Dragons score late
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.