Match Report GFSN Cup Cardiff Dragons v. Bristol Panthers
The Dragons progressed to the next round of the cup following what turned out to be a tight 2-1 encounter with the Panthers.
The weather for the game was fine and sunny but recent rainfall meant the pitch was muddy in places especially centre field and the goalmouths.
The first half began brightly for the Dragons and it was not long before the opening chances of the game arrived. On two minutes Mark found room on the left edge of the area for a half chance but the shot went wide. A minute late Ed also had a opportunity from similar range but his fierce shot went just over. The Dragons continued to force most of the play with the team working well as a unit but the Panthers when they did have the ball broke well to force a couple of corners but the nearest they came was a looping cross shot well held by Christian. It was the Dragons however that continued to fashion the clearest openings with a well struck shot by Mark well turned over the bar by the visitors keeper. On 15 minutes the deadlock was broken when a run by Mark into the Bristol area was ended when he was tripped and Mark himself scored from the resulting penalty. The goal gave the Dragons further confidence and they nearly added a second following some good link up play in midfield which culminated in a well struck shot from Hywel which the keeper gathered well. Another attack down the left saw Crispin deliver a dangerous ball across the 6 yard area but no one could get the all important touch. The chances continued with an opportunist effort from Bruno who was having a good debut with several forceful runs down the left. One of these runs led to the second Dragons goal on 35 mins as Mark was put clear in the area and slid the ball past the advancing keeper.
In the second half things were much more even and the Dragons found it more difficult to control play as the Panthers raised their game. Clear cut chances were much harder to come by during the half with the first opportunity being a curling long range effort by the Panthers which was tipped away well for a corner by Christian. The Dragons were pretty solid in defence throughout though and continued to have a lot of territory in their opponents half but despite a few dangerous crosses and corners they could not add to their two goals. It was not until the latter stages that Bristol sensed a way back into the game. This came when the home defence was slow to react to a goalmouth scramble and Bristol were quickest to the ball to score from close range. This led to a nervy ending as the Panthers finished the stronger and with only 2 minutes remaining they were awarded a penalty and a chance to take the game into extra time. It was not to be however as the spot kick was blazed over as the game ended 2-1 in the Dragons favour.
Thanks to Dave Amos for refereeing the game and to all those who came to watch and give the team great support on the day.
Dragons squad– Christian J (GK), Michael W, Murray H, Anthony R (captain), Ryan M, Ed L, Stefan M, Hywel J, Bruno, Crispin S, Mark B, Darrin H, David K, John A, Simon E, Aris D, Jason C.