On Friday night the Douglas United Dragons hosted the Edge Hill Tigers, prior to the game the Dragons found themselves sitting fifth on the table and the Tigers fourth, this is foreign territory for the Dragons who haven’t dropped below second place in the last two seasons, but the top half of the table is very congested and every point counts.
A loss last week had the Dragons fired up at the start of this game, a few players missing through injury and suspension, but with a squad of over twenty players meant the Dragons were at full strength.
A good sized crowd had gathered and witnessed a fast-paced game with some hard tackling from both sides, the referee busy blowing freekicks.
The Dragons were dominating the midfield, Gary Cunningham and Captain Dan Tiffin were controlling the game and feeding the strikers. Dan Ferrero came close to scoring several times showing good skills down the right flank, the Tigers goalkeeper was young and inexperienced dropping the ball several times, the Dragons strikers pressuring him but not able to find the net.
The Dragons defence was looking strong, the Tigers rarely ventured into danger areas and if they did their shots were from difficult positions. It took a while for the Dragons pressure to finally pay off, in the 35th minute Manu Dominguez rose high from a corner, his text book header from three metres in front pounded off the crossbar, rose high the air, everyone seemed to freeze and it bounced in front of goal and the spin off the ball carried it into the net, an unusual goal but …
Dragons 1 – 0
The second half started with much the same, Dragons dominating all areas, Salgira Mrong was finding space down the right and putting some good crosses over. However the next goal came from the left, in the 55th minute Nathan Borzi put a long ball through just behind the Tigers defence, Xavi Aranda raced onto it, went around the advancing keeper and tucked the ball into the net, a high quality goal,
Dragons 2 – 0
The Tigers were still having trouble getting into the Dragons half, their frustration was showing and several yellow cards were issued for dangerous tackles. Not letting up the Dragons continued to push, Rodrigo Navarro received the ball on the corner of the goal box, he turned quickly and shot at goal, however he scuffed the ball and it rolled towards to keeper who had it easily covered, but to everyone’s amazement and the Tigers horror, the young keeper let the ball through his legs and in. Everyone feeling a little sorry for the keeper-
Dragons 3 – 0
The Tigers seemed to grow another leg in the last 15 minutes of the game, they won several corners, Ben Syrett, Adam Howell and Chris Allan Baker all doing well to shut down the many Tigers raids. Their persistence paid off in the 80th minute, a long ball in behind the Dragons defence had the defenders turning, Dragons goalkeeperHeath Melton came out to meet the ball but found himself in ‘no man’s land’, the Tigers striker neatly chipped it over to score.
The final score was a much needed 3-1 victory to the Dragons, they will need to improve their finishing if they are to compete with the top sides, they dominated the game only scoring one quality goal with two lucky goals.
Next game for the Dragons will be a big showdown, Dragons now sitting second on the ladder after this win, will face the undefeated and top side James Cook University. The last encounter between these sides was three weeks ago and resulted in a thrilling 3-3 tie.
The game will be on Monday night at the Port Douglas Sporting Complex at 8pm, come down and see the battle of the top two sides and enjoy the BBQ and drinks from host Matty Smith.