A Victorious Restart
The Dragoons season restarted following the winter break with an away fixture against Bronowicki on Saturday afternoon. Due to the recent snowfall, the Bronowicki pitch was deemed unplayable and the hosts agreed for the match to take place on the all weather surface at the Dragoons home pitch at Nadwiślan.
New signing Piotr Hajnrych lined up for a first start in an Expat shirt and Jacob Biddlecombe made his long awaited debut between the sticks. Club legend Dani Silva also returned to action after a long injury lay-off and started the game on the bench.
A swift start from the Dragoons saw a nice passing move produce the first chance of the match in the first minute. Rohit Chandran dribbled from off the wing and teed up Mark Szczesnowicz on the edge of the box. The Aussie midfielder shot first time, but blasted the ball over the crossbar.
Just a moment later, another nice passing move on the right released Michał Nowak into the box. The powerful full back showed great determination to cut the ball back from the byline across goal, however, a defender bravely denied Jamie Beattie a tap in and put the ball out for a corner.
Early Chance Missed
In the fourth minute, the Dragoons should have taken the lead. Joaquin Serrano beat his man with a sublime touch and zipped a beautiful cross into the box. The ball was put on a plate for Jamie Beattie, however the forward misread his lines and headed wide from close range.
Moments after, a trademark long-throw from Nowak saw Josh Dawson rise highest in the box. The centre-back could not direct his headed effort on target however, nodding the ball wide.
Despite sustained pressure from the Expats, Bronowicki created the next chance of the game. The home side broke the offside trap with a swift counter-attack and the ball was pulled back to the edge of the box to the waiting Konrad Wójtowiec. The lanky forward shot first-time, but saw his effort expertly blocked by Michał Nowak and the ball diverted out for a corner.
The following corner saw Jacob Biddlecombe flap at the ball, however the host’s Krzysztof Padyk could not take advantage, tamely sending a looping header back at goal that Biddlecombe gratefully gathered.
Straight up the other end, Joaquin Serrano tested Piotr Mazela in the Bronowicki goal for the first time. The Spanish winger cut in on his favoured left foot and sent a low, swerving effort that Mazela smothered comfortably.
On the quarter of an hour mark, chances came at both ends. A Nowak long-throw bounced in the Bronowicki box causing havoc. Rohit Chandran reacted quickest, but could not get any power in his header and Mazela easily saved.
With the Dragoons forward in force, Mazela quickly released the ball and Bronowicki charged forward on the counter. Karol Mochel broke with pace and unleashed a fierce drive from the corner of the box. Biddlecombe proved to be equal to the effort however, flying to his right and firmly palming the ball wide.
The resulting corner saw Krzysztof Padyk get his head to the ball, but he could not divert his effort on target.
Smits Scores the Opener
In the 18th minute, the Dragoons broke the deadlock. Mark Szczesnowicz drove forward out of midfield, breaking through the Bronowicki lines. The Dragoons captain played an inch perfect through pass, straight into the path of Rob Smits. The Dutchmeester broke the offside trap and sent a firmly hit left foot shot at goal. Piotr Mazela looked favourite to save, however the ball squirmed under his body and rolled into the corner of the goal.
Moments later, a free-kick from Enrico Forabosco just evaded the head of Beattie as the Dragoons looked to double their lead.
In the 27th minute, Biddlecombe showed excellent reactions to deny Wójtowiec a chance at goal. The custodian raced off his line to bravely dive at the feet as the striker sprinted onto a long ball over the Dragoons defence. The keeper sent the striker sprawling, whilst gaining possession of the ball for the Expats.
The Dragoons continued to pour forward in numbers and they grabbed a second goal in the 38th minute.
Forabosco sent in a whipped corner that evaded everyone in the box. Serrano got to the loose ball first and fizzed a delicious low cross across the box. Simon Calabrese showed his defensive and attacking prowess in one move, reacting quickest and slide tackling the ball into the back of the net.
It did not take long for the Dragoons to add a third goal in the 42nd minute. A Nowak long-throw bounced in the box with Dawson and Calabrese both attempting to divert the ball goalwards. Rohit Chandran took advantage to nip in and sweep the ball past Mazela into the back of the net for 3-0.
The last chance of the half came from a Bronowicki free-kick. Andrzej Szarek stepped up, but could not send the ball over the wall and the Dragoons cleared. The Expats went in the break three goals ahead and playing some really nice football.
A blisteringly quick start to the second half nearly saw the Dragoons add a fourth. A corner into the box saw Dawson send the ball goalwards, but blocked out for another corner.
The following corner saw Calabrese attempt a spectacular bicycle kick, but Bronowicki cleared the ball out of play. Forabosco whipped in a third consecutive corner into the box. Dawson again won the ball and headed firmly at goal straight at Mazela. The keeper blocked the ball on the line and Chandran looked to poke in the rebound, but a flag from the assistant referee denied the chance.
