Ashington v Dunston UTS
Northern League Division One
7th October 2017
Report By T.C.

Injuries do not stop Dunston win at Ashington.....


Dunston travelled again this time up the north east coast to Ashington to play their EBAC Northern League a fixture.


Dunston travelled knowing they were to be without Ben Pollock (suspended) but in a very positive manner after their

victory by 5-1 away to West Auckland where top goal scorer Mark Fitzpatrick bagged a first half hat-trick which moved

them into  the top 3 in the league again. Ashington are settling into their football after a couple of early poor results and will prove to be a difficult opponents in this game.


The new Ashington Stadium is a credit to the Ashington committee and community as they were also promoting their support against the fight for prostrate cancer.as their supporters successfully completing a 14 mile walk in aid of the

charity ending just before the game stated.

Ashington: Grant C, Christensen, Salmon (Johnston 78), Edwards (Stephenson 63), Scott, Buchanan, Sampson, Pearson, Chilton, Harmison, McAndrew (Antony 73). Subs not Used: Strafford, Hornsby.

Dunston UTS: Grant A, Elliott, Halliday, Lowther, (Martin 9 (Stafford 44)), Hiftle, Hall, Thear L, Burrell (Anderson 47), Fitzpatrick, Heslop, Thear K. Subs not Used: Harrison, Swailes.

Right from the start this was going to be a difficult game as Dunston played with a strong cold wind behind them and with the ball moving in the air causing problems for both teams to judge and control their passing games and the referee was allowing heavy tackles with players receiving kicks after the ball had gone. In the 4th minute, one such heavy tackle caused an injury to Dan Lowther, which even after treatment caused him to be substituted in the ninth minute.


As the teams play settled it was in the eleventhminute that Thear tried a volley which went wide of the target after Burrell had laid a ball off. Ashington replied with Pearson playing a firm cross into the Dunston goal area that was cleared at a second attempt. On 22, Halliday laid a ball off to Burrell 20 yards out and his shot went wide.


Again play was scrappy as defences were forced to be on their guard, on 30 minutes Thear ran across the Ashington penalty area until he was tripped and the referee awarded a penalty which top goal scorer Mark Fitzpatrick converted comfortably to give Dunston a 1-0 lead.


Ashington replied on 33, when Chilton, controlled on the edge of the box and his turn got him into space with only Aidan

Grant to beat, Chilton shot was deflected wide off Grants leg for a corner. 4 minutes later Harmison received a long throw from Salmon his turn and firm drive went right across the Dunston area and away to safety. On 38, Burrell saw his shot

from 20 yards blocked the ball rebounded to Elliott who played in a deep cross which Ashington keeper Grant did well to collect and avert ant danger. On 42, Pearson got past the Dunston defence and tried to chip Dunston keeper Grant but

the 2 metre tall Grant was able to collect. Again just before the break Dunston had substitute the substitute Martin who received an injury in a tackle in midfield.


Half Time Score: Ashington 0 -1 Dunston UTS


Dunston's Luck was no better at the start of the second half as Captain Dale Burrell twisted his knee on landing in challenge for a high ball, so third substitution was implemented as he was stretchered off the field. Ashington on 52, got the first chance of the half as former Dunston player McAndrew played a cross right across the Dunston goal and past the far post.


Dunston then got their second goal after a fast attack from the halfway line as Fitzpatrick played on to Stafford,

who played on to Liam Thear, Thear played it out to Anderson who crossed it into the box where Elliot was on hand to steer a form shot past Conor Grant and into the net for 2-0 softer 55 minutes. 5 minutes later Hesop tried a shot from 25 yards out which Grant saved.


Play continued in a scrappy fashion with both sides giving and losing possession, On 75 Harmison played a low cross into the goal area but Antony put his shot high over the target. Four minutes later Chilton got in a header which Aidan Grant collected. On 80, Thear played a low cross into the back post and although Fitzpatrick tried he could not apply a

touch to turn the ball into the net. As the game entered added on time of 8 minutes, for the injuries, a Sampson header forced a save from the Dunston keeper.


The game went scrappy and both sides saw two players cautioned as tempers flared after a challenge on Anderson,

then Fitzpatrick, who had only been cautioned minutes earlier made a foolish challenge on Christensen who rolled on the ground until he ensured that he was cautioned again resulting in a sending off before jumping to his feet and continue playing uninjured.

However even with 10 men it was Dunston who scored again as Thear drove into the Ashington box defying three challenges before emerging past Grant and roll the ball into the net. Dunston held into their lead for the final minutes of the game without any further incidents. As previously stated this was a difficult game for the players but Dunston's resolve and determined strength of character showed a determined Ashington side the way to do it,

The whole Dunston side played well and selection for Man of the Match was difficult as Aidan Grant and his back four played as a unit to end with a clean sheet, while midfield an forwards were free flowing creating chances.

Dunston's Man of the Match: Liam Thear: Liam produced a great performance despite a few strong challenges from the Ashington defenders and was involved in all the goals, scoring a good goal taking on 3 defenders strong challenges before rolling the ball into the net when it looked unlikely, as previously stated other strong contenders were Aidan Grant, Callum Elliott, Dale Burrell before injury and Dan Halliday.


Liam Thear man of the match

Dunston's next Home Game (rearranged) is on Wednesday 11 October against West
Allotment in the league cup. 7:30 KO