United they fall despite fightback
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To add to the disappointment moments after going down 1-0, Eugene Brown who is a big game player for Douglas was withdrawn with a pulled hamstring.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.
On the ball: Glenn Johnson