Dunston UTS v Morpeth Town

Tuesday 22nd August 2017

Ebac Northern League – First Division

Final Score:  Dunston UTS  1  Morpeth Town  3

Att 266

Report by Billy Montague


Dunston welcomed Morpeth Town to the UTS Stadium for their third home Ebac Northern League game of the season. Morpeth had made a superb start to their League campaign, winning their opening three matches, having scored twelve goals and only conceding one in the process. Dunston Manager Chris Swailes had to contend with the absence of Dan Capewell and Liam Thear through injury and illness respectively. Andy Clark and Ryan Drane were on holiday but James Martin and Kelvin Thear were included in the squad for their first League game. Adam Rundle returned from injury and took his place among the substitutes.

Dunston started the game in attacking mode but it was the visitors who almost grabbed the lead on only 3 minutes when a swift break saw Keith Graydon send a good through ball to release Joe Walton down the right channel. Walton made good progress into the corner of the Dunston box before smashing a low shot which was partially saved by Dunston keeper Aidan Grant who deflected the ball onto the outside of the far post where it flew to safety. Dunston made the most of this let-off and on seven minutes Mark Fitzpatrick made a strong run into the left side of the Morpeth box before being brought down by Stephen Forster for a penalty. The resulting spot-kick was confidently slotted away by Mark Fitzpatrick, giving Morpeth keeper Karl Dryden no chance. 1 – 0 to Dunston.

The visitors were not dismayed by this blow and continued to play some excellent attacking football. After a couple of half-chances they got their equaliser on 12 minutes when a strong Joe Walton run on their left saw him square to Sean Taylor who mis-kicked only for the ball to fall kindly to Liam Henderson who shot low into the net off the inside of the far post. 1 – 1.

Dunston replied well in their attempts to re-take the lead, pressing hard, but they fell behind on 20 minutes when a Dale Burrell pass was intercepted in mid-field. Luke Carr gained possession and made strong run directly at the heart of the home defence and as they backed off, he hammered a brilliant shot into the top-right of the goal, with Grant well beaten. 2 – 1 to Morpeth.

The Dunston keeper was called into action again in the 26th minute when he made a good save to deny Sean Taylor after he had cut in from the left but Dunston went close five minutes later when Dan Halliday tried a shot that flew just wide of Dryden’s goal. The visitors grabbed a crucial third goal in the 39th minute when Liam Henderson shot home after good work by Carr. 3 -1 to Morpeth.

On 45 minutes a last ditch tackle by Dan Halliday denied Walton another goal.

Half-Time Score:  Dunston UTS  1   Morpeth Town  3



Dunston started the second-half on the front foot in attempt to get back into the match. On 48 minutes Steven Anderson was set up by Dale Burrell but as he bore down on goal, his shot was blocked. Five minutes later another Burrell pass almost released substitute Scott Heslop but the ball was deflected away. Morpeth replied when a Luke Carr shot was diverted over the bar by a Michael Hall challenge. The Dunston defender then made an excellent run down the right flank before crossing low into the box where Heslop just failed to convert. In the 59th minute Fitzpatrick almost did the trick when he turned on the penalty spot but his goal-bound shot was superbly saved by keeper Karl Dryden. As Dunston continued to exert the pressure a looping James Martin volley was safely gathered by the keeper after Dan Halliday had teed-up the young wide-man.

Callum Elliott then made a great run on the Dunston right and when he sent over a driven cross to the far post, Martin was just unable to direct his effort inside the post with Dryden beaten. On 67 minutes some tenacious work by Scott Heslop when he battled with two defenders saw him get the ball to Callum Elliott who sprinted into the corner of the box before fizzing a low shot across Dryden but his effort scraped past the far post. Morpeth were now playing on the break and soaking up the Dunston attacks but in the 75th minute Elliott got forward again on the right before crossing to Heslop whose powerful shot drew another excellent save from Dryden. On 78 minutes Morpeth almost grabbed another goal on the break when a Sean Taylor cross from the right found substitute Mark Davison unmarked in front of goal but Aidan Grant pulled off a brave block to deflect the effort over the bar. On 80 minutes Steven Anderson looked a certain scorer for Dunston but a last-ditch tackle by Dan Carson denied the opportunity. In the final chance of the game, Michael Pearson curled his clever angled shot narrowly past the top corner in the 86th minute.

Final Score:  Dunston UTS 1  Morpeth Town 3

Dunston Man of the Match: Mark Fitzpatrick  Mark gave a battling display, playing up front on his own, against a very good side. He worked hard as usual, holding the ball up and unselfishly setting up his team-mates. The whole team gave a decent display, especially in the second-half, against excellent opposition.

Dunston UTS: Grant, Elliott, Halliday, Pearson, Jones, Hall, Anderson, Burrell, Fitzpatrick, Stafford (Heslop), Martin.

Subs not used: Harrison, Thear (K), Swailes, Rundle.

Morpeth Town: Dryden, Forster, Turner, Phillips, Coppen, Carson, Taylor, Graydon (Reid), Carr, Henderson (Davison), Walton (Chilton). Subs not used: Pell, Hodgson.

Referee, James Westgate, Assistants, Stephen Birkett, Reece Scott.