London Leftfooters FC 2 – 1 Cardiff Dragons FC (GFSN League)

London Leftfooters 2 Cardiff Dragons 1 (Liam 10 mins)

Saturday 26th April 2014

It’s with a few tears in my eyes I write my last Dragons match report of the season.

Before I go into the match report we need to thank everyone for the wonderful support that we had in London today, whether it was the players or supporters – a huge thank you for travelling and taking the time out for the Dragons.  I will go into players in the report itself but thank you to Ali (Chairperson), Jason, Debbie (Mehdi’s wife), Amy, Jay, and Kevin who were part of the team, and for Kris, Aris and Adam for running the line during the game.

The Dragons lined up as follows:
Ryan B, John A, Ryan Mc, Chris G, (Capt), Nicky, Muzz (Manager), Matt, Adam, Mehdi, Anthony, Liam.
Subs: Christian, Kris, Aris, Mike, Amy, Jay, Kevin.

It was a game of missed opportunities. I feel that never again will the Dragons create so many chances and not actually win a game. Our creativity was that good, but on the day no end product. Sometimes this happens in football.

As soon as the first whistle went, the Dragons were in total command of the game with corners and shots on goal due to our midfield pushing on. There were many early chances for Anthony and Liam, our front pairing.

On 10 minutes the Dragons took a deserved lead with a great ball from Muzz to Liam who was in the box and ran through the Leftfooters defence to score low down to keepers right. 1-0 Dragons.

Dragon's lovely new shirts courtesy of Mitie

Dragon’s lovely new shirts courtesy of Mitie

The whole team were playing their part in a excellent first 35 minutes. Ryan B, in goal, looked confident as ever and both full backs Ryan Mc, and John A were pushing up with Muzz and Matt in the centre of midfield controlling the game. Adam and Mehdi were playing out on the wings supporting Anthony and Liam up front.

The chances for the Dragons were continuing with Matt and Muzz also having shots on goal but the Leftfooters were starting to break well and it was on 35 minutes that a break resulted in Ryan B being forced into save that lead to a corner. The resulting corner was played deep into the box, and with the aid of the wind it went over the Dragons defence and in off Adam’s head who was on the line. 1-1.

Just after the goal Adam came off with an injury and was replaced by Christian.

Half time 1-1

In the second half the Leftfooters started well and on 50 minutes broke the Dragons off side trap. Their centre forward was adjudged to have been taken down by Chris G but it was actually 2 feet outside the penalty box. From a long way back the referee gave a penalty. Fortunately the penalty was missed – it sailed over the bar which was a let off for the Dragons.

On 58 minutes Kris replaced John A. The Dragons continued to create chances and Liam was a continual headache for the Leftfooters with his attacking runs and shots on goal.

On 66 minutes Matt came off injured and Mike replaced him. The Dragons continued to create chances but with no end result.

On 72 minutes Mehdi came off and Aris came on then on 76 minutes Muzz came off and Matt came back on.

On 80 minutes you knew it was not going to be our day. A break by Liam and a shot from 12 yards out hit the post.

On 81 minutes Kris came off and Adam went back on.

Final changes for the day on 85 minutes Ryan Mc and Christian off and Muzz and Mehdi back on.

There was a another chance when a ball into the box from a corner was met with an Aris header which just looped over the bar.

With the Dragons pushing everyone forward the Leftfooters got a break and a run into the Dragons box resulted in a goal. 2-1 Leftfooters.

The Dragons tried everthing to get an equaliser, pushing goalkeeper Ryan up for corners but it was not to be on the day.

Final score 2-1 to leftfooters.

Thank you to the Leftfooters for their hospitality after the game.

All in all I know we did not win today, but its been a good season for the Dragons and they should be proud of what they have achieved this season.

This will stand us in good stead for next season.

My thanks go to Muzz and his team, to Chris G our Captain, Ali our wonderful Chairperson and to Amy and to Jay for all their had work this season.

This is Dave Amos signing off for the last time this season let’s have a great summer and we have the Unity Cup in Cardiff this June see you all there xxx

More than just a game, more than just a football club

Our club was set up 5 years ago last summer by a group of 5 gay guys in Cardiff that wanted to be able to play football in a safe and friendly environment free from homophobia. Their attendance at a GFSN 5-a-side tournament sparked an enthusiasm and interest to gain new members and grow the club. We still continue to enter national 5-a-side events, and our year started off perfectly when a squad of male and female Dragons went up to Leicester at the start of the season and won the Leicester Wildecats tournament. Since then we’ve been busy competing in the GFSN Leauge, South West League and have a varied programme of Community fixtures. Our main aim is to ensure that there is something for everyone in our football club and we have a wide range of players to cater for. Some relish the opportunity of GFSN League games against tough opposition and are fighting really hard to gain promotion this year. Others are passionate about 5-a-side and really enjoy Dragons 5’s or the Community 5’s fixtures that we’ve had. Then there are others who are just happy to dip in and out for the odd kick about and get involved in the socials.

