dragons-Header-White-Background

Cardiff Dragons Community 3 – 3 Taff Housing (7-a-side)

Dragons v Taff Housing

Last night, the Dragons hosted their first Community fixture of the season which was a 7-a-side fixture at Fairwater against Taff Housing. Thanks to an initial contact given by Laurence Hurrell, Amy and Darrin managed to organise the game at Fairwater Astro and even managed to time the fixture to avoid the rain.

The Dragons were represented by John Bladen, Dave Amos, Darrin Hughes, James Sherman, Anthony Read, Chris Green, Christian Jones, Jay Bragg, John Ainsley and Liam Paget.

The game was played in great spirits and was self-refereed by both teams which worked really well; a great example of fair play. It took a while for the Dragons to break down the Taff Housing team but Chris G scored a screamer of a first goal to take us 1-0 up. That was closely followed by Liam ‘hat-trick’ Paget who made it 2-0 going into half time.

The Dragons looked solid and great football was being played, making Taff Housing really work for their chances on goal. Dave Amos produced some excellent saves and everyone worked really hard throughout the match. John A came mighty close with a thundering shot which hit the bar. In the second half, Jay Bragg scored his first Dragons goal by deflecting a Chris G shot neatly into the Taff Housing goal. 3-0 up and looking unstoppable!

However, Taff quickly pulled a goal back which seemed to unsettle the Dragons and led to another quick goal from them to make it 3-2 with just 5 minutes left. In this short space of time, the action was end to end and the Dragons narrowly missed out on a winner which was hit by Chris G with amazing power but somehow the Taff keeper managed to parry it away from the bottom corner. In the dying seconds, Taff played the ball upfield and with a lucky high bounce they managed to squeeze a frantic goal past Ant in goal to level the game.

Final score 3-3.

Huge thanks go to Ruth and Hannah for their sideline support!!

Cardiff Dragons FC 3 – 1 Bristol Panthers FC (South West League)

LIAM’S HAT TRICK TAMES THE PANTHERS by Dave Amos

South West League – Llanrumney University Fields 15.9.13

Cardiff Dragons 3 Bristol Panthers 1

Cardiff lined up as follows:-

Ryan, John A, Christian, Chris G (Capt), Adam, Matt, Liam, Mike W, Aris, Chris O, Anthony.
Subs: Jay, Paul, James.

On a wet and windy day the conditions were never going to be easy to master. Within the first 15 to 20 minutes both sides had a fair amount of possession and there was nothing between the two sides. Muzz made a tactical substitution on 16 minutes replacing Aris with Jay then moving John A to right midfield with Jay going to right back.

After the 20 minute mark the Dragons were starting to get in their stride. Matt O was winning a lot of ball in midfield and Liam was showing a lot of flair and was also winning a lot of ball. Chris O and Ant up front were benefitting from great passes through from the midfield with Mike W and John A playing their part in what was starting to be a very fluent performance all round.

In a 10 minute period in the first half the Dragons had shots from Chris O (twice), Ant, and Liam (twice) but the Bristol defence and goalkeeper stood up strong to them.

There was also some solid defensive work from Chris G, the Dragons captain, and Adam making his full debut. Ryan was called into action to palm a shot over the cross bar with a fine save, whilst Christian had to make some telling and very important tackles which included clearing the ball off the line. Jay was also as strong and quick as ever so it was looking very encouraging for the Dragons. The only thing the Dragons lacked in the first half was a goal.

Half time 0-0.

Aris came back to replace Jay for the second half. On 47 minutes Mike W ran onto a cross from John A with a strong header but the Bristol goalkeeper made a good save. Unfortunately, Ant took a cracking blow to the eye in the process.

The second half really belonged to Liam scoring a very well taken hat trick of goals.

On 50 minutes Chris O, who was causing the Bristol defence all sorts of problems, was fouled 20 yards from goal. Liam’s free kick was unstoppable and gave the keeper no chance. 1-0 Cardiff.

On 55 minutes the Dragons were caught out with a long ball over the defence. Ryan saved the initial shot but there was a rebound off both Chris G & Christian that found its way into the Dragons net, 1-1.

On 60 minutes Ryan was called into action to make a good save and there was an excellent clearance from Aris in the process. The midfield was winning so much possession with Matt and Liam; the Dragons were controlling the game.

Then it was back to the Liam show and on 72 minutes a cross from John A was controlled by Liam who hit the ball from 18 yards out to find the net with a rocket of a shot 2-1 Cardiff.

On 80 minutes the game was over with Liam running onto a through ball to shot past the Bristol keeper who got a hand to it but couldn’t stop it, 3-1.

Final score: Cardiff Dragons 3 Bristol Panthers 1

The game was well refereed by Gary and thanks go to all who ran the line Ali, Jay, Paul and Aris.

Huge thanks to the supporters on the line in very wet conditions; Ali, Amy, Paul, Darrin, James, Ruth, Alex, Richie, Hannah, Luke, Dean and me writing the match report hehe!!!!!!!!!!!!! and Muzz the manager.