United of Manchester 14-0 Dragoons: Annihilation

Players of FC United of Manchester and Krakow Dragoons FC with contrasting spirits after the home team scores a goal
Utd. Manchester United of Manchester
Dragoons Dragoons
Sun, 10 Mar 2024 16:00 Fenix Trophy — Group C, Match 3
Broadhurst Park



The Dragoons travelled to England this past weekend to take on FC United of Manchester for their latest outing in the Fenix Trophy.

A hardy bunch of 15 made the trip, with a small group taking in League 2 football to watch Stockport County win 1-0 against Newport the previous day.

With several travelling players picking up knocks in the week, Hugo Cruz had his work cut out picking his team.

Players of FC United of Manchester and Krakow Dragoons FC entering the field accompanied by children
A Grand Entrance — The teams leave the comfort of the dressing room to do battle on the field
Players of Krakow Dragoons FC posing with children wearing Poland jerseys and scarves before match
Gramy u Siebie — The Dragoons conduct the usual pre match routine with mascots of Polish heritage

Lorenzo Bartolomei made his debut in the Expat’s last competitive fixture last November, a 2-0 win against Czarni 03 Grzegorzowice. With neither Marcin Obyrtacz nor Gabi Munoz able to travel, the Dragoons goalkeeper coach would find himself making his Fenix Trophy debut against FC United.

Cruz opted to go with a back five for the game, with Jakub Drobny, Simon Calabrese, and Brian Lemmen starting as a back three. Josh Dawson and Francesco Leuci completed the defensive unit, lining up at right wing-back and left-wing back respectively.

Mark Szczesnowicz returned from the wilderness to captain the side and partnered Enrico Forabosco in the centre of the park. Yuri Samyonov, Błażej Święcicki, and Rob Smits completed the line-up starting in the attacking positions.

FC United of Manchester and Krakow Dragoons FC captains and referees doing the usual pre-match coin toss
Tails Never Fails — The Captains decide on the kick off and pitch side with a flip of a coin
Krakow Dragoons FC players posing for pre-match photo
The Boys — Top Row L-R; Lorenzo Bartolomei (GK), Josh Dawson, Kuba Drobny, Błażej Święcicki, Brian Lemmen and Francesco Leuci. Bottom Row L-R; Simon Calabrese, Enrico Forabosco, Yuri Samyonov, Rob Smits and Mark Szczesnowicz (C).

Kick Off

The hosts dominated the early stages of the game and took only 8 minutes to score the opening goal. A defence-splitting pass found Charlie Munro in behind the Dragoon’s backline and in the box. The midfielder struck well across Bartolomei from a tight angle and saw his effort nestle in the corner of the net for the first of many!

A FC United of Manchester player shooting at goal
Early Goal — Charlie Munro sets himself before lashing an effort past Lorenzo Bartolomei to open to scoring

United kept up the pressure on the Dragoons defence and it was not long before a second goal arrived after 13 minutes. The Expats failed to deal with the high press and gave the ball away on the edge of their box. Aaron Bennett made the Dragoons pay, turning past Drobny before curling the ball past Bartolomei from the edge of the box. A good finish, but Expats were the makers of their downfall in the build up!

A FC United of Manchester player fires a curling shot at goal amid the Krakow Dragoons FC defenders
Curler — Aaron Bennett guides a shot from the edge of the box to put United two goals ahead

Raining Goals

With only a quarter of an hour played, the hosts netted a 3rd goal. Charlie Ennis swung a free-kick into the box that just missed the diving head of a team-mate. Curtis Jones reacted quickest however, escaping the attentions of his marker to sweep the ball home from close range.

A FC United of Manchester player taps the ball into the net amid Krakow Dragoons FC players
Tap in! — Curtis Jones loses the attention of the Dragoons defence to notch the third goal of the game

The rampant home side notched a fourth just three minutes later. The Dragoons failed to clear a cross into the box from Declan McLoughlin, with the ball falling to Munro. The United midfielder took a touch, before driving low past the outstretched arm of Bartolomei to further increase their lead to 4-0.

Moments later, the Dragoon’s goal came under siege once more as the woodwork came to the rescue from Woodcock’s header. Bartolomei getting down well to deny Munro a hat-trick from the rebound and a third attempt from McLoughlin saw the ball blocked over the bar as the Expats survived.

Goalkeeper Lorenzo Bartolomei of Krakow Dragoons FC dives to defend a shot
Save — Lorenzo Bartolomei gets down well to clutch the ball into his midriff

United add a Fifth

The bewildered Expats sat deep in their half as United continued their onslaught for the majority of the half. The visitors managed to keep the home side at bay until the 40th minute, when United added a fifth goal. On this occasion, the Dragoons found themselves stretched as a pass found Bennett in acres of space on the left. The attacker easily stepped inside the stranded Drobny and had time to pick his spot to comfortably grab his second of the game.

Half-time soon followed with Dragoons struggling to deal with their illustrious hosts. The home side had started fast and had blown away the visitors in the first 20 minutes to effectively put an end to the Dragoons’ resistance.

A FC United of Manchester player tries dribbling past a Krakow Dragoons FC sliding defender
On the Slide — Francesco Leuci gets down in an attempt to block a crossing chance for the home side

Second Half

Hugo Cruz made two changes at the break as captain Mark Szczesnowicz and Błażej Święcicki made way. Martin Voženílek came into the game along with debutant Jan Krzyzanowski, a moment that saw the 17-year-old become the youngest-ever player for the club.

