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Carlton Town 2
Watson (5'), Watson (89')
0 Dunston

REPORT | Carlton Town 2 Dunston UTS 0

In a must-win game to have any chance of climbing into the play-offs, Dunston fell to a 2-0 defeat in Nottinghamshire.

An own goal from Terry Galbraith put the hosts a goal up after five minutes before Nat Watson wrapped up the win for Carlton in the final few minutes of the encounter.

Dunston named an unchanged starting line-up from Tuesday night’s victory against Grimsby Borough. Jon Shaw returned to the bench after serving his one-game suspension after his red card on Bank Holiday Monday at Hebburn.

The afternoon got off to an absolutely disastrous start after some hard luck. Jude Swailes cleared the ball off the line and unfortunately ricocheted off Terry Galbraith and into the back of the net. The goal was credited to Kieran Watson for the hosts.

The hard luck continued as after ten minutes, Jack Camarda went down with a hamstring injury and ultimately could not continue. Richard Coulson coming on in his place.

On 20 minutes, Carlton’s defence parted like the Red Sea as Dale Pearson stormed through on goal. A last-ditch sliding tackle from Khyle Sargent thwarted the attack.

Up the other end, Sado Djalo had to come to the rescue and clear the ball off the line to stop a certain goal for The Millers. Michael Pearson also had an effort deflected wide for Dunston’s final chance of the half.

Dunston were given a glimmer of hope at the start of the second half as Djalo was brought down by a clumsy challenge inside the penalty area. Phil Turnbull stepped up, but unfortunately Michael Emery was able to claw away the spot-kick and then save Will Jenkins’ effort on the rebound.

Liam Thear and Carl Finnigan were brought on in place of Jack Elliott and Dale Pearson on the hour-mark as Dunston looked to change things up to find a route back into the game.

As the half wore on, Dunston struggled to create anything in the final third and were left frustrated as the hosts ran the clock down and committed a lot of fouls. Tempers were certainly beginning to flare as both sides received a combined total of nine yellow cards as the game began to slip away from Dunston.

Unfortunately, as Dunston began to push further forwards with time running out, they were caught on the counterattack by the hosts. A ball from left-hand side found Nat Watson unmarked at the back post as he lashed the ball into the roof of the net.

The defeat means it’s a second consecutive sixth place finish in the Northern Premier League East, finishing just three points outside the play-offs.

By Callum Pattison 

Published Saturday 22nd April 2023