Droylsden FC vs Dunston FC
BetVictor Premier League N/West
Final score: Droylsden - 1 (Rooney)
Dunston - 4 (Heslop 3, Fitzpatrick)
Dunston left Drolysden with all three points with a comfortable 4-1 win, in a team performance which merited the scoreline. A hat-trick from in form Dunston striker Scott Heslop earned him the man of the match award as the Droylsden defence struggled to cope with the movement of Mark Fitzpatrick and the goal scoring prowess of Heslop. The win hopefully gives the team a massive lift as they look to kick on this season. This victory signalling Dunston’s capability to compete at this level.
Dunston found themselves in 19th place, albeit with games in hand, whilst Droylsden were sitting in 11th position, having won 4, drawn 4 and lost 4. The recent signing of Jake Stafford from Consett, a player instrumental in Dunston’s success last season, had given the club a huge lift and was selected in the starting XI.
Chris Swailes had decided on a 5-3-2 formation, with Pearson, Page and Stafford forming a midfield trio. Marrs and Halliday would have a heavy work load providing the width, Fitzpatrick and Heslop would offer the attacking options up top as Niall Harrison retained his place in goal with Karl Dryden unavailable.
The away side were straight into the action, Captain Dan Halliday curling an effort wide as Mark Fitzpatrick had cleverly pealed away from his marker and send his pass down the channel. However Droylsden keeper Chris Thompson was able to collect. Stafford was vocal from the start as Dunston started brightly, Heslop and Fitzpatrick combined well up front, Fitzy sliding a ball into the path of Michael Pearson, his shot from the edge of the box unable to find the target.
Despite the visitors pressure in the opening stage of the game, they were almost caught out from their own set piece only to be saved by the finger tips of Niall Harrison, who tipped away an Andy Langford curling effort, as the home side had found space round the back through Domaine Rouse. Dan Halliday drilled a low cross towards the far post but no one was on hand to finish. Minutes later the Dunston Captain was at it again, Page having held the ball up well, again his cross evaded a blue shirt.
Mark Fitzpatrick nearly opened the scoring from close range and Craig Scott glanced a header wide of the up right, Fitzpatrick and Page combined well as the ball flashed across the box as the away side continued to apply pressure. Danny Wilkins should’ve punished Dunston’s mistake, a loose ball picked off, only for the dangerous winger to hit his effort over the bar.
Droylsden took the lead against the run of play on 27 minutes, a corner was knocked into the roof of the net by Adam Rooney from close range as Domaine Rouse knocked a simple square ball across the box. The visitors response was immediate, Fitzpatrick played a defence splitting pass from wide on the right hand side of the half way line, the linesman’s flag stayed down as Scott Heslop raced away and kept his composure to slot his shot across the goal and into the bottom corner.
Dunston went ahead on 36 minutes, Fitzpatrick was once again right amongst the action, Page raced through a gap in the home sides defence to play in the striker, with a superb first touch his shot was deflected away by Thompson, Page was just unable to connect with the rebound but Heslop was on hand to drill his effort straight into the bottom corner past the reach of the keeper. Dunston went into the break with a deserved lead in what had been a high intensity and entertaining first half.
The second half started in the same vein as the first half, Luke Page, weaving his way through the middle of the park, he combined with Fitzpatrick, his drilled shot was deflected but only as far as Heslop whose effort flashed narrowly wide of the target,. Droylsden had a penalty claim waived away and should’ve made more of a mistake as Dunston tried to play out from the back.
Liam Marrs went close to extending Dunston’s lead. Scott Heslop was fouled on the edge of the box, up stepped Marrs to fire the free kick at goal, Thompson saved the shot but with the ball bobbling up the home side were unable to clear their lines and conceded another free kick, this time on the opposite side. Marrs was to curl his effort on goal, only for Thompson to claw away the ball from heading into the top corner.
Fitzpatrick further extended the visitors lead on 59 minutes, Michael Pearson was played out wide and with the ball looking to skid away on the wet surface, he managed to race and whip in a delivery from the byline. The home side failed to clear the ball fully, Heslop winning the ball to knock onto to his strike partner who was unmarked and made no mistake by placing his side footed shot into the bottom corner.
Jack Elliott replaced the impressive Luke Page and within minutes of the change Dunston claimed their 4th goal with 64 minutes gone. Michael Pearson was instrumental in a move and released Heslop on the edge of the box, with the Droylsden defence in disarray, he completed his hat-trick by firing his shot into the opposite bottom corner. The goal scorer was injured in the goal, as he collided with the on rushing keeper and was replaced by Liam Thear.
Dunston were able to comfortably see out the remainder of the game as the back three of Hall, Capewell and Craig Scott were in no mood to allow Droylsden a foothold back into the game. They were dominant in the aerial battles and bar a curling shot from Reece Webb Foster, their back line was rarely breached. Droylsden made changes in an attempt to get back into the game, George West replacing Danny Wilkins, who had been subdued throughout the game by the fine defensive performances of Halliday and Hall.
The end of the game was marred by Droylsden’s Domaine Rouse, his reactions at the final whistle unnecessary. Dunston thoroughly deserved this win. Each player won their individual battles, Jake Stafford made a huge difference, who along with Pearson constantly broke up play and dominated the middle of the park. Droylsden struggled to contain Heslop, Fitzpatrick and Page whilst defensively Dunston were indomitable.
Dunston line up: Harrison, Marrs, Halliday (C), Craig Scott, Hall, Capewell, Stafford, Page (Jack Elliott), Fitzpatrick, Heslop (Thear), Pearson. Subs not used: Callum Elliott, Brooks, Grant-Soulsby.
Dunston UTS FC Supporters Club Man of the Match awarded to: Scott Heslop.
Scott Heslop is proudly sponsored by:
Ian McPherson (Home kit)
Protection Installation Services Ltd (Away kit)
Riley Davison (Recovery equipment)