Drag­ons en­dure a tough week

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT -

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.

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