Dragons score late

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

THE Dou­glas United Dragons have left it late for the sec­ond week run­ning to notch up an­other win 2-1 at home to the Hmongs.

Goals to Wil­liam Stor­rar and John Raf­faele were enough to see off the quick and skil­ful Viet­namese side, who had scored a late equaliser to deny the Dragons a vic­tory in the re­turn fix­ture ear­lier in the year. As ex­pected, the match started at a fran­tic pace with the Dragons di­rect play in con­trast to the Hmongs short pass­ing game. The op­po­si­tion were al­ways a threat with their quick strik­ers hang­ing on the shoul­der of the last man. How­ever, the Dragons cen­tre halves were read­ing the game well cut­ting out nu­mer­ous at­tempted through balls to turn de­fence into at­tack.

When the Hmongs did man­age to slide the ball through, the Dragons full­backs were in po­si­tion to clean up with Udo Soltwedel in par­tic­u­lar, hav­ing a storm­ing game at right back.

While the Dragons were do­ing a good job at keep­ing the op­po­si­tion at bay they were not cre­at­ing many chances of their own un­til Will Stor­rar used his pace to latch onto a through ball and slot the ball past the ad­vanc­ing keeper. The home side con­tin­ued to de­fend solidly al­low­ing them to take the 1-0 lead to the break.

The Hmongs came out fir­ing in the sec­ond half and with the Dragons not hav­ing switched on af­ter the break, went close to find­ing an equaliser on a cou­ple of oc­ca­sions but keeper Gary Fitzger­ald kept them at bay.

Slowly the Dragons gained a sem­blance of con­trol al­though the nippy mid­field run­ners con­tin­ued to cause prob­lems.

It was one of these mid­field run­ners who fi­nally un­locked the Dragons de­fence in the 77th minute, thread­ing a pass through to an op­po­si­tion striker who was in no mood to give the Dragons an­other let off. So set the stage for an en­thralling fi­nal quar­ter of an hour.

The re­turn of Joe Abe­dini as a sec­ond half sub­sti­tute al­lowed the Dragons to keep the ball for slightly longer pe­ri­ods of the game while the in­tro­duc­tion of coach Nick Tither into the mid­dle of the park helped to stem the flow of op­po­si­tion run­ners in mid­field.

A few half chances were cre­ated and wasted and it looked for all money that a share of the spoils would be the fi­nal re­sult un­til some good work down the Dragons left hand side cul­mi­nated in John Raf­faele squeez­ing his shot un­der the Hmongs keeper and into the back of the net, send­ing the Dragons faith­ful wild.

Man of the Match went to Udo Soltwedel who ar­guably had his best game in a Dou­glas shirt. His cov­er­ing and ball dis­tri­bu­tion was ex­cel­lent through­out the game.

The Dragons have a bye this week be­fore a trip to Mar­lin Coast where they will be look­ing to gain re­venge for a loss on the open­ing night of the sea­son. Also mark in your calendar Fri­day the 26th of Au­gust as this could pos­si­bly be the Dragons last home game for the year.

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