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Shepherd’s Bush v Kensington Dragons

3pm 21 January 2023

Middlesex County League, Premier Division
Shepherd’s Bush 3 Kensington Dragons 2 (att 25)

Yet again the winter weather meant artificial pitches were the best bet to see a game. I was in west London for the weekend so the 3G surface at Rectory Park in Northolt was an easy choice.

It’s the headquarters of the Middlesex Football Association and has provided a home venue to more than one club since it opened. Current tenants are Shepherd’s Bush who play on ‘pitch one’, the better-equipped of two adjacent pitches.

A spectator area runs the full length of one side, and a pair of seated stands make it above average for the type of venue. Apparently Shepherd’s Bush have applied for promotion based on a groundshare elsewhere, but Rectory Park can’t be far off the standard required for a higher level.

Promotion hopes will depend on what happens on the pitch as well as off it, and the home side earned three points to keep their chances very much alive.

Their 25th minute opener was a rare highlight of a lacklustre first half, but the game livened up after the break. A second Shepherd’s Bush goal looked like confirming a routine home win, but Kensington, wearing green bibs over their red shirts to avoid a colour clash, weren't yet beaten.

They had looked dangerous all game, and after getting one goal back they quickly scored a second to draw level. Then, with time running out, the hosts showed their resilience by getting a late winner, rounding off an entertaining half of football.