In an historic first game between a Welsh and Scottish team in the GFSN League Cardiff Dragons put up a very brave and committed performance on their visit to Edinburgh.
With several regular first team players missing through various circumstances including captain Murray Harvey the players that took the field played with commitment throughout making the Hotscots fight hard for all their goals.
The first half started encouragingly for the Dragons as solid defending from Ali on debut in goal, and the back four of Amy, John B on debut, Anthony and Jason held the Hotscots at bay for the first 20 minutes. The defence was aided by the midfield of John A, Ed, Darrin, Sam and Mark who also worked tirelessly for the cause as did Kris L up front. Although the home side had the majority of the play any chances they had were limited to long range until a pinpoint cross from the left was headed in firmly from close range at the back post to open the scoring. The Dragons responded well and had a chance to equalise when a through ball found Kris L in the box but his shot was well blocked and from the resulting corner the Hotscots keeper claimed well under pressure. Another half chance was created for the Dragons when Ed who was fouled 25 yards out following one of several good runs but the resulting free kick from Mark fell narrowly over the crossbar. Hotscots doubled their lead on the half hour mark converting a penalty following a trip on their winger. Although another couple of half chances were created by the home side the Dragons continued to defend stoutly as Hotscots went in 2-0 up at the break.
The second half saw the home side start very positively and it was not long before their pressure told with two goals in the first 10 minutes of the second half. The first of these goals was a well struck shot from 20 yards which curled just inside the post and this was followed by an opportunist goal from close range as the visiting defence could not clear following a scramble in the area. By now the Hotscots were having the vast majority of the possession and territory but the 11 Dragons who started the game stuck to their task until 2 late goals added a gloss to the Hotscots victory. Ali making her debut in goal made several fine claims and blocks but could not prevent the 2 late goals as the Hotscots players finished well after fashioning clear openings. The Dragons did have a little more territory towards the end with one of their forays ending in a firmly struck shot by Anthony which was held well by the home keeper but there was no further addition to the score.
The support as ever was as fantastic as usual on the day and a great lift to the team. Thanks go to David Keith for running the line.
Dragons squad on the day- Ali Mahoney, Amy Johnson, Jason Cousins, Anthony Read, John Bladen, Lyons, John Ainsley, Sam Ashton, Darrin Hughes, Mark Biggs, Kris Llewellyn, Jordan Wall, Richie Jones, Dave Amos, Murray Harvey.