REPORT | Dunston UTS 0 Stockton Town 0
In a tight contest at The UTS Stadium, with 451 in attendance, Dunston and Stockton played out to a goalless draw. The stalemate sees Dunston extend their unbeaten run to nine games.
The first chance of the game fell to The Anchors on 15 minutes when former Dunston forward Michael Fowler went beyond the Dunston backline, rounded Dan Staples and pulled the ball back to Glen Butterworth, but Jack Walker managed to come away with the ball to prevent any danger.
The first real attack from Dunston came minutes later when Richard Coulson played the ball through to David Robinson however, the latter took a heavy touch and Harker was quick off his line to smother the ball.
The Anchors came back at Dunston and had two good opportunities with half an hour played. First, left back Josh Baggs took aim from just outside the area, but his effort was just wide of the target. Lewis King then came close as he attempted a lob, but his effort dropped just past the post.
Stockton continued to press with Kevin Hayes also coming close as he beat McDonald down the right before curling an effort high and wide of the target.
Dunston ended the first forty-five looking the more dangerous of the two sides and almost took the lead on 40 minutes. Jack Maskell laid the ball off to Dale Pearson on the edge of the box, but the effort on goal from Pearson was straight at Harker, making it a comfortable save for the Stockton shot-stopper.
Maskell then had an effort of his own as he placed a weak effort wide of the target just before the break.
Dunston began the second half once again looking threatening. Maskell was again played through on goal, but the forward couldn't connect properly and forced a Harker into a routine stop.
Maskell kept getting himself into good positions and was superbly picked out by Michael Pearson but again, Harker was able to make a routine save to keep the score deadlocked. A minute later, Maskell connected with a header from a Phil Turnbull corner, but he couldn't get the effort on target.
The game then swung again as Stockton began to carve out some chance of their own. On the hour-mark, Stephen Thompson drilled a low effort from outside the area straight into the gloves of Staples. Hayes then had an opportunity minutes later as he sliced an effort off target.
The biggest moment of the game came midway through the half as the ball cannoned off the Stockton crossbar. Following a cross, Maskell flicked the ball back towards the danger area where Stocker skipper Adam Nicholson headed the ball off his own woodwork.
After nearly turning the ball into his own net, Nicholson then nearly did the same thing down the other end. A dangerous free kick was played into the box toward the unmarked Nicholson who guided his headed effort wide of the near post. With the clock running down, Phil Turnbull then delivered a pinpoint free kick of his own where Jack Maskell came inches away from turning the ball home at the back post.
Into stoppage time, and the score still deadlocked, both side continued to search for the winning goal. Ultimately, the final chance of the game, and maybe the biggest chance of the game, fell to visitors in the dying seconds. Josh Baggs unleashed a thunderous effort towards goal, but Dan Staples stayed alert and tipped the ball over the crossbar.
Next up for Dunston is a home fixture this Tuesday night as we welcome Grantham Town - 7:45pm kick-off.
By Callum Pattison
Image Credit - Beauty Time Photography