Two FC United of Manchester and Krakow Dragoons FC players dispute a ball
Debutant — Jan Krzyzanowski came on as a second half substitute to make his first appearance for the Dragoons

The second period started with the Dragoons showing a little more positivity on the ball.

Despite a better start, sloppy defending cost the side dearly as United added a 6th goal on 55 minutes. The Expats failed to get the ball clear out of their own box and Joe Ferguson took full advantage. The full-back drilled a shot from the edge of the area, which wrong-footed Bartolomei at his near post to score.

Simon Calabrese of Krakow Dragoons FC disputing a ball with a FC United of Manchester player inside the box
Blocked — Simon Calabrese looks to stop a shooting opportunity inside the Expats’ area


On 62 minutes, United turned on the style to score a 7th goal direct from a free-kick. Substitute Bob Jammeh showed electrifying pace to cut in off the wing, before being crudely fouled by Lemmen. McLoughlin stepped up to take the resulting set-piece and left Bartolomei waving at the ball as it went into the net.

Brian Lemmen of Krakow Dragoons FC chases a FC United of Manchester player carrying the ball
Eyes on the Ball — Brian Lemmen chases down an opponent on the edge of the Dragoons’ box

Five minutes later, the Dragoons conceded the eighth goal of the game. The relentless home side continued to attack with gay abandon. A cross from Lewis Gilboy ran across the face of the Dragoons’ goal and found Bennett unmarked to tap in his hat-trick goal.

A ninth goal came in the 70th minute as the hosts showed no mercy to the Dragoons. Gilboy received a pass and hit a stinging at goal, which cannoned back into play off the underside of the crossbar. Bennett nipped in ahead of Dawson to tuck the rebound into the net to score his fourth goal of the game.

Aaron Bennett of FC United of Manchester taps the ball into the back of the Dragoons net
Close Range — Aaron Bennett finds himself alone in the six yard box to add to his total for the day

We had a shot…

The Dragoons continued to work hard and began to knock the ball around nicely. The visitors managed to find possession in the final third and Jan Krzyzanowski found himself advanced. The teenager continued forward and attempted a shot that unfortunately just whistled over. A promising sign of life from the Expats!

As the game progressed into its final stages, the Dragoons tried to throw caution to the wind to get a goal back. Unfortunately, this led to United grabbing their 10th goal with a devastating counter-attack. Woodcock received a pass just inside his own half and threaded a perfect through-pass for Jammeh to run onto. The United man ran through on goal and delicately lifted the ball over the stranded Bartolomei to make it 10-0.

Bob Jammeh of FC United of Manchester being chased by Szymon Urzędowski of Krakow Dragoons FC
Dink — Bob Jammeh showed a clean pair of heels to get away from the Dragoons’ defence to score

A Final Flurry

A late collapse saw the visibly shattered Dragoons concede another four goals in five minutes. Tired defending saw Keelan Swales latch onto a through pass and apply a deft finish past Bartolomei inside the box.

The 12th came a minute later, as Bennett latched onto a pass and unselfishly pulled the ball across goal for Gilboy to score.

Bennett added his fifth of the game in the 88th minute as United continued their ruthlessness in front of goal. Ennis thrashed a searching ball across goal to find Bennett unmarked at the back post for an easy finish. The goal saw the Dragoons break the unwanted record of the highest-ever defeat in Fenix Trophy history…

Aaron Bennett of FC United of Manchester once again taps the ball into the back of the Dragoons net
Easy Finish — Bennett tucks home his fourth goal after being quickest to the ball inside the 6 yard box

United still had not finished as it got even worse for the Dragoons. Still, the home side came forward and a cross into the area saw a defensive header fall to Munro on the edge of the box. The midfielder had time and space to control the ball and lashed a vicious shot past Bartolomei to score his hat-trick goal.

The referee put the Dragoons out of their misery moments later by blowing the final whistle with the scoreline 14-0. In reality, it could have been more if it wasn’t for Lorenzo Bartolomei and some last gasp defending!

Goalkeeper Lorenzo Bartolomei of Krakow Dragoons FC thanking the supporters as the match comes to an end
Goalie — Lorenzo Bartolomei suffered a tough day between the posts in only his 2nd appearances for the Dragoons


It was always going to be a tough day at the office with the Dragoons lacking the match fitness and sharpness due to the winter break. The depleted Expats that travelled to Manchester battled manfully, but had no answers to their semi-professional opponents’ attacking play.

The game was played in tremendous spirit, with United pretty much assuring themselves top spot in the group and a further trip to Italy in the finals.

Josh Dawson of Krakow Dragoons FC leaving the pitch
Heading Off — Josh Dawson departs the field after putting in a good shift at right-wing back

We wish United well for the rest of the tournament and look forward to the restart of our season on 30th March. The Dragoons take on Sparta Skrzeszowice at Prądniczanka in our first game back. Hopefully, the Expats can start brightly and look to march up the table.

Posted on Text: Dave Burch Photography: Lewis Mckenna Visual Editing: Daniel Silva


83Lorenzo Bartolomei (ita)
2Josh Dawson (eng) 44
5Simon Calabrese (ita)
6Brian Lemmen (ned)
8Enrico Forabosco (fin/ita)
9Yuri Samyonov (isr)
13Kuba Drobny (pol)
16Francesco Leuci (ita) 97
23Mark Szczesnowicz (pol/aus) 26
25Rob Smits (ned)
94Błażej Święcicki (pol) 30
26Jan Krzyżanowski (pol) 23
30Martin Voženílek (cze) 94
44Bartek Chowaniec (pol) 2
97Szymon Urzędowski (pol) 16


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