On Friday night the Douglas United Dragons travelled to Edge Hill to play the Tigers. These two sides met last Friday and the Dragons won 3-1, however the Dragons were below par and helped by a couple of goalkeeping errors. The Dragons are missing three regular midfielders, so it was going to be a tough ask on the bumpy narrow pitch and Tigers’ home ground.
The Dragons came out of the blocks strong using the wide players to get in behind the Tigers, Rodrigo Navarro scored in the 10th minute with a neat finish from close range.
Dragons 1 – 0
The first 20 mins was all Dragons, and their pressure paid off again with Navarro scoring his second, a low firm shot from just inside the box beating the Tigers’ keeper.
Dragons 2 – 0
Player/coach Andy Robinson was temporarily goalkeeping for the Dragons as the regular goalie was running late, and he was looking ravishing in his bright pink jumper but he didn’t have much work to do in the first quarter of the game, as the Dragons were dominating.
The Tigers rallied and lifted their game, going into tackles harder and making in-roads into the Dragons defence down the right flank, they had several shots but all were from wide angles. The challenges were coming thick and fast, Ben Syrett competing for high balls and landing awkwardly several times on the hard surface. The pressure from the Tigers eventually saw dividends, some short passing on the edge of the Dragons box and a failed clearance by a Dragons player left a striker with time to turn and shoot, the low wide shot beat keeper Heath Melton.
Dragons 2 – 1
The Dragons looked a little rattled, the Tigers were hungry, they were chasing the ball hard and putting pressure on the Dragons’ defenders who were trying to keep possession. The hunger paid off, a rushed pass and a slip by a Dragons defender handed the ball to the chasing Tiger in front of the unguarded Dragons goal, his quick shot left Melton unable to get back in time. Half-time.
2 – 2
Robinson settled the players down-stating that if they don’t make mistakes and keep possession they’ll get the better of the Tigers team. And that’s exactly what they did, the second half was all Dragons, in the sixtieth minute with some good combinations down the right by Manu Dominguez and Xavi Aranda saw Navarro slot his third goal with a strong shot from in front of goal which the Tigers keeper couldn’t handle.
Dragons 3 – 2
The Tigers lifted again, they didn’t want to drop points on their home turf, but every attack they had, seemed to be squashed by Dragons defender Adam Howell who was enjoying a strong performance. The Tigers kept pushing, sloppy tackles by the Dragons Defenders gave the Tigers several free-kicks within range of the Dragons goal, but the Dragons defence held strong.
The veteran referee allowing good flow to the game and making good decisions enabling both teams to concentrate on quality football.
Late in the second half, Dan Ferrero and Aranda linked up well down the right, again the ball was feed to Navarro who was on the edge of the Tigers box, his long-range dipping shot over the head of the Tigers keeper and scoring his fourth…
Dragons 4 – 2
A mixed first half, but a strong second half!