The weekend started with a traumatic event that has scarred me for life! Chris Nicholls had organised an 11th hour Futsal gathering due to the majority of the girls teams being postponed.  It was whilst demonstrating an exercise to the girls that he celebrated a fortuitous goal by lifting his shirt over his head to expose his midriff . Whilst his lovely wife Marie is used to the sight of the  ‘Hairy Bogart’, it was a tad scary for all other onlookers.  Hasten to say I am now in counselling for this unforeseen trauma!
Dragons game day arrived and our breath rose in visible puffs to join the icy white sky. There was a freezing chill in the air that brought crispness to the leaves, bejewelled with frost, that crunch underfoot. Rosy cheeked, we stamp to keep warm, pulling woollen hats over our reddened ears and tightening scarves over our blue-tinged lips. Teeth chatter and the cold seeps into our gloves numbing our fingers until they cease to bend properly, stiffened and frigid. Oh the sacrifices we parents make to bring smiles to the faces of our children!
The dragons congregated in a tight huddle, listening with intent and anticipation of the gaffers master plan.  Wide eyed and full of energy the Dragons break to take to the heavy pitch and readied themselves for battle.  The desire and intent was obvious from as soon as the whistle touched the ref lips.  Ash ‘The Flash’ immediately bobs and weaves his way through the Bustle-home defence and curls a sublime shot into the top corner of the goal, great start! The Flash was to prove a major thorn in the side, with Bustle-home unable to cope with his strength, guile, skill and determination.  Supported with a quality cross from Freya ‘The Slayer’, Ash soon found himself bagging a snappy hat rick quickly followed up with his fourth as a result of  some dazzling dribbling. Matty was supplying some great through balls and crosses that Dynamo Jim narrowly squirted wide via a slight deflection.  The resulting corner was whipped in with pace by ‘Dynamo’ that was met with ‘Wireless’s’ head that narrowly missed the upright – great effort that produced some ooohs and arrrghs from the travelling supporters. A sortie by Dynamo into the enemy territory resulted in a crazy, mazy run that was neatly deposited into the corner of the net by a crisp left foot strike. The supporting cast were providing a resolute defence ensuring any threat was thwarted.  Marshalled by ‘Captain Marvel’ Phoebe Nicholls  she showed the boys who was boss with a consummate display of power and skill. 2 goals in quick succession (that quick I was still taking notes and consequently missed them) by Ash and Jim increased the Dragons lead. Halftime came with the Dragons in total domination and control.  Word from the gaffer was to express themselves as individuals and encouraged the passing element of their games.  The Rocket, Dodger and the Beast came into the fray, all chomping at the bit to make their mark.  The quality of crossing, movement off the ball and communication was pleasing to see, thus providing the spectacle of total football.  Freya ‘The Slayer’ provided an exquisite cross that’s finished by the Flash, quickly mirrored by Dodgers sublime cross which is also turned in by Ash. Reubs ‘the Rocket’ gets on the scorecard after smashing away a loose ball that was partially cleared, closely followed by another goal to bag his brace.  The Beast and Aniallator were proving to be a top drawer partnership by snuffing out any attempt made by Bustle-home to cross into their territory.  Wireless was playing hard and hits a Wurlitzer of a shot which smashes the cross bar and bounces on the line and out. His mom was apoplectic on the side lines either through cold or sheer amazement that his effort wasn’t rewarded with a goal.  Dodger was being his usual tenacious self, robbing the ball from the Bustle-home defence and embarking on a direct assault of the goal which is neatly tucked away.  The Artful Dodger is clearly hungry and wants ‘MORE’ and follows this up with another well taken goal to bag him a well deserved brace too.  A mention has to go out to Reilly ‘The Rock’ who kept a clean sheet and had to be thawed out due to the lack of activity in his area…..
Second game was against Stonnal Stars with very little time for respite, just about enough time for Reilly and Matty to switch shirts. The game started and the Beast was distributing the play beautifully, either via pass or huge throw, he was always seeking a forward movement!  Stonnal broke into the Dragons defence with 3 attackers to one lonely Dragon, inevitably the ball was neatly tucked away to take the lead! Some great industry from Dynamo Jim who was providing quality though balls and crosses for Ash to feed on.  It was from a Dynamo through ball that Ash escaped the efforts of the Stonnal defence to poke the ball into the neat to level the score. Matty aka ‘Wireless’ was having a stormer between the sticks, quelling every effort on his goal.  All players were showing great desire but Freya ‘The Slayer’ showed her teeth via a last gasp tackle to thwart a Stonnal attack.  Captain Marvel Nicholls takes a whack to the chops resulting in a thick lip, resulting in her being replaced by Aniallator. It later transpired that her dad had refused her Botox injections and took extreme measures to get the desired look!  To be fair it was a nasty whack and the parents all commented on the severity.  Niall settles in well at the back, displaying his repertoire of Roy Keanes no nonsense slide tackles,  obviously contagious as Reilly also chips in with a sublime slide tackle of the highest order.  The Dragons break with Dodger down the wing who supplies a quality cross for Dynamo to tuck home.  With the impetus with the Dragons they break again with Flash who is scythed down, only for the ref to play advantage as Dynamo Jim rifles a cracking effort into the back of the net.  Well played ref!!!  Phoebe and her big lip re-enter the fray and almost immediately gets whacked again! This time to the side of her face!! She obviously takes after her mom as she stood tall and carried on.  Stonnal manage to break into the Dragon area and look certain to score when Wireless pulls out an absolute worldy of a save to retain the Wyrley lead.
The latter part of the game was like someone was on the grassy knowle taking the Dragons out.  Dodger, Dynamo and the Rocket were all felled by the sniper which tested the fitness and ability of the gaffer as this ruined his tactics.  The beast re-enters the fray after the Rocket is carried from the pitch and almost instantly scores as his shot whistles just wide of the upright.
The final whistle is blown and the kids show their respect by thanking their opposition and the ref.  Great endeavour by the kids and great tactics by the gaffer brought home the gravy fro the Dragons.
Players of the match were Ash for game #1 for his dominant performance and bagging 8 well taken goals.  Dynamo Jim who wasn’t 100% before kick off was awarded the trophy for his performance in game #2.  He showed great desire and aptitude that also awarded him a brace of goals.
3 comments for this article:
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  2. avatar

    Gutted I missed this one. Glad I didn’t see Chris lifting his shirt, there are things you cant ever unseen :)!!!!!

  3. avatar
    Michelle Barrett Nogueira

    My favourite weekly read – and yes, I’m going to need the Wyrley defibrillator #proud Dragonette.

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