REPORT | Dunston UTS 2 Newton Aycliffe 1
Dunston secured a fifth consecutive win in the final home game of 2023 with a 2-1 win against Northern Premier League East newcomers, Newton Aycliffe.
Jon McDonald utilised his squad as he handed starts to Richard Coulson and Luke Carr, with Michael Pearson slotting in at right back. Jordan Lamb and Craig Baxter were rested and dropped to the bench.
Dunston started brightly as Jack Maskell was gifted two early chances in the opening ten minutes. First Dale Pearson swung in a perfect cross to Maskell who had his glancing header held by Fisher. He then came close again when he drove an effort towards goal which was always rising over the bar.
Despite the pleasing start, the visitors broke the deadlock after just 14 minutes. Cole Kiernan broke forwards and thundered a shot off the crossbar however, the ball fell to Cieran Jackson who lashed the ball home on the rebound with a tidy finish.
Dunston appeared to rally after conceding and almost equalised from a corner after 25 minutes. A Phil Turnbull delivery found the head of Maskell who leapt high and guided his header just wide.
Ten minutes later, Maskell was not to be denied again as he pulled Dunston level with a calm finish. Luke Carr played an excellent ball through the Newton Aycliffe defence to Maskell, who beat the offside trap, and ran through on goal and slotted past Fisher.
The chances continued to fall for the home side and Dunston probably should have taken the lead on 42 minutes when Dale Pearson had a golden opportunity, but he lashed his powerful effort wide.
With the first half coming to an end, David Robinson scored his third goal in two games with yet another goal of the season contender. Luke Carr played a short pass into Robinson who thundered the ball into the top corner from outside the box in first half stoppage time.
Into the second half Dunston continued to look threatening against the in-form Newton Aycliffe. There were strong penalty appeals just a few minutes into the half when there were claims for a handball against Newton Aycliffe, but nothing was given.
On 68 minutes, Jack Maskell looked to double his tally for the afternoon when he dispossessed Costello 30-yards out, but the subsequent effort on goal sailed high of the target.
Minutes later, second half substitute Jordan Lamb beat his man down the right and pulled a well-weighted cross into the box for Maskell, but he couldn’t convert from close-range.
In the final 15 minutes, the visitors had some chances of their own to pull themselves level. The ball fell to Marc Costello at the back post after a well-worked free kick routine however, Dunston just about managed to get the ball away from danger.
The visitors then won a free kick on the edge of the box. Substitute Wayne Whitfield stepped up, but his effort only hit the wall. It was then Kyle Davis who came close just minutes later as he dragged his shot wide inside the penalty area.
With the clock ticking down in stoppage time, Dunston almost sealed the win with a third goal. Some tenacious play from Richard Coulson saw him win the ball in the middle of the park. He played the ball through to Sado Djalo, but the left-footed effort from Djalo rolled past the post.
Dunston were able to see the game out and climb up to 4th in the Pitching In Northern Premier League table, still with three games in hand on each of the teams above. Next up is a local derby away at 2nd place Hebburn Town this Saturday.
Report by Callum Pattison
Image Credit - Beauty Time Photography