Report | Pontefract Collieries (H)
Dunston took the lead twice in the second half against Pontefract Collieries but were unable to come away with all three points as the game ended 3-3.
The Colls took the lead in the first half through Michael Dunn. Michael Fowler, debutant Carl Finnigan and Terry Galbraith all scored in the second half however, Adam Priestly netted a brace to cancel out those goals.
The first chance of the game fell to the visitors after ten minutes as Baxendale shifted the ball onto his right foot before firing a long-range effort just over the bar.
Dunston looked to respond as best as they could as and nearly landed the first punch on 14 minutes. Terry Galbraith rose highest in the box and had his headed effort scrambled off the line by a yellow shirt.
Galbraith went from almost scoring, to denying an almost certain goal just a few minutes later. Colls’ striker Joe Lumsden went through on goal one-on-one with Dan Staples however, Galbraith slid in at the vital second to nick the ball away from Lumsden.
Pontefract stepped up with their intensity and took the lead on the 24-minute mark. A pinpoint cross the right was met by Michael Dunn, who headed the ball into the bottom corner.
On the stroke of half-time, Dunston had an excellent chance to level the game as they came close on two occasions. Firstly, Michael Fowler got onto the end of a Richard Coulson cross and had his header expertly saved by Allinson. The ball then fell to Pearson who had a crack from distance however, his shot was always rising over the bar.
Into the second half and Dunston picked up right where they left off and came inches away from levelling the game. Jenkins whipped his free kick into the box from the right and the ball was flicked onto Michael Fowler at the back-post who smashed the ball off the woodwork from close-range.
Just minutes later, it was the visitors who looked dangerous, and Joe Lumsden almost doubled their lead as he struck the post from inside the box.
Dunston came out in the second half with a point to prove and were awarded a penalty with 52 minutes played as Thear was brought down inside the area. Up stepped Fowler and buried the penalty into the bottom corner to level the game.
Minutes after equalising, Dunston almost took the lead after some excellent build-up play. Pearson ended up playing the ball across the edge of the box to Will Jenkins who thrashed the ball just over the bar.
The second half continued to shape up nicely and Pontefract came close again on the hour-mark. This time, it was Mitch Rose who had an attempt from the edge of the box but, much like Jenkins’ attempt minutes earlier, it was always rising over the bar.
With 20 minutes to play, Carl Finnigan came on to make his debut. Just minutes after coming on, he fired Dunston into the lead. Pontefract were appealing for a foul for a shove on a defender, but Finnigan then rounded the ‘keeper and slotted into an empty net.
The lead was held by Dunston for just four minutes as Adam Priestly, another substitute, capitalised on a big mix-up at the back and slotted past Staples.
The drama wasn’t finished, and a second penalty was awarded to Dunston with ten minutes to go. After discussing with the assistant referee, Kieran Downey pointed to the stop and gave Dunston the penalty for a handball.
With Fowler no longer on the pitch, Terry Galbraith stepped up and put the spot-kick into the bottom corner to give Dunston the advantage once again.
The frantic half of football continued, and Dunston were again unable to hold onto their lead. Dan Staples produced an excellent save however, the rebound fell to Priestly who made no mistake and slotted home to make it 3-3.
In the final moments of the game, Will Jenkins came inches away from netting a winner for Dunston. Coulson broke away down the right and pulled the ball back for Jenkins who hit the ball first time just wide of the post.
Ultimately, after a frantic second half, the spoils were shared at The UTS Stadium in a 3-3 thriller.