Cardiff Dragons 2 – 2 Radyr Rangers

Match report

Pontcanna, Men’s Sunday Lazarou League

3rd April 2016

Despite several key absentees, the Dragons dented the hopes of their promotion-chasing opponents with a fully deserved late equaliser.

In an open and keenly contested encounter (restricted by fixture congestion to sixty minutes) Rangers provided some early scares before the Reds got to grips with their efficient but predictable style of play and began to show an attacking threat of their own. Prompted by George’s eye for a penetrating ball, Craig and Dan began to work the away defence, resulting in several dangerous corners.  The Dragons were caught by a sucker-punch, however, when Rangers broke clear to deliver a cross which could only be dealt with at the expense of an own goal. But the response was spirited, and within eight minutes Dan was freed, exploiting a weakness on the right of the Radyr defence to burst into the area and supply a cool finish.

A first point of the season against a top-three side would have been an acceptable result at this stage, and the teams continued to share possession and opportunities equally until Rangers regained the advantage after a controversial clash with Ryan in goal. Again the Dragons rallied—this time with real passion, commitment and attacking intent—producing a series of chances, corners and dangerous moves with substitute Claudio at their heart.  The tactical gamble of throwing Chris into the forward mix finally paid off when, following an excellent passing sequence between Christian, Mehdi, George and Claudio, the centre-back burst through to finish high into the net from a difficult angle with just two minutes remaining.

The ‘G Force’ was rightly rewarded with Dragon of the Match, though the whole squad did the club proud on every level. Congratulations are also due to Anthony for making some inspired decisions from the touchline.  Thanks to all our supporters—walking wounded Muzz and Liam, Laura, Debbie, John L, Jerry, Louis and Tito, and Claire for special vocal effects.

Dragons scorers: Dan 27, Chris 58

HT 1-1

Cardiff Dragons: Ryan B; Neil, Chris, Fudge, Christian; George, Ryan M (Claudio), John A (C), Mehdi; Dan, Craig (Dave W).

Subs: Claudio, Dave W.

Cardiff Dragons 0 – 4 Yorkshire Terriers

Match report

Blackweir

GFSN National League. Mixed gender 11-a-side

2nd April 2016

An unflattering scoreline for a display of stolid resistance, with a largely inexperienced Dragons line-up holding the league leaders at bay for over seventy minutes before submitting to a flurry of late goals.

A sticky, lumpy surface and a strong wind did not play to the strengths of the home team, but their determined pressing saw them restrict the Terriers to harmless long-range efforts and half-chances in the first period. Ruth and Charlotte offered glimmers of attacking hope to relieve the pressure, whilst Ryan, Harriet, Meg R, Stefan and Mehdi worked hard to hassle the visitors off their stride.  But it was the other Ryan, in the goalkeeping gloves, who arguably came closest to scoring, using the following wind to test his opposite number on two occasions.

The pattern continued deep into the second half, with the Terriers showing increasing signs of frustration which manifested itself in a level of dissent—unfortunately matched by a few on the Dragons side—which was unacceptable and unfair on referee Dave Amos, who was understandably upset and intimated, and deserves the apologies of all concerned.

When the Yorkshire team finally broke the deadlock from close range after 79 minutes, the efforts and emotions of the day took their toll, and with Claudio and Charlotte suffering injuries, the discipline and organisation which characterised the performance until that point disintegrated, resulting in an unkindly inflated winning margin.

Any on-field animosities were set aside later in the evening, as the visitors joined us to party and celebrate their promotion in the city centre. Sociability and hospitality are important aspects of our GFSN participation, and an even greater turnout for such events in future would be very welcome.

Thanks to all who did enjoy the delights of Mary’s and beyond, to Anthony for managing the team, to all our supporters, and special gratitude to the ref for his exertions: you are a Dragons legend, Mr Amos.

HT 0-0

Cardiff Dragons: Ryan B; John L, Fudge, Claudio, Hennie, Meg R, Bethan, Neil, Stefan, Harriet (C), Ryan M, Meg H, Charlotte, Ruth, Mehdi.

Dragon of the Day: Ryan B

Cardiff Dragons 2 – 1 Cardiff Eagles

Match report

Pontcanna, Men’s Sunday Lazarou League

27th March 2016

The Dragons picked up the winning thread with this battling display at Pontcanna.

A slow beginning from the home side—not helped by a clash of kits—resulted in the Eagles seizing an early advantage from a sloppily defended corner. Gradually, however, the team found their focus and resurrected the passing fluency which saw them rack up a string of mid-season victories.  Liam and Mehdi linked up effectively down the left, aided by a storming return at full back by Stefan, whilst Fudge, Zak, and Dan in particular began to pose consistent threats to the Eagles defence.  When Liam got back to his feet after being tumbled outside the box, his free kick had too much power for the keeper, who could only parry for an alert Mehdi to knock in the equaliser.  There were excellent opportunities to go ahead soon after, Zak firing over the bar and Liam striking the post, but with an empty substitutes bench an injury to Dan just before the break looked set to make for a difficult second period.

