Dragons filthy over poor ref decisions
THE Verri Industries Douglas United Dragons are “filthy” for perceived poor refereeing which they claim cost them victory for the second week in a row.
The Dragons drew 3-3 with Leichardt on Sunday night and have again missed an opportunity to climb up the ladder towards the top four play-off positions and remaining in sixth place, albeit with a game in hand, which they blame on “three terrible pieces of refereeing.
Again the Dragons were quick out of the blocks when a long clearance from Gary Fitzgerald found striker Matty Smith and the resulting goal mouth scramble allowed Nick Houghton to tuck home his second goal in as many weeks.
Leichardt then forced a number of corners however it was an error that allowed them to tie the game up.
Dragons centre half Logan Marsh was caught in possession and the Leichardt striker smashed the ball home from the edge of the box.
The Dragons started the second half slowly and were again forced to defend a number of corners before beginning to assert themselves.
They were rewarded for putting pressure on the opposition keeper when a deep free kick was turned into their own net by a Leichardt defender to restore the Dragons’ advantage.
With the Dragons unable to supply the knockout blow it was Leichardt’s turn to apply the pressure and when a relatively innocuous ball was played into the area the Dragons thought they had dealt with the danger only for the referee to leave both sets of players utterly gobsmacked by awarding a penalty for an apparent push in the back.
This was only the beginning of the atrocious refereeing as keeper Gary Fitzgerald stepped up and brilliantly saved the spot kick only for the assistant referee to flag, saying that Fitzgerald had moved off his line.
Unfortunately the retake was hammered past the despairing Dragons keeper to make the score 2-2.
The Dragons were once more forced to push forward on search of a potential winning goal.
Matt Hodkin played in Houghton from a quick free kick down the Dragons right with Houghton flashing a cross across the face of goal where Ciaran Lemon was on hand to tuck the ball into the corner of the net to again put the Dragons in front with the clock winding down.
However with time nearly up there was still time for one more piece of diabolical refereeing to spoil the Dragons’ night.
A perfectly legal challenge was called up for a foul and from the resulting free kick Marsh missed his clearance allowing a Leichardt player to finish in the bottom corner and tie the scores up for the final time on the night.
There was still time for one last twist though as Houghton bore down on goal and went to go around the keeper but was upended, resulting in the Leichardt keeper being sent from the field.
Ian Marsh’s resulting free kick hit the wall and bounced to Matt Hill whose shot smacked off the outside post.
While it was still a point won for the Dragons it was an empty feeling in the changing sheds afterwards knowing that they had been cheated out of three points.
The Paddy’s Bar Man of the Match went to Matt Hodkin who performed well at right back and combined well with Matt Hill in front of him.
Next up for the Dragons is a trip to second placed Marlin Coast who are the only unbeaten team in the competition.