Durham Challenge Cup Semi Final
14th March 2018
Dunston UTS v Hartlepool United
Attendance 164


Dunston welcomed Hartlepool Reserves to the UTS Stadium for their rearranged Durham Challenge Cup Semi- Final game after the inclement weather let up enough to allow the previously waterlogged ground to dry out enough and make

the pitch playable.  Dunston have been without a game for 18 days and were able to welcome back Dan Capewell to their squad after a long period out with injury and also the return of the injured top goal scorer Mark Fitzpatrick after a muscle strain. Hartlepool Reserves had brought a youthful squad including Josh Hawkes who spent a period on loan at Dunston earlier in the season.


Dunston UTS: Harrison, Elliott, Halliday, Pearson, Pollock, Hall, Thear L (Staford  69), Burrell,

Fitzpatrick (Capewell 90+2)Heslop (Faiola 79), Martin Subs not Used: Grant, Thear K.


Hartlepool  Reserves: Catterick, Boyle, Holliday, Orrell, Owen, Bayne , Hawkes (Robinson 45), Weirs,

Travers, Munns (Jackson 45), Short (Pritchard 82).  Subs not Used: Stephenson , Miller.


Dunston Started well and on 2 Heslop got the first chance from 8 yards shooting just wide of the post, two minutes later Thear tried a shot from 16 yards that was saved by Catterick low down. Hartlepool replied on 5 with a free kick played

into the Dunston area and Orrell’s header went just over the bar.  On 15, a Fitzpatrick free  kick from 20 yards out went

over the bar. On 17, Hartlepool took an unexpected  lead following a corner cleared to the edge of the box, Burrell appeared to be pulled back as he attempted to clear and Hartlepool forced the ball forward to Bayne who looked just

off side who turned the ball wide of Harrison into the Dunston goal.


Dunston almost replied immediately as Heslop diverted a cross into the area goal-wards and just over the bar. Dunston applied pressure and had three opportunities in the next nine minutes through Fitzpatrick on 23 who saw his shot blocked, then again on 25 Fitzpatrick fired just wide of the far post from 30 yards out and on 26 Burrell flicked a Halliday long throw on target only to see Owen head clear. On 27 a quick break by Hartlepool  was thwarted as Elliott got back to block Short and Harrison was able to collect. Dunston equalised on 30, following a long clearance by Harrison, Fitzpatrick challenged both Owen and Catterick on the edge of the box, the ball fell behind Catterick and Fitzpatrick reacted to side foot the ball into the empty net.  On 32, a neat turn by Burrell in the box gave him space to shoot across the goal only for Bayne to clear. On 34 a Hartlepool  cross to the back post was only stopped from reaching Hawkes by the back tracking Pearson who played it out for a corner. Just on halftime another fast break by Hartlepool was marred by Hawkes straying just offside as Orrell played it through.


Half Time score: Dunston UTS 1 Hartlepool  1


Dunston came out strong in the second half and Liam Thear on 47 forced his way into the Hartlepool area, his first shot

was blocked but his second was played wide of Catterick and into the net giving Dunston a 2-1 lead. On 49 another

Thear effort was blocked and Fitzpatrick was just unable to connect with the rebound.  On 53, Heslop fired a shot from

25 yards out straight at the goalkeeper. A minute later a clever turn by Thear created space to shoot  just wide of the far post.  On 57, Burrell was just unable to redirect his header, from a Fitzpatrick free kick. Within 2 minutes Fitzpatrick shot wide of the back post from 18 yards.


On 65, Dunston increased their lead as Thear advanced through 2 strong challenges in midfield played the ball to Fitzpatrick who returned the ball to Thear on the edge of the box, Thear unselfishly returned the  ball to Fitzpatrick who

fired home from 15 yards to make it 3-1.


This goal deserved to be the winner and it virtually ended the Hartlepool resolve, as play filtered to the final whistle with Hartlepool’s only real chance coming in the 4th minute of added time and this was ruled out as Bayne strayed offside.  


Full Time score: Dunston UTS 3 Hartlepool  1


Dunston deserved their victory on the night against a talented young side from Hartlepool, Dunston recovered from a

goal down to play a good attacking game putting pressure on the Hartlepool defence.  


Dunston Man of the Match: Liam Thear –Liam showed both sides of his game in this match and always kept the Hartlepool defence wondering as to what he was going to do, scoring a goal early in the second half and then making  the third goal after battling through two strong challenges before a neat interchange of passes with goal scorer of the third goal, Mark Fitzpatrick. 


Liam Thear - man of the match.


Overall it was a good team performance by the Dunston side with Harrison in the Dunston goal rarely troubled.  


Video Highlights


Dunston’s next home game is against Newton Aycliffe, Saturday 24th March 2018,  NLD , KO 3PM


Report by T.C