Bronowicki’s Konrad Wójtowiec tried his luck in the 50th minute. The striker saw Biddlecombe off his line and sent a lobbed effort towards goal. The Dragoons debutant did not have any difficulty in palming the ball into the ground and collecting at the second attempt however.
Silky Serrano Makes it Four
In the 56th minute, the Dragoons notched their fourth goal of the game, pulling their opponents apart. A nice passing move saw Rob Smits break into the left corner of the box. The midfield maestro sent in a low pass to Joaquin Serrano in acres of space at the far post. The Spaniard made no mistake with his finish, slotting the ball past Mazela from six metres out.
On 63 minutes, superb build up play saw a Bronowicki defender deflect a Beattie effort just wide. The resulting corner again found the head of Dawson. Sadly, the pulchritudinous Englishman failed to trouble the target and the ball went over the bar.
A triple substitution on 65 minutes saw Forabosco, Beattie and goalscorer Serrano depart. In their place came Yuri Samyonov, Emre Çolakoğlu and a long awaited return of club legend Dani Silva.
The Legend Returns — A Silva Lining?
Just a moment after entering the fray a delightful pass from Smits saw Silva run through on goal. Piotr Mazela charged off his line to close down the ball and Silva won the race. The Portuguese attacker punted the ball under pressure and saw his effort fly just wide past the post.
Michał Nowak’s throws caused issues for the Bronowicki backline all afternoon. Another missile into the box once again found the head of Josh Dawson in the box. Deja vu struck however, as the ball failed to trouble the goal.
In the 72nd minute, a Dani Silva corner saw Mazela scramble across his goal as the ball and keeper struck the post.
Silva again went close a minute later. A cross into the box saw Rob Smits glance the ball into the path of the mercurial Portugeezer. Silva stretched and got a foot on the ball but could not find the target.
The Dragoons continued lay siege to their opponents half and great work from Nowak found that man Silva in the box. The attacker took a touch, shaped himself and sent a low, placed shot from 12 metres at goal. Mazela sprung to his left to pull off an exceptional save to deny Silva a dream return to action.
Dawson Deja Vu
Groundhog day struck once again in the 78th minute for the luckless Josh Dawson. Yep, you guessed it, the defender won his header, but on this occasion the ball deflected wide.
A dangerous move from the Dragoons saw substitute Yuri Samyonov feed the ball to Chandran. The attacker took the shot first-time, but failed to add to his tally on this occasion from 12 meters.
Fours a Crowd, Fives a Party
Chandran made no mistake in the 84th minute however, adding the Dragoons fifth goal. An excellent and determined run from debutant Piotr Hajnrych saw the full back burst into the box. The Pole brilliantly kept the ball in play and sent a low pass straight to the feet of Chandran. The Indian forward made no mistake with his finish, side-footing past the stranded Mazela from close range.
It was nearly six straight afterwards. Clumsy defending by the hosts saw a defender play a difficult pass-back to Mazela. The goalkeeper failed to clear his lines properly, fluffing his volley straight to Samyonov. The Israeli failed to make Bronowicki pay however, blasting his effort straight back at Mazela to save.
Five did become six in the 86th minute, as that man Rohit Chandran capped off an impressive display with a hat-trick goal. The tricky attacker, gained possession on the right flank and waltzed forward. Upon reaching the corner of the box, Chandran unexpectedly launched a low drive at goal. The shot caught Mazela cold and whistled into the net at the near post.
Konrad Wójtowiec reminded the Dragoons of his and Bronowicki’s presence in the dying moments of the game. The striker sent a daisy cutter at goal however, which Biddlecombe gathered with ease.
The final chance of the game came in the last minute from a free-kick for the Dragoons. Emre Çolakoğlu stepped up to shoot, but could not trouble the target.
With the chance gone, the referee called time on the match with the final whistle. The Dragoons produced a strong performance, with some impressive attacking football putting Bronowicki to the sword.
There will undoubtedly be more difficult days ahead for the Expats, however the winning run continues.
Next up for the Dragoons are Opatkowianka Krakow in a home fixture on Sunday, 10th April. Opatkowianka find themselves in 8th position as of writing. The Expats won the reverse fixture 5-1 and will be looking for more of the same next week. We hope to see you there!
Your Dragoons Need You!
Please remember you can vote for us in the Puchar 1000 Goli competition every 24 hours until April 10th. This is potentially massive for our club and you can help us in providing better content for all our fans and followers. To vote, simply visit the Puchar 1000 Goli page and click the Oddaj głos button. Thanks for your support!
Lastly, we also have partnered with Xplicit to bring you the chance to own Dragoons merchandise. Please visit our fan store to get your hands on t-shirts, hoodies plus more!