Dunston UTS FC vs Shildon AFC - Match report
Shildon came away from The UTS Stadium with maximum points, as Dunston lost 0-2 in their opening home game of the season, with the goals coming in each half from Michael Sweet and substitute Billy Greulich-Smith.
The hosts’ chances in the final third were kept to a minimum, due to a commanding performance from Shildon’s centre half partnership of Jack Vaulks and David Atkinson.
A weak back pass from Ursene Mouanda was capitalised on by Michael Sweet. The forward had looked a threat from the off and was gifted with a chance. He punished the mistake, rounding keeper Liam Connell to give “The Railwaymen” the lead on 14 minutes.
Dunston’s first real threat of the game came moments later, a well worked move starting from Mounda and Craig Scott, the Captains pass finding Lee Mason, who with a delicate touch, rolled the ball out wide to Jack Elliott, the winger low cross smothered by Shildon keeper Shaun Newbrook.
A route one high upfield ball from Newbrook created a dangerous threat, Sweet delicate touch and a pass out wide to winger Joe Posthill only for Craig Baxter to gain the upper hand and nullify the threat just before half time.
A Jack Elliott effort in injury time could’ve levelled the scores, only for the keeper to get down low and push away.
On the balance of play, the visitors went into the break with a deserved lead.
Dunston came out with greater purpose and urgency at the start of the second half. A dangerous cross from Baxter to the back stick creating problems, Heslop’s resulting header glancing over the frame of the bar.
A free kick for a foul on Liam Thear saw Dan Capewell nearly connect with a volley at the back post.
Dunston were punished for not taking advantage of their possession and pressure. With the home side pressing for an equaliser, disaster struck on 72 minutes. Craig Scott looking to play the ball out from the back, he seemed to lose control of the ball, Billy Greulich-Smith seizing the opportunity to attack the open space left in behind, before rounding Connell to put Shildon two up.
Despite a late effort from Heslop in the dying embers of the game, Shildon deserved their win. A solid defensive performance and some ruthless finishing were the key differences between the two sides.
Dunston UTS FC Man of the Match: Craig Baxter.
A solid performance in defence, in a game where he was posed with the dangerous attacks of Shildon’s wide play. He was constantly looking to get forward and deliver threatening crosses into the box.