Ten Out of Ten
An unseasonably warm October afternoon saw the Dragoons take on fellow fan owned football club SF Fairant.
The Dragoons’ opponents had been in 2nd place following last week’s round of matches, however found themselves in 5th position as Kolejarz-Prokocim II, Rybitwy and Pychowianka all won their fixtures this weekend to move above them in the table prior to the match starting.
Disastrous Start For Dragoons
Keen to reduce the 8-point gap between the sides, Fairant came out all guns blazing straight from kick-off.
Within 30 seconds of the match starting, the visitors took the lead with a gift from the Dragoons. Shoddy play at the back from the Expats saw Alexey Zelenkin caught in possession. With just the stranded Gabi Muñoz to beat, Wojtek Miszczyk made no mistake in firing the ball into the net.
The Dragoons looked stunned and once again caused their own downfall with a poor start. The goal was all too similar to that scored by Rybitwy in the previous home match leaving the Expats with it all to do.
Despite the poor start, the Dragoons came a whisker away from equalising in only the 4th minute. A Michał Nowak long-throw caused chaos in the Fairant backline and Josh Dawson came within a hair’s width of getting his head to the ball from inside the 6-metre box.
Straight down the other end and that man Dawson was at the heart of the action once again, coming to the Dragoons rescue. The defender brilliantly blocked a goal bound shot, however the danger remained. Daniel Poterała reacted quickest to the loose ball and sent a sweet curling effort just wide of the upright.
A frantic opening 10 minutes almost saw the Dragoons pull level once more. A long-throw again caused problems for the visitors and the ball could not be cleared. Mark Szczesnowicz took possession on the right and saw an overhit cross find a blue shirt just outside the other side of the box. The ball made its way to Enrico Forabosco on the edge of the box and the Italian hit a rasping shot with the outside of his left boot that whistled inches past the post.
A Fair Fight So Far
Into the 13th minute and good wing-play from Martin Voženílek saw the winger tee-up Rob Smits to shoot at goal. On this occasion, the Dutchman’s effort swerved straight into the arms of Borowski.
Moments later, the Dragoons backline failed to deal with the ball and a foul committed by Nowak resulted in a free-kick. Thankfully for the Expats, the resulting set-piece flew over the bar.
Fairant had a further chance to double their lead in the 17th minute. Goalscorer Miszczyk beat the offside trap to find himself clear on goal. However, the forward lacked the pace to continue his run, rushed his shot and punted the ball wide of the target.
Jamie Beattie starting his second consecutive game for the Dragoons had a chance in the 21st minute. The forward received the ball just outside of the box and worked it onto his left foot. The Englishman sent a firmly struck effort at goal, with Borowski its equal, pulling off a save for the cameras in reply.
The Dragoons began to grab the game by the scruff of the neck in an attempt to level the score. Good work from Dawson saw Forabosco’s cross defended well by the visitors and danger cleared.
On the half hour mark, Forabosco had the chance to score with a trademark free-kick following a handball. On this occasion however, the midfield magician saw his shot sail over the bar.
The Dutchmeester Strikes Again
In the 33rd minute, the Dragoons managed to restore parity with an equaliser. Dawson reacted quickest to a blocked clearance and dashed past two opponents in the box, poking the ball to Smits. The midfielder hit a rasping first-time effort at goal that proved too strong for Borowski to keep out to bring the score to 1-1.
Three minutes later, Fairant came close to re-taking the lead. Sylwester Jarosiński found space to hit a powerful low effort that flashed past Muñoz’s post.
Fairant came close again in the 40th minute. An overload on the Dragoons right side saw Muñoz fly out off his line. Bartek Batko got to the ball first, but the angle proved too difficult and his effort looped high and wide.
The chance was the last of an entertaining first-half, with the Dragoons struggling to find rhythm in attack.
A triple substitution for the Dragoons saw Adrian Paliś, Flavio Nkola and Rohit Chandran enter the field. Yuri Samyonov, Jamie Beattie and Martin Voženílek made way with Ash Asani looking for something different in the second period.
The substitution almost yielded an immediate goal for Paliś. Szczesnowicz sprayed a lovely pass that Dawson exquisitely controlled on the right side. The full-back came forward and found the waiting Paliś on the edge of the box. The marksman turned and hit a left footed shot at goal, but could not trouble the target.
