Ebac Northern League Division 1.

Bishop Auckland vs Dunston UTS.

Saturday 13th April 2019.

Attendance: 387.

Match report: Danny Whalen.


Champions Dunston UTS finish their season off with a resounding win away to Bishop Auckland.


Ebac Northern League Division 1 Champions Dunston UTS signed off from 28 seasons in the Northern League with a resounding 3-0 victory away to Bishop Auckland. The result meant Dunston UTS finished the season 17 points ahead of their nearest rivals. Goals from Mark Fitzpatrick, Dan Halliday and Liam Brooks ensured victory against a side whose ill discipline arguably cost them of a chance to finish as runners up.


Dunston UTS forward Mark Fitzpatrick finished as The Ebac Northern League 1st Divisions top scorer with an impressive haul of 31 goals during the League campaign. Whilst at the other end, Dunston UTS completed the

season with the leagues meanest defence conceding a merge 30 League goals. Bishop Aucklands recent form over the last two months had seen them go off the boil quicker than a pan of old soup from last weeks episode of Masterchef. Dropping down to third, the battle for runners up had become a three horse race between Hebburn Town, Bishop Auckland and Consett, with Consett and Hebburn Town facing one another on the final day of the season.


Chris Swailes was without the services of Liam Marrs who picked up a thigh strain during Dunston UTS’s 4-1 victory

during midweek against Penrith. Swailes elected to start the game with a 3-5-2 formation as Callum Elliott retained his place in the starting XI and started wide on the right with Captain Dan Halliday on the opposite flank. Andrew Grant-Soulsby, Dan Capewell and Craig Scott made up a solid back three to negate the threat of Bishop Aucklands front two of Andrew Johnson and Aaron Wearmouth. Liam Brooks made way for Jack Elliott in a three man midfield.


With 4 minutes gone Scott Heslop picked out his strike partner Mark Fitzpatrick only to be shepherded by a Bishop defender, however a minute later Heslop burst down the wing, connecting with a Dan Halliday long pass before

picking out his strike partner Mark Fitzpatrick who made no mistake as he lashed his half volley under the body of the Bishop Auckland keeper Gareth Yong and into the back of the net with only 5 minutes on the clock.


Bishop Auckland looked disorganised in a rather scrappy opening 10 minutes with the home side struggling to

formulate a sound passing game, instead preferring to fight aerial challenges and contest decisions with the officials.


Dan Halliday was in no mood to allow Bishop Auckland into the game, his diving header clearing a cross from Bishops’ Thomas Bott which allowed Dunston UTS to quickly break only for Scott Heslops effort on the turn to be blocked by a Bishop defender. Dan Capewell was the epitome of composure, cutting out good link up  play between Michael Hoganson and Arran Wearmouth down the wing for  Bishop Auckland. Dunston UTS keeper Karl Dryden, a man with more clean sheets than the rooms of a freshly laundered 5 star hotel, was yet to be tested.


Bishop had bullied their way to three points in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, however this time around The Champions appeared more than capable of holding their own during a rather scrappy opening 20 minutes of play.

A Jake Stafford free kick was met by Craig Scott whose knock back from back post found Dan Capewell, the defender was just unable to connect and further the away sides lead.


Dunston UTS defender Andrew Grant-Soulsby’s tight marking of Bishop Auckland’s Andrew Johnson ensured the forward remained quiet at the opposite end as he rarely let the forward out of his shadow.


Dan Halliday’s cross nearly ended with Bishop’s Thomas Bott knocking the ball into his own net, Dan Capewell rose

well at the back post from the resulting corner only to see his effort go high and over the bar. A superb sliding tackle by Craig Scott on Kyle Fryatt  allowed the defender to release Fitzpatrick  down the wing who chipped the ball over the defender before playing in Jack Elliott whose ferocious first time shot from inside the box cannoned off the crossbar.


The tempo of the game increased as a series of end to end flurries went by. Craig Scott faced up against Shaun Ryder, Ryder seemingly unhappy with Scott’s well executed sliding tackle. Bishop Auckland’s Lewis Gibbons was

cautioned for an ugly foul on Jake Stafford and was subsequently booked following a scrappy battle on the edge of the Dunston UTS box.Scott Heslop was to go close to adding to the lead for Dunston UTS, firstly just missing out on connecting with a Dan Halliday cross and secondly dragging an effort wide of the post, having dummied his marker with a intelligent drop of the shoulder.


Bishop Auckland had their best spell of the first half in the closing minutes. With the bench demanding the away side

switch on, a Shaun Ryder effort from distance was parried by Karl Dryden, the keeper reacting quicker than his opponents to prevent Andrew Johnson from close range. A Lewis Gibbons effort on a seemingly open goal was

blazed over the bar as Dunston UTS went into the break still holding a one goal lead.


