- Penrith AFC -

Penrith FC v Dunston UTS FC


Wednesday 10th April 2019.

Ebac Northern League Division 1.


Match report by: Danny Whalen.


Ebac Northern League Champions Dunston UTS travelled to Cumbria for their penultimate game of the season to claim a 4-1 victory over bottom of the table Penrith. A brace from the leagues top scorer Mark Fitzpatrick, a stunning free kick from Liam Marrs and an injury time strike from Jordan Nellis sealed victory in a score-line that arguably flattered the Champions but now places them clear at the top of The Ebac Northern League first Division by 17 points.

Dunston UTS, clad in all red, were a goal down within the first 2 minutes. From a Penrith corner, Michael Pearson’s header, whilst under pressure from Penriths Captain Grant Davidson, was looped across the six yard line, Karl Dryden's attempt to punch the ball clear only managed to roll along his arm and into the back of the net. Dunston UTS seemed flat during the first opening phase of the game with Penrith closing down early and preventing The Champions from building any sort of rhythm.

Liam Brooks and Michael Pearson had chances to draw level in the first 10 minutes but neither of the efforts really troubled Penriths keeper Stuart Dixon. Mark Fitzpatricks headed effort from a Dan Halliday out-swinging cross, having combined well down the wing with Liam Brooks, rose over the Penrith bar with the forward unable to cushion the effort on target.


This effort was probably the visitors best of the opening 20 minutes in a rather lack lustre start. Dunston UTS should’ve drawn level on 20 minutes, a Liam Brooks headed effort from a Jake Stafford corner lacked power,

much to the frustration of Manager Chris Swailes.

The Dunston UTS back four looked composed with Craig Scott and Andrew Grant-Soulsby forming a strong link to prevent Penriths limited attacks. However Dunston UTS lacked their usual prowess in the final third of the

park. Mark Fitzpatrick dragged an effort wide of the post following a poor clearance from the Penrith

goalkeeper. In the final ten minutes of the first half it was Penrith who finished the stronger of the two sides. Penriths Stuart Gray beating the offside trap to find himself one on one with Karl Dryden, Grant-Soulsby raced back, with the Penrith forward seemingly ready to curl his effort into the top corner the defender done well to ensure the attack amounted to little more than a tamely hit shot.

Grant Davidson went close to extending the home sides lead as Dunston UTS struggled to deal with the corner.
Dunston UTS did have chances to draw level in the final phase of the first half, Scott Heslop drilled an effort wide following good link up play between Callum Elliott and Mark Fitzpatrick.

Mark Fitzpatrick went close with a header only to be denied by an acrobatic save from Stuart Dixon whilst Liam Brooks curled an effort wide as Fitzpatrick had done well to keep the ball in play from a wide position. Although Dunston UTS had created chances in the first half it was Penrith who went into the break deservedly leading in a game that had for the most part been a rather scrappy encounter.

Half time score: Penrith AFC 1 Dunston UTS FC  0.

Dunston UTS drew level within 8 minutes of the restart. Scott Heslop was fouled on the edge of the box, cue Liam Marrs who stepped up to nonchalantly bend his free kick around the Penrith wall and into the bottom corner with Stuart Dixon routed to the spot. Dunston UTS took the lead on 60 minutes, Scott Heslop went down in the the box under a challenge from Penrith’s Stuart Johnson, as the forward was played in on goal from a slide pass from Micheal Pearson. Mark Fitzpatrick confidently stepped up to dispatch the penalty sending the keeper the wrong way.

Goal scorer Liam Marrs was to leave the field due to a thigh injury with Jordan Nellis replacing him. Callum Elliott was moved to right back with Nellis and Brooks on the wing. Penrith tried to force themselves back into

the game, a deftly played ball through from Davidson to Adam Main saw Craig Scott defend superbly to quell the attack. Penrith substitute Sean Law created good a chance for Max Brown only for Karl Dryden to race out and close down his angle. Dunston UTS extended their lead on 76 minutes; Craig Scott charged forward from the back, combining well with Pearson and Fitzpatrick to drive forward into the box only to fouled, the referee deemed that the foul had occurred on the edge of the box. With Marrs now off the field, Fitzpatrick stepped up to take the free kick and fire in his 30th League goal of the season, his powerful low drilled shot cannoning off the Penrith wall to give Dunston UTS a 2 goal lead.

The game had been punctuated by aerial battles particularly in the middle of the park as Michael Pearson and Jake Stafford endeavoured to gain midfield supremacy against a Penrith side who were every much a match for the midfield pair.

In the second half Penrith found it hard to break down a solid Dunston UTS defence despite their valiant efforts.
Despite trailing, Penrith kept pushing for a goal until the very end in order to get back into the game, however despite creating a decent few chances in the closing stages down the left hand side it was Dunston UTS who were to score. Mark Fitzpatrick turned provider as he found on unmarked Jordan Nellis on the break, the substitute was to beat Dixon by venomously firing his shot down the middle of the goal.

Full time score: Penrith AFC -1 (Dryden og 2’). Dunston UTS FC - 4. (Marrs 53’ Fitzpatrick 60’76’ Nellis 90’+4.

Line ups:
Penrith AFC: Dixon, Henson, Johnson, Davidson(C) (Law), May, Bowman, Gardner, Main (Moynan) Gray (Shields)Brown, Clarke. Subs not used: Paul, Holliday.

Dunston UTS FC: Dryden, Marrs (Nellis), Halliday(C), Stafford, Scott, Grant-Soulsby, C, Elliott, Pearson (Haley), Fitzpatrick, Heslop (Jackson) Brooks. Subs not used: Harrison, Capewell.

Both sides were applauded from the field, Dunston UTS applauded as Champions of The Ebac Northern League and Penrith recognised for their efforts throughout what has been a challenging season for The Bonny

Blues. Dunston UTS’s second half performance was a display of efficiency, with three goals coming from set pieces, they made no mistake in taking full advantage of the situations presented to them.

Considering the fact that the players would’ve spent a full day at work before making the long trip West, whilst the elite players at the upper echelons of European Football have sleeping pods, dieticians and light training to prepare ahead of games, The Ebac Northern League Champions have had to endure a full days graft and a hastily cobble together a pre match meal of sorts, possibly from a limited selection of crisps and sandwiches available at a local garage, as they race through traffic to get on the bus. You’ve got to give a lot of credit to Dunston UTS on this result.

Dunston UTS Man of the Match: Craig Scott. The centre half was the epitome of composure at the back for Dunston UTS and the pick of a back four which was the stand out department.

Credit to Mark Fitzpatrick who now takes his league goals tally to 30 for the season and sits at the top of the Ebac Northern League 1st Division goal-scorers table.

Watch all goals from the game >>