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Dunston UTS 2 West Auckland 2
Dunston UTS won 4-3 on penalties
Durham Challange Cup Round 2
2nd January 2018
Report By T.C.
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After the festive break which was as usual disrupted by the postponements of games due to the inclement weather Dunston welcomed West Auckland to the UTS Stadium to play their rearranged Durham Challenge Cup Round 2 game.

 

The weather had receded in previous days to allow the frozen pitch to thaw and a drying wind helped mop up the surplus water to make the game playable until noon when a flash downpour made the surface sodden again, playable but heavy. Dunston were able to select from a full squad of players although some were lacking in match practice and in the conditions may be lacking.

 

West Auckland were hit by injuries and while they may be fit for their FA Vase game on Saturday left them thin on the ground and only able to field 2 substitutes.

 

Dunston UTS: Grant, Hiftle, Halliday, Lowther, Pollock, Hall, Thear L (Pearson 69), Burrell, Fitzpatrick, Heslop (Martin 59), Thear K (Stafford 69) Subs not Used: Harrison, Elliott

 

West Auckland: McHugh, Morris, Cobain, Galpin, Parkin, Mitchell, Bell, Purewall, Fisher, Wood, Wearmouth (Donninger 88) Sub not Used: Connor

 

For 60 minutes or so this game wasn’t much to write home about – in no small part because of the rain and heavy pitch.  It looked as though one early goalkeeping error and lack of a defensive clearance might be enough to decide the cup tie.

 

Dunston started well and got Wet on a defensive foot, however after 23 Minutes a long clearance by McHugh and some

slack defending in the box and Grant failing to command his area allowed Wearmouth to shoot from 18 yards into an empty net. Dunston failed to breakdown the West defence despite some interesting free kicks played in by Lowther which

Burrell was just unable to apply a finishing touch.

 

 

Dunston were relying on the speed of Fitzpatrick to get and then hold play up which was not exactly working out while West tried unsuccessfully to breakdown the Dunston Defence with a passing game. Just before half time  Dunston seemed to be making inroads as Heslop and Burrell went close with shots but West to their credit almost got another as Fisher saw his shot deflected away from the target.

 

Half Time score: Dunston UTS 0 – 1 West Auckland

 

The first 20 minutes of the second half continued as the first with Dunston still unable to find a positive move to create an equaliser and West producing the odd shot on goal, however on 73 Fitzpatrick was again played into the edge of the penalty area on the right and was fouled as he tried to go past Parkin, Fitzy got up and calmly placed the penalty kick passed McHugh. The joy was short lived as within a minute West went ahead again as Fisher was played in across the box he found space and placed a shot just inside the far post with Grant stranded 2-1 to West after 74. Dunston rallied and Fitzpatrick tried a shot which was blocked and then on the rebound placed a ball right across the West goal.

 

 

Dunston made a final push and substitute Martin saw his free kick flicked on, in a busy penalty area, only for it to hit the back post and be cleared on 83 minutes. On 84, Pearson played a ball onto Fitzpatrick whose shot was deflected for a corner. On 85 Dunston again went level as Lowther played in a cross and it went into the net without anybodt getting a touch, it may have been fortunate but it was what Dunston required. Dunston applied pressure but were unable to get a winner and so the game progressed to Penalty kicks to decide who would go into the next round.

 

Full time score Dunston UTS 2 –2 West Auckland.

Dunston Started the kicks and Pollock shot was blocked, then Bell shot wide, Fitzpatrick put Dunston ahead and Donninger equalised, Martin scored and Mitchell also shot into the net. With the score 2-2 Burrell had a shot saved and this was repeated by Fisher, Lowther again scored to give Dunston the lead but Purewell also fired home. Up stepped Hall to dispatch a shot past McHugh while Wood fired wide to allow Dunston to proceed into the hat.

Dunston Man of the Match: Dan Lowther – Dan ran his heart out and also played in several deft free kicks which created chances for Dunston forwards which were not taken. He scored the Second equaliser with another tantalising cross which much to the Dunston sides delight went into the net. While some people faltered on the heavy pitch Burrell and Fitzpatrick also deserve mentions for their tireless performances without making an overall impact on the score line.

Dunston’s next home game is against Ryhope CW on Saturday 6th January 2018 in the EBAC Norther League Division 1 with a 3:00 KO

 

 
     
 
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