United they fall de­spite fight­back

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT -

HEAD­ING into game two of the sea­son, the Dou­glas Dragons sec­ond di­vi­sion side were hop­ing to add to the great start from game one of the sea­son and get a sec­ond straight win, how­ever, on an event­ful night at Cas­sowary Park they left with noth­ing.

Sim­i­lar to last week, in their open­ing game, Dou­glas started slow and was caught out from a set piece to go 1-0 down, an area that Dou­glas clearly needs to work on to pre­vent this be­com­ing a re­oc­cur­ring theme.

To add to the dis­ap­point­ment mo­ments af­ter go­ing down 1-0, Eu­gene Brown who is a big game player for Dou­glas was with­drawn with a pulled ham­string.

As the first half con­tin­ued to un­fold it was clearly go­ing to be a tough game, how­ever, Dou­glas were see­ing slightly more of the ball than Edge Hill and was hop­ing over the course of the half that would pay div­i­dend.

How­ever, with not much in­ci­dent oc­cur­ring in the first half Dou­glas were dev­as­tated when Edge Hill seem­ingly out of noth­ing were able to take the ball around some des­per­ate Dou­glas chal­lenges to make it 2-0 and not long af­ter that the ref­eree called an end to the half.

At half time Dou­glas knew if it was to have a chance of res­cu­ing some­thing from the game some­thing had to change, so with a fresh out­look and a few tac­ti­cal ad­just­ments, Dou­glas took to the field de­ter­mined to prove what they are ca­pa­ble of.

Within min­utes of the restart, cap­tain Kane Ker­swell scored a well taken goal from a Dou­glas corner to bring the game back to 1-2 and sud­denly a whole new wave of op­ti­mism and ex­cite­ment swept though the Dou­glas team who no­ticed the goal seem to shake the Edge Hill con­fi­dence on the night.

With the Dou­glas mid­field­ers re­ally test­ing the Edge Hill full­back’s pace and com­mit­ment with some top qual­ity through balls for wingers Valen­tine Akem and Daniel Houghton it looked like a mat­ter of time be­fore the sec­ond would come for Dou­glas and not be­fore long it did come thanks to a su­perb re­ac­tion shot from Valen­tine Akem, sud­denly the game was 2-2 with all the mo­men­tum in Dou­glas favour.

Straight af­ter the restart form 2-2 sud­denly Dou­glas were al­most in again from some Edge Hill hes­i­ta­tion but it was not to be and then again with some great wing play from Daniel Houghten but again the third goal was still prov­ing to be elu­sive.

A mo­ment that will be bet­ter left for­got­ten was an al­ter­ca­tion that saw two red cards handed out, one to Edge Hill and one to Dou­glas player Mark Lee who, up un­til that mo­ment, had a very im­pres­sive game for Dou­glas at the back.

Then the mo­ment that did not look like com­ing from Edge Hill, a quick counter at­tack and a pre­cise fin­ish to put them back up 2-3, but with 15 min­utes left on the clock Dou­glas heads did not drop and they kept the mo­men­tum and a huge share of pos­ses­sion right up un­til the final whis­tle.

How­ever, the pos­ses­sion did not prove to be telling as Dou­glas could not find the bit of luck on the night they needed, late on hit­ting the in­side of the post would of been the best chance to grab that all im­por­tant goal but it was not to be.

At full time, de­spite not get­ting any points from the game, Dou­glas took away the knowl­edge of know­ing their own ca­pa­bil­i­ties to be very high if they judge them­selves on their sec­ond half per­for­mance, a level that will be de­manded of them dur­ing the com­ing sea­son.

The Paddy’s Ir­ish Bar Man of the Match was Daniel Houghten who proved to be a real threat through­out.

Dou­glas now has two weeks on the train­ing ground be­fore they host In­n­is­fail at home for game three of the sea­son.

Photo by NEIL WEAVERS

On the ball: Glenn John­son

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