Dragoons Masters of Their Own Downfall
The Dragoons succumbed to a third consecutive defeat against Universum on a rare weekday fixture.
A slow paced start of the game, saw little created by either side in the opening stages of the game.
It took until the 20th minute for the game to show signs of life, when the Dragoons opened the scoring. Enrico Forabosco whipped a trademark corner into the box. The ball flew through a crowd of bodies and the unmarked Adrian Paliś was on hand to nod the ball into the empty net from close range.
Minutes after, Paliś latched on to an Edoardo Battaglion thrown and burst down the right flank. The striker put in a delicious ball, which the returning Scott Halcrow met well with his head. Unfortunately for the midfielder however, the attempt went just wide of the post.
In the 24th minute, a defensive mix up between Alexey Zelenkin and Vladimir Chumakov presented Universum with a glorious chance.
As the defenders hesitated, Piotr Madej nipped in and found himself with just Dmytro Kontsevyi to beat in the goal. The visiting keeper stood strong to save with his legs, however the ball was only half cleared to Jarosław Poręmba. The moustachioed Universum man sent in a rocket of an effort at goal, however the ball just cleared the bar.
A moment of madness cost the Dragoons dear in the very next minute. Chumakov gifted possession to Madej on the edge of the box and then inexplicably fouled the striker in the penalty area. The top-knotted referee had an easy decision in pointing to the spot for a Universum penalty. Jarosław Poręmba stepped up and sent a piledriver beyond the despairing dive of Kontsevyi to equal the score.
Following a period of calm, the Dragoons had a great opportunity to retake the lead in the 33rd minute. Another Forabosco corner again found Paliś unmarked in the six yard box. However, on this occasion the Dragoons leading marksman could not guide the ball on target and the chance was gone.
The Dragoons began to find their feet as the half progressed and began to create further opportunities. Firstly, good hold-up play by David Nicolas saw the ball released to Brian Lemmen, who shot over the bar.
In the 41st minute Battaglion put in a fine cross into the box, which just evaded David Nicolas. The ball eventually made its way back into the Universum box and reached Paliś, who saw his effort punched clear by home custodian Damian Radny.
The visitors continued to press and Flavio Nkola was the next to try his luck. The flying winger cut in well and hit a curling effort, however the shot could not find the target.
A series of corner kicks for the Dragoons came to nothing and the half came to an end with the visitors in the ascendency.
After a slightly lethargic start, the Dragoons created the first real chance of the second period. Scott Halcrow picked up the ball just inside the Universum half. The midfield general looped the ball towards goal, over the back-peddling Radny and just missed the top corner by a matter of inches.
The resulting Universum goal-kick saw the ball come straight back at them. David Nicolas expertly flicked the ball into the path of Adrian Paliś. The striker needed to judge the bobble of the ball, but could not get his jumping half volley on target.
A rare Universum foray into the Dragoons half saw the home side take the lead in the 56th minute. Piotr Madej managed to evade the attention of Zelenkin on the byline. The forward was able to pull the ball across the box and Karol Moryc smashed home past Kontsevyi.
The Dragoons looked to hit back and came close to an immediate reply in the 59th minute. David Nicolas was again at the heart of the action and hit a crisp effort that Radny palmed wide.
Into the 69th minute Universum extended their lead to bring the scoreline to 3-1. The hosts punished the Dragoons high defensive line when Marcin Mazur raced onto a through pass. The Universum attacker, through on goal, showed great composure to fire past the stranded Kontsevyi and into the net.
Not to be undone, the Dragoons gave themselves a lifeline in the 73rd minute. Forabosco reacted quickest to a poor defensive header to obtain possession of the ball in the Universum box. The midfield dynamo casually crossed to the waiting Paliś, who tapped the ball into an unguarded net.
The goal appeared to breathe fresh life into the visitors as they poured forward in search of an equaliser. Both Nkola and Forabosco cleared the crossbar with shots and the latter also forced Radny into a fingertip save with a header inside the penalty area.
Universum dealt the Dragoons a mortal blow in the 79th minute as they brought the score to 4-2. The Dragoons once again, proved to be creators of their own downfall. Sloppy passing in the midfield again saw the high line punished and Mazur once again raced through on goal. The attacker played a pass across to Madej, who made no mistake with the finish past Kontsevyi.
Following the goal, the Dragoons poured forward. Substitute Piotr Piątek showed nice wing play to find Nkola in the box, however the attacker could not find the target with his effort at goal.
Eyes on the Pies!
In the 85th minute, Universum man-mountain Adam Sosnowski rifled a lovely ball through the Dragoons defence. Kontsevyi came to collect the ball ahead of Tomasz Pipień, however was unable to gather sufficiently. The ball spilled out to Bartek Poręmba to hit towards goal, but Alexey Zelenkin was on hand to clear off the line.
A frantic end to the game saw the Dragoons bring the score to 4-3 into the first minute of injury time. Piątek took full advantage of the loose ball out on the flank. The wingman’s cross found Paliś alone in the box and the striker fired home for his hat-trick.
The visitors threw everything at an equaliser and came desperately close deep in injury time.
Adrian Paliś breached the Universum backline and found himself through on goal. The striker hit a low, goal-bound shot that Radny managed to block. Surrounded by Universum bodies, Paliś nodded the rebound in the direction of Bumba and Mwamba who just needed a touch to put the ball into the net. Both Dragoons men got into each others way, however the ball fell kindly to Błażej Święcicki. The substitute let fly at close range, but saw his shot cannon off a defender and the loose ball cleared.
The referee sounded his whistle for the last time to end the game with a heartbreaking defeat for the Dragoons. It was a game in which mistakes cost the Expat side dear after going into the half time break the better side.
The Dragoons know they have no option but to make amends against bottom side K.S. Grom Krakow in their next outing.