DUNSTON FC v MOSSLEY AFC
Report by Tom Clark
Mossley AFC arrived at the UTS Stadium full of confidence after hitting a fine vein of form which had seen them losing only once in their last six games. That run included wins over the much fancied Marine AFC and Marske United. One set-back for them had seen their manager Dave Wild leave for a post at Matlock Town but inspirational Club stalwart Andy Keogh had agreed to take temporary charge of team affairs. Dunston came into the game in a positive mood after putting in a hard-working performance which saw them gain a 3 - 2 victory away to Tadcaster Albion last Tuesday, grabbing the winning goal in the final minutes of added time. Manager Chris Swailes made one change to the side with Michael Pearson returning and Andrew Grant-Soulsby taking a place on the bench although sticking with the 4-5-1 formation which has been effective in recent games.
The powerful Mossley team started the game strongly, attacking immediately from the kick-off and after good approach play, captain Andy Keogh was only prevented from shooting from close range by a good blocking challenge from Craig Scott. On 5 minutes Keogh again almost scored but his shot was beaten out by keeper Karl Dryden, the ball fell to Szymon Czubik at the back post and Dryden again made a brave block to prevent him from scoring. Mossley continued to apply pressure on Dunston who were struggling to get a foot-hold in the game. On 12 minutes a weak clearance saw right-back Steve Mason send in Kayde Coppin on the Dunston left. The tricky Coppin sent a good pass to the feet of Ryan Brooke who was fouled on the turn by Dunston’s Michael Hall two yards outside the box. Top scorer Ben Halfacre hammered the low free-kick under the defensive wall and just inside the near post past the diving Karl Dryden to give Mossley the lead. 0 – 1.
Dunston finally woke up after the opener and attempted to get into the game with some positive play. On 17 minutes a good run by Luke Page set up Scott Heslop who shot narrowly wide of the far post from 18-yards. On 27 minutes Page broke past the Mossley defence and played a ball across to Liam Thear whose goalbound shot from the edge of the box hit the unfortunate Scott Heslop and bounced clear with Mossley keeper Liam Lovell beaten. Mossley were still very dangerous and Szymon Czubik cut in to fire a shot from 18-yards just wide of the far post. On 40 minutes Andy Keogh delivered a shot from 20-yards but saw his effort go wide past the far post. Dunston had slowly recovered and were pressing on but found it difficult against a strong and determined Mossley defence. On 45 minutes Jack Elliott put in a good cross for the advancing Scott Heslop but as he challenged the ball bounced through safely to the goalkeeper.
Half-Time Score: Dunston FC 0 Mossley AFC 1
After a half-time roasting by manager Chris Swailes, Dunston came at Mossley from the kick-off as Liam Thear made a forceful run before feeding Luke Page who fired just wide wide of Lovell’s goal from 20-yards out. The improvement in Dunston’s play continued and on 58 minutes Jack Elliott ran into the box along the byline with the ball under close control. He crossed low towards Scott Heslop whose effort was blocked and the ball was scrambled out for a corner. The flag-kick was cleared and from the break, Mossley almost doubled their lead as Karl Dryden did well to block a Ben Halfacre pile-driver. Dunston replied with a Dan Halliday volley from the edge of the box which Liam Lovell covered to avert the danger. On 64 minutes Ursene Mouanda delivered a good a free-kick and Dan Capewell was just unable to direct his header on target under pressure from giant defender Keil O’Brien. Two minutes later Jack Elliott crossed again, this time it was met by Mark Fitzpatrick whose shot rebounded off a defender and away to safety. Mossley were soaking up the pressure and breaking out swiftly, looking for a second killer goal. In the 71st minute they broke on the right with Kayde Coppin playing into Ryan Brooke whose shot was blocked by Karl Dryden and deflected out of play fror a corner. On 75 minutes, Dunston came very close to an equaliser when a Liam Marrs free-kick was flicked on by Craig Scott and then deflected only inches past the far post. On 78 minutes Mark Fitzpatrick fired in a shot which was deflected out for a corner. Liam Marrs took the flag-kick and found Craig Scott as he rose highest to send his rocket header into the roof of the net for a deserved Dunston equaliser. 1 – 1.
Both sides battled away for a winner and the best chance fell to Dunston on 90 minutes as another Liam Marrs free-kick was headed away to Luke Page who fired in a shot that was blocked by a resolute Mossley defence.
Full-Time Score: Dunston FC 1 Mossley AFC 1
In summary: Mossley commanded the first-half with a lack-lustre Dunston being restricted to very few efforts on goal. Dunston got into the game in the second period and just about deserved a draw. Mossley could have scored more, especially in the first-half, except for some excellent Karl Dryden saves and blocks.
Dunston FC: Dryden, Capewell, Halliday, Mouanda, Scott, Hall, Elliott J, Pearson (Fitzpatrick), Heslop (Grant-Soulsby), Page, Thear (Marrs).
Subs not used: Elliott C, Bostyan.
Dunston UTS FC Supporters Club Man of The Match: Craig Scott
Craig Scott is kindly sponsored by:
Home shirt: Mr Billy Montague
Away shirt: Mr Billy Irwin – Painter & Decorator
Recovery equipment: McDonald Divine Sorbets