On Tuesday night the Douglas United Dragons travelled to Edmonton to play Souths who are currently at the foot of the second division ladder. The Dragons are still fighting to win the minor Premiership and goal difference will play a big part, so they were hoping for plenty of goals!
The Dragons started well and scored early with a neat finish from Manu Dominguez after a good run down the right from Xavi Aranda. Midway through the first half the Dragons started to get frustrated, their play in the final third of the field wasn’t working, rushing shots and final passes not finding their mark. After many Dragons attempts a left foot power drive from Adriano Gualtieri hit the mark going in to half time.
The second half was much the same as the first, the Dragons lowering their normal high-quality football to match that of the bottom-placed team. Aranda scored early in the second half with a quality finish.
In the 65th minute a rare attack from Souths saw them shoot at goal from the edge of the box, the ball ricocheted off the back of a Dragons midfielder, looping over the Dragons keeper and in…
Late in the game and the highlight of the match was a goal from Salgira Mrong who charged in from the left flank and lobbed the Souths keeper to find the net, his first goal in his first year of football.
The final score was a vital three points but a lack-lustre performance from the Dragons.
On Friday night the Dragons travelled down to Cairns again to play the Leichhardt Lions who are sitting second-last on the ladder. The Dragons hoping to improve, get the points and some much needed goals.
The pitch was of a high standard and some great football was being played by two very skilful sides, the Lions made up mainly of Vietnamese players are known to be fast, fit and very skilful so the Dragons needed to be wary of their flowing attacks.
The Dragons dominated the midfield, Billy Pycroft supplying the forwards with plenty of ball, Dan Ferrero making several runs down the right and putting crosses over. Pycroft opened the scoring in the tenth minute after pouncing on one of those crosses, he coolly tucked the ball to the side of the keeper.
Max Taylor and Xavi Aranda were making some good runs down the flanks, getting in behind the Lions defence and causing havoc. Midway through the first half Aranda made another push down the right, he got into the Lions box, cut the ball back for Rodrigo Navarro who blasted the ball into the top corner.
The Lions lifted, even though they sit at the lower end of the ladder they have had some good results this year and are competitive. Late in the first half and another swift attack by the Lions, a striker bursting through on goal, Dragons keeper Heath Melton forcing him wide, he centred the ball and the resulting shot was parried away by Melton, a scare for the Dragons going into halftime.
The Dragons started well in the second half, playing high quality football and peppering the Lions goal, their keeper pulling off some great saves. It didn’t take long however for the pressure to pay off with a second goal to Navarro after a quality build up.
The Lions were charging at the Dragons defenders, playing the ball through for the quick strikers, it finally paid off. Melton coming out to try and intercept another through ball but he handled the ball centimetres out the Dragons goal box. The resulting close range free kick resulting in a Lions goal.
The Dragons continued to hammer away at the Lions goal trying to extend their lead, in the 68th minute Max Taylor scored a brilliant goal. He charged down the left beating several players then set his sights for goal, got into the box and toe hacked the ball powerfully to the right of the keeper to score.
With ten minutes remaining, the Dragons pushed again down the right through Aranda, the resulting cross was met by Salgira at the far post who unselfishly played a short pass to Pycroft who slammed the ball home.
Late in the game, the Lions scored their second after a run down the left flank, a low cross was met by a Lions striker who neatly headed the ball in at the near post.
An improved performance from the Dragons and very entertaining game!
Next week the Dragons have a bye, then they will head into the final few rounds to battle out the top three placings, every point and goal will count!
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