Dunston win 3-1 on penalties
Report | Ashton United (A)
Dunston advanced to the next round of the Isuzu FA Trophy after a 3-1 penalty shootout victory following a goalless draw after 90 minutes. Dan Staples produced two marvellous saves in the shootout as he became the hero of the afternoon.
Dunston began the game in bright fashion as they looked to continue their fine form after back-to-back wins in league. The first chance of the encounter came after just 2 minutes as some excellent build-up play resulted in Richard Coulson firing a shot just wide from the edge of the box.
After 8 minutes, Ashton had their first real chance as Cole Lonsdale powered a long-range effort wide of the target from 25-yards out.
With the first half progressing, Dunston were proving to be very tricky for the higher-league opposition to break down. Dunston were then very unlucky not to take the lead just before the half hour-mark.
Liam Thear and Richard Coulson linked up spectacularly before the looping ball fell to Carl Finnigan inside the area however, on his first start for the club, Finnigan couldn’t quite connect cleanly resulting in a simple stop for Greg Hartley.
Fearless in attack, Dunston were once again unlucky not to take the lead on 37 minutes. A deep corner was swung into the box, Jon Shaw headed the ball back across goal before Thear guided a header off the crossbar.
Into the second half, the hosts were showing early signs of improvement as Dan Staples was called into action for the first time. After a short corner routine, Joe Robbins aimed a long-range effort towards goal, but Staples was more than equal to it.
With an hour on the clock, Jon Shaw almost grabbed his second goal in three games. Shaw connected onto the end of a Will Jenkins’ corner but unfortunately, his headed effort dropped just wide of the post.
On 69 minutes, hearts were in mouths for the Dunston faithful as Ashton came agonisingly close to taking the lead. Joe Robbins took aim from the edge of the box and it was deflected just wide as Shaw got his head in the way.
With the game reaching its climax, Dunston began to turn the screw as they searched to find a winner. Moments after Ashton came close through Robbins, Dunston were denied a goal after a clearance off the line. Jenkins diverted a Phil Turnbull corner towards goal and beat the ‘keeper but, it was somehow cleared off the line.
Dunston were then denied again a minute later as a Michael Pearson cross was met by Finnigan but, the latter’s effort was remarkably kept out from point-blank range by Hartley.
With 15 minutes to play, Jack Elliott was introduced to the game. On 78 minutes, he linked up with Sado Djalo and crossed a teasing ball into the box but, unbelievably, evaded everyone. Djalo was next to try his luck as he dragged a 20-yard effort wide.
The final big chance of the 90 minutes fell to the hosts as they almost snatched it at the death. The post came to Dunston’s rescue as Hardcastle was denied after a left-footed effort.
After an eventful goalless match, the tie would ultimately be decided by a penalty shootout after the two sides could not be split.
Matty Regan and Jon Shaw both stepped up first for their respective sides and both made had no difficulty in finding the back of the net. Brewster was next for Ashton but, unfortunately for him, Dan Staples woke up this morning and felt like saving some penalties. Phil Turnbull then slotted away his penalty for Dunston.
Once again, Staples was a man on a mission between the sticks and strongly saved Joe Robbins’ spot-kick to give his side a huge advantage. The advantage grew as Terry Galbraith dispatched his penalty.
Spinelli stepped up fourth for Ashton and powered his penalty off the crossbar which turned out to be the winning moment as Dunston ran out 3-1 winners in the shootout.
Rather deservingly and unsurprisingly, Staples picked up the ‘Man of the Match’ award sponsored by The Great North Eastern Brewing Company.
Look out for the draw for the next round on Monday afternoon as we will post the result of the draw across our social media channels.