One Step Closer
The Dragoons travelled to Rybitwy on Saturday in a mouth-watering second versus first Klasa B contest.
Both sides look destined to be promoted, with the Dragoons looking to increase the four-point gap at the top of the table. An excellent crowd attended the game, making for good atmosphere from the stands.
The Expats made three changes to the team that thrashed Tramwaj II the week previous. Mark Szczesnowicz, Brian Lemmen and Piotr Hajnrych returned to the side, the latter returning after injury. David Nicolas, Gonçalo Rodrigues and Scott Halcrow all dropped to the bench. There was also a place on the bench for Robert Ambrosie, returning to the matchday squad after a long injury lay-off.
An Ambitious Start
Rybitwy kicked the game off and launched an ambitious, but unsuccessful attempt to catch Gabriel Muñoz off of his line.
With 3 minutes on the clock, the Dragoons custodian had to be alert once again as Rybitwy came forward with purpose. A shot from range zipped across the bobbly surface, but Muñoz flung himself to his right to impressively grasp the ball.
Moments after, another attack saw Rybitwy’s burly forward Piotr Skrzypek advance down the right flank and cross into the box. Adrian Bialik found himself unmarked and headed at goal, but could not find the power to trouble Muñoz.
A swift move forward saw the Dragoons have their first opportunity of the game. Flavio Nkola cut off of the left wing, but his tame shot made for a simple save for Dariusz Kurnik in the Rybitwy goal.
Zero to Hero
In the 5th minute, the visitors had a great opportunity after Brian Lemmen lost possession near the halfway line. Marcin Ćwierz came forward and as he approached the Dragoons box, appeared in two minds of what to do. This allowed Lemmen to make amends for the earlier error to brilliantly steal the ball off the toes of the Rybitwy forward and clear the danger.
A period of good possession for the Dragoons saw Josh Dawson in space on the right flank. The Englishman fizzed the ball into the penalty area, with a deflection finding Joaquin Serrano. The Spaniard hit a first-time effort from the edge of the box, only for a defender to clear away off the line.
It proved to be the last act for the wing wizard as injury prevented Serrano from carrying on. James Beattie entered play to take his place.
Rybitwy looked to hit the Dragoons on the counter and an excellent sliding tackle from Simon Calabrese prevented the hosts getting through the Expats backline in the 15th minute.
The Dragoons struggled to make much of an impact in the first quarter of an hour. A good run from Nkola on the left, saw the attacker weave into the box, with his shot deflecting wide for a corner.
Enrico Forabosco whipped the ball in the penalty area and found the head of Rob Smits. The Dutchman saw his header come off of a Rybitwy player last to give the Expats a further corner. On the second occasion, the referee blew for a foul by Dawson in the box to break down a scoring chance.
Rybitwy Chance Spurned
In the 19th minute, Rybitwy spurned the best scoring chance of the game so far. A lightning counter caught the Expats outnumbered at the back. A cross into the box found the waiting Skrzypek at the back post. The forward managed to fluff his lines, somehow nodding the ball over the bar from close range.
The hosts continued to pour forward and a free-kick into the box, saw the Dragoons clear as far as Filip Stefańczyk on the edge of the box. The Rybitwy man leant back and sent his shot flying high over the crossbar.
Flavio Nkola looked to be the Dragoons main threat down the left side. The Angolan excellently picked out Forabosco for a shooting chance, however the Italian could not find the target.
On 25 minutes, a foul on Jamie Beattie on the edge of the Rybitwy box gave Forabosco another shooting chance. The midfield magician hit a great curling effort towards the top corner, only for Kurnik to fling himself aerially and pull off an excellent flying save.
The Dragoons had another chance a moment after through Adrian Paliś. The Polish marksman could not get enough of his foot on the ball and Rybitwy cleared away the danger.
In the 28th minute, Flavio Nkola again threatened the Rybitwy backline. The attacker managed to produce a shooting chance, but failed to trouble to target.
The Expats had a great scoring chance in the 33rd minute. Another foul on Beattie down the Dragoons right flank gave Enrico Forabosco a good crossing opportunity. The Italian curled into the area and Kurnik flew off his line and clattered into Simon Calabrese. The ball dropped in the six-yard box and Beattie had the goal gaping, but blasted the ball over the bar.
Off the Post!
A good spell of dominance for the Expats, saw Flavio Nkola go even closer to breaking the deadlock. Forabosco found Rob Smits excellently timed run into the box, with a lovely through-pass. The Dutchmeester cut the ball back to the mercurial Angolan, who took a touch and smashed his shot against the post.
