CAT | Friendly Fixture
On Sunday the Dragons training was a Blues v Reds in house match.
Christian and Amos selected the following teams:-
Blues: Amos, John A, Ryan, David K, Paul, Sam A, Hywel, Tommy, Aris, Adam, New Sam.
Reds: Christian, Muzz, John B, Jason, Leanne, Amy, Anthony, Simon D, Stefan, Simon E, Kris.
Playing on a very wet pitch and with light rain it was never going to be easy under food. One other obstacle being the river next to the pitch losing two match balls with the possibility of the game being abandoned due no footballs thank goodness we managed to keep our only other ball out of the river quite a skill for the defenders haha!!!!!!!!!!!!.
It was the Blues who struck first a solo run through the Red defence by Aris led to a fine finish by him. 1-0 Blues.
There was a lot of play in the center of the park. Both defences were having fine games.
It was a cross come shot by Jason that beat Amos in the Blues goal the ball going in off Amos own goal to him. 1-1 Although he did make up for that error 10 minutes later with a fine save from Kris. With new Sam having to come off with an injury the Blues played on with 10 men for the last 20 minutes of the first half. Half time 1-1
Second half and the Reds applied a lot of pressure to the 10 men of the Blues and it did not take long for Stefan to put the red 2-1 with a fine run on goal. It was not long before the Reds made it 3-1 Stefan again this time heading in a cross on the goal line.
With a man down the Blues were finding it hard but kept battling away. Aris then went off for the Blues so with them down to 9 Amy swapped sides and played for the Blues.
Both goal keepers were called into action after that making a few fine saves. The Reds then made it 4-1 with a bit of a defensive mix up Stefan running in again to score his 3rd of the game and complete his hat trick.
The Blues then made it 4-2 Paul scoring for them after some good team work.
Aris then came back on for the Blues making it 11 – 10 in players to Blues.
The final score of the game came from a corner Anthony playing the ball in low for Simon E to hit it through the keeper on the line.
Final Score 5-2 to the Reds.
Thanks to everyone for making it a very enjoyable afternoon.
The Amos (Assistant Manager)
Dragon of the Day
As it was an in-house match the management team picked the Dragon of the Day.
The winner was Simon D, who looked very accomplished in the midfield.
The Dragons visited Bristol for a 11′s match for the first time and ran out victorious in the return fixture between the clubs following on from the game in Cardiff earlier in the year. The match was played on a decent astrot turf surface in fine weather conditions and proved to be full of goals and entertaining throughout.
In the opening period the Dragons had much of the initial territory and threatened first when from one of a succession Anthony corners Muzz headed just over. The visitors continued to have the upper hand but Bristol looked dangerous on the break and nearly broke the deadlock when their centre forward split the Dragons defence but Christian dived full length to push the ball away for a corner. The opening goal however did arrive soon after following another Dragons attack when Stefan finished low into the corner on 15 minutes after being set up by Kris L. The visitors lead however lasted barely five minutes as a Bristol player was first to a corner to finish clinically from close in. The next goal was to prove important as a this stage Bristol had their tails up fashioning a couple of half chances which Christian dealt with well. It was the Dragons who got the next goal on 35 minutes when after going close from another Muzz header persistence from Mark saw him hold off a defender and round the keeper to finish from a tight angle. A third goal for the visitors ensued before half time as Mark again finished well from 12 yards following a ball in from the right from Sam.
The second half proved just as enthralling as the first and after an exciting but goalless first ten minutes Bristol had a great chance to reduce the arrears from a one on one but Christian closed down the Panthers forward who slid his shot wide. The hosts paid the price for this miss as the Dragons went straight up the other end to make it 4-1 when Anthony scored his debut 11′s goal for the club finishing well with a volley at the back post latching onto a cross from Stefan. At this stage the game looked all but won but Bristol were given a lifeline with two goals in quick succession first from a penalty awarded for handball and then when the Dragons gifted them a goal failing to clear from their 6 yard area. The visitors however soon regained their composure and the initiative with Mark capping a fine display with 3 further goals in ten minutes. The first was finished from close range with the second a right foot finish low into the corner from the edge of the box and the final one of the three curled into the top corner with his left foot. In between these goals Bristol gained what proved to be a consolation goal from a well struck free kick but Dragons remained in the ascendancy as Kris L and Dave F both went close with shots from distance. Dave F did find the target moments later with a fine curling shot from 25 yards out to complete an 8-4 victory for the Dragons. To summarise there was an excellent contribution from all players and supporters alike on the day with the Dragons showing a great team ethic and playing some attractive and composed football at times during the match to earn a deserved victory.
