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.
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.