Match report Widnes FC vs Dunston FC
Despite the suspension of many competitions and sporting events around the country, due to the ongoing concerns around the Corona Virus, The BetVictor Northern Premier League announced on Friday afternoon that all games would go ahead, with The FA stating that it was each Leagues decision as to what approach it wished to take, The NPL citing that their primary concern, as always is to protect the financial stability of it’s 62 member clubs.
The decision meant Dunston travelled to Widnes, the two having played out a 2-2 draw on Tuesday night at The UTS Stadium in a game noted for a last minute equaliser from 10 men Widnes, having trailed by two goals and a conspicuously abject performance from the match officials.
The first real chance of the first half fell to Dunston leading scorer Mark Fitzpatrick on16 minutes, played in by Ursene Mouanda, Fitzy cut inside his marker before switching the ball onto his right foot, his effort blocked by the feet of Widnes keeper Cameron Terry.
All of which came before Terry’s mis control nearly trickled into his own net from a back pass and the referee deciding to book Dunston defender Craig Scott for an apparent foul, a dupe which has been noticeable throughout the course of the season.
The hosts had moved the ball well on the 4G surface as a rain shower added to the conditions, yet so far they had done little of note to threaten the score-line. On 25 minutes, Jack Elliott, cut inside on the right wing to fire shot narrowly wide of far post having been picked out by a pass from Luke Page.
With the chance going begging, the hosts took the lead. A dangerous cross from James Murray saw Andrew Grant Soulsby’s clearance loop and cannon off Erno Bostyan, the ball finally nestling in the net as the defenders attempt to clear the ball went horribly wrong.
Fitzpatrick went close to levelling matters on 30 minutes, with the keeper racing out of his box to clear, his headed effort fell short, Fitzy’s effort from distance, with the keeper stranded, went narrowly over the bar.
Fives minutes before the interval, Liam Thear battled well to retain possession of the ball, Shahban Mohammed playing the ball in Fitzy only to strike his shot down the middle and into the clutches of Terry.
Refereeing decisions yet again, were much to the annoyance of the Dunston support, Widnes seemingly happy to consistently harangue the officials and go down under the softest of challenges.
In the dying minutes of the first half Widnes shot stopper Terry saved impressively to push away a Fitzpatrick curling free kick kick as the visitors went into the break trailing.
At the start of the second half Dunston linked up well, a move started by Thear saw Luke Page running into the channels, Mouanda and Mohammed combining as Marrs beat the Widnes full back however the cross was too close to Terry as he collected to remove the danger.
Fitzpatrick claims for a penalty were waived away and his following shot was pushed away by Terry.
Despite the visitors bright start to the second half, Widnes added to their lead in stunning fashion on 60 minutes through Jack Bannister; following a good passing move he dropped off from the Dunston defence and collected the ball in space, his close control to evade red shirts saw him open up his angles and bend a superb shot from the edge of the box into the top corner past Bostyan.
Disaster struck or Dunston 2 minutes later as Bostyan mis-controlled a back pass from Liam Marrs, Bannister pressed the keeper to give himself the simplest of tap ins.
From this point on Widnes were in full control, the score line not reflective of the pattern of the game and flattered the hosts.
Andrew Grant Soulsby headed narrowly over the bar from a corner as the visitors looked get back into the game.
Widnes’ ability to stem any flow to Dunston’s rhythm was disrupting the game, Shabs booking questionable and engineered by the reactions of his opponent.
The quality of Dunstons delivery into the box from wide positions was disappointing, Widnes managing to deal with threats and isolate the threat of Fitzpatrick.
Swaz handed Jack Ward his debut, as he replaced Liam Thear on the wing, the youngster recently arriving from Morpeth Town.
The game itself, from the moment Widnes scored their third, was controlled by the hosts, noticeably their willingness to stop play when under any form of a challenge halting proceedings.
Widnes have now moved ahead of Dunston in table having collected 4 points from the two fixtures. The results see Dunston drop to 13th in the table as uncertainty over how the remaining football season will proceed will no doubt be clarified in the next week. As it stands, Dunston must pick themselves up ahead of Tuesdays scheduled game against Prescott Cables at The UTS Stadium on Tuesday night.
Match report by Dan Whalen.
Dunston UTS FC Supporters Club Man of Match awarded to Liam Marrs.
Liam Marrs is kindly sponsored by:
Home shirt - Mr Billy Park
Away shirt - Newcastle Legends
Recovery equipment - Miss Gracie Robinson
Training kit - SH Earcare.
Photography of the match available at:
Courtesy of Beauty Time Photography.