Dragons endure a tough week
THE Douglas United Dragons have suffered back-to-back 3-2 losses in the past week to leave them on a slippery slope in their bid for consecutive championships. Whilst there were signs of encouragement, a lack of fitness and cutting edge has ultimately cost the Dragons any chance of points in their fixtures against Leichhardt midweek and Atherton on Friday evening.
First up during the week was a trip to a Leichardt side stacked with a core of up and coming talent and a few ex first teamers. The Dragons started slowly but were able to prevent the home side from taking the lead in the early exchanges.
As the Dragons settled they looked more and more threatening and were awarded a dubious penalty when Daniel Haughton was adjudged to have been fouled in the area. Dan Ferrero stepped up and confidently tucked away the spot kick. But an error in defense allowed Leichardt to end the half on level terms.
The Lions superior fitness saw them dominate almost the entirety of the second half.
The Dragons were able to close the gap to just one goal when Man of the Match Daniel Ferrero scored his second of the evening but ultimately it was too little too late.
The second defeat was somewhat harder to stomach given that the Dragons twice took the lead in their grand final rematc h against Atherton.
First, new signing Adriano Gualtieri smashed home from the edge of the area following good link up play with Baz Fellows and Ferrero. Ferrero and Luke Seaton both spurned chances to put the Dragons in complete control.
As has been the case already this season the Dragons were left to rue their profligacy.
The Dragons were able to once again take the lead when the Atherton keeper made a hash of a routine catch.
Fellows was on hand to tap the ball home and restore the advantage.
Unfortunately for the Dragons the second half was an exact replica of the game in midweek with Atherton coming on strongly throughout the second period. Were it not for some wasteful finishing and some determined goal keeping from Syrett things could have got embarrassing for the Dragons.
As it was the Eagles managed an equaliser with about 20 minutes remaining and then went on to secure the victory with just seconds remaining as Syrett was unable to deal with a direct free kick.
The two defeats leave the Dragons in fifth place on the ladder but with the competition being very competitive across the board the Dragons need to start picking up some points if they want to remain in the reckoning for finals football.
The Man of the Match for the Atherton match was debutant Adriano Gualtieri who provided an extra spark in the Dragons attack.
Next up is a Sunday morning home match against leaders Mareeba. Kick off is at 11am so come along and support the boys in what promises to be an intriguing encounter.