Newcastle Panthers FC 2 – 2 Cardiff Dragons FC (GFSN National League)

Newcastle Panthers 2 Cardiff Dragons 2 – Scorers: Liam (5th minute), Chris G (83rd minute)

Match report by David Amos
To quote Ali it was Geordie Shore but the Dragons did Roar!!!! The commitment put into this weekend by everyone that went to Newcastle is why the Cardiff Dragons is the biggest and best family ever. All of Ali’s and Amy’s hard work in booking the hotel and getting us transport, then driving us to and from Newcastle was absolutely fantastic. We also had members who worked right up to 5am Saturday morning who then got on the minibus without any sleep to commit to the weekend. To our Bristol members, some of who made the journey up on Friday, and other coming over the night before and everybody who came up to Newcastle thank you.

I think everyone was impressed by Ant’s very new Lime Green Sunderland boots – they were definitely worth a mention!!

Onto the match report itself. The Dragons lined up as follows:
Ryan, Aris, Christian, Adam, Chris G (Capt), Muzz, Ant, John A, Michael W, Liam, Andy.
Subs: James, Amy, Kevin.

Newcastle started very strong by putting pressure on the Cardiff defence from the first kick but the Dragons held strong. On 5 minutes the Dragons roared with a break away by Liam who out-paced the Newcastle defence with his speed and skill and slotted the ball home from about 12 yards. 1-0 Dragons.
Unfortunately the lead did not last long the Dragons gave a free kick away 20 yards out. It was a well worked free kick to the back post which caught the Dragons out and the score was 1-1. At this stage the Dragons were looking a bit shaky. There was a period where neither side really controlled the game and the Dragons conceded another free kick on 26 minutes which unfortunately had the same result the ball going to back post and the Panthers scoring 2-1 Newcastle.

On the 28th minute, Muzz who was playing in midfield today picked up the ball and took a shot which just went over the bar. Liam was the next one to have a shot that was well saved. There was no doubt there was going to be more goals in this game. From the back, Ryan was very strong in goal controlling his area,  and was starting to be commanding in what he did. Both full backs, Aris and Christian were defending well and aiding with great effect both Michael and John A who were really working their socks off. Both Chris G and Adam were also working well together at the centre of defence. Muzz and Ant were winning a lot of ball in midfield and getting both Liam and Andy a lot of ball who were both working tirelessly up front. On 35 minutes Ryan pulled off a very important save to keep the score at 2-1. The half ended with Liam’s quick thinking at corner almost catching the Panthers out.
Half Time 2-1 the Panthers.

The second half started with the Dragons looking the better of the two sides. On 55 minutes Andy was flattened in the penalty area but no penalty was awarded. On 62 minutes the Dragons were very grateful when a Newcastle shot came down off the cross bar on the goal line but both Ryan and Adam defended well to make sure the Dragons never conceded. Unfortunately Adam got injured and had to be replaced by James who did excellent up front right to the end, with Andy going back to partner the excellent Chris G in defence. The Dragons were starting to put pressure on the Panthers defence and a great run by Michael resulted in a well taken corner which almost resulted in the equaliser.

On 83 minutes the Dragons won a free kick 23 yards out. Liam’s free kick was played into the 6 yard box – the Panthers failed to clear it and Chris G shot from 4 yards out which took us to 2-2 and that was nothing more than the Dragons deserved. On 85 minutes the Dragons could have won the game as a fabulous pin-point ball from John A found Liam who made a great run into box but his shot just went wide of the  post. There was time for Ryan to make one more great stop when the Panthers were clean through.
Final score 2-2

MOM – Chris G – led by example, Captain Marvel today and scored a goal.
A huge thank you to Tomos for running the line – he started off as a learner but ended up a professional. Also a massive thank you to Amy and Ali on the side line and to Kevin for coming to Newcastle and supporting the team all day. The referee also did well today. Thank you to the Panthers for there hospitality after the game and for yet another excellent night out we all had in Newcastle I can’t thank everybody enough for making it so enjoyable for me.