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Bishop Auckland 2 Dunston UTS 1
Northern League Division One
8th November 2017
Attendance 318

Report By Bill Montague
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Dunston made another long trip to South West Durham to play their rearranged Ebac Northern League First Division

fixture against Bishop Auckland at Heritage Park on a cold, damp breezy night. Manager Chris Swailes had to reckon

without the availability of several key players due to injury and was forced to play some players out of position to accommodate the absences. He named a subs bench containing only one fully fit player. Dunston faced a Bishops

side that had shown much improved recent form having remained unbeaten in their last four matches. 

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Bishops kicked off with the wind and rain at their backs and forced the early pace with Andrew Johnson, recently

returned from Spennymoor Town, lashing high and wide after he had latched on to a pass over the top in the 3rd minute.

 

In response, Dunston put a great move together two minutes later when Liam Thear linked with Mark Fitzpatrick but

the final pass was just deflected away from Steven Anderson who would have been clean through. In the 6th

minute Thear won possession in a good tackle on Harrison Scott before feeding in Callum Elliott but his cross was headed away by Daryll Hall with Fitzpatrick waiting to capitalise. In the 11th minute Bishops’ Andre Bennett replied with a good run on their left but his low cross skidded across the Dunston goal with Ian Ward unable to make contact.

 

Two minutes later, Bennett sent in another good cross but keeper Aidan Grant made a confident catch. On 14 minutes Dan Halliday made a good run before setting up Steven Anderson who went into the box before sending in a pile-driver that was deflected just past the angle. Ian Ward just failed to get on the end of another dangerous Bennett cross in the 24th minute before central defender Hall rescued Bishops at the other end when he intercepted a Callum Elliott cross to head just past his own post. Andrew Johnson sent a free-kick into the Dunston defensive wall on 27 minutes with the rebound eflected wide for a corner. The deadlock was broken on 29 minutes when a Dunston defender slipped on the greasy surface and Johnson made progress on the left flank before sending a low cross into the area where it was met by Ian Ward who was able to side-foot past Aidan Grant. 1 – 0.

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Dunston went close to an equaliser on 35 minutes after an Adam Rundle corner caused panic in the home box but when Mark Fitzpatrick blocked an attempted clearance, the rebound flew the wrong side of the post. On 42 minutes Fitzpatrick burst through but keeper Scott Pocklington just beat him to the ball and a minute later Adam Rundle’s powerful volley drew a great save from the keeper after being set up by brilliant play between Mark Fitzpatrick and Liam Thear.

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Half-Time Score:  Bishop Auckland  1   Dunston UTS 0

 

Dunston went on the offensive straight from the start of the second-half with Callum Elliott making a great run on the right before sending in a dangerous cross which was just too high for Steven Anderson. Dan Halliday retrieved the ball on the left and sent a good low pass to Liam Thear who cut inside before smashing a superb shot that struck the bar. Only a lucky deflection by a defender prevented Elliott from slotting home the rebound. Five minutes later Thear sent Elliott away again with a brilliant ball down the right and his cross found Jake Stafford whose shot from the edge of the box was just too high.

 

Disaster struck for Dunston on 54 minutes as Ben Pollock was harshly sent off after a tangle of legs with Andrew Johnson caused both players to go to ground just outside the Dunston box. The referee deemed that Pollock had prevented a goal-scoring opportunity but the official’s decision was greatly influenced by the screams of the Bishops players and the partisan home crowd for a red card. The resulting free-kick by Priestley Griffiths flew harmlessly over Grant’s crossbar. In the 56th minute the depleted Dunston deservedly equalised when Liam Thear went on a terrific weaving run which took him past four floundering defenders on the left of the box before hammering a superb low 18-yard shot into the corner of the net giving keeper Pocklington no chance. 1 – 1.

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Adam Rundle had to be sacrificed so that Michael Hall could replace Ben Pollock in the Dunston back line. Dunston kept on pressing and on 61 minutes a driven cross by Dan Halliday was fumbled by Pocklington and the keeper was lucky to grab the ball before Mark Fitzpatrick could react. The home side replied two minutes later and only a brave block by Carl Jones prevented Andrew Johnson from scoring before Daryll Hall sent a tame header wide from a Thomas McAloon corner.

 

In the 77th minute the tricky Andre Bennett clipped a low centre right across the Dunston goal but nobody could apply the killer touch. Dunston were still dangerous on the break and almost grabbed a shock winner in the 88th minute when Laim Thear’s free-kick found substitute Scott Heslop on the penalty spot but Pocklington managed to keep his effort out. In the final attack of the game in the 93rd minute Bishops grabbed the winner when a McAloon cross reached Andre Bennett who slotted in at the far post to break valliant Dunston hearts. 2 – 1.

 

Final Score:  Bishop Auckland  2   Dunston UTS  1

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Dunston's Man of the Match: The Whole Team:  Like the sending off decision, it would be harsh to single out any one player from a team that was already up against it with so many injuries. They all fought magnificently.

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Bishop Auckland: Pocklington, Scott (Byrne), Tait, Hassan, Hall, Griffiths,Bennett, Ryder, Johnson, Ward, McAloon.

Subs not used: Hart, Thompson, Tobin, Haganson.

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Dunston UTS: Grant, Hiftle, Halliday, Stafford, Jones, Pollock, Elliott (Heslop),Anderson, Fitzpatrick, Thear L, Rundle (Hall). Subs not used: Harrison, Lowther, Swailes.

 
     
 
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