Log in or Register
Dunston 3
Finnigan (38'), Djalo (90'), Pearson (90')
2 Cleethorpes Town
Bateson (7'), Howe (36')

REPORT | Dunston UTS 3 Cleethorpes Town 2

Dunston completed a remarkable comeback victory at The UTS Stadium as two incredibly late goals ensured the home side of all three points.

Cleethorpes took the lead after just seven minutes as Curtis Bateson slotted home. The visitors doubled their lead against the run of play on 36 minutes as Declan Howe headed into the back of the net from close range.

An instant reply from Carl Finnigan gave Dunston a lifeline before absolute bedlam ensued in second half stoppage time. Dan Staples saved a penalty which was followed by two goals in the 93rd and 96th minute from Sado Djalo and Michael Pearson respectively. A win that moves Dunston up to sixth in the table, and within touching distance of the allusive play-off positions.

The 207 in attendance at The UTS Stadium were treated to an early Christmas cracker in what was an absolute whirlwind of a game.

Dunston started brightly and almost found the opener with just six minutes on the clock. Liam Thear drove forwards before unleashing a 25-yard rocket, which cannoned off the underside of the bar and out of danger.

Despite the positive start, the visitors landed the opening goal of the contest just one minute later. Curtis Bateson received the ball and moved forwards into the box before sliding the ball into the bottom corner with his left foot.

The early setback didn’t stop Dunston’s intent, and the equaliser almost came on numerous occasions. On 28 minutes, Pearson won the ball from a corner however, his headed effort towards goal was somehow swooped off the line by a Cleethorpes’ defender.

Just a minute later, Jack Elliott burst down the left-hand side in traditional fashion and sent a pinpoint cross into the box towards Finnigan. Unfortunately, Finnigan’s effort on goal was only good enough to come off the side netting.

Liam Thear was next to come close just after the half-hour mark as he again released a powerful strike from distance. Ultimately, Tom Jackson was able to push the effort around the post and out for a Dunston corner.

From the resulting corner, the ball was partially cleared by the visitors until the ball fell to Richard Coulson who curled a swinging effort just past the post from 25-yards.

After all the endeavor going forwards, Dunston were hit with a sucker-punch as the visitors doubled their advantage on 36 minutes. A cross from the right-hand side was floated towards the back post where Declan Howe was waiting to head home from a few yards out.

Dunston refused to drop their heads and received a lifeline on 38 minutes. Carl Finnigan raced through on goal after a sublime through ball from Jack Elliott, and he kept his composure before tucking his effort into the bottom corner.

After a frantic opening forty-five minutes, the pace of the game slowed down in the second half as the visitors looked to run down the clock at any given opportunity.

The first real chance of the second half fell to Cleethorpes on the hour-mark as there was almost a calamity at the back for Dunston. Jon Oglesby raced away down the left-hand side and sent a teasing low ball across the Dunston six-yard box. The ball was eventually just about cleared.

With the referee signalling a minimum of seven minutes additional time with the clock reaching 90 minutes, time was beginning to run out for Dunston to grab anything from the game.

Things got even worse when Cleethorpes were awarded a penalty in the first minute of stoppage time. Fortunately, just like in October when we beat Ashton United in the FA Trophy, Dan Staples again woke up this morning and decided he wanted to save a penalty today.

With yet another lifeline, Dunston continued to press forwards with all three of our strikers on the field.

A ridiculously good 40-yard pass from Will Jenkins was met by the head of second half substitute Sado Djalo, as he rose high and bulleted a header into the top corner in the forth additional minute.

The havoc wasn’t finished there as Dunston were awarded a corner kick in the sixth additional minute of stoppage time. The ball was swung in, and honestly it was hard to make out exactly what happened, but Michael Pearson was there to prod the ball into the back of the net to send The UTS Stadium into a frenzy.

Following the deserved victory, Dunston climb to sixth in the Northern Premier League East table, and a win on Tuesday night away at Grantham Town would see us catapulted into the play-off spots.

Our Man of the Match versus Cleethorpes Town was awarded to ‘Scrappy’ Liam Thear, for a battling display down the right-hand side, and for carving out multiple opportunities for himself and the rest of the team.

Published Saturday 3rd December 2022