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Dunston 3
Maskell (35', 62', 90'+5)
1 Belper Town
Demidh (83')

REPORT | Dunston UTS 3 Belper Town 1

Dunston made it five games unbeaten with the perfect display at ‘home’ against fellow promotion contenders, Belper Town.

Jack Maskell continued his impressive form as he bagged a hat-trick to take his tally to 17 for the season. Belper caused a late scare as Karl Demidh pulled one back with ten minutes to go, but Dunston were able to pull through for the three points as Maskell netted his third in stoppage time.

Jon McDonald made one change from Tuesday’s 2-2 draw against Stocksbridge as Craig Baxter returned to the starting XI in place of Jude Swailes, with the skipper Michael Pearson slotting into the centre of defence.

Dunston began the game looking dangerous as JJ Chrisp almost opened the scoring inside the opening five minutes. The young midfielder took aim from the edge of the box, but was denied by a superb diving save from Daniel Moore. 

With just shy of 20 minutes played, Belper had a great chance of their own as Zak Goodson found himself with time on the edge of the box and cracked the crossbar with a thunderous effort.

Despite the opportunity for The Nailers, Dunston continued to look the better side and were once again denied by Moore as the Belper ‘keeper pulled off a double save, denying Dale Pearson and Craig Baxter in quick succession.

Inevitably, the opening goal of the contest came from the in-form 19-year-old centre forward, Jack Maskell, with 35 minutes on the clock. A Phil Turnbull corner wasn’t dealt with by the away side, and Sado Djalo played the ball into the feet of Maskell, who slotted into the bottom corner with an excellent finish on the spin.

With the first half approaching its climax, Dunston continued to search for a second. Phil Turnbull fired a free kick narrowly over the crossbar, before Maskell found himself one-on-one with Moore, but Moore was able to stop the scuffed effort.

Once again, Dunston began the second half brightly as they looked to double their lead. A JJ Chrisp cross was met by the head of Djalo, but his header was straight into the gloves of Moore. Chrisp and Robinson both chanced their luck from range, but were unable to hit the target.

With just over an hour played, Maskell finally gave Dunston a two-goal cushion. On the counterattack, Dunston carved Belper open down the left-hand side. The ball fell to the feet of Maskell who lashed his effort into the top corner leaving Moore with no chance.

The Nailers were never out of the contest at two goals down, and Demidh came close to halving the deficit with a header at the back post that went narrowly wide on 68 minutes.

Down the other end, Maskell could’ve bagged his hat-trick with a header on 74 minutes as he was denied by another diving save from Moore.

With 83 minutes played, Belper Town found themselves well and truly back in the game as Demidh pulled one back. The number nine bundled the ball over the line from close-range following a free kick that was swung into the box.

Despite the minor setback, Dunston had more chances to finally put the game to bed. JJ Chrisp came close again as he fired an effort towards the bottom corner only to be denied by Moore. The ball then fell to David Robinson on the edge of the box who drilled a low effort at goal, but again Moore made the save.

Deep in stoppage time, it was finally game, set and match. The man of the moment, Jack Maskell, secured his first hat-trick for the club as he raced onto a through ball from Wayne Phillips, dribbled towards goal, and slotted past Moore.

Dunston remain second in the Pitching In Northern Premier League table after the victory.

Report by Callum Pattison

Image Credit - Beauty Time Photography

Published Saturday 9th March 2024