A Win Away
Beautiful sunshine in Kraków set the scene as the Dragoons travelled to Bronowice to face old rivals Fairant.
The visitors recent form saw the fellow fan owned club look a potential thorn in the Expats charge towards the B Klasa title.
After the heartache of missing a penalty in last weekend’s 7-1 thrashing of Albertus, Scott Halcrow faced further anguish being dropped to the bench. Brian Lemmen returned to the starting line-up to take the veteran Englishman’s place, being the Expats only change from the aforementioned fixture.
Quick Out the Blocks
The Dragoons came out of the traps the quickest and had a great chance in the first minute. Flavio Nkola sent a chipped pass over the Fairant defence to pick out the advanced run of Enrico Forabosco. The Italian attempted to deceive Jerzy Wszołek in the Fairant goal with skill, working the ball onto his left foot, only to see his effort blocked off the line and cleared.
Forabosco turned provider five minutes after, creating a chance for Josh Dawson. The Italian whipped a free-kick into the box, but Dawson could only blast wide from a tight position.
The home side had a free-kick of their own in the 12th minute. A shot from a long way out did not trouble Muñoz in the Dragoons goal however.
Another Dragoons free-kick, 25 meters from goal gave Forabosco a shooting chance. Unfortunately, the Italian leaned back too far and sent his effort over the crossbar.
Fairant On The Attack
Neat football from the hosts, saw a quick counter-attack breakthrough the Dragoons backline on 20 minutes. Maciej Skwira received the ball on the right side of the box and hit a fierce effort that Muñoz palmed away for a corner.
The following corner saw the Dragoons fail to clear their lines properly, but Sylwester Jarosiński could not take advantage, smacking the ball over from the edge of the box.
A further attack from the visitors again almost caught the Expats cold moments after. With the Dragoons defence all at sea, Muñoz rushed off his line to touch the ball away from an attacker. The Expats could not clear the danger and a foul gave Fairant another shooting chance from just outside the box.
The firmly struck free-kick took a deflection off of the Dragoons wall, but Muñoz’s positioning saw the custodian punch away from goal. The ball struck the onrushing Jarosiński square on the head and floated harmlessly over the target.
Rohit Chandran dazzled with a run down the right, but saw his progress halted by a foul. Forabosco could not beat the wall however, and the Dragoons could not make the most of the chance.
The Dragoons Press
In the 27th minute, the Dragoons came close to opening the scoring. Samyonov dropped his shoulder, beating an opponent in the box. The Israeli’s attempted pass across goal diverted off of a defender into Chandran’s path. The attacker sent a fizzing cross, which Wszołek dived to push clear but only as far as the lurking Forabosco. The Italian sent a shot back at goal, but saw the effort brush a defender and go out for a corner.
The Dragoons continued to press Fairant and the crossbar denied the Expats the first goal of the game. Good possession football by the visitors saw Forabosco send in an exquisite curling cross. Rob Smits delicately touched the ball towards goal, but saw his effort tantalisingly strike the woodwork and bounce out.
Still the Expats pressed and Ambrosie collected the loose ball and whipped in a cross into the box. Dawson rose highest, but could not direct his headed effort on target.
A long ball forward by Fairant saw the home side have a chance at breaking the deadlock in the 31st minute. Wojciech Miszczyk raced onto the ball, but rushed his shot under pressure and failed to trouble the target.
Brilliant footwork by Flavio Nkola, saw the Angolan dance past four defenders and win the Dragoons a corner. The corner saw Dawson challenge in the air with the ball dropping just behind the defender. Dawson swivelled on the spot, but could not find any power with his shot and Wszołek gathered the ball with ease.
Yuri, Yuri, Yuri
A moment after in the 36th minute, the Expats made their dominance count to take the lead. Dawson, still forward from the previous attack headed Chandran’s teasing cross backwards, straight into the feet of Forabosco. The midfield magician waved his wand of a left foot at the ball, sending in a divine cross, which found the head of Yuri Samyonov to powerfully convert and score his 18th goal of the season.
Three minutes after, Chandran played a perfectly timed pass to find Forabosco on the right. The Italian once again crossed into the box, to find Dawson’s dome. The Englishman headed powerfully at the target, but straight at Wszołek who grasped the ball into his chest.
Just before the half time break the Expats came close to adding a second goal. Forabosco sent a through pass to find Samyonov in the box, but the official’s flag went up for offside. The referee however, spotted that Forabosco had been clipped in the build up and gave the Dragoons a free-kick.
Forabosco sent a curling shot over the wall, which bounced awkwardly in front of Wszołek. The Fairant keeper showed good hands to push the chance out for a corner that came to nothing.
The whistle blew shortly afterwards with the Expats dominating the ball, but only having a slender one goal advantage at the break.
The Expats had to make an early change in the second period as Rob Smits went down clutching his hamstring. All-time top scorer Adrian Paliś took to the pitch to replace the Dutchmeester, who will likely miss the rest of the season.
It took only three minutes for Paliś to get involved in the thick of the action. A devastating breakaway from the Expats, saw Samyonov control a clearance and accelerate forward. The Israeli played a one-two pass with Nkola, before passing the ball to the right of the box where Paliś waited unmarked. The Polish national sent a side-footed shot through the legs of the stranded Wszołek to double the Dragoons lead to 2-0.
Fairant Strike Back
Almost immediately, Fairant struck down the other end to reduce the deficit. The hosts won a free-kick close to the corner flag. The following set piece saw the ball go across the face off the goal, being headed back into the path of Filip Michaluk to easily convert from close range to give the home side a way back into the encounter.
The Expats injury misery continued after the goal, with a further enforced change being required. Romanian full-back Robert Ambrosie hobbled off and Dragoons original, the tough-tackling Edoardo Battaglion entered the fray.
Samyonov came close to grabbing his second goal of the game in the 55th minute. Dawson came forward and played a perfectly timed pass for Nkola to run onto. The winger crossed into the Fairant area finding Samyonov, but the Israeli could only poke his shot wide.
A moment after, a scintillating raking pass from Forabosco found the run of Nkola. The Angolan beat the offside trap and burst into the box, cutting onto his right foot to hit a powerful shot that forced Wszołek to save with his legs.
Woot Woot… Dragoons add a Third
The third goal did not take too long to arrive as the Expats upped the ante against their opponents. Nkola, ever the dangerman sprinted forwards once again troubling the Fairant backline. A lovely through-pass from the Angolan, found Paliś in space on the right and beyond the last man. Paliś showed good composure to smash the ball past Wszołek and into the corner of the net to restore the Expats two goal advantage.
With 69 minutes on the clock, the hosts came close to getting a goal back in a similar fashion to their first goal. A Fairant corner saw Tomasz Kawa rise highest to send the ball back across goal. On this occasion however, Łukasz Zdebski got a foot to the ball, but the tight angle saw the chance go wide.
Czech wide player Martin Voženílek came onto the pitch with fifteen minutes left, replacing goal-hero Yuri Samyonov.
Walking in A Dawson Wonderland
Voženílek made an instant impact, playing a starring role in the Dragoons fourth goal. The rapid winger flew down the right and sent a pass to find Paliś. The Polish forward looked up and saw Josh Dawson in space, 25 meters from goal. On receiving the pass, Dawson sent a perfect first-time effort that swerved high into the net, giving Wszołek absolutely no chance to save. It was the type of goal you knew would hit the net the moment it left the big Englishman’s boot.
With the game at 4-1, the Dragoons management removed the excellent Nkola from play to give fans favourite Błażej Święcicki a run-out. Moments after, captain Mark Szczesnowicz also departed play with the Portuguese pitbull Gonçalo Rodrigues taking his place in the middle.
The dangerous Sylwester Jarosiński had a chance to make the game interesting with ten minutes left. Sadly, the shaven-headed midfield man could not convert his header, sending the ball over the goal.
As the game entered its final stages, the Dragoons scored two goals in the last five minutes.
The fifth goal saw Forabosco set Voženílek sprinting down the right. The wide attacker played in a fantastic pass to find Paliś and the striker made no mistake in calmly rolling the ball past Wszołek to complete his hat-trick.
Spot Kick Sixth
In stoppage time, that man Paliś notched his 21st goal of the campaign from the penalty spot. The striker found himself by the byline in the Fairant box and showed a sublime piece of skill to outwit a defender. As the forward shaped to shoot, he found himself grounded by a poor tackle and the official pointed to the spot.
Paliś dusted himself down and despite calls from the fans to see club captain Scott Halcrow introduced to take the kick, the striker picked the ball up and made no mistake in sending Wszołek the wrong way to bring the score to 6-1. The deadly goal-getter’s strike saw Paliś notch his 56th goal in 45 appearances in a Dragoons shirt.
The game ended immediately after the goal, with the Dragoons putting on an imperious display to triumph against their opponents.
A fine performance by the Expats, arguably their best since the winter break sees the side edge closer to being named B Klasa champions. Fairant played some nice football at times, but lacked the bite in attack to seriously harm the Dragoons title charge.
Despite the defeat, Fairant remain in third place owing to Pychowianka’s 5-4 defeat at the hands of Wawel – the Dragoons next opponents. The Expats defeated Wawel 3-0 in the reverse fixture on a chilly November day and the coaching staff will know a similar outcome will see the team score an impressive 100 league goals as well as being crowned league champions.
We hope to see a capacity crowd at the game to hopefully share a historic moment for our club!