Cardiff Dragons 3 – 6 Mersey Marauders
On a cold and rainy Sunday afternoon the Dragons welcomed the Mersey Marauders for what proved to be a highly entertaining and well contested return fixture.
With a highly enthusiastic Dragons support assembled on the sideline, the game began in even fashion with clear cut chances at a premium. The Dragons however soon began to take the initiative with both Steffan Jaskoslki and Lyons making several foraging runs down the flanks, culminating in a couple of close calls for the home defence. Mersey also created a couple of half chances with shots from the edge of the area but the Dragons took a deserved lead when Jaskolski fired home from a well crafted move.
With Aris da Silva and Sam Ashton both working well together and continuing to win plenty of good ball in midfield, coupled with the defence shutting out any Mersey attacks, the Dragons soon found themselves 2-0 up with a sublime shot worthy of a venue far greater curled into the top corner by Matt Jones, giving the goalkeeper no chance. With the Dragons entourage now in full voice, the team was playing some great football all over the pitch, but a lapse in concentration allowed Mersey back into the game when their centre forward finished well when put through on goal.
This did not deter the Dragons however and the two goal lead was quickly restored when Jaskolski was put through on goal and once again finished expertly. Mersey however pegged the deficit back again shortly before half time their striker finishing well with a low shot following a quick break. A highly entertaining first period with some excellent passing football and memorable goals.
The start of the second half began as cagily as the first, with both defences holding firm though each side carved out a couple of half chances with both keepers making fine stops. The first goal of the half was to prove crucial with Mersey equalising just before the hour mark from a well directed glancing header from a corner. Following this was to prove Merseyâ€™s best spell of the match and they took full advantage with two further goals to lead 6-3.
Despite the deficit none of the Dragons let their heads drop and with a bit more luck could have reduced the deficit in the final 15 minutes with Jones and Anthony Read working tirelessly up front. Overall a highly creditable performance with many positives including accomplished debuts from Steffan Jaskolski and Chris Crimmins. Thanks go to Mersey for contributing to such an entertaining game, Martin for refereeing and to all the Dragons for their help and magnificent support on the day.
Dragons: AMOS, OWEN, COUSINS, HARVEY, CRIMMINS, JASKOLSKI, DA SILVA, ASHTON, LYONS, READ, M JONES
Subs used: GRIFFIN, MONK, STEFANEIOU
Subs not used: HUGHES, WALL, R JONES, BULL, LOCKWOOD, KELLY