Dragons fail to fire up again

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT -

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.

Photo by MAR­TINE COT­TON

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