Dragons in chase to snatch win from Mareeba
THE Verri Industries Douglas United Dragons battled back from a goal behind to defeat Mareeba 2-1 in a tight contest at Borzi Park on Saturday night.
It was far from a vintage Dragons’ performance but the way the team were able to grind out the result is a very encouraging sign heading into the business end of the season.
The match was played on a very hard and dry surface making it difficult to get the ball down and play football, which played right into the hands of Mareeba.
The Dragons struggled to settle and it was Mareeba that looked more threatening in the opening exchanges without troubling Gary Fitzgerald in the Douglas goal.
There were few clear-cut chances throughout the entire match with the game being played between the two eighteen yard boxes for the most part.
Mareeba took the lead in the 33rd minute when a Douglas error resulted in a right wing cross that was headed past a helpless Fitzgerald.
To their credit the Dragons responded in the manner of a team with the belief to go forward and challenge for the title by drawing level almost immediately.
A great team move ended with captain Nick Tither picking up the ball in midfield, spotting the run of Ciaran Lemon and picking him out with an exquisite ball over the top.
Lemon, chasing the league’s golden boot, finished with aplomb to tie the scores at 1-1. The second half mirrored the first the Dragons pressing forward in search of the winning goal while Mareeba worked hard and caused the Dragons a few anxious moments.
The Dragons won a number of corners and free kicks and looked threatening.
It was from one of these set pieces that the Dragons took the lead although there was some controversy involved.
A right wing corner was cleared only as far as the edge of the area where Nick Houghton was waiting to lash an unstoppable drive into the bottom corner of the goal.
The controversy arose as the ball hit the frame of the goal square on and rebounded back into the field of play.
The referee was unsighted and, thinking the ball had struck the post, waved play on.
Luckily for the Dragons cool heads prevailed, the referee consulted his linesman, and the goal was awarded.
The Dragons were able to withstand late pressure from Mareeba with relative ease with Fitzgerald only called upon to make one save.
With the 2-1 final score the Dragons finally moved up one place to fifth in the league, albeit with a game in hand.
The tight nature of the league means a win this week against Southside could see the Dragons as high as second on the table.
The Paddy’s Bar Man of the Match went to Jordan Butterss who put in a fantastic performance on his return to the side.
The defender made the mistake that led to the goal but bounced back to put in his finest performance in a Dragons’ shirt.