Dunston UTS v Whitley Bay

Report by Billy Montague


Saturday 26th August 2017

Ebac Northern League – First DivisionFinal Score:  

Dunston UTS  2  Whitley Bay  1

Dunston welcomed Whitley Bay to the UTS Stadium for their fourth home Ebac Northern League game of the season. Bay had made a solid start to their League and FA Cup campaign, having only lost one game, that being against the out-standing Morpeth Town. They were boosted by the mid-week win in an FA Cup Replay at home to Penrith when a stirring performance brought them three goals in the last ten minutes to send them through. Dunston Manager Chris Swailes had to contend with the continued absence of Dan Capewell, Jake Stafford and Andy Clark. Ryan Drane, Adam Rundle and Liam Thear returned to the squad and took their place on the bench.

Dunston started the game in very positive manner and created a great chance in the 7th minute when Dale Burrell sent Mark Fitzpatrick clean through on the right side of the Whitley Bay box only for keeper Thomas Flynn leave his line to force the in-form number nine wide and the ball was scrambled clear. Only two minutes later, home keeper Aidan Grant had to be at his best to deny Whitley’s Scott Jasper at the other end. Dunston almost went ahead on 12 minutes when a Michael Pearson corner reached Dale Burrell at the far post but his header flew just wide. Bay’s Matthew Cornish sent a shot narrowly over the angle on 15 minutes before James Martin arrowed a header just over from another Pearson corner two minutes later.

In the 19th minute Dunston’s Aidan Grant pulled off another decent save to gather a powerful drive from Scott Jasper. The home side grabbed the lead on 24 minutes when a Michael Pearson corner saw a superb Dale Burrell far-post header cleared off the line. As the ball screwed across goal, Mark Fitzpatrick was on hand to slot a low shot into the far corner of the net. 1 – 0 to Dunston.

Bay almost snatched an equaliser in the 29th minute when left-back Michael Hall made a great run down the flank and sent over a dangerous cross which captain Alex Kempster rose to meet but his rocket header flew narrowly past the post. A minute later Grant was call into action again when he was forced to save a good shot from Kyle Patton. At the other end Flynn made a superb save on 35 minutes to tip a brilliant volley from Steven Anderson over the bar. Dunston were not to be denied and scored a crucial second goal in the 39th minute when Mark Fitzpatrick was again on hand to flick home from close range after another Pearson corner was only partially cleared. 2 – 0 to Dunston.

Whitley Bay battled gamely to get a goal back but the Dunston defence held out resolutely until the break.

Half-Time Score:  Dunston UTS  2   Whitley Bay  0

Dunston started the second-half as if they wanted to put the result beyond the visitors early and on 48 minutes Mark Fitzpatrick drew another brilliant save from Flynn with a sizzling shot from l8-yards. In the 53rd minute the Dunston centre-forward almost completed his hat-trick when he chased down a through-ball from substitute Adam Rundle.

When he reached the ball before the onrushing keeper, his lobbed effort drifted agonisingly wide of the goal. On 58 minutes Whitley went close when Kyle Patton broke through but he lobbed over the bar when well placed. They went even closer five minutes later when a superb penetrating run by Scott Jasper took him past four defenders but luckily for Dunston, his powerful shot flew straight at Aidan Grant and the keeper was able to hang on to the effort. Dunston replied in the 70th minute when a swift attack culminated with a goal-bound shot from Scott Heslop which was matched by a great save by Flynn.

Bay were almost gifted a goal on 73 minutes when a Grant throw-out was intercepted by Kyle Patton who set up Scott Jasper. The Whitley forward looked a certain scorer but the Dunston keeper made amends for his error by making a brave block before Jasper’s follow-up effort was cleared off the line by Michael Pearson. The home side almost scored again after this narrow escape when an Adam Rundle shot just cleared the angle on 77 minutes and a minute later, fellow substitute Liam Thear scraped the woodwork with a header from a Pearson corner-kick with Flynn beaten. On 84 minutes Thear caused panick in the Bay defence when he made a great run on the Dunston right before sending over a driven cross that Fitzpatrick headed just over.

A good through ball by Alex Kempster on 86 minutes almost sent Kyle Patton clear on goal but the alert Grant left his goal smartly to hack away. With the game entering its final minutes, the battling qualities of Whitley Bay were evident and they hadn’t given up on repeating their FA Cup heroics. On 90 minutes Kempster set up substitute Peter Glen-Ravenhill in the right corner of the Dunston box and he controlled well before drilling a right-foot effort across Grant and into the far corner of the net. 2 – 1 to Dunston.

Dunston hung on to the result for what seemed a life-time as the referee somehow managed to find eleven minutes of added-on time in a game where there had been no lengthy injury stoppages in the second-half.

Final Score:  Dunston UTS 2  Whitley Bay  1

Dunston Man of the Match: Mark Fitzpatrick  Mark gave another battling display and scored two priceless goals.  This was another good team performance.

Dunston UTS: Grant, Elliott, Halliday, Pearson, Jones (Drane), Hall, Anderson (Thear), Burrell (Rundle), Fitzpatrick, Heslop, Martin. Subs not used: Harrison, Thear (K).

Whitley Bay: Flynn, Byerley, Hall (Reay), Haley, Nearney, Williams, Potter, Cornish (Brooks), Jasper, Kempster, Patton (Glen-Ravenhill). Subs not used: Cunningham, Harley