Dragons squad on the day-
John Ainsley, Samuel Ashton, Mark Biggs, Jerry Bull, Lewi Callow, Jason Cousins, Aris DeSilva, Dave Fry, Murray Harvey (captain), Darrin Hughes, Richie Jones, Christian Jones, Kris Llewellyn, Stefan Morgan, Anthony Read (vice-captain), Paul Searle.
On a warm evening Cardiff played a full 90 minute friendly against regular opposition CSKA, the match taking place at Blackweir playing fields.
The first half was an even affair as both sides had plenty of possession but failed to make many clear cut chances . The Dragons had much play in and around the CSKA area in the opening quarter but were limited to mainly long range efforts and a couple of dangerous crosses from good wing play by Hywel and John A and solid performances in the middle by Anthony, Ed and Sam. At the other end CSKA had a good opportunity but their forwards firm shot was well parried away by Dragons keeper Kris L. The opening goal of the game resulted when the home defence was slow to react following a foul throw and as the ball found its way into the area it was finished low into the corner by CSKA’s centre forward. There was no further scoring in the first half as CSKA went in 1-0 ahead.
The Dragons made some changes at half time to allow everyone a game and some further experience. The second half also began brightly for the Dragons and they were rewarded with a deserved equaliser on the hour. Some good link up play down the left saw a testing cross well converted by Louis from close range. At this stage the Dragons looked good for at least a draw but a few minutes after the equalising goal an inspired strike from the corner of the box restored the lead for CSKA. The Dragons were unlucky not to earn a penalty as they again pressed forward but the game was sewn up when CSKA added a third goal late on.
Dragons team – Kris Llewellyn, Christian Jones, Murray Harvey (captain), Cedric Germain, David Fry, Jerry Bull, Darrin Hughes, John Ainsley, Anthony Read (vice-captain), Ed, Samuel Ashton, Hywel Jones, Stefan Morgan, Chris Crimmins, Stuart Harris, Louis.
Cardiff Dragons visited Trowbridge for a return friendly fixture which was played in warm and sunny conditions.
The game was a fairly open affair from the start with both sides making chances Trowbridge however gained the initiative when a ball though the middle caught the Dragons defence out with as hosts forward finished well into the opposite corner of the net. The Dragons had chances of their own with attempts from Kris L and Stefan from the edge of the box but both flew narrowly wide. Trowbridge double their lead capitalising when the Dragons lost possession on the edge of their box. The hosts continued to make chances benefitting from hesitancy in the Dragons defence and could have extended their lead further. The Dragons however managed to weather this finishing the half much better and could have reduced the deficit when Chris C was put through but his shot was parried away for a corner.
The second half saw the Dragons re-adjust and although further chances ensued for both teams there were no early goals as both keepers made some good saves. For the Dragons Mark headed over from close range following one of many well directed free kick’s from Anthony and Muzz’s shot from the edge of the box was scrambled round the post by the Trowbridge keeper. The hosts however made it 3-0 when a clearance caught the Dragons defence out and the Trowbrige forward’s shot looped into the corner. Dragons introduced further substitutes and were rewarded with a deserved goal when Mark controlled and finished powerfully into the bottom corner following a good through ball. There was no further addition to the score line however as Trowbridge ran out 3-1 winners on the day. Thanks to Dave A for helping manage and run the line.
Dragons squad on the day –
Chris Seabrook, Christian Jones, Murray Harvey (captain), Anthony Read (vice-captain), Graeme Monk, David Fry, Chris Crimmins, John Ainsley, Stefan Morgan, Mark Biggs, Kris Llewellyn, Jason Cousins, Lucas Owen, Richie Jones, Jerry Bull.
On a warm and sunny afternoon the Dragons met Bristol Panthers for the first time in an 11’s fixture.
The game was an exciting affair throughout and the Dragons used it to give valuable experience to some of the less experienced footballers in the Club.
The game did not start well for the Dragons and after an early scare when Bristol hit the post they took the lead on 10 minutes with a neat finish low inside the near post. The Pace and movement of the Bristol forward line was causing continuous problems to the inexperienced Dragons defence and some clinical finishing saw the visitors 5-0 ahead after just 25 minutes. The Dragons made some changes at this stage and were rewarded when Alf finished from close range following a good corner from John A. Alf could have had a second shortly afterwards firing a volley from the edge of the area narrowly over. Bristol however extended their lead from the penalty spot following a hand ball to go into the break 6-1 ahead.