What has really developed this year, has been the variety of the Community fixtures and the opportunities they’ve given us to meet people that we probably wouldn’t have met before in our everyday lives. A couple of weeks ago we had our second visit in the space of a couple of months to HMP Parc, also known as Bridgend Prison. Previously we had gone along with a men’s squad to play 5’s against some prisoners and prison staff which was a fantastic experience. This time, we were going along to play against a bunch of female prison staff who had recently started to get together during lunchtimes to play footy within the prison grounds. It was a great opportunity for us to give our female players a bit more game time and also the chance for some of the Dragons guys to come along to the prison and experience the environment.

HMP Parc

HMP Parc

We knew from speaking to Phil Forder, our G4S prison contact, that the female staff were a bit nervous about us bringing guys along but  we reassured him that with this being a Community fixture, it’s not about the winning, it’s about the taking part. The game was played on a lovely floodlit 3G pitch smack bang in the middle of prisoner accommodation which looked a bit like Talybont Student residences. We agreed to play 6-a-side with rolling subs for 1 hour with a short break for half time. Ryan B was our keeper and had big shoes to fill given Dave Amos’s outstanding performance against the prisoners last time. The three Dragons women started together with a couple of Dragons men and the game kicked off really evenly. It was a great standard of football and the female prison staff showed some great skill and determination. They had a real mix of players from some who hadn’t played football at all before right up to Welsh Premier League standard.

It took about 10 minutes to break down the prison staff defence with a neatly taken goal by Amy who seems to be well on her way back to form since her knee injury. The Dragons women played really well together which is promising for the upcoming European tournament in June. Changes were made about every 8 minutes to ensure that the Dragons each got some good game time. It was great to see Richie Jones back playing 6-a-side football and really enjoying himself. Craig is a fairly new addition to the Dragons and he tested the prison staff  with some great strikes at goal and some good movement off the ball, linking up with the team nicely. Liam was suffering from an injury to his little toe, so wasn’t on his top form but he still managed to score in the first half with his lovely new boots. The work rate of the Dragons was fantastic and it needed to be, as the prison staff gained confidence and were taking more shots at goal which were testing Ryan. John W and Jeremy covered plenty of ground up and down the pitch, hassling the prison staff and generally making life difficult. Ruth was a good asset up front, losing her defender just on the edge of the box and had a few good chances.

HMP Parc

HMP Parc

Into the second half and the game was being played in great spirits. We had an official referee, Keith, who was firm but fair with his decisions. We were keen to see if he was going to use his 2 minute ‘sin bin’ rule but no-one behaved badly enough for this to happen. The second half produced two more Dragons goals – another from Liam and a great strike from Craig who has an incredibly powerful shot. Special mention goes to Harriett’s disallowed goal which was a really well taken effort and an even better goal celebration, only to realise that it was well inside the box.

The final score was 4-1 to the Dragons after a fantastic game of football. Following the game we were taken into the Phys Ed wing where we were treated to the healthiest post-match food we’ve ever eaten – salad boxes! There were promises from the female staff that next time they’d try to arrange bacon rolls, chips, sausage rolls so we said we’d definitely come back. This time, like most of the other Community fixtures we’ve had this season was more than just a game, it was about building relationships with other footballing groups and spreading the message about who we are and what we do. We’re definitely more than just a football club.

Dragons squad: Harriett, Ruth, Amy, Ryan B, John W, Richie, Jeremy, Liam, Craig

Supporters: Shona, Jordan, Ali

A huge thanks goes to Phil Forder, Matt, Ruth and the team from the prison for inviting us in again and making us feel so welcome. Thanks also goes to the Dragons players and spectators for giving up their evening to represent the club in such a positive way.

This year, we’re proud to say that we have 57 members (male and female) all signed up, the majority of whom are players. Our members come from Cardiff, the Valleys, West Wales and even as far as Bristol. If you’re interested in joining then drop us a line or find us on Facebook or Twitter.