Monday 27 May 2013

Easy win as Dragons handle Heat

The Verri Douglas Dragons ensured Cassowary Park remained a deadly lair for visiting teams with a resounding 4-1 victory over the FNQ FC Heat on Saturday evening.

Both sides went into the match needing to win to stay in the hunt for a place in the top four, and with Doug Baird a former coach of the Dragons at the helm of the Heat, and former local player Tamas Maffy Stumpe returning from the US, there were plenty of subplots for the locals to enjoy.

Both sides set out to adopt a pass and move style of football, and after the Dragon's recent problems with conceding goals, they were out to control the match through keeping possession. The Dragons welcomed back Ian Marsh into the starting eleven, and it was his hold up play that provided the Dragons with some much needed balance up front, and they quickly took control of the match. Jamie Gosling found himself in lots of space, and the Dragons fullbacks were consistently putting pressure on the opposition defenders, and the pressure quickly paid off.

Gosling was the first to score for the Dragons having seen an earlier effort unluckily hit the woodwork with the keeper stranded. It was Marsh who originally held up possession, fed Gosling who created enough space to run at the Heat's back four and managed to squeeze the ball past the keeper. Gosling was a constant threat with his direct attacking, but he was helped by the Dragons ability to keep possession, and their ability to recycle the ball all over the park. Daniel Bateman was the second goalscorer after again some fine work from Gosling down the left hand wing, scoring the simplest of goals with a tap in from a couple of yards out.

The Dragons fullbacks were constantly getting forward offering support, and it was Perry McIlroy who scored the third for the Dragons and without a doubt the goal of the game. He had pushed forward and found himself on the edge of the box, and let fly with a fantastic effort that crashed into the far post of the auld onion bag leaving the keeper absolutely no chance.

At three nil the Dragons were sitting comfortably until they became a little sloppy in possession, and full credit to the young Heat side, as they pounced on some confusion on the edge of the Dragons area to scored to make it three one, and give them some hope. One very nearly became two, and some fine work from keeper Christian Mackintosh came off his line brilliantly to put off the Heat attacker, who narrowly put the ball over the goal to ensure the score remained three one as both sides went into half time.

The Dragons aware they had let the Heat back into the game knew the next goal was vital, and it was Marsh who found himself with only the keeper to beat after some fine work from right back Martyn Friars slipped him in one on one. Marsh made no mistake, and score the goal to take the sails out of the Heat's comeback and the score remained 4-1 until the final whistle.

Both coaches were full of praise for the Dragon's performance. Baird was disappointed with his side's performance, but conceded they were missing several key players, and he hoped this game would prove to be a good learning experience for his young side before their trip to Borzi Park to face Mareeba.

Douglas coach James Turner felt his side need to "maintain that level of performance as a minimum requirement going forward". He believes if the Dragons can add to the level they produced on Saturday, the second half of the season could be great for the club, especially with the majority of the remaining games at home.

Man of the match went to Luke Finnie who played in a deeper role and was a big part in the Dragons ability to keep the ball.

The Dragons have the weekend off so head to Southside on the June 16 looking to continue to gather momentum before the start of the second round.