Dragons fail to fire up again
THE Verri Industries Douglas United Dragons have slumped to the fourth straight away defeat following a 4-2 loss in Innisfail on Sunday night.
It is a result that has left the Dragons in sixth place on the ladder, four points outside the top four at the conclusion of the first round of fixtures.
There are also fresh injury concerns with Valentine Akem limping off in the 18th minute with a hamstring strain.
The Dragons started the match brightly forcing a number of early corners.
Captain Nick Tither narrowly headed over from one of these while the Dragons were looking generally threatening from set pieces.
However after a defensive lapse Innisfail attacked down the left hand side and the fullback’s run was not tracked allowing him to deliver a ball to the far post which was tucked home off the inside of the post.
It was no surprise to see the the Dragons back on level terms shortly after when Jordan Butterss delivered a lovely free kick from the right hand side and found skipper Tither unmarked who made no mistake from 12 yards out.
The Dragons were dealt a cruel blow when Akem overstretched for a ball and while he bravely tried to carry on the damage was too much.
This forced a reshuffle with Ben Syrett coming into midfield and Tither moving back in to centre half.
The reshuffle did not have the desired effect though as first a long clearance was allowed to bounce and then it was not cleared, allowing an Innisfail striker to shoot past an exposed Fitzgerald in the Douglas goal.
Douglas continued to look a threat from set pieces but were unable to find the back of the net.
The second half saw Douglas switch to a 4-4-2 formation to give lone striker Ash Woods some support however it was Innisfail who started the brighter, doubling their advantage in the 55th minute after the smallest player on the pitch won a header at the far post which again went in off the post.
A wayward ball from Joe Fox was turned into a great ball by Tither who went forward and found Woods, who slotted the ball home to give the Dragons a sniff again.
The Dragons could have found themselves level when a lovely turn in the box from Ian Marsh led to him being fouled only for the referee to wave away the Douglas claims for a penalty .
To rub salt in the wound Innisfail won a free kick down the other end which was dispatched into the bottom corner to give the final scoreline of 4-2.
The Paddy’s Bar Man of the Match went to Nick Tither.
Next up for the Dragons is a trip to Edge Hill in what will again prove to be a tough test.
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