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Whitley Bay 1
Gilchrist (51')
0 Dunston

MATCH REPORT | Whitley Bay 1 - 0 Dunston UTS

Dunston travelled to Hillheads Park on a warm, summer evening to take on Whitley Bay, for the second game of pre-season. The hosts boasted a couple of familiar faces, such as Michael Hall and Stephen Turnbull, the latter having not played for Dunston, but is the identical twin brother of midfielder Phil Turnbull. There was some confusion as some believed Whitley Bay had borrowed Phil for the evening, but it was just Stephen. 

Dunston had the first chance of the game, a ball pulled back towards Luke Carr on the edge of the 18-yard-box, which was curled well over the crossbar. Dunston had some beautiful attacking patterns throughout the first 45, with one leading to a great opportunity on the right-hand side, where Carr was able to cut inside for a shot, but it was matched by a great save from Bay's goalkeeper. A stoppage in play came early, as one of Whitley Bay's centre backs was forced off after just fifteen minutes. 

The offside flag became a common sight for the Dunston team in red, a few moves in the first half an hour were thwarted by the linesmen. This included an excellent flick from Jack Maskell, which was met by the ever-present Luke Carr before the dreaded flag went up. Soon after, the Seahorses had their first attacking involvement in the game, as the crowd roared for a penalty after Jack Walker appeared to push one of the opposition's attackers in the penalty area. However, this was the same group of young fans who were chanting the Teletubbies song earlier in the game. Dunston's best chance of the game came in the 35th minute, when youngster Jack Maskell was played in on goal by a through ball, before sending a shot across goal towards the bottom corner. But it was agonisingly hacked clear, off the line by a Whitley Bay defender. The last chance of the half came a few minutes before half-time, after an in-swinging corner was met by the head of JJ Chrisp, who had a free header in the box, but it narrowly missed the top left corner.

To begin the second half, Dunston made three changes, completely changing the complexion of the game. This was a theme of the second half. as Dunston made 11 changes, making for a very scrappy second interval. Not long after the referee restarted play, the hosts took the lead. What looked like a badly executed offside trap from Dunston, led to Josh Gilchrist being through on goal with far too much space, before slotting the ball past Dan Staples into bottom corner. Chances were fairly limited in the second half as both sides made several changes. These chances included Bay almost doubling their lead after one of their players smashed a shot towards the top right corner, which ended up slightly wide. There was also a big chance for Dunston, after Sado Djalo held the ball up in the corner and laid it back for Dale Pearson, but the striker hit his shot onto the streets of Whitley Bay. 

A few half chances came for Dunston, with Jack Elliott and Michael Pearson having shots on goal that were comfortable for the goalkeeper, who had a superb game. On minute 76, a horrible moment in the game came, as substitute Liam Thear went down injured with a scream. After some stoppage, "Scrappy" was helped off the pitch to applause from the Hillheads crowd. Dunston's final chance came when Richard Coulson sent a bullet header towards goal, but again the amazing Whitley Bay shot stopper was more than a match for it. The final chance of the game when young goalkeeper Matty Cassap made an incredible, close range, double save to deny a two-goal lead for the Seahorses. 

The final whistle was blown, and despite having the better of the home side in the first half, Dunston came away with the first loss of pre-season.

Written by Adam Richardson

Photo Credit - Beauty Time Photography

Published Tuesday 11th July 2023