Dunston UTS FC vs Stockton Town - Match report.
Dunston took the spoils in an all North east affair with a 2-1 victory over Stockton Town in a highly entertaining contest.
A Michael Fowler goal and an own goal from Lewis King gave Dunston the advantage before they saw out the lead in the second half despite the anchors hitting back through a Nathan Mulligan penalty late on.
Stockton had the first big chance of the game when Tom Coulthard fizzed a header wide from an inswinging free kick, but in-form Michael Fowler put Dunston ahead on six minutes, beating the offside trap and coolly slotting the ball past Callum Roberts to continue his fine goalscoring form.
Dunston had started the game with high intensity and the Stockton back line were struggling to cope with Elliott, Fowler, Coulson and Thear continuously driving at them and exploiting long balls forward. Dunston doubled their lead on fifteen minutes when a looping cross from Craig Baxter was headed into his own net by Lewis King who was under pressure from Jack Elliott, however Elliott himself claimed it – one for the dubious goals panel to sort out (Ken Fitzpatrick’s highlight reel!)
Dunston’s relentless first half pressure continued as Michael Fowler had a goal bound effort saved by Roberts in the Anchors goal after a ball was squared to him by Thear. Liam Connell was the quieter of the two goalkeepers but was called into action midway through the half, pushing a Nathan Mulligan free kick around the post, before Fowler nearly had himself a second before the half time whistle, firing a shot onto the post from twenty-five yards out after good work from Liam Thear deep in the Stockton half.
Fowler could have had at least a hat trick to his name before half time had it not been for Roberts in the Stockon goal and the woodwork.
The game grew scrappier in the second half, but Dunston nearly added a third when both Fowler and Elliott had shots blocked on the break following a superb ball through the Stockton defence by substitute Ursene Mouanda. The chances continued to come, first Fowler saw a shot trickle just past the post, before Jack Elliott blasted over after superb work from Coulson to lay off the forward in the box.
The Anchors were handed a lifeline with five minutes to play when Jude Swailes gave away a penalty for a push on Nathan Mulligan, and Mulligan stepped up to send Connell the wrong way and get his side back into it with minutes remaining.
Despite the lifeline, Stockton failed to register much more on goal and Dunston’s backline held firm to grind out a vitally important win on home soil that continues their superb home form this season.
Dunston UTS FC Man of the match awarded to: