Newton Aycliffe v Dunston UTS
Northern League Division One
Saturday 4th November 2017
Att 96

Report By Billy Montague

Dunston made the trip to Moore Lane to play their Ebac Northern League First Division fixture against Newton Aycliffe

on a bright winter’s day eager to put last Saturday’s wind spoiled home defeat against Newcastle Benfield behind them.


Manager Chris Swailes was away watching next week’s FA Vase opponents Worksop Town so Chris Errington took charge of the team in his absence. Aidan Grant, Dan Lowther, Ben Pollock and Mark Fitzpatrick were restored to the starting line-up but James Martin and Dale Burrell were still injured.


On a rather poor playing surface that had suffered heavy overnight rain, Dunston attacked straight from the kick-off and

the first chance was created on 3 minutes when Steven Anderson got on the end of a Liam Thear pass to send a low

shot skidding just wide. A Dan Halliday free-kick caused panic in the Aycliffe box on 9 minutes when defender Andrew Grant-Soulsby headed narrowly wide of his own post. The home side came back two minutes later when Stuart Banks broke into the Dunston box but a superb tackle by Michael Hall cleared the danger. On 14 minutes Mark Fitzpatrick cleverly set up Scott Heslop whose goal-bound effort was deflected for a corner.


Home keeper Jack McLaren came out confidently to claim Dan Lowther’s flag-kick. Dunston should have taken the lead

on 20 minutes when Callum Elliott sent Liam Thear racing into the Aycliffe box only to be pulled down by full-back Kurt Matthews as he cut in on goal. Mark Fitzpatrick stepped up to take the resulting penalty but keeper McLaren went full stretch to push the ball away. Thear was at it again in the 25th minute when he took on two defenders before sending in

a good effort that was deflected narrowly past the post. Aycliffe went close on 38 minutes when a right-wing free-kick by Gavin Wilson flew low across the Dunston area and just missed out the home forwards as it went past the far post.


Despite their domination, Dunston could not force a break-through with the home side defending in numbers. Aycliffe gained their first corner of the game in the 42nd minute when Callum Elliott deflected the ball out near the corner-flag. Stuart Banks sent in a teasing ball but Dunston’s keeper Aidan Grant gathered safely before releasing a break-away kick to Mark Fitzpatrick.


The centre-forward expertly held the ball up before sending a great pass to Scott Heslop but his final shot lacked power

and the keeper was able to keep it out. The final chance of the half fell to Aycliffe on 45 minutes when Stuart Banks sent

in a good shot but it was straight at Aidan Grant and he had no problems in holding onto the ball.

Half-Time Score:  Newton Aycliffe  0   Dunston UTS  1


Newton Aycliffe made the early running in the second-half and after two minutes Sean Tarling sent Craig Hutchinson through towards the Dunston goal but he had a rush of blood and sent his shot high and wide of the target. On 49 minutes Liam Thear latched onto a good Steven Anderson and sent a shot just past the angel with McLaren beaten.


Good build-up play around the Aycliffe box in the 55th minute ended with a stinging Jake Stafford shot but unfortunately

it flew straight at the keeper who was able to save. Two minutes later, Scott Heslop repeated the effort but the result was identical with McLaren in exactly the right place to save. A Dan Lowther free-kick sped across goal without any finishing touch on 59 minutes before a bad touch by Mark Costello at the other end put paid to a promising attack by Aycliffe a

minute later.


Another penetrating Dan Lowther free-kick in the 70th minute almost brought a goal when Ben Pollock got on the end of

it to power a header just over. Two minutes later another header by Jake Stafford looked to be going into the net but Kurt Matthews got back to clear off the line for another corner. Dunston sensed blood and on 75 minutes Scott Heslop raced

into the left corner of the Aycliffe box before unleashing a great shot which appeared to be heading for the top right corner before McLaren pulled off a superb save to tip the ball away. In the 77th minute Aycliffe responded when Stuart Banks wriggled free but the ball bobbled on the uneven playing surface and his shot sailed high and wide.


On 80 minutes Mark Fitzpatrick made a forceful run into the Aycliffe box and was upended as he shaped to shoot. The referee had no hesitation in awarding a second penalty of the game and this time Steven Anderson made no mistake a

he sent McLaren the wrong way to hammer low into the corner. 1 – 0 to Dunston.


As the final minutes elapsed, another strong run by Fitzpatrick into the box brought another foul, this time by the tiring

Gavin Wilson, in the 85th minute. Dunston’s third penalty of the match was again taken by Steven Anderson but this time

the magnificent McLaren guessed correctly to pull off another fine save. Two penalty misses in a game usually prove very

costly but on this occasion the Dunston rear-guard made sure that the three points were secure.


Final Score:  Newton Aycliffe  0   Dunston UTS  1


Dunston's Man of the Match: Ben Pollock and Michael Hall:  Joint vote for the central defensive pair when they were

a rock on which the result was built. A tough game on a very poor playing surface which made proceedings a battle.


Newton Aycliffe: McLaren, Wilson, Matthews, Tarling (Stephenson), Oliver (Jm), Grant-Soulsby, Banks, Trotter,

Hutchinson (Kane), Costello, Oliver (Jk) (Lane). Subs not used: Brassell, Pennal.


Dunston UTS: Grant, Elliott, Halliday, Lowther, Pollock, Hall, Thear L, Stafford, Fitzpatrick, Heslop (Allan), Anderson.

Subs not used: Hiftle, Harrison, Jones, Rundle.