REPORT | Ossett United 0-2 Dunston UTS
Dunston recorded their first win of 2023 and moved back towards the playoff positions after a 2-0 victory away at Ossett United.
A brace from Carl Finnigan was the difference on the day, in a game which saw the hosts reduced to nine men in the second half.
Craig Scott returned to the starting lineup to captain the side, while Finnigan was partnered by Michael Fowler in attack as Dunston looked to ignite some form ahead of a busy few weeks.
Ossett's in-form Alex Peterson gave James Anderson his first tester on five minutes, drilling a low strike from range that was easily saved by the Dunston shot stopper.
With both sides cancelling each other out for the first proportion of the half, Dunston finally began to assert themselves on 27 minutes. Liam Thear was the first to have a go, and he had a shot blocked for a corner after a blazing run down the wing.
Shortly after however, Dunston had the lead thanks to a delightful cushioned header from Finnigan, who dispatched a chipped Will Jenkins cross.
Thear was continuing to cause problems for the Ossett defence, and he came close again after letting fly from range on 33 minutes.
Peterson was proving to be Ossett's main outlet, but he could not add a fourth goal in as many games to his tally - dragging another effort wide of the mark wide on 38 minutes.
The second half could not have got off to a worse start for Ossett, who were reduced to 10 men when Derry Robson was given his marching orders for a shocking challenge on Jude Swailes.
At this point, Dunston needed a second goal to kill off the game, and Finnigan came close to doing that, glancing a header just wide from a Phil Turnbull cross.
And the need for a second goal got even more important on 60 minutes when Ossett went down to 9 men. This time, Harry Coates was sent off for a second bookable offence after dragging down Coulson.
With a nervy ending growing ever closer, Dunston sealed victory on 80 minutes, and it was that man Finnigan again who slotted his ninth of the season, coolly finishing after a blistering Jack Elliott attack down the left.
It could have got even better for Dunston late on as Jake Jensen had an effort which sailed over the bar, but it mattered not as Dunston recorded a massive three points on the road.
The win see's Dunston stay in 6th position, but they are now just two points off the playoff places and with a game in hand on Cleethorpes Town above them.
Match Report by Dom Bingham