Mossley AFC V Dunston FC
MOSSLEY AFC v DUNSTON FC
Report by Billy Montague
Saturday 7th December 2019
BetVictor Northern Premier – N/West Division
A depleted Dunston squad made the long journey to Mossley, in the Oldham area of Greater Manchester, determined to put the extremely disappointing display of the previous Saturday at Pickering Town firmly behind them. Manager Chris Swailes had several players carrying injuries and was forced to make a couple of changes with Callum Elliott coming into the defence along with Andrew Grant-Soulsby and Cedwyn Scott included up-front with Mark Fitzpatrick and Scott Heslop. Michael Hall and Liam Marrs took places on the bench despite not being fully fit. The injured Jake Stafford and Liam Brooks didn’t travel due to work commitments.
Dunston had the slight slope of the surprisingly good playing surface to their advantage from the kick-off and took the game to the hosts in the opening stages. With only two minutes on the clock, excellent approach play between Michael Pearson and Scott Heslop presented Cedwyn Scott with an opening but his powerful shot from the edge of the box flew straight at home keeper Josh Ollerenshaw. Two minutes later Dunston’s Karl Dryden was also called into action when bravely diving at the feet of Mossley skipper Andrew Keogh to avert any danger. A clever flick by Luke Page almost brought the opener at the other end when Mark Fitzpatrick just failed to connect in front of the keeper.
Dunston were not to be denied and took a deserved eighth minute lead when Cedwyn Scott rifled in a shot that was blocked with the ball dropping to just outside the box where Michael Pearson took control before hammering a thunderous half-volley into the roof of the net giving Ollerenshaw no chance of saving 0 - 1
Dunston continued to press with some tenacious tackling by Michael Pearson and Luke Page that ensured that the home side struggled to gain a foot-hold in the game. Dunston went close to increasing their lead on fifteen minutes, Dan Capewell heading just past the post when he got on the end of a dangerous Pearson corner-kick. Mossley mounted a good attack on 17 minutes after a good cross-field run from Godwin Abadaki, but the opportunity was lost when Ben Halfacre was adjudged to have handled as the ball was played up to him on the penalty spot. His loud protestations to the referee earned him a caution.
Dunston continued to dominate the play but the resolute home defence kept them at bay until the 25th minute when an excellent Callum Elliott free-kick saw Mark Fitzpatrick ghost in before heading narrowly over, with the keeper well beaten. On 27 minutes, Cedwyn Scott was slipped through by Scott Heslop and as he closed on goal he was caught by defender Ben Richardson and the keeper. In the ensuing tangle, Richardson appeared to handle and as the ball squirmed clear, Scott was clearly brought down as he attempted to gain possession. The resulting penalty-kick was confidently slotted into the corner of the net by Cedwyn Scott as he sent the keeper the wrong way 0 - 2.
Mossley created danger on 32 minutes when another run from Godwin Abadaki saw him go past three Dunston players before he was unfortunate to see his shot cannon off a team-mate and fly out for a goal-kick. Five minutes later, Dunston should have scored again but Scott Heslop just failed to control an excellent Mark Fitzpatrick pass in front of goal.
Half-Time Score: Mossley AFC 0 Dunston FC 2
After being decidedly second-best in the first-half, Mossley introduced a substitute in an attempt to pep things up after half-time. Jes Uchegbulam replaced Godwin Abadaki and he was involved immediately, making a positive impact on the right-wing. After only two minutes of the half, he made a strong run before drawing a rather soft free-kick level with the box. Ben Richardson delivered a dangerous ball into the Dunston goal-mouth where the well-martialled Ben Halfacre deliberately handled the ball in an attempt to divert it into the net. Having already been cautioned, the referee had no alternative but to issue a second yellow and then a red card to Halfacre.
The dismissal seemed to galvanise the home side and they put in an extra effort all over the pitch to compensate for their one-man disadvantage. With the slope of the pitch now in their favour, they sent several good balls into the Dunston box but the visitors were in no mood to concede. The strong running of substitute Uchegbulam was causing a few problems and he wasn’t shy of going down under challenge to win a series of free-kicks. On 63 minutes full-back Richardson sent in another of these set-piece deliveries and when Michael Pearson headed out of the box, Mossley’s Raheem Hanley sent a low 25-yard shot past Karl Dryden’s right-hand post.
Two minutes later it was Dunston who went close when Mark Fitzpatrick burst through to lob over the advancing keeper but his effort was deflected into the air and cleared away from the goal-line. In Mossley’s next attack, Craig Scott got in a brilliant defensive header to deflect a wicked Uchegbulam cross away from the head of the onrushing Andy Keogh. In the 68th minute some great interpassing between Dunston sub Jack Elliott and Mark Fitzpatrick set up Craig Scott on the Mossley penalty spot. The big defender turned to hit a screamer towards the top corner but keeper Ollerenshaw went full length to pull off a magnificent save to tip over.
As Mossley pressed forward in a gamble to get a goal back, they were leaving gaps into which Dunston were breaking. On 70 minutes Scott Heslop sprinted into the box but he could only slam into the side-netting and then three minutes later Jack Elliott clipped the outside of the post. In the 75th minute, clever play by Elliott sent MarkFitzpatrick in and his shot was deflected across goal and just past the far post. On 85 minutes Liam Thear, on for Scott Heslop, beat three defenders in a brilliant run along the by-line to within three yards of the goal before the ball was scrambled out for a corner as he shaped to slot home. Two minutes later, Jack Elliott burst onto a Mark Fitzpatrick one-two but the keeper made another brilliant save. Elliott was clean through again as the game entered added-on time and on this occasion he drew Ollerenshaw before his shot clipped the outside of the post.
There was time before the final whistle for Elliott to link up again to send Mark Fitzpatrick racing clean through with the keeper managing to get a touch on the shot to take the pace off it and enable Ben Richardson to get back and clear off the line.
Final Score: Mossley AFC 0 Dunston FC 2
Home Shirt - Pat McElhone
Away Shirt - Sarah and Graham Bannister
Recovery equipment – Sue and Les Stokoe