PRESCOT CABLES FC v DUNSTON FC
Saturday 14 th September 2019
BetVictor Northern Premier – N/West Division
Report by Billy Montague
Dunston FC made the long journey to Liverpool to face Prescot Cables who had worked their way up into a position in the League Table where they could challenge for promotion. Their ground had been used on the previous evening by Skelmersdale United for an FA Vase Tie and the playing surface left a lot to be desired and appeared to require some remedial work. Dunston manager Chris Swailes was still missing last season’s top goal-scorer Mark Fitzpatrick through injury and skipper Dan Halliday missed out because of holiday. Craig Scott returned to the squad and Jack Elliott was available for the first time after returning to the Club. Liam Marrs passed a late fitness test to retain his place in the starting line-up.
On a bright sunny day, Dunston started on the front foot but a promising attack down the right flank was repelled by the home side. The teams exchanged possession in the next couple of minutes with strong clearances being the order of the day. Disaster struck in only the fourth minute when a long hopeful ball out of the Cables defence went over the heads of the Dunston defence but Liam Marrs looked to be in charge of the situation. The ball held up on the uneven surface on the edge of the area and his attempted header back to Karl Dryden fell short allowing Prescot top-scorer James Edgar to take advantage and slide the ball into the corner of the net. 1 – 0 .
There had seemed little danger but the state of the playing surface had played a major part in the goal. Dunston had given the home side an early boost but they fought hard to make amends and on seven minutes a good move saw a blockbuster shot from Luke Page charged down on the edge of the six-yard box. Page got on the end of a Liam Marrs free-kick in the 10 th minute but his header went narrowly wide. In the next minute, some good work by Cedwyn Scott released Scott Heslop on the left side of the area but keeper Ollie Taylor pulled off a brilliant save to parry the shot wide. Heslop went close again on 15 minutes when he headed over from a Craig Scott cross.
Karl Dryden was then called into action a minute later when he saved an effort from Lloyd Dean as the home side attacked on the break. Cables’ Matty Hamilton sent over a dangerous free-kick in the 20 th minute which was cleared for a fruitless corner. At the other end Scott Heslop replied in the 29 th minute when his goal-bound shot beat the keeper but was blocked by some stout defending. Liam Brooks headed over from the resulting corner but the home defenders were fighting hard to maintain their lead.
The home side created an opportunity when centre-forward Lloyd Dean chased a long ball over the top in the 35 th minute to set up James Edgar who blazed his effort over the bar. Cables forced a corner three minutes later and Karl Dryden had to be alert to smother a George Hassall effort at his near post. Dunston pressed for an equaliser before the break but a Dan Capewell header flew over and then Liam Brooks had a shot blocked.
Half-Time Score: Prescot Cables 1 Dunston FC 0
At the beginning of the second-half Dunston brought on substitute Jack Elliott to replace Scott Heslop who had appeared to pick an injury during the first period when he attempted to control a ball that had bounced up awkwardly from the rutted playing surface. The substitute made a couple of early penetrating runs down the left as he began to pose a new threat to the Cables back-line. Some determined defending by the home side demonstrated that they would not give up their lead cheaply. They came close to adding to that lead on 52 minutes when they were awarded a free-kick out on their right flank. Matty Hamilton sent over a dangerous delivery and left-back Reece McNally rose highest to send a header wide of the far post. In an effort to inject more strength to Dunston’s attacking play Chris Swailes sent on Liam Thear to replace Dan Wright in the 58 th minute.
Even though the young forward was lacking in match-fitness his introduction made a difference, pinning defender McNally back and preventing him from joining in with the home side’s attacking play. Dunston made some half-decent openings but were unable to breach the stubborn Cables back-four and test keeper Taylor. The home side were content to defend in depth and, when the chance came, to play long balls over the top of the Dunston defence for the willing runners to chase. On 69 minutes another dangerouse free-kick by Matty Hamilton from the right was met by Lloyd Dean who sent a header past the angle.
Three minutes later, a Liam Marrs cross at the other end was glanced narrowly wide by Cedwyn Scott. As the game swung from one end to the other, it was then the turn of George Hassall to head wide from a Josh Gregory centre on 74 minutes. Just two minutes later Dunston came agonisingly close to an equaliser when Liam Thear burst into the box on the right before slamming his low shot against the outside of the post. The ball rebounded to safety but in all honesty, Dunston still had not tested keeper Ollie Taylor enough with efforts on target. After this let-off Cables went up the other end and should have doubled their lead in the 78 th minute when Josh Gregory was set up on the edge of the box only to send his shot high and wide.
As Dunston went forward looking for the equaliser, the home side went close again on 80 minutes when substitute Rio Gill was allowed to go through from what looked suspiciously like an offside position. He raced away on goal but Karl Dryden left his line to make a magnificent save to deny the pacey attacker. The Cables players were putting in some questionable tackles and delaying tactics as they hung on to the lead and despite the referee playing five minutes of added time, they successfully clung on to claim the three points.
Final Score: Prescot Cables 1 Dunston FC 0
Dunston UTS FC Supporters Club Man of the Match: Liam Thear
Liam Thear is sponsored by:
Home Shirt – Paul King Heating Components
Away Shirt – Michael Urwin
Recovery equipment – Isabella Whalen