Dragons see red in FFA cup defeat /Newsport (copy 1)
Thursday March 13 2014
The chance to become giant killers has slipped past the Dragons after they were beaten 2-0 by Mareeba at Barlow Park on Saturday afternoon.
The Dragons finished the match with nine men so given the circumstances there were plenty of positives to take from the match.
The match started at a frenetic pace in windy conditions.
Mareeba looked to dominate possession while the Dragons looked to attack with pace and purpose when they won the ball.
However the task became enormous for the Dragons when Logan Marsh’s errant back pass put keeper Gary Fitzgerald in a no win situation.
Forced to advance outside his area, Fitzgerald made a challenge as the Mareeba player looked to shoot with the ball striking Fitzgerald’s arm, giving the referee no chance but to send the Dragons custodian off.
Striker Ian Marsh donned the gloves and looked to handle the Mareeba attacks with comfort.
As the half wore on the Dragons defended admirably and even look threatening on the break, twice going close through two new signings, Sam Neale and Michael Wade however the half ended with the scores level at 0-0.
The message at half time was simple, keep defending well and look to hit Mareeba on the break.
The task got a lot harder when a Mareeba cross held up in the wind and caught Marsh slightly off his line, nestling in the back of the net.
Still the Dragons pushed for an equaliser and Neale had another good chance but blazed narrowly over from an acute angle.
Things went from bad to worse for the Dragons when another new signing, George Munns, twisted awkwardly and went down clutching his knee.
Things did not look great with a potential season ending ACL injury on the cards however, a trip to the hospital has given hope that it is not as bad as first feared.
To then complete a horrid day for the Dragons captain Nick Tither received his second yellow card and consequent red card with about twelve minutes to play forcing the Dragons to dig even deeper as they battled away with nine men.
Just as it looked like they would escape with a deserving 1-0 loss a long range, swerving shot was spilled by Marsh, allowing a Mareeba player to calmly slot the ball into the net after rounding the stranded keeper.
To concede so late on was a little harsh on the Dragons who had battled so hard for such long periods of the game against very long odds.
The Paddy’s Bar Man of the Match award went to Gavin Jenkin who put in an outstanding shift in the middle of the park.
There were also outsanding defensive efforts from Dominic Varfis and the two young Dragons fullbacks, Lewis Butterss and Daniel Ferrero.
This week the Dragons have two days of fixtures up at the Mareeba pre season tournament where they will look to continue to build there match fitness.
The season starts on March the 30th with a home game against the Redlynch Cyclones.