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Dunston 2
Scott (50'), Thear (87')
2 Middlesbrough
Gitau (17'), Folarin (64')

Report |Middlesbrough U23's (H)

Dunston earned a 2-2 draw in a pre-season friendly at home against Middlesbrough U23’s. Boro lead twice through goals from George Gitau and Sam Folarin however, a goal from Craig Scott and a late free kick from Liam Thear meant the game finished all-square.

The first big chance of the game came after 11 minutes in favour of Dunston. A free-flowing attack resulting in Coulson hooking the ball across the box where Fowler’s header was just guided over the bar.

Dunston were unable to capitalise on the bright start and soon went a goal down on 17 minutes. Boro full back George Gitau put his side ahead after curling an effort past Dan Staples from inside the box.

Dunston responded well and would’ve levelled if it wasn’t for a world class save from Henry Popple. A great move down the right saw the ball fall to Fowler’s feet and Popple produced a miraculous save tipping the shot over the bar after 26 minutes.

Fowler had another effort 6 minutes later with a volley from distance but again, Popple was there to claim the ball to ensure his side were ahead at the break.

It was the perfect start to the second half as captain Craig Scott pulled us level four minutes into the half. Scott picked up the loose ball inside the box and thumped the ball across goal into the roof of the net.

On 53 minutes, Fowler almost gave Dunston the lead. The striker got a break inside the box and drove a shot towards goal however, Popple was there to make the save and guide the ball out of harm’s way.

Again, the pressure continued to mount as Fowler once again forced a save out of Popple on the hour-mark and Djalo’s effort on the rebound was ballooned over the bar.

After sustaining the pressure, Boro’s youth once again took the lead on 64 minutes. Sam Folarin carried the ball towards goal and took a shot from distance which flew into the top corner.

Once again, Dunston responded well after going a goal down and began to dominate in the final 10 minutes. Second half substitute Jake Turnbull was unlucky on 82 minutes as Djalo played a ball through to him and Turnbull’s shot inside the box whistled just past the post.

Minutes later, Dunston had the ball in the net courtesy of Liam Thear however, the goal was ruled out for an offside in the build-up.

The equaliser came in the 87th minute after Dunston were awarded free kick just outside the box. Thear stepped up and curved his effort around the wall into the bottom corner.

The pressure continued to mount and Jon Shaw almost snatched a winner in the 90th minute as he headed narrowly over the crossbar with the game ending level.

Published Thursday 28th July 2022