Dragons with late win­ner

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT -

THE Verri In­dus­tries’ Dou­glas United Dragons struck late to record a 2-1 vic­tory over In­n­is­fail on Satur­day night to ex­tend their un­beaten run to five matches.

The re­sult still leaves the Dragons in sixth place on the lad­der but with the lad­der be­com­ing more con­gested it means that if the Dragons can continue their ex­tended run it will see them move into the cov­eted play-off po­si­tions.

It was a match played in tough con­di­tions and on a pitch that made at­trac­tive football dif­fi­cult.

Play­ing with a strong wind in the first half, In­n­is­fail looked to get in be­hind the Dragons us­ing the pace of their strik­ers but Gary Fitzger­ald was able to play as a sweeper clean­ing up the ma­jor­ity of the In­n­is­fail at­tacks.

The Dragons were guilty of giv­ing away pos­ses­sion far too eas­ily, putting them­selves un­der un­nec­es­sary pres­sure with a num­ber of poor passes.

The Dragons cre­ated a num­ber of half chances with­out re­ally threat­en­ing, the ma­jor­ity of these com­ing down the left­hand side through good link up work be­tween Matt Hod­kin and Matty Smith.

In­n­is­fail took the lead on 25 min­utes when awarded a free kick on the Dragons’ right. A dan­ger­ous ball was swung into the far post and an In­n­is­fail player was al­lowed a free header which was con­verted.

The Dragons had been get­ting on top at this stage, so it was dou­bly frus­trat­ing but thank­fully there was a pos­i­tive re­sponse which had the Dragons level the score soon af­ter.

Matt Hill was a threat throughout with his long throws and it was from one of these that Ciaran Le­mon snuck in his ninth goal of the cam­paign to draw Dou­glas level on 32 min­utes. The Dragons re­ceived a piece of good for­tune when the ref­eree awarded In­n­is­fail a penalty only for the lines­man to cor­rectly point out the In­n­is­fail player had stepped on the ball. The ref­eree changed his de­ci­sion keep­ing the scores locked at 1-1 at the in­ter­val.

The sec­ond half was a cagey af­fair with both teams hav­ing pe­ri­ods where they seemed to be get­ting on top only for the mo­men­tum to be wres­tled away again. The Dragons prob­a­bly had the bet­ter of the pos­ses­sion and looked threat­en­ing from cor­ners and Matt Hill’s long throws, while In­n­is­fail looked dan­ger­ous on the counter at­tack.

With time tick­ing away, In­n­is­fail looked to be get­ting on top push­ing for the win­ning goal and came close on a cou­ple of oc­ca­sions. The clos­est of these was when they struck the post.

Dou­glas col­lected the re­bound and went straight down the other end with Do­minic Varfis and Matt Hill com­bin­ing to cre­ate space for Nick Houghton who made no mis­take from just inside the 18-yard box to give the Dragons an 88th-minute lead.

The Dragons held on through four or five min­utes of stop­page time to record a huge vic­tory.

The Paddy’s Bar Man-of-the­Match went to Nick Houghton who scored the win­ning goal but was just as ef­fec­tive break­ing up the op­po­si­tion at­tacks and get­ting un­der their skins with some tough, ag­gres­sive tack­ling. Next up for the Dragons is a home match at Cas­sowary Park against the ta­ble top­ping Edge Hill. The Dragons will be hop­ing for a huge crowd to cheer them on and keep their un­beaten run go­ing.

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