Dragons draw

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - CLASSIFIEDS -

THE Verri In­dus­tries Dou­glas United Dragons trav­elled to Strat­ford on Satur­day evening know­ing a vic­tory against third place Strat­ford was the key to stay­ing in touch with the top sides in the Pre­mier League.

Hav­ing spent the week con­cen­trat­ing on de­fend­ing and work­ing on keep­ing pos­ses­sion, the Dragons were dev­as­tated to con­cede early on from a set piece, a tow­er­ing header from a Strat­ford defender break­ing the dead­lock.

The Dragons hit back im­me­di­ately, and this time it was their turn to score from a set piece.

A see-saw bat­tle en­sued, and it was no sur­prise a set piece was re­spon­si­ble for the next goal.

Sus­pi­cions of a foul throw didn’t pre­vent the ref­eree from award­ing a goal to Strat­ford as a long throw in wasn’t dealt with and fin­ished in the back of the net courtesy of an Ol­lie Mof­fat de­flec­tion.

Half time was a case of de­javu for the Dragons, be­hind on the score­board but aware they were still very much in the con­test.

Mof­fat was the first into ac­tion in the sec­ond half, and this time it was in the op­po­si­tion’s box - show­ing com­po­sure and hold­ing off a cou­ple of chal­lenges he calmly slot­ted home to make the scores level.

Once again though it was their de­fend­ing that let them down and from the kick-off they some­how found them­selves be­hind for the third time, again the ball took a de­flec­tion, but more wor­ry­ing was the lack of or­gan­i­sa­tion de­fen­sively from the kick off.

Credit is due to the char­ac­ter of the Dragons though, as their heads didn’t drop and they went in search of an equaliser.

The league’s top goalscorer Jamie Gosling man­aged to get into some space out wide on the left, and hav­ing left a cou­ple of de­fend­ers for dead he made no mis­take from the edge of the area to equalise.

Matty Smith play­ing against his for­mer club was un­lucky not to be awarded a penalty when fouled in the box, the ref­eree in­stead de­cided the foul was com­mit­ted out­side the area.

Both sides went in search of the win­ner, both cre­ated chances, but the fi­nal score stayed at 3-3.

Mar­tyn Fri­ars was man of the match af­ter tor­ment­ing the op­po­si­tion full back, and putting a fine dis­play in for 90 mins.

The Dragons were also in­volved in a cup com­pe­ti­tion quar­ter fi­nal against Redlynch on Tues­day evening.

With a few play­ers out and an op­por­tu­nity to ro­tate the squad coach James Turner was happy to come away with a re­sult, but not so happy with the first half per­for­mance.

Af­ter mak­ing a few changes hav­ing gone be­hind 1-0, he was happy with Ash­ley Woods and Luke Fin­ney scor­ing to get ahead, and Jamie Gosling scor­ing two to put the re­sult be­yond doubt, run­ning away with the game at 4-1. Ol­lie Mof­fat was awarded man of the match.

The side head into Satur­day’s game at Cas­sowary Park against the FNQ Fu­sion coached by for­mer coach Doug Baird which should be a fan­tas­tic game of football with both sides look­ing at play­ing a pos­ses­sion based game and Baird’s young­sters look­ing to learn from for­mer pro Gosling.

Dou­glas re­serves kick off at 5pm, and the pre­miers kick off at 7pm.

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