Match Report: Bootle (A)
Bootle started the better of the two teams and had two chances early in the match. First, defender Matty Rain fired over from long range before Jay McCarten planted a header just wide of the post.
It was a game of nip and tuck as the half ebbed on, with both teams doing well to cancel out each other’s main threats. Craig Scott came the closest for Dunston in the first half hour, heading over from a Phil Turnbull corner.
On thirty four minutes, there were cries of a penalty from the travelling Dunston faithful. Michael Fowler’s powerful shot appeared to strike the hand of a Bootle defender, however the referee waved away all appeals.
Five minutes before the interval, Bootle had a glorious chance to go in ahead, but Jack McGowan got in behind the Dunston backline, but could only put his effort over the bar of Dan Staples.
Bootle continued to finish the half strongly, and came close twice more as Dunston clung on, with Staples having to save well from Morgan Homson-Smith, and McGowan going again, planting a header just wide.
Whatever Chris Swailes said to his team at half time, it worked as Dunston came out the traps with lightning speed and Michael Fowler had the visitors one up within a minute of the restart, powering in a lethal strike from distance.
With Dunston now in charge and leading, they were grateful to the post when a cross from Hodkinson ricocheted off it and scurried out for a goal kick.
Terry Galbraith came close for Dunston as they pushed for a second, heading wide from a corner, before Richard Coulson grabbed Dunston’s second minutes later to put them firmly in control of the tie. Coulson met a Jack Elliott’s cross with his head and left Bootle goalkeeper Sam Ashton with no chance to power home.
Into the closing stages Dunston were enjoying themselves, and Michael Fowler nearly had his second, only for Ashton to pull off a fine save and tip the ball wide for a corner.
With five minutes to play, Liam Thear wrapped up the victory for Dunston, rifling in from distance into the top corner of the net to send the Dunston fans into raptures and to book his sides place in the next round of the competition.
Dunston move back into league action next week as they travel to Long Eaton United after hosting Pontefract Colleries at home on Tuesday evening, whilst the draw for the next round of the FA Trophy completion will be made on Monday afternoon.
Great North Eastern Brewing Company Match of the Match awarded to: