Dunston UTS v Stockton Town


Report by Billy Montague

Saturday 17th November 2018

Ebac Northern League – First Division

Dunston welcomed Stockton Town FC to the UTS Stadium for their second home Ebac Northern League First Division fixture within the space of four days, meaning that there was little time to prepare a perfect playing surface. Manager Chris Swailes was again forced to juggle with his

team selection and tactics against a Stockton team that are as strong as any in the League.


Mark Fitzpatrick was back after missing the North Shields game in midweek and on-loan Cieran Jackson joined the squad for the first time. Liam Brooks, Callum Little and Aiden Haley joined Craig Scott on the injured list. Tom Bexton returned to the starting line-up with Scott Heslop and Callum Elliott taking places on the bench. Stockton were missing brothers Nathan and Dale Mulligan who were attending a wedding.


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


Stockton: Arthur, Garbutt (Carter), Risborough, Craggs, Nicholson, Coulthard, Bulmer, Mohammed (Ward), Roberts, Woodhouse, Stockton (Pettitjean). Subs not used: Cossavella, Jordan.


Dunston made a positive start to the game on a playing surface that was less than perfect and they created the first real chance on eight minutes when Mark Fitzpatrick made a strong run before feeding Jordan Nellis but his low shot skidded wide of keeper Michael Arthur’s post. A minute later Nellis was set up again by his strike-partner and this time he drew a very good save from the visiting keeper who deflected the shot away from goal. 

As Dunston dominated the play with some determined challenges, Arthur pulled off another excellent save in the 12th minute to keep out Jordan Nellis after he had exchanged passes with Mark Fitzpatrick once again. Stockton made a swift reply a minute later when a great ball by Max Craggs sent Fred Woodhouse racing towards Karl Dryden’s goal but just as he shaped to shoot, Dan Halliday got back to put in a superbly timed tackle to save the day. On 21 minutes the ever dangerous Mikey Roberts created danger on the edge of the Dunston box but his shot on the turn flew over the bar.

Dunston continued to have the better of the play in the next few exchanges and went ahead in the 23rd minute when Michael Pearson won possession 30-yards from goal before sending Mark Fitzpatrick on a penetrating run towards goal. Fitzpatrick went past his marker and when challenged, got the ball to Jack Elliott who wasted no time in feeding a low cross into the box where Jake Stafford slotted home into the corner of the net from 10-yards. 1 – 0..Stafford almost grabbed a second goal just two minutes after the re-start when he was set up by Fitzpatrick but this time his effort went just the wrong side of the post. Dunston were winning most of the tackles at this stage with Stockton struggling to impose themselves on the game.

Mark Fitzpatrick made a chance for himself on 31 minutes but Arthur made a good save to safely hold onto the powerful shot. When Arthur left his area to meet a long ball from Tom Bexton on 34 minutes, James Risborough took the ball off the keeper’s toes and the hard running Mark Fitzpatrick almost cashed in but the danger was cleared.A through ball by Michael Pearson in the 36th minute almost put Mark Fitzpatrick in but keeper Arthur quickly left his line to pluck the ball off the forward’s head. Stockton mounted a promising attack in the 40th minute when Peter Bulmer made a tricky run on the left but his final ball was slightly over-hit and Fred Woodhouse just failed to profit. Dunston held their slender advantage until the half-time whistle.

Half-Time Score:  Dunston UTS  1    Stockton Town  0

After a likely ear-bashing from manager Michael Dunwell, Stockton began the second-half in a much more determined manner. Early play swung from end-to-end and Stockton put a good move together on 53 minutes through the pacey Matthew Garbutt overlapping down the right. He transferred the ball to Fred Woodhouse who in turn teed up Mikey Roberts to turn sharply on the edge of the Dunston box but his curling shot passed the angle by a couple of feet.


On the hour mark Dunston worked a good situation on the right-hand corner of Stockton’s area and Liam Marrs cut inside to send in a powerfull drive which was blocked and when he got control from the rebound, keeper Arthur was forced to save. In the 65th minute Stockton’s Peter Bulmer went on a great run in the left channel and went past Liam Marrs but his driven cross from the bye-line was just too strong for his team-mates. That had probably been Stockton’s best opening so far and Dunston should have increased their lead on 75 minutes when some great approach play between substitute Scott Heslop and Mark Fitzpatrick opened up a great chance for Jack Elliott but he hesitated slightly as he was about to shoot and a last ditch challenge allowed Arthur to make a good save. In reply a minute later Stockton’s Shab Mohammed spoiled a good attack by shooting high over the bar.


As the game reached its later stages, an excellent headed flick-on by Scott Heslop on 78 minutes released Mark Fitzpatrick but a combination of Adam Nicholson and James Risborough just managed to crowd him out. In the 80th minute a Matthew Garbutt free-kick found the head of the impressive Max Craggs but his effort flew wide of the target. Three minutes later, Mark Fitzpatrick went close after another Scott Heslop head-on but it was the visitors who threw everything forward in their pursuit of a late equaliser.


On 85 minutes some good play by substitute Joe Carter presented Fred Woodhouse with an opportunity but Dan Capewell made a brave block to deny him. Some determined defending by the home side kept Stockton at bay but in the last minute of normal time only a brilliant save by Karl Dryden preserved the points. When a dangerous cross came in from Stockton’s right flank it reached Mikey Roberts with his back to goal on the penalty spot. He produced an over-head effort that looked goal-bound until Dryden went full length to clutch the ball safely just inside his left post. Four minutes of added time produced no more scares for Dunston and they confidently held on for another three hard earned points against a very good side.


Full-Time Score:  Dunston UTS   1   Stockton Town  0


Dunston’s Man of the Match:  Michael Pearson – Michael produced a very hard working display in another fantastic team performance. In truth, the award could have gone to any one of the team. They all contributed a fantastic amount to another victory against tough opponents. Their will to win and determination is the story of our season.


Michael Pearson, Dunston's man of the match



Attendance 297


Match Pictures None


Video Highlights None