Dragons fail to score
A TEN-MINUTE spell before and after half time has proved the undoing of the Verri Industries Douglas United Dragons in an otherwise determined display against defending champions Edge Hill United on the weekend.
It was always going to be a tough ask for the Dragons as three players pulled out on the morning of the game leaving only the bare eleven to try and pull off an upset against the much fancied Edge Hill side.
And for large portions of the game the Dragons looked capable of pulling off such an upset, creating a number of half chances and having the ball passed along the opposition goal line on three separate occasions only to elude Dragons attackers by the smallest of margins.
The Dragons went into the match determined to restrict the ability of the pacey opposition strikers to get in behind their defence and for the most part of the first half this was achieved without too much fuss.
It was the Dragons who went closest to scoring when a delightful ball from Nicholas Tither released debutant Nick Despress down the left but unfortunately as he bore down on goal the ball just would not sit nicely for him and his left footed shot flew high and wide. More good work from Despress saw a ball played across the front of the Edge Hill goal only to narrowly elude Ash Woods sliding in at the far post.
As the half wore on Edge Hill managed to get in behind the Dragons defence on a couple of occasions and unfortunately were in a rather uncharitable mood.
First a cross was turned into the net by Ben Syrett and then moments later a poor pass resulted in a turnover and a cross struck the unfortunate Syrett’s hand and a penalty was awarded.
The Edge Hill player made no mistake and the Dragons went into the half time break trailing 2-0 and with a sour taste in their mouths.
After the break it got worse for the Dragons as yet another mistake was ruthlessly punished.
A poor header went straight to an Edge Hill player and his scuffed shot snuck past Gary Fitzgerald in the Dragons goal and was smashed home by a midfield runner.
It certainly was not the start the Dragons wanted and while they again created a couple of half chances through Tither, Despress and Ian Marsh there was little threat of a comeback as the heat of the day and the lack of substitutes took its toll.
The Paddy’s Bar Man of the Match went to Nicholas Despress who looked lively on his debut and was unlucky not to get himself on the scoresheet.
Next up for the Dragons is another one of their ’home’ fixtures at JCU against Mareeba. With a few players coming back into the mix the Dragons will be looking for a repeat result from this fixture in the first round when the Dragons came out on top at Cassowary Park.the Dragons second division side also suffered a loss on the weekend.