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Marine 1
Cummins (34')
1 Dunston
Scott (69')

Marine FC vs Dunston FC                  
BetVictor Northern Premier N/West
Saturday 17th August 2019.
Attendance 357

Dunston FC earned a credible 1-1 draw away to Marine FC in their maiden game as a step 4 club. Trailing going into half time to a Niall Cummins goal, the visitors levelled on 69 minutes through debutant Cedwyn Scott, the youngster having recently joined the club from Dundee FC. On the balance of play, a draw was a fair result for both sides. Marine FC are celebrating their 125th year anniversary and major ground improvements have been conducted at The Marine Travel Arena.

This is the first time in Marine FC ’ s long history that they have played at this level, having suffered relegation last season by goal difference.

Marine FC are seen by many as one of the favourites for promotion, as are Dunston FC. Dunston FC Manager Chris Swailes handed a debut to former Sunderland AFC and England Under 17 International Dan Wright, who has recently signed for the club having spent last season at South Shields.

Marine FC kicked off as a brief shower struck right on kick off, with some of the impressive Dunston support taking refuge under their flag on the open terrace behind the goal. Dunston FC had the first chance of the game on 3 minutes, Mark Fitzpatrick putting his effort narrowly wide from a superb delivery by Liam Marrs, who had been picked out in a wide position by Dan Wright. The visitors looked the better side in the opening 10 minutes with the back three of Dan Capewell, Andrew Grant-Soulsby and Craig Scott winning all of their aerial battles against an impressive Marine forward line. Marine’ s first effort of the game came on 13 minutes, forcing a series of corners Steven Irwin flashed a headed effort shy of the near post. Former Liverpool player Craig Lindfield glimpsed an effort narrowly wide on 19 minutes having got in behind the Dunston back three.

Last seasons top scorer Mark Fitzpatrick was getting into good positions, an excellent cross from Dan Halliday forced a corner as Fitzpatrick was just unable to connect. Dunston continued to battle and apply pressure with Fitzpatrick as the main threat up top with his strength and hold up play. However despite Dunston's endeavours, it was the hosts who took the lead. A slip from Dan Halliday allowed Marine to cross to Niall Cummins, the forward seized the opportunity with a diving header past Karl Dryden Marine were looking to get the ball out wide, capitalising on the space down the channels. To their credit, having gone a goal down, the visitors did not panic as Dunston looked to control the tempo of the game.

Luke Page in the middle of the park was looking to get on the ball and carve out chances whilst Michael Pearson was looking to hurry and force Marine to make mistakes. Before the interval Karl Dryden prevented Marine from extending their lead with a fine save from Marine ’s Joshua Solomon-Davies. Craig Lindfield curled a long range effort narrowly over for Marine after the re-start, whilst Liam Brooks dragged his effort wide of the post as strike partner Mark Fitzpatrick had done well to dummy his marker and create the opportunity. Craig Lindfield cut out a cross field pass to unleash a screamer of a shot which went just wide of Dunston’ s goal. Chris Swailes decided on a double substitution, replacing Dan Wright and Liam Brooks with Callum Little and Cedwyn Scott. Cedwyn Scott was to have an instantaneous impact upon the game, reacting quickly to a throw in he saw his goal bound half volley superbly blocked by a Marine defender.

Dunston kept up pressure and the debutant got off the mark on 69 minutes. From a corner the youngster bravely threw himself at the back post under a m ê lé e of flying boots and guided his header into the net to give Dunston a deserved equaliser. However the youngster was forced from the field of play having sustained a facial injury and was replaced by Scott Heslop.

The last twenty minutes of the game were a physical encounter as both sides pushed for a winner. Morgan Bacon prevented Fitzpatrick from getting off the mark, saving from a header he reacted quickly to stretch and prevent any follow up. As he had done so many times before last season, Dunston keeper Karl Dryden was to ensure the visitors got something from the game, tipping over a dangerous effort from Marine substitute Brett Mblanda and racing out of his goal to clear the ball as Rumenid Barai went racing through on goal. On the balance of play both sides deserved a point.

A draw was a fair result. It ’ s hard to call how both sides will fair throughout the season, the next few games will give a better idea of the quality in this league. Dunston gave a very good account of themselves against a side viewed by many as one of the top sides in the division.

There is still a sense that Dunston have a lot more to give, and further into the season today’s result could well be seen as an important one.

Final score: Marine FC - 1 (Cummins 13 ’) Dunston FC - 1 (Cedwyn Scott 69’)

Marine FC : Bacon, Solomon-Davies, Ellison, Strickland, Miley, Lycett, Lindfield (Mbalanda), Irwin, Cummins, Antoine (Devine), Barrigan (Barai). Subs not used: Devine, Mendes.

Dunston FC.. Dryden, Marrs, Halliday (C), Wright (Little), Grant-Soulsby, Capewell, Craig Scott, Pearson, Fitzpatrick, Page, Brooks (Cedwyn Scott (Heslop). Subs not used: Lawrence, Lowther.

Dunston UTS FC Supporters Club Man of the match award: Dan Capewell.

Published Tuesday 17th September 2019