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Dunston 4
Pearson (36'), Finnigan (68', 71'), Djalo (87')
1 Tadcaster Albion
Ferreira (54')

REPORT | Dunston UTS 4-1 Tadcaster Albion

Dunston maintained their pressure on those above them in the playoff places following a resounding 4-1 win over relegated Tadcaster Albion.


Michael Pearson put Dunston ahead midway through the first half, but Chris Swailes’ side were pegged back when Rafael Ferreira equalised for Tadcaster. Nevertheless, Dunston hit back in resounding fashion with a brace from Carl Finnigan being followed by a late goal by Sadó Djaló to seal all three points.


Due to league rules, Jon Shaw remained in the Dunston side despite his red card against Hebburn Town on Easter Monday, which is yet to be fully processed. He slotted in alongside Craig Scott, with Terry Galbraith and Jude Swailes absent. Jack Camarda came in at left back, with Dunston unchanged from Monday in all other areas.


The first chance of a quiet opening affair went the way of Dunston. A Richard Coulson cross was knocked down by Finnigan, but Dale Pearson’s shot flew over the bar.


On 30 minutes, Dunston had a good opportunity to take the lead. First, Coulson fired goalward from range, only for a smart stop by Josh Mazfari keeping his initial effort out, before Finnigan’s follow up was also brilliantly tipped aside for a corner.


Dan Staples had to be alive shortly after to mop up an effort from Omar Sangyang, with Craig Scott able to hack away the loose ball.


And on 36 minutes, Dunston had the lead. A lofted ball which seemed to be in the grateful arms of goalkeeper Mazfari was dropped, and Michael Pearson was on hand to pick up the loose ball and slot his effort into the far corner to give Dunston the lead going into half time.


With other results not going Dunston’s way, they knew they had to do their job and win. They so nearly had a second just a minute after the restart. More goalkeeping woes by Mazfari allowed Finnigan to steal the ball and lay-off Dale Pearson, but indecisiveness meant that his eventual pull back to Michael Pearson was rushed and the eventual effort was wayward.


By this point, Tadcaster were starting to grow into the game, and came close through Omar Sangyang, with his effort being deflected wide.


And they got their just rewards for a period of sustained pressure when an in-swinging corner wasn’t dealt with a Ferreira pounced to lash home past Dan Staples to level the game.


Chris Swailes introduced Jack Elliott to the fray in a bid to inject some life into Dunston, and the equaliser seemed to galvanise the team, knowing they had to win this game. First, Jack Camarda hit the side netting after a flowing team move, before a well worked corner routine was cleared just yards from the line.


On 68 minutes, Dunston retook the lead through Finnigan. The frontman rose highest to an excellent delivery and fired a header across the face of goal to restore parity at the UTS Stadium.


And just three minutes later, it was 3-1, with that man Finnigan again burying another header after a Djaló flick on to give Dunston breathing space.


Despite having the game safe, at this stage of the season any goals are vital for goal difference, and Dunston ensured they would not take their foot off the gas. Things got even better on 88 minutes when a corner evaded everyone and fell at the feet of Djaló who lashed home a fizzing shot into the bottom corner of the net for 4-1.


The win sees Dunston remain in 6th place, five points off the playoff spots with a game in hand on those above them on Tuesday night against Grimsby Borough. A win there would see Dunston two points off the playoff places, meaning it would go down to the final day to decide the final outcome of the playoff places.

Published Saturday 15th April 2023