Cardiff Dragons 3 – 1 Michaelstone Rangers

Match report

Pontcanna Fields, Men’s Sunday Lazarou League

28th February 2016

The Dragons celebrated their first return fixture in the Sunday League by completing the double over Rangers in a free-flowing game.

Taking time to settle and organise the defence in front of rookie keeper Neil, the team conceded early ground and chances; but two impressive and crucial stops soon allayed any fears, and a breakaway chance for Dan, slotted between the keeper’s legs and narrowly wide, gave an indication of the Dragons threat. It took almost the entire half for the subsequent opportunities—as the team gradually seized control—to convert into goals, but a sharp counter-attack involving Fudge, Liam and Dan resulted in George breaking the deadlock with a superb piece of control and stunning finish after forty minutes.

Rangers attempted to turn up the heat, but in truth were more of a vocal than footballing irritant, and—despite an injury to Christian and defensive reshuffles—created little, whilst the Dragons front six were a constant danger, and when Liam beat the offside trap to guide a firm headed lob into the net just before the hour, matters appeared to be in hand. However, an almost immediate response from Michaelstone put the result back in the balance, and when a petulant kick out from one of their strikers failed to attract the referee’s censure doubts about the destiny of the points may have begun to arise.  With Chris and Muzz in complete control at the back, George and Emyr competitive and creative in midfield, and Fudge’s enthusiastic running combining with the fast, skilful raids of Liam, Claudio and Dan to fill the opposition defence with panic, it would have been a travesty had the victory not been consolidated;  both Claudio and Liam struck the uprights and shots from George, Dan and Claudio narrowly failed to extend the lead before captain Emyr popped up on the end of a Liam free kick to tuck in the third.

Once again, the Dragons demonstrated their ability to create chances and an impressive team spirit and solidarity in the face of provocative situations. Neil’s bravery in goal earned him the Dragon of the Day award, no mean feat in a squad of all-round excellence on the day.  Congratulations to him, and to Anthony for managing the team to a sixth consecutive league win.  Thanks also to Chris’, Liam’s and Adam’s families, Jerry, Amos and Darrin for turning up in the freezing wind to support, to Craig for a no-nonsense turn with the linesman’s flag, and to our opponents for their charm and sportsmanship.

Dragons scorers: George 41; Liam 58; Emyr 73

HT 1-0

Cardiff Dragons: Neil; John A (Ryan M), Muzz, Chris, Christian (Adam); George, Emyr (C), Mehdi (Claudio), Liam, Fudge; Dan.