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