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Carlton Town 1
Sargent (36')
3 Dunston
Pearson (11'), Robinson (34'), Swailes (80')

REPORT | Carlton Town 1 Dunston UTS 3

Dunston returned to winning ways with a stellar away performance at Carlton Town to guarantee a top four finish.

Goals from Dale Pearson and David Robinson fired Dunston into a two-goal lead before Khyle Sargent pulled one back for the hosts. Jude Swailes bulleted a header home with ten minutes to go to secure the three points for Dunston.

Dunston started the game in command looking to bounce back from Saturday’s defeat at home to Winterton Rangers. After some early possession, Dunston made it count as Dale Pearson scored the opening goal in the 11th minute.

Pearson drove forwards down the right before cutting in on his left foot and striking a powerful shot through Felix Annan’s gloves and into the back of the net.

Dunston continued to pile the pressure on as Pearson nearly doubled his tally for the evening in the 20th minute when he forced a save out of Annan at his near post after some silky build-up play. Jack Maskell also came close a few minutes later when he fired a shot straight at Annan, but the Carlton shot-stopper was equal to it

Carlton’s first real chance came in the 27th minute when a dangerous corner kick wasn’t dealt with and Alex Hardwick headed the ball over the crossbar from close range.

On 34 minutes, the lead was doubled as David Robinson scored his fourteenth goal of the season with a stunning finish. The ball fell to Robinson on the edge of the box and the Dunston number 10 slammed the ball past Annan on the half-volley.

The two-goal lead lasted only a matter of minutes as The Millers halved the deficit going into half-time. The hosts capitalised on a mistake at the back and Khyle Sargent made no mistake from close range passing the ball into the empty net.

The home side looked threatening in the early stages of the second half and Dunston had to weather the early storm. A red shirt managed to block the ball on the line following a corner kick. From the resulting corner, the ball fell to Hylton and he drove a wild effort out of the stadium.

Dunston survived the early onslaught from the hosts and managed to regain a foothold back in the game. Chris McDonald tested his luck from distance, but his effort was off target.

With 64 minutes played, Dale Pearson played a tremendous ball over the top of the Carlton defence for Robinson however, Robbo’s effort on goal was saved by Annan. McDonald then picked out Michael Pearson with a deep cross, but the header from the skipper was off target.

Wayne Phillips was introduced to the game midway through the half in place of Phil Turnbull and he made a huge impact. With ten minutes to go, Dunston won a free kick and Phillips drilled the ball into the box for Swailes who bulleted a header into the top corner.

With just a few minutes to go, Carlton had chances to pull a goal back but were denied by a pair of remarkable saves from Aaron Steavens. Firstly, a glancing header in the six-yard box was somehow tipped over the crossbar before Steavens made another great save as he pushed the ball around the post from a shot heading into the top corner.

The result means that Dunston cannot finish any lower than fourth and are guaranteed to be facing Pontefract Collieries in the play-off semi-finals. The venue of that game will be determined this Saturday with whoever finishes 3rd gaining home advantage.

Dunston sit two points ahead of Pontefract however, The Colls boast a better goal difference by three goals. Dunston travel to Stocksbridge this Saturday looking to end the regular season on a high.

Report by Callum Pattison

Image Credit - Beauty Time Photography

Published Wednesday 24th April 2024