But the striker fought on courageously despite the obvious pain, and with Emyr playing a captain’s role in midfield the Dragons continued to dominate territory and create chances. The reward came after 56 minutes, man of the match Liam seizing onto a clever flick header from Fudge to strike the decisive goal.  Having had little to occupy him for the best part of eighty minutes, Dave the Save justified his epithet with an important stop, and despite Muzz, Neil, and Liam all joining Dan on the crocked list before the final whistle, and the entire team understandably weary, the Dragons held on in spirited style.

Congratulations to the team and Anthony, and many thanks to Craig for linesman’s duties, Amos the ball boy, and all our supporters.

Dragons scorers: Mehdi 17; Liam 56

HT 1-1

Cardiff Dragons: Dave W; Stefan, Muzz, Chris G, Neil; Emyr (C), Fudge, Mehdi, Zak; Liam, Dan.

Cardiff Dragons 1 – 2 London Leftfooters

Match report

GFSN National League. Mixed gender 11-a-side

26th March 2016

This weekend we travelled to London to see the self-proclaimed queens that are the wonderful London Leftfooters. With our new setup this season and The Leftfooters beating Mersey the week before, we knew we were in for a tough game.

After convincing Anthony not to go to see the Monkeys at nearby London Zoo, (he’s still retired!), we took to Regent’s Park. The game started on the whistle of GFSN Chair Ed Connell and The Dragons immediately took the initiative in the match, The Leftfooters mesmerised by the twisting and turning of tricky Charlotte’s forward running and mini-Messi Bethan. The first 30 minutes passed quickly, with The Dragons on top for long periods, Mehdi hitting the bar from a free-kick and Zack, Ruth, Claudio and Charlotte working a number of half-chances and corners.

4th choice goalkeeper Ryan Mc shone in goals when Leftfooters did create chances, if not prevented by the hard-working defence. The Leftfooters took the lead into the break when the ball was cleared from the box and was fired in from 25yds, wind assisted leaving keeper Ryan Mc with little time to react. An unlucky goal based on the effort and organisation shown by The Dragons.

The Dragons nearly got back into the game before half-time when Ruth held the ball up and quickly supplied Charlotte who broke strongly with pace, but couldn’t find the net. The strong wind from the first half in The Leftfooters favour seemed to turn to the backs of The Leftfooters in the second and the expected advantage disappeared for The Dragons as we again fought the wind and the scoreline.  The Leftfooters made some half-time changes and pressure started to pour onto The Dragons as we struggled to turn defence into attack, goalkeeper Ryan making a number of key saves and interceptions to keep The Dragons in the match.

Hope was not lost as The Dragons rallied together and made a few half-chances before one too many opportunities arose for The Leftfooters as they broke through the defence and left Ryan with little hope of succeeding in a 2v1 scenario, surely offside, not to be given by Ed the referee.

With time and hopes fading the positive approach by The Dragons finally got reward when Zack scored from the left side of the box, was the comeback on, how much time was left?? Unfortunately not enough, as the final minute passed  we were resigned to a 1-2 defeat.

The Dragons put in a spirited performance which could have gone the other way, a great effort by all involved. Ryan Mc earned Dragon of the Day for his performance in nets. Many thanks to all players and officials who made the trip and to Leftfooters for their hosting.

HT: 0-1

Dragons scorer: Zak

Cardiff Dragons: Bethan, Charlotte, Claire, Claudio, Joe, John L, Meg R, Mehdi, Muzz, Ryan M, Ruth, Zak

Cardiff Dragons 2 – 4 Trowbridge Tigers

Match Report

11-a-side mixed friendly, GFSN warm up, Llanrumney University Fields

With three upcoming GFSN fixtures, this friendly was a welcome chance to practice as a mixed team and get many players 11-a-side game time. With a bit of shaky start it took a little time to get into a rhythm. There were three narrowly missed chances for Liam to even out the score board, but a good fight back from the Dragons saw a second half victory. It was great to see so many players gaining valuable experience, with mixed gender 11-a-side debuts from Bethan, Jerry and John. Well done to the whole team for supporting each other and keeping in high spirits.

Thank you to Anthony for managing the team and the difficult task of giving an 18 strong squad fair game time and ensuring minimal disruption to the flow of the game. Thanks to Craig for refereeing, Ryan B for running the line, and to supporters for making it down to cheer us on.

Dragons Scorers: Claudio, Fudge (pen)

HT 0 – 3

Cardiff Dragons: Dave W, Bethan, Claire, Claudio, Fudge, Harriet (C), Jason, Jerry, Jon A, John, Liam, Meg H, Meg R, Muzz, Neil, Ryan M, Ruth, Tibbs