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Dunston 2
Finnigan (36', 90')
0 Sheffield

Match Report: Sheffield FC (H)

A first half goal on 36 minutes from new signing Carl Finnigan set Dunston on their way to victory, and after absorbing some pressure from the visitors late on, Finnigan added his second on 90 minutes to seal a big three points for Chris Swailes' side.

Dunston welcomed back Jack Elliott to the bench for this fixture, whilst James Anderson was given the nod in goal and Jude Swailes returned to the back three having missed Saturday's win at Long Eaton United. Sheffield opted for a much changed team from the side that gained a point against Bridlington at the weekend.

It was a scrappy start to the game in which Dunston had the best chance of the opening quarter. Sadó Djaló was given the ball on the edge of the box and with his back towards goal, we turned his marker and let fly, only for his shot to skid just wide of the post on a sticky surface.

Dunston were forced into an early change when Michael Fowler came off worse on a crunching challenge, with Carl Finnigan taking his place on just eight minutes. Liam Thear was looking lively for the hosts, and he came close with an effort having driven towards goal with power and speed from midfield. 

There was nearly a goal of the season contender on 22 minutes, when a Jon Shaw cross-field ball was taken down deftly by Richard Coulson, but his cross couldn't be turned home acrobatically by Djaló who had attempted a bicycle kick. Sheffield themselves had the occasional chance, and Joe Maguire went close for the visitors, heading just over from a corner. 

On 36 minutes, new signing Carl Finnigan put Dunston into the lead, latching on to a delightful through ball to bear down on goal and beat the keeper with a neat finish. A second goal in as many home games for the new front man, who is quickly becoming a welcome addition to the team. 

Sheffield had their chances before and after half time, with captain Joshua Nodder going close with an effort from range, and a mad scramble in the Dunston box leading to penalty appeals of a handball, but in fairness they never once tested James Anderson properly with a clear cut chance.

It wasn't a classic, but Liam Thear continued to lead the Dunston attack well, driving forward on the right hand side, beating his man for strength and lashing a shot just past the post which hit the post and bounced agonisingly away.

Dunston were edging towards the win, and standing resolute at the back no thanks to the work of Jon Shaw, Terry Galbraith and Jude Swailes who were first to every ball all night long that came their way. Deep into injury time, Dunston made the game safe, and it was that man Finnigan again. Sadó Djaló's shot hit the legs of Finnigan, who unmarked was able to latch onto the loose ball which had wrong footed the keeper and smash home for 2-0.

A superb gritty victory for Jon McDonald's side, who had overseen the game in the absence of Chris Swailes. Dunston look to continue their form as they head to Ashton United in the FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round on Saturday.

Published Wednesday 5th October 2022