The Dragons made further changes at the break reverting to a 4-3-3 formation in an attempt to claw back the deficit and began the second half strongly with Stefan having a shot from inside the area parried away for a corner. Graham also came close to scoring with a well directed header which was palmed away for another corner. Bristol continued to remain a threat on the break though and Chris S in goal was alert to deal with a couple of good attempts at goal but could do nothing to prevent a well directed header into the top corner giving Bristol their seventh goal. The Dragons however still continued to make chances with Chris C and Stefan going close and were rewarded with Stefan’s debut goal for the Club firing low past the keeper. A third Dragons goal followed soon after from an own goal as the hosts finished the stronger. The Dragons nearly added a fourth from a disallowed goal from a corner as the game ended 7-3 to the Panthers. The match was refereed well throughout by Mark B assisted by David K as linesman.
Dragons squad on the day-
Chris Seabrook, Graeme Monk, John Bladen, Jason Cousins, Jerry Bull, John Ainsley, Aris DaSilva (captain), Christian Jones, Lucy Lockwood, Stuart Harris, Kris Llewellyn, Germain Cedric, Chris Crimmins, Lucas Owen, Stefan Morgan, David Fry.
An excellent all round performance by the Cardiff Dragons saw them push a strong Birmingham Blaze side all the way in their away fixture in the midlands on Easter Sunday. The game ended in a narrow 2-1 defeat for the visitors, and showed how much the Dragons have progressed in the few months since their last game against Blaze in the GFSN Cup. After some recent matches on Astroturf due to inclement weather, it was nice to get back to playing on grass on a dry and mild afternoon.
The match began cagily with both defences on top and chances were at a premium with a couple of speculative efforts going wide for Birmingham and some good moves down the wings from the Dragons, but neither keeper was really tested. After a goalless first 20 minutes, Birmingham took the lead when their forward seized on a short backpass by Harvey, rounding the keeper to finish coolly past the man on the line. This setback did not deter the Dragons, who won a succession of corners and free kicks in dangerous positions, following good work by Aris da Silva and Chris Crimmins in midfield, and some excellent through balls from the back by all the defence to Anthony Read and Lucy Lockwood down the wings.
Despite this pressure, the Dragons could not apply the final touch from some dangerous crosses as the Birmingham defence held firm. The hosts then forced a few corners of their own but these were largely dealt with by the Dragons defence of Owen, Murray, Searle and Cousins – all played solidly as a unit throughout the half. Birmingham did create one chance with a header a few yards wide, but the first half ended with Blaze in a slender 1-0 lead.
The second half saw Blaze introduce some substitutes and create a good early chance but, although the shot was struck well, it flew narrowly wide of the near post. With the second period only a few minutes old, Cardiff Dragons suffered a blow when their goalkeeper, Dave Amos, was forced off through injury. Anthony Read took over the gloves and Matt Latham replaced him on the right of midfield.
Despite this blow the Dragons continued to win good possession, with Matt Jones having a shot from the edge of the area saved, and a low cross causing danger in the box. With Jones and Graeme Monk working tirelessly up front and some vocal support from the sidelines, the Dragons were still well in the game, and with 20 minutes remaining forced a deserved equiliser following the award of a free kick a few yards outside the area. Left-back Jason Cousins stepped up to take the kick and beat the wall with a well struck shot past the keeper into the bottom left hand corner of the net. It was now anyones game and another good throughball to Matt Jones ended in a fierce shot just wide of the corner of the goal.
Birmingham were still a danger however, with the pace and strength of their substitutes causing problems down both wings, but the Dragons defence dealt with this threat well remaining strong in the challenge and restricting them to a couple of half chances. Birmingham however kept breaking at pace and were rewarded when a ball into the area was not dealt with and their centre forward scored from a well placed glancing header which went in off the far post.
The Dragons three remaining substitutes – Jordan Wall, Jerry Bull and Dave Kelly – were introduced for the final quarter of an hour and together with Matthew Latham all contributed well. Apart from a couple of long range shots from Muzz Harvey and Lucas Owen, the Dragons could not muster any clear cut chances despite gaining a lot of territory in their search for an equiliser and the game ended 2-1 to Blaze. Thanks go to both teams for their committment to such a well contested game and to the referee on the day. Thanks also to Blaze for their hospitality throughout the day and the fantastic food put on afterwards!
Dragons: AMOS, OWEN, HARVEY, SEARLE, COUSINS, LOCKWOOD, CRIMMINS, DA SILVA, READ, MONK, JONES
Subs (all used): LATHAM, WALL, BULL, KELLY