Dunston ended Tadcaster Albion's impressive run of form, the Yorkshire side going into the game unbeaten in their last eight games, as Chris Swailes’ men produced a fully committed, well organised and dominant display to secure all three points in a deserved 1-0 victory and move up two places in the table to 15th.
Albion were rarely afforded the luxury of a forming any cohesive pattern to their play, Dunston were defensively solid, their midfield industrious and with a goal of exquisite beauty from Jack Elliott, the home side were fully deserving of all 3 points.
Above: Jack Elliott with a goal of magisterial beauty.
After the game Dunston FC Manager Chris Swailes said “This was a harder fought victory than Tuesday, Tadcaster were on a good run of form going into this one, but for us it’s two back to back wins” Adding “Quality chances wise were few and far between and we could have scored more, but that result today was a great win”. “We’ve got games in hand, performances like today breed confidence, build momentum and can push us up the table”.
Dunston started with a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Liam Marrs injured and Dan Halliday not fully fit, it meant the home side started the game with 4 centre halves, Dan Capewell and Craig Scott playing, and both impressing, in the full back positions.
Ursene Mouanda, who had impressed away to Colne, partnered Jake Stafford in midfield. The pair formed a solid partnership and were constantly breaking up play, refusing to allow “Taddy” to dictate the game as they continually harassed and pressured the visitors. Their combined industry and work rate allowed Michael Pearson to play a more attacking role, and in a Man of the Match display, Pearson was at the heart of Dunston’s creative drive as Tadcaster struggled to cope with the home sides dominance in the middle of the park.
Dan Capewell went close to opening the scores early on, the big defender rose well at the back stick only to see his headed effort go narrowly wide of the far post.
Tadcaster looked lively upfront in the opening 10 minutes, Donald Chimalilo spurning a great chance to give the away side the lead, only to be caught out with a bobble and thwarted by the quick reactions of a Dunston keeper Karl Dryden. However, despite the early showing of danger Albion were subdued and nullified for the vast majority of the game as Dunston impressed throughout.
On 21 minutes Heslop fed Pearson through into the box, he unselfishly squared the ball across the 6 yard line with Liam Brooks at the back post, only for Ingram block the danger.
The only goal of the game came from Jack Elliott on the 22nd minute, picked out superbly by Pearson, the winger curled an exquisite shot from out wide and in off the far post, giving former Sunderland keeper Michael Ingham no chance.
The home side had the cross bar to thank 5 minutes later as Albion’s Alfie Beestin rattled the woodwork with a shot from the edge of the box, the effort a sign that the visitors had found it hard to actually get in behind Dunston’s back line.
A commanding performance from Dryden came to an end shortly after, the shot stopper sustaining a hamstring injury as Dunston Physio Nikki Brown signalled to the bench that Dryden was unable to continue, he was replaced by Niall Harrison in goal. Harrison continued in exactly the same way with a commanding and confident performance in between the sticks.
Taking a 1-0 lead into the break, Dunston continued to frustrate and contain Tadcaster. Aerial battles resulted in a blue shirt asserting control, Dunston’s back line were in no mood to offer Albion's forwards with any opportunities. Tadcaster’s attempts at playing short intricate passes were time and time again broken up by Stafford and Mouanda, Dunston were quicker in the transition and prevented their opponents from building any rhythm.
The home side created the better chances of the second half; Capewell fired over on 54 minutes, Pearson drilled a cross into the back stick having been played through by Mounda as Brooks put wide from close range
Niall Harrison pulled off a fine save to deny a header from veteran Damian Reeves, whilst a Dan Capewell effort from distance was somehow tipped away from the top corner by the finger tips of a back peddling Ingham.
Tadcaster countered, Chimalilo was forced away from goal, struggling to penetrate Dunston’s defence, he eventually slipped a ball into the path of Jake Day, his cross played across the box was not met by a yellow shirt, in a rare attacking moment for Taddy.
Pearson, the creative drive up front, picked out Heslop on the edge of the box who lashed a shot narrowly over. Heslop, playing as a lone striker, was exemplary. His impressive work rate upfront, ability to win headers and bring others into play was key to Dunston’s supremacy of this game.
Above: Heslop leaping like the proverbial Salmon.
With four minutes of injury time added, the visitors could have taken stolen a point, in rare mistake from Harrison, who was superb throughout the game, the ball slipped from his grasp in the wet conditions, Ioan Evans’ headed effort looped over, and with the ball seemingly heading into the net, Craig Scott reacted brilliantly to volley the ball off the line as the referee blew for full time soon after.
In a winning performance epitomised by hard work, organisation and dogged determination, adding to that a moment of sublime beauty, Dunston fully deserved all three points. Tadcaster may feel that they were not at the races, but all credit must go to the home side who rarely allowed their opponents to gain a foothold in this game.
Final score: Dunston FC - 1 (Jack Elliott 22’) Tadcaster Albion - 0.
Dunston UTS FC Supporters Club Man of the Match awarded to: Michael Pearson (
Michael Pearson in kindly sponsored by:
Home shirt - Syntec Manufacturing
Away shirt - Mr Graham and Mrs Sarah Bannister
Recovery equipment - Mr Les and Mrs Sue Stokoe.
Match kindly sponsored by: Dunston UTS FC Supporters Club in memory of Mal Hayes.
Match report by: Dan Whalen
Match photography and Images courtesy of Beauty Time Photography and Dunston FC.