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Dunston 2
Coulson (51'), Fowler (56')
3 Stocksbridge Park Steels
Rawson (49'), Curtis (58', 68')

Match Report: Stocksbridge Park Steels (H)

Dunston made a positive start to the game, winning a succession of corners, the first seeing Jon Shaw power a header towards goal, stinging the palms of Steels keeper Harrison Davidson Hale. Withstanding an early barrage from Thear, Elliott, and Fowler, Steels had their first opportunity, breaking down the left, only for a poor cross to be claimed well by James Anderson. 

Continuing their good start, Dunston came close again. A delightful lofted ball from Phil Turnbull in midfield found Jack Elliott, who’s floating cross had to be acrobatically swotted away by Davidson Hale in the Steels net. There were shouts for a penalty midway through the half, Thear striking towards goal and hitting the arm of the Steels defender – a contentious decision for sure with cries from the home crowd, however the referee was unmoved. 

 Just before half time, Jack Elliott almost gave Dunston a deserved lead. A brilliant turn by Richard Coulson in midfield led to him laying off Jack Elliott down the left who skipped past one, twisted and turned in the box, only for his cross come shot to deflect onto the roof of the net.

 It was the visitors who had the first chance of the second half, forward Luke Rawson striking from range straight into the bread basket of James Anderson. The Steels, who come out the brighter, soon had their reward for their fast start. A corner was whipped in, which eventually fell to Luke Rawson on the edge of the box. The forward fired low past Anderson to give the away side the lead. 

Almost immediately however, Dunston had their equaliser. A delightful ball was whipped in by Liam Thear from the right, and with the keeper in no- mans land trying to collect unsuccessfully, Richard Coulson was on hand to nod home and equalise. Dunston soon had the lead in what was turning out to be a breathless second half. This time it was Michael Pearson who swung a ball in for Michael Fowler, who headed home across the face of goal to give Dunston the lead.

 Not long after, the game was soon all square again with the Steels equalising. Gareth Curtis capitalised on some slack defending to pick the ball up slot cooly past Anderson to tie the game at 2-2.

With the game opening up, Elliott nearly put Dunston ahead, only for the attacker to hit the side netting on the break having been released by Michael Fowler on the counter attack. With both sides pushing for the winner, it was the visitors who would take the lead again in a topsy turvy half. A long ball forward caught the Dunston backline napping, and with Anderson off his line, Curtis was able to curl home from range for his second of the game. Rawson nearly added a fourth for the visitors, only for Craig Scott to make a goal saving tackle with Steels on the counter.

Sado Djalo came inches away from equalising for Dunston ten minutes from time, the striker almost clawing home from a drilled cross, however Dunston were unable to grab an equaliser.

Published Saturday 13th August 2022