Half time score: Bishop Auckland - 0. Dunston UTS - 1 (Fitzpatrick 5’)


Heslop went close to extending the visitors lead shortly after the restart, racing clear from his marker his chipped shot

going narrowly wide from ball down the middle. A Michael Hoganson drilled shot from outside the box was well saved by Dryden on 48, the former Newcastle United reserve repeating the same effort moments later, with Dryden on hand yet again as Hoganson looked to pose a threat with his direct running at the Dunston UTS defence.


Callum Elliott done well to keep the ball in play, Fitzpatrick playing the ball over the top as the defender allowed the ball to bounce, Heslop pounced on the indecision on to see his effort saved by Gareth Young. Bishops came close to

levelling the score, Hoganson clipping the stanchion with a curling free kick. Bishops Auckland’s ill discipline

continued as Andrew Johnson was booked for dissent moments later.


The game was to take a turn for the worst for the home side as Lewis Gibbons collected his second yellow card of the game and was rightly sent off for late tackle on Jack Elliott who had burst through the middle before cleverly

playing the ball out wide to Heslop. The diminutive midfielder was forced to leave the field shortly after the tackle; Aiden Haley replacing him as Dunston UTS now had the upper hand due to Bishop Aucklands inability to control their

aggression. Arran Wearmouth was to be cautioned shortly after for dissent following a tussle with Dan Halliday which saw the Dunston UTS Captain come out on top.


Mark Fitzpatricks’ superb season was to come to a close, the leagues top scorer leaving the field to a standing ovation from the away following with Liam Brooks replacing him. Bishop Auckland went close to equalising with a looped header going wide of the far post before Manager Ian Chandler decided on a double substitution.


Gareth Young was to pull off a series of heroic saves for Bishop Auckland, parrying a shot from Halliday, a Craig Scott header which was only cleared to Scott Heslop, his cross met by a Halliday shot only for the keeper to deny Dunston UTS their second goal. Bishop forced a corner on 85 only for Haley and Stafford to remove the danger, the home supports’ desperate claims for a hand ball against Craig Scott waived away by referee Jack Gordon.


Dunston UTS were to break away and from a throw Callum Elliot and Liam Brooks combined, Callum Elliott executing a audacious chip to pick out Liam Brooks on the wing, Brooks then turned his marker to deliver a pin point cross to an on running Dan Halliday, Halliday with a pin point bullet header so fierce, that had the net not have been there, the ferocity of his headed effort would’ve likely continued on before eventually coming to a halt in a boneless bucket in The KFC located at the back of the ground.


To their credit Bishop Auckland plugged away for a goal, Callum Elliott clearing off the line as a Bishop effort managed to beat Dryden. However Dunston UTS, as they have been all season, yet again proved defensively to be a solid unit and breaking them down remained elusive.


In injury time substitute Jordan  Nellis dropped deep to collect the ball from the defence and  turn two opponents his

through ball picked out the forward run of Liam Brooks, Brooks still had work to do as the Bishop Auckland defence had pushed up. Callum Elliott joined the run out wide to offer support but Brooks was to make no mistake as he calmly curled his effort into the bottom corner.


Final score: Bishop Auckland - 0. Dunston UTS - 3. (Fitzpatrick 5’ Halliday 86’ Brooks 90+4’)


Team line ups:

Bishop Auckland: Young, Hoganson, Marshall, Winn, Bott, Ryder, Fryatt (Robinson),Gibbons, Wearmouth, Johnson (Patton), Richardson. Sub not used: Porter.


Dunston UTS: Dryden, C,Elliott, Halliday (C), Grant-Soulsby, Capewell, Scott, Stafford, Pearson, Fitzpatrick (Brooks),Heslop (Nellis), J,Elliott (Haley). Subs not used: Jackson, Da Silva.


Man of the Match: Dan Halliday. Employed as an attacking wing back, he capped off what has been a monumental season for Dunston UTS with a superb performance. Dan played a pivotal role in the game, stretching Bishop Auckland with his overlapping runs as well as defending magnificently.


Dan played a hand in the opening goal with a delectable ball down the line and his header for the second goal contained so much venom that TV’s serial snake botherer Steve Bagshall would’ve been reluctant to go near it.

As a unit Dunston UTS were defensively solid, as they have been throughout this season and the award stands out more so, given the performance of the defenders today who kept Bishop Auckland at bay throughout the game.

  Video Highlights thanks to Bishop Auckland FC - www.bishopafc.com