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Dunston 2
Hall (66'), Fitzpatrick (71')
2 Colne
Hughes (47' pen, 85')
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Match report


Report by Billy Montague

Saturday 29th February 2020

BetVictor Northern Premier – N/West Division

Final Score: Dunston FC  2  Colne FC 2

Colne FC made their second visit of the season to the UTS Stadium on a cold and windy day for this BetVictor NPL N/West Division game having already knocked the hosts out of the Emirates FA Cup in the Third Round Qualifying back in October. The late winner in a 3-2 victory that day was scored by Sefton Gonzales who is now starring for South Shields. At the beginning of January, Dunston got a modicum of revenge when they visited the Sovereign Play Stadium in a League fixture with Michael Pearson heading a late winning goal. Dunston manager Chris Swailes had several injury headaches before selecting his side with Liam Thear, Jake Stafford and Niall Harrison all missing and to compound the problems, Michael Pearson broke down in the warm-up and had to withdraw from the starting line-up. Colne FC included Harrison Hopper and Lewis Bradley, on-loan from League One Rochdale.

The strong diagonal wind made good football difficult in the early minutes of the game but Dunston began in determined fashion and took the play to the visitors. In the 12th miinute, Mark Fitzpatrick took control of a good pass from strike-partner Scott Heslop before being brought down deep into the Colne box but appeals for a penalty were waved away by the Referee. Only a minute later, Fitzpatrick won possession of the ball thirty-yards from goal and wasted no time before firing in a fierce shot which looked to be heading into the roof of the net before keeper Ben Parkinson brilliantly finger-tipped onto the bar and the ball rebounded to safety. On 13 minutes Colne’s Waqas Azam sent in a dangerous free-kick which was headed strongly away by Craig Scott. Two minutes later, Dunston almost opened the scoring when good play by Luke Page set up Scott Heslop to run on only to be denied by a great block by the feet of the advancing Parkinson. Dan Capewell shot over the Colne bar before Dan Halliday did very well at the other end to block Lewis Bradley with a brilliant tackle to deny a clear shooting chance on 25 minutes. Four minutes later, Dunston went close when Craig Scott sent a bullet header agonisingly past the post from a Mark Fitzpatrick free-kick from wide on the right. Colne central defender Marcus Poschashot wide of Karl Dryden’s post on 33 minutes in a rare attack by the visitors. Colne had a big let-off in the 38th minute when Luke Page played a one-two before breaking through to go round keeper Parkinson but his final effort struck the post before being scrambled away. After sustaining an injury in an earlier challenge, Scott Heslop was forced from the field and was replaced by substitute Liam Brooks on 40 minutes. Dunston kept on probing for the opening goal and thought they had done the trick in the 43rdminute when Liam Marrs cut inside to loft an effort over Parkinson towards the top corner of the net. Somehow, the ball drifted onto the inside of the post, ran across the goal-line and was cleared away from danger.

Half-Time Score:  Dunston FC  0   Colne FC  0

Dunston were forced to make another change before the start of the second-half, with Jack Elliott replacing the injured Liam Marrs. Colne mounted an early attack and caught the Dunston defence cold with Rochdale loanee Harrison Hopper going down in the box under a challenge and the Referee awarded a penalty in the 47th minute. Connor Hughesconfidently stepped up to slam the resulting spot-kick home with Colne’s first shot on target in the match. 0 – 1.

Dunston replied on 51 minutes with a good run into the box by Jack Elliott and just as he was about to shoot he was bundled to the ground with the hapless Referee waving away the penalty appeals. Dunston were pressing and when Luke Page went in for a 50-50 ball on the edge of the Colne box on 57 minutes the Referee issued a caution after the Colne player feigned injury. Just two minutes later, Dan Capewellslid into a challenge just inside the Dunston half, clearly winning the ball and once again the visiting player made the most of the situation. The Referee inexplicably produced the red card when a yellow would have been harsh, and Dan Capewell was dismissed on the hour mark. Colne made the most of their numerical advantage and on 62 minutes Lewis Bradley sent in a good shot but Karl Dryden was equal to it. Dunston hit back and forced the Colne defence onto the back foot and on 64 minutes Liam Brooks turned to slam a low shot against the post from 10-yards. He then sprinted to retrieve the ball to send over a telling cross that was scrambled away for a corner. Jack Elliott sent over an excellent flag-kick to the far-post where Michael Hall headed firmly into the net for the equaliser. 1 – 1.

The ten-men of Dunston were inspired now and kept attacking the visitors’ goal, going close on a couple of occasions before they grabbed the lead on 70 minutes. Aggressive play by Liam Brooks saw him feed in Mark Fitzpatrick who twisted past his marker before slamming low past Parkinson into the corner. 2 – 1.

On 73 minutes Lewis Bradley sent a suspiciously offside Eli Hey sprinting through but he was unable to finish and shot across goal and wide of the far-post. Dunston had strong appeals for a penalty turned down on 81 minutes when Fitzpatrick was sent sprawling and paid the price for pushing up when Eli Hey broke on the left to feed inside to Billy Hasler-Cregg who set-up Connor Hughes to slot home. 2 – 2.

Dunston didn’t give up in the closing minutes and could be proud of their efforts on a day when decisions went against them and they carried no luck.

Final Score:  Dunston FC  2   Colne FC  2

Dunston FC: Dryden, Capewell, Scott, Mouanda,Hall, Grant-Soulsby, Marrs

(Elliott J), Halliday, Heslop (Brooks), Page, Fitzpatrick.

Subs not used: Elliott C, Bostyan.

Dunston UTS FC Supporters Club Man of The Match:  Mark Fitzpatrick

Mark Fitzpatrick is kindly sponsored by:

Home shirt: Mr Tom Newton of TMP Motor Products

Away shirt: Dunston UTS FC Supporters Club

Recovery equipment: Mr Paul Glister

Training kit: The George Pub and Grill Stockton.

Published Monday 2nd March 2020 (last updated Tuesday 3rd March 2020)