The bitterly cold wind blew hard and clung to the clothes of parents and players as we all congregated at Leamore Park for our next round of matches.  We were to face Beechdale Juniors and Beacon Colts and we had no intelligence on either team and didn’t know what to expect.  The only intelligence we have in the Dragons is obviously my good self – Chris Nicholls great guy, thick as pudding only joking mucka…… He did forget the kids water bottles and subsequently blamed his wife Marie  and made her go back home to get them. I suppose this is what happens when your turn 45 hey Chris….. ( I can increase the font size if needed)

Chris and Dan got the kids pumping prior to the game whether this was through vocal encouragement or by giving them too many blue smarties, I shudder to think.

Prior to the kick off and prompted by a parent (thanks Michelle) the Gaffer gathered the 2 teams to pose for the photo to commemorate the WWI Xmas day truce.  Fair play to both sides as the boys and girls mingled without any fuss. The gaffer gave the starting line up and the kids were all chomping at the bit to get going. The Dragons were shooting up the hill from right to left or if you were the other side then it was left to right.  The incline of the pitch seemed to have a massive effect on the dragons as the report will show.  The guys and gals got stuck in but the Beechdale attacks kept coming. Phoebe ‘Captain Marvel’ Nicholls was working tirelessly in her Makélélé role, ensuring the door was firmly shut and clearing her lines.  She was supported well by Niall ‘Aniallator Driscoll and Kenzie ‘007’ Bond and with Reilly ‘The Rock’ Lewis between the sticks they were confident in their abilities. Matthew ‘Wireless’ (works well in all areas of the pitch) Nogueira was working the left flank well trying to utilise the skills and magic of Jim ‘Dynamo’ (good engine, great skills) Grindrod. Some great interplay between Jim ‘the Dynamo’ and Bill ‘Artful Dodger’ (great pickpocketing skills – not literally) Hodgson paved the way for Jim to strike on goal.  Beechdale managed to go into the half 2-0 up which wasn’t a reflection of the half.

The gaffer rang the changes with Reuben ‘The Rocket’ and Freya ‘The Slayer’ coming on.  They settled into the wing positions and wasn’t long before a great passage of play resulted in the ball being centred for ‘The Rocket’ to tuck home.  The guys celebrated with great vigour and attacked again upon the restart causing mayhem down either flank. Freya ‘The Slayer’ danced effortlessly through the Beechdale defence to great quotes from the opposition ‘you got skilled by a girl’ – to be fair boys, you all got skilled by her! Some great work by Jim led to the ball falling for Reuben who tucked away to claim a brace. 2-2 game on, the wall of noise coming from the Dragons supporters was immense – pure encouragement coupled with excitement.  Time was ticking and another skilful sortie led by Jim & Freya allowed Jim to strike and claim the Dragons third goal.  The crowd erupted again a cacophony of noise encourage the Dragons to apply more pressure.  A great win and a great display of resolve and resilience that showed exactly what the Dragons are made of.


No rest for the Dragons and it was straight onto the pitch to face Beacon.  The gaffer opted to give Matthew ‘Wireless’ Nogueira a run out in goal with Reilly ‘The Rock’ sitting in defence.  A testament to the qualities of the players that the gaffer has at his disposal. From the off, Freya ‘The Slayer’ was tormenting the Beacon defence, maybe her nickname should be ‘the onion’ as her skills and pace can render any defence to tears. Phoebe was protecting the defence well and the ‘Aniallator’ was playing an absolute blinder, nothing was getting though on their shift.  The kids dug in hard and showed great tenacity and guile to ensure Beacon attacks were thwarted.  ‘The Rocket’ was firing on all cylinders down the right wing and was ultimately looking for the killer pass through to Bill or Jim to tuck away.  a sortie into the Beacon half saw Jim ‘The Dynamo’ took the ball away which literally rolled across the line.  No need for hawkeye as the Dragons fans were already celebrating – 1-0 to the Dragons. the Dragons rolled up their sleeves and tried to limit the attacks.  Matthew made some cracking saves to prevent the Dragons conceding and showed great adaptability from outfield to goalie.  Kenzie’007′ Bond replaced Reilly in defence and settled into the role immediately working well with Niall and Phoebe to quash and quell their attacks.  A mazy run by Freya saw her being taken out just outside of the penalty area to which ‘Captain Marvel’ stepped up and whacked an absolute rasper of a shot off the near up right.  She hit it that hard the post nearly gave way – note to self, don’t upset Phoebe!!!

The ref blew for full time which saw the kids bouncing and jumping all over the gaffer.  I was going to join in but I know that the Gaffer has a ‘weekend’ away planned and didn’t want to put him out of action.

Great to see the kids smiling  – this is what its all about.

Player of the match went to Freya ‘The Slayer’ who had a memorable weekend by also winning the same award for the Wyrley Panthers – outstanding effort Freya!!! She caught a whack to her eye resulting in a black eye! I told her to do a show and tell at school – definitely a great story.

Thanks to the support of the parents – great to see such a supportive group..

I write this report with thawing fingers so if any anomalies are notified I’m blaming the weather.

3 comments for this article:
  1. avatar

    Well done Dragons, 3 wins out off 4! Amazing!

  2. avatar
    Michelle Barrett Nogueira

    Oh what fun was had (with the exception of the cold!) really loving the nick names – very apt, an exceptional start for a new team, Beechdale parents couldn’t believe we were a new team. Thanks for “wireless” birthday day song, all though the Gaffer is tone deaf – it was fabulous!

  3. avatar
    Keith Hardy (Chairman)

    Well done Dragons! Great report again Badcop!

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