Match report - Frickley Athletic vs Dunston UTS FC
Dunston earned a hard fought 3 points with 2-1 win away to relegation threatened Frickley Athletic. In what was an industrious and hardworking performance, on a difficult pitch, which didn’t lend itself well to free flowing football, a brace from free scoring Michael Fowler ensured a deserved win for Chris Swailes’ side.
The result now sees Dunston move further in reach of the play-offs, making up ground in terms of points on the sides immediately above them. With both Worksop Town and Stockton Town dropping points, Dunston now see themselves a mere six points outside of the final play-off place, with 8 league games remaining.
Michael Fowler opened the scoring for Dunston after 9 minutes, a Connell free kick played deep saw Coulson collect to square to Fowler, the forward getting the better of his marker to finish from close range.
Jack Elliott, on his 100th appearance for Dunston, showed great footwork, his pace utilised to glide past the home side’s defence, to fire a venomous shot narrowly wide of the up-right.
The home side’s best chance of the opening stages of the game came in the form of a free kick. In a dangerous position on the edge of the box, Michael Hollingsworth’s free kick was bravely blocked by well organised Dunston wall.
The away side applied pressure mid-way through the second half, a series of corners testing the resilience of Frickley, who in fairness ensured they had as many back in the box as possible, Jude Swailes coming closest to adding a second with a header at the back post.
Frickley spurned a chance to level on 24 minutes with a header wide from a delivery to the back post.
Fowler was creating problems amongst the hosts defence, with Dunston turning defence into attack, his effort was well saved by Frickley keeper Jordan Pierrepoint.
In the closing stages of the first half, with yet another solid defensive performance, Jude Swailes reacted swiftly to cut out a dangerous delivery, as Frickley were rarely afforded many opportunities to get in behind Dunston’s back line.
Fowler was again causing problems, where just before the stroke of half time, he turned his marker well, having created space to fire on target, the resulting effort with his weaker foot went narrowly wide.
In a scrappy first half, the hosts had showed little in the way of any threat going forward, but came out with far greater purpose at the start of the second half.
Frickley’s Bradley Wells spurned a good opportunity, electing to play the ball square, rather than getting a shot off on target. Moments later Rod Orlando-Young sent in a dangerous delivery, picking out Joshua Scott whose drilled effort on target was saved well by an alert Liam Connell.
Elliott’s pace was causing issues down the line, a superb delivery into box falling to Craig Baxter who teed up Fowler, the forwards’ effort palmed away by the outstretching keeper, only for Liam Thear to miscue from close range.
Swaz made changes to formation and personnel, the introduction of Terry Galbraith allowed Jake Turnbull to move into a more attacking position. With his pace and accurate deliveries, Frickley were to be tested on more than a few occasions, a pinpoint cross to the back post blasted over by Fowler.
Michael Hall, who put in a man of the match performance at the back where he rarely allowed Frickley a sight on goal, took an elbow to the face which required the attention of the physio.
Dunston sealed the game in injury time, a fantastic ball over the top from Turnbull causing panic amongst the two Frickley centre backs, with the keeper rushing out, Fowler rounded the defenders to calmly find a gap and slot the ball into an empty net.
The home side responded quickly to set up a nervy end to the game, Rod Orlando-Young striking a volley beyond Connell from a delivery out wide from the restart.
Dunston held firm to ensure a win and make up valuable ground on the sides above them.
Without a game next Saturday, Dunston now take their good form back to The UTS Stadium where they face league title challengers Liversedge.
Dunston UTS FC Man of the Match awarded to: Michael Hall.
Match day photographs can be viewed HERE thanks to Beautytimephototography