The Dragoons recycled the possession of the ball back, however Forabosco could not find the target with the follow up shot.
Rybitwy had a late flurry as half time approached, with Michał Kręcicki smashing over the bar, before a free-kick near the halfway line, saw the ball floated harmlessly over Muñoz’s goal.
The official’s whistle sounded soon after to bring an end to an entertaining half of football. Rybitwy looked dangerous in the early stages, however, the Expat’s possession game saw them control large parts of the half.
Robert Ambrosie entered the pitch for the second half replacing Piotr Hajnrych. Josh Dawson switched to the left side to allow the Romanian to play at right back.
The first chance of the half fell to the hosts in the 48th minute. Adrian Bialik found himself in a shooting position, but sent a scooped effort over the crossbar.
A couple of minutes after saw Ambrosie involved for the first time. Good build up play, found the full-back in a crossing position on the right wing. Ambrosie whipped the ball into the box, taking a deflection on the way, catching Rob Smits square on the forehead and flying wide of the target.
Mark Szczesnowicz shot just after, ballooning the ball miles over the crossbar and endangering the lives of the circling swallows high in the sky.
Dragoons Go Close!
Beautiful passing football by the Expats saw Forabosco expertly spray a pass to Ambrosie. The Romanian sent an inviting cross into the box, finding Rob Smits. The Dutchman, usually deadly in the penalty box, could only steer his effort into the side netting.
In the 56th minute, a Rybitwy free-kick found the head of Skrzypek in the box. The attacker looped the ball towards goal and forcing Calabrese to head behind his own goal. The following corner looked to be an audacious attempt of a shot, but did not trouble the goal.
The match became slightly ragged as the hour mark passed. Neither side could keep possession leading to an end-to-end spectacle.
A chance in the 65th minute, saw the ball worked to Jamie Beattie. The Dragoons attacker hit a vicious swerving effort on target that Kurnik unorthodoxly punched away.
Beattie was again involved in the Dragoons next move with 70 minutes of the game passed. A corner into the box, saw the forward race to keep the ball in play. A lovely cross saw Flavio Nkola go for a specular scissors kick and just miss the ball. Dawson played keepy-uppy with himself in the box, eventually laying a pass off to Forabosco. The Italian sent a searching ball back into the box but Kurnik showed strong hands to catch under his crossbar.
With fifteen minutes left to play the Expats missed their best chance of the half. A cross flew across the Rybitwy area with Josh Dawson taking possession of the ball. The full-back put in a glorious floated ball across goal, just missing the head of the jumping Nkola. The luckless Beattie stooped just behind the Angolan, ahead of substitute Rohit Chandran and sent ball crashing into the turf, which bounced horribly over the bar from six yards.
Another chance 3 minutes after had the Dragoons supporters off their feet and head in hands with disbelief. Nkola found Ambrosie on the right flank in space. The defender skinned his opponent and sent a cross into the Rybitwy area, finding the head of the Angolan. The attacker sent a firm attempt at goal, with the ball whistling inches past the post.
In the 80th minute, Nkola showed good skill to create another shooting chance. The attacker could not find the target though, putting the ball wide.
With the game deep in injury time, a free-kick on the edge of the Rybitwy box saw Forabosco step up. The fans rose to watch the Italian maestro spank the ball low into the wall, with the hosts clearing to counter.
The Expats looked all over the place at the back and David Nicolas leathered an attempted clearance that whacked the exhausted Calabrese flush in the face, sending the ball flying out for a corner.
A Draw to a Close
Rybitwy chucked everyone forward bar Kurnik, but Muñoz showed calmness personified to punch the corner out of the box. Nicolas thumped the ball down field and the referee blew his whistle to end the game.
A frustrating second half had seen the Dragoons dominate the game, but not able to find the net. Rybitwy looked dangerous on the counter-attack and played their part in a thoroughly entertaining and rare 0-0 draw.
The Expats produced one of their best performances of the second half of the season thus far and know a win in their next game against Albertus at Nadwiślan will be enough to secure promotion to Klasa A.
In the previous fixture between the sides, two early goals from Paliś & Dawson gave the Expats the advantage. Albertus pulled a goal back from the spot through Szymon Urzędowski, before an own goal extended the lead to 3-1. Bartłomiej Chowaniec took advantage of sloppy defending to make it 3-2, before Rohit Chandran wrapped up the game with an acrobatic finish to ensure the Expats won 4-2.