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Brighouse Town 1
Benjamin-Potts (79')
2 Dunston
Djalo (), Pearson (43' pen)

REPORT | Brighouse Town 1-2 Dunston UTS

After Dale Pearson had put Dunston ahead before half-time from the penalty spot, the hosts hit back in the second half through Reon Benjamin-Potts to tie proceedings. But Dunston battled until the end, and Djaló was in the right place at the right time to steer a header home in the final minute of stoppage time and send Dunston home with a hugely important win.

 Dan Staples made a return to the starting line-up in goal for Dunston, while Jude Swailes and Carl Finnigan sat out with injuries picked up over the games with Stockton Town and Lincoln United respectively.

 Dunston made a positive start to the game and had a number of early opportunities. Dale Pearson fizzed a snapshot wide of the target before he had a shot blocked wide from a low Craig Baxter cross. Liam Thear was the next to have a go, but his effort from a tight angle was high and wide of the Brighouse goal.

 On 21 minutes, Staples had his first tester of the afternoon but he was equal to it as he pushed Thomas Haigh’s effort wide.

 Dunston were forced into an early change, with Jack Elliott replacing Richard Coulson, and Elliott was instantly into the thick of the action. After Jack Boyle had placed a free-kick wide, Elliott was played through on goal only to be brought down in the box by the chasing defender. The referee was unmoved however, and said no penalty much to the bemusement of the majority in attendance at the Yorkshire Payments Stadium.

 On 41 minutes, Dunston were awarded a penalty. It was almost a carbon copy of the first shout, with Craig Scott chasing the ball through down the left flank and into the box after a brilliant team move, only to be brought down by the chasing defender. Dale Pearson stepped up and coolly dispatched the spot-kick to give Dunston the lead going into half-time.

 The second half was a much scrappier affair, with neither side threatening in the early stages of the half on a tough pitch.

 Brighouse grew into the game, and could have equalised on 65 minutes as Mohammed Qasim drove into the box and slid a low cross across the face of goal, but there was no one on the end to connect with it.

 Brighouse’s endeavour did eventually pay off, and they equalised on 79 minutes. Staples did well to react and save the initial long-range effort, but Benjamin-Potts was on hand to turn home the rebound and bring his side level.

 Things went from bad to worse for Dunston just moments later as  midfielder Will Jenkins was shown a straight red card. Despite evading three challenges when driving forward, all of which could have been called as fouls, Jenkins was adjudged to have left his leg in late on the defender and protests from the hosts saw Jenkins receive his marching orders.

 Djaló had a great opportunity to put Dunston back ahead with five minutes to play, but headed over from point blank range.

 But both sides kept pushing to win the game, and Dunston’s fighting spirit showed deep into stoppage time. A Phil Turnbull free-kick deep into the box was headed back across goal by Scott, and Djaló was on hand at the back post to head home and spark jubilant scenes on the bench and in the stands.

 A massive three points for Dunston which keeps their pressure up on the playoff-places.

Published Saturday 4th March 2023