Bench Brothers Make Instant Impact
In the 50th minute, the Dragoons took the lead for the first time in the game. Smits played the ball out to the right side to the awaiting Forabosco. The midfielder played a firm pass across goal straight into the path of Nkola. The Angolan shimmied to dump a defender on his backside and unselfishly squared to Paliś. The striker had the easiest of tap-ins from 6 metres, passing the ball into the empty net for 2-1.
Five minutes later, the Dragoons had a good chance for a third goal as Dawson released Nkola on the right. The winger cut inside and sent in a dangerous ball across the box, but a lack of blue shirts in the area saw the opportunity go begging.
A minute later and the Dragoons passed up another opening to extend their lead. Forabosco’s effort from range bounced awkwardly in front of Borowski. The ball ricocheted into the path of Smits, but the Dutchman could not wrap his foot around the ball, sending it skyward.
Three Is The Magic Number
Into the 58th minute, and the rampant Dragoons notched their third goal of the game. The Expats, pressing high up the field, ruthlessly turned over possession in their favour. Paliś played a sweet through-pass into the path of Nkola. The Angolan burst into the box, rounded Borowski and stroked the ball into the net for 3-1.
Moments after the goal, Fairant had a good chance to immediately reduce the score through Bartek Batko. The attacker ran on to the ball in the Dragoons box and looked certain to score. Gabi Muñoz, had other ideas however, instinctively diving to deny the chance.
On the hour, the Dragoons had a chance from the penalty spot to further increase the lead. A ball into the area saw Chandran receive a clothesline from hell, giving the referee an easy decision to make. Paliś stepped up to take the kick, but saw Borowski fly to his left to keep the ball out of the goal.
The Dragoons had a further chance with a free-kick given within shooting range two minutes later. Forabosco sent a whipped effort into the box and Jarosiński diverted the ball over his own bar for a corner kick.
Święty Mikołaj Arrives Early for Fairant
Fairant found a way back into the game in the 70th minute. A cross into the box saw Muñoz stretch to reach the ball but unable to gather it safely. The loose ball fell to the feet of the grateful Michał Kołkowski, who calmly rolled it into the unguarded net for 3-2.
The Expats looked to increase their lead immediately. Szczesnowicz’s lofted pass looked to set Nkola through on goal. A foul from a Fairant defender halted the Angolan’s progress however and the referee whistled for a free-kick. Forabosco took the kick, but once again saw his effort clear the crossbar.
With fifteen minutes left on the clock the Dragoons again forced Borowski into another save. An excellent long-pass from Simon Calabrese at centre back set Nkola away on the right flank. The speedster accelerated into the box but saw his shot palmed out for a corner.
Calamity struck for Borowski in the 79th minute as the keeper gave the Dragoons a gift of their own. A poor kick landed straight at the feet of Rob Smits, 35 metres from goal. The midfielder sent the ball back on target, which laboriously bobbled across the turf towards goal. Borowski raced back and desperately launched himself at the ball, only to see it painstakingly dribble past his despairing dive and into the net.
With the score at 4-2, Fairant threw caution to the wind to get themselves back into the game. Gabi Muñoz managed to deny a goalscoring chance, getting a fingertip to a cross to divert the ball away from danger.
In the 88th minute, the Dragoons once again had Muñoz to thank. A thunderous effort from the edge of the box saw the Chilean stopper expertly stand strong to fist the ball over the bar.
As the game headed for a close, the Expats came close to notching a fifth goal. Nkola’s corner found the head of the unmarked Dawson in the box. Unfortunately, the pulchritudinous defender failed to convert the chance, sending the effort over from close range.
You DO Save Those!
The final chance of the game fell to Fairant deep into injury time. A well struck effort from range arched towards the top corner, looking all the way a goal. Gabi Muñoz had other ideas however! The Dragoons keeper flung himself aerially to his right, producing a quite breath-taking save to somehow keep the ball out. The save brought a rapturous round of applause from all in attendance including the opposition bench.
Shortly afterwards, the referee blew his whistle to draw an end to an excellent advertisement of B Klasa football.
The Dragoons impressive winning run stretches to 10 wins from 10 games with a maximum 30 points earned. The result sees the Expats continue to lead their nearest rival Pychowianka by eight points, with a game in hand.
Next up for the Dragoons is an away fixture at WKS Wawel Krakow. The Expats have faced off against Wawel on three occasions previously and have tasted victory each time. The most recent time the sides met, the Dragoons earned the three points on a blisteringly hot day. Two first half goals from Flavio Nkola and Andrea Latino was enough to see the Expats cruise to a 2-0 success in the penultimate game of last season.