Romans v Dragons match report (GFSN League)

London Romans 4 – 1 Cardiff Dragons

Sunday 16th November 2014

The Dragons travelled to London to face the reigning GFSN National Cup champions, the London Romans. While the Romans are new to the league this season, their victories over Village Manchester in the cup final and in the Leicester 6-a-side tournament places them as strong favourites to earn promotion from Division 3.

The Romans certainly showed their teeth right from the first whistle, within a minute they broke down the left, crossing in for an unmarked header which was deflected onto the post by debutant Dave in goals. The Dragons appeared slightly shell-shocked for much of the first half hour, and despite battling hard, the Romans nearly broke down our defences on the 11thminute, with a cool pass beating the offside trap and sending their striker through on goal. Fortunately Dave was on hand to deny them with a reflex save. The Romans broke the deadlock on the 13th minute, after a blocked free kick, the Dragons struggled to clear and Romans’ number 11 knocked it into the back of the net. The Romans doubled their the lead with another cross from their left winger. This time the unmarked striker sent a header just under the crossbar. 2 – 0 Romans.  Just as the Dragons looked to get back into the game, the Romans increased the lead further, with yet another header, this time into the back post, catching the Dragons’ keeper off-guard. 3 – 0 Romans.

Despite the score-line however, the Dragons picked their heads up and battled our way back into the game. Muzz marshalled the defence into line, and in central midfield, Chris G and Emyr started to gain control of the game. Anthony came close to pulling one back, as he ran in to the back post onto an excellent cross, unfortunately with his leg outstretched he couldn’t find the target. Liam finally found a hole in the Romans’ defence, swerving past their last defender before stroking it past the Romans’ keeper with ease. Game on.

At half time, the manager freshened up the line up, with Fudge making way for Andy, Chris G dropping back into defence, and switching to a 4-3-3 formation. The second-half became a fiercely fought midfield battle. The Romans had very few clear-cut chances, but unfortunately on the 55th minute, they put the game out of our reach, beating the defence with a ball in over the top, for their striker to knock it in the bottom corner. I’ll be honest, my notes are sketchy for the 2nd half, so apologies for the lack of content.

As ever we returned to the pub with the Romans for post-match pints and analysis.

Jay was voted Dragon of the Day with an overwhelming margin, for his relentless performance at right-back.

As Manager I was incredibly proud of how every Dragon played their heart out on Sunday, fighting to the end, even when 4-1 down. With that fighting attitude there is no doubt in my mind we can beat any team in this division. Dragons breathe fire!

Dragons lined up as follows:

Dave, Jon A, Muzz, Fudge, Jay, Emyr ©, Chris G, Adam, Anthony, Liam, Craig. Subs: Andy, Aris, Ryan M

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Joining the Dragons – Jason’s story

Jason Cousins

Joined the club: 2008

Jason_cAs a founder member of the Dragons, I could not in my wildest dreams have imagined what we have achieved together over the past 6 years. When I met with a small group of fellow gay football fans in the Golden Cross in Cardiff six years ago, our initial aim was to form a group of of gay football supporters in South Wales, but as our numbers grew and it became apparent that many of us loved playing too we took the first steps towards forming Cardiff Dragons. Since those early days the club has been such a massive part of my life in Cardiff. Along my journey I have made many great friends and shared many fantastic memories whether it be at training, tournaments, community/social events and our many football trips across Britain. Each member past or present I’m sure will have their own special memories. I’m very proud to be a Dragon and long may the club continue”

Joining the Dragons – Ali’s Story

At the Dragons, we know how difficult it can be to pluck up the courage to join a new club; it can be a bit scary coming along and meeting people for the first time. We’ve all got our own personal stories about how we joined the Dragons, so we thought we’d share a few in the hope that some of you might be inspired to come along and join us too!


Ali M

Home town: Solihull, West Mids

Joined the Dragons: 2011

“I can’t remember how I first came across the Dragons but I was playing hockey at the time and wanted to take up football again. I emailed the club to ask about training times and days and I got a really friendly message back from the Football Manager. I remember planning on going to training but I put it off a couple of times as I was too nervous. This seems crazy when I look back, but it can be hard to join something new. On the night that I did go along to training I remember feeling really nervous and I sheepishly made my way around to the 5-a-side pitch at Gol where they all were. I don’t know what I was worried about because everyone was brilliant – really welcoming. To be honest, as soon as you kick a ball, the nerves all disappear.

I enjoyed it so much that I never really left and ended up volunteering for the club on a few things. I’ve been all over the UK with the Dragons on away trips to play and support, and have had some of the best social nights out (the ones that I can remember). The club is like a little family; everyone looks out for eachother and being gay isn’t an issue as this club is all about providing opportunities for the LGBT community and breaking down barriers locally. I think this is what makes it feel like a little family. If you’re thinking about joining, just do it. You have nothing to fear, we’ve all been there before and will make sure you’re fine and have a great time on and off the pitch”

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Stonewall Cymru Women’s Reception

Here’s one for the women. Stonewall Cymru are holding a Women’s Reception in partnership with the London Women’s Clinic. The event will feature a Q&A discussion on lesbian and bisexual women’s experiences in Wales today, looking at representation in public life, the media, sport and business, with leading women voices in Wales including:

  • Wales international Hockey Player, Beth Fisher
  • Unite the Union’s Head of Political Strategy, Hannah Blythyn
  • Stonewall Cymru’s Policy and Research Officer, Mabli Jones

The panel will be chaired by BBC Radio Cymru’s Nia Medi, and there will be a drinks reception following the panel discussion. This will be an opportunity to network with other lesbian and bisexual women and allies from a range of industries in Wales.

Date: Wednesday 19 November

Time: 6:30pm

Venue: London Women’s Clinic, 15 Windsor Place, Cardiff, CF10 3BY

Please be aware that places are limited, so book early to avoid disappointment. RSVP by clicking here.

 

Joining the Dragons – Emyr’s story

Emyr Hopkins

emyrI wanted to find a welcoming football club to join as I hadn’t played for a team for about a year and a half. I was openly gay and really into football. I brought my friend Chris with me who had never played football before. The first session I played in I was shocked. There were some really good football players there and I felt comfortable. It was scary and tough but after the first session I felt fine! I went by myself next session and was talking to everybody and playing some really good football. I am so happy I joined and I am now captain of the Dragons! We play at a good standard and people should definitely come and join if you want to play football and make some mates! Gay, bi or straight everybody is welcome!