Match report - Dunston UTS FC vs Brighouse Town
On a bitterly cold Saturday afternoon at UTS Stadium, the hosts were looking to put an end to their recent poor run of form. Dunston went into the game in 6th place, one place off the play-off zone, their positioned only maintained due to Ossett United losing 3-1 to Pontefract Collieries on Friday night.
The two sides had met on the opening day of the season, playing out a 0-0 draw in a game where there had been little to separate them. However it was the West Yorkshire side who came away with all 3 points following a 3-2 win on Tyneside, as Dunston slumped to the fourth consecutive league defeat and their 9th league defeat of the season.
The result sees Brighouse Town now draw level on points with Dunston as Chris Swailes sides chances of reaching the play-offs appear to hang by the thinnest of threads. The result now sees a 7 point gap open up between Dunston and Stockton Town, who currently occupy the final play-off position.
Swaz rang the changes to the starting XI that had lost away to bottom of the league Pickering Town during mid-week. Craig Scott started the game and captained the side, Phil Turnbull was recalled to midfield, Scott Heslop and Richard Coulson started from the bench whilst Dan Capewell was serving the final game of his 3 match suspension.
Brighouse struck early and took the lead with only 2 minutes on the clock. The home side surrendering possession too easily as the visitors opened space quickly on the left side, the ball whipped into the 6 yard box to the dangerous Laurence Sorhaindo, the forward rising well between two defenders to plant his close range header beyond a static Connell.
Lee Mason drew Dunston level on 11 minutes. Phil Turnbull spraying a ball wide to Porritt on the left, the winger showed deft footwork as he manoeuvred his way past the full back to dink a superb cross from the by-line to the back post for Mason, who cushioned his header beyond Ghousue Bellagambi.
Brighouse went straight up the other end, Sorhaindo cutting through three players in blue shirts before flashing his effort narrowly wide of goal.
Sorhaindo’s game was brought to an end after 30 minutes through injury, the leagues current second highest scorer replaced by Elliott Harrison.
Ursene Mouanda was denied by the long legs of Bellagambi, a well placed shot saved by the young keeper, who had only recently signed on loan from Huddersfield Town.
Mason was denied moments later, a perfectly timed tackle by Aidan Walker nicking the ball off the forwards toes as he bore down on goal. The two sides went into the break level with little to separate them and plenty to play for.
Dunston started the second half at a high tempo, a cross from Jack Elliott finding Mason at the front post, his close range effort blocked by Bellagambi with a fine reaction save.
A break down in communication at the back between the experienced Connell and Galbraith on 53 minutes was severely punished, Jack Boyle reacted to the opportunity gifted to him as he nipped in to steal the loose ball and prod beyond the keeper.
A speculative Javelle Clarke effort from distance for Brighouse flashed wide wide of the upright, as the ball bobbled in and around the the edge of the box. Dunston unable to clear their lines and the Yorkshire side looked to press in the final third of the pitch. Their wingers in particular looking to constantly ask questions of the home sides defence.
Dunston rallied to get back into the game, a deft ball into the channel from Baxter, Jack Elliott’s cross into the back post deflected for a corner, Baxter’s corner was swung in, the referee whistling for a foul against Brighouse as the chance petered out.
Shiraz Khan extended the visitors lead on 71. Having beaten his man on the wing, his ball across the face of goal was just beyond the forward at the back post. Javelle Clarke retrieved the ball at the back post to lay off Jack Boyle, his effort hitting the post and coming back out into the feet of Khan who left to tap into an empty net.
Dunston had a great chance to pull one back, substitute Heslop delivering a cross into the box, Coulson firing his effort wide as green shirts closed down his angles.
The home side pulled one back on the 89th minute to give themselves glimmer of hope in the final stages of the game. From a Craig Baxter cross, Heslop bravely squeezed into a narrow gap between two defenders to stab his half volley beyond the keeper.
Brighouse were able to see the game out and leave Tyneside with a deserved win. Dunston now travel to near neighbours Hebburn Town on bank holiday before league leaders Marske United visit the UTS Stadium on New Years Day.
Dunston UTS FC Man of the match awarded to: Luke Porritt
Luke Porritt is kindly sponsored by:
Home shirt - Jack Hunter
Away shirt - Mr Pat McElhone
3rd shirt - Trades Needs
Training shirt - Urban Flower Rooms.