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Dunston 2
Pearson (48'), Maskell (60')
3 North Ferriby
East (56' pen), Wallis (64'), Dennett (81')

REPORT | Dunston UTS 2 North Ferriby 3

The captain Michael Pearson fired Dunston into the lead just minutes into the second half. The lead lasted only eight minutes as Danny East levelled from the penalty spot. 

Dunston regained the advantage when Jack Maskell grabbed Dunston's second of the afternoon. The lead was once again wiped out, this time just four minutes later, as Harry Wallis equalised for The Villagers. Josh Dennett scored the winner nine minutes from time to cap off a deflating afternoon for Dunston at home.

Jon McDonald made multiple changes to his side from Tuesday's Durham Challenge Cup defeat against Gateshead. Craig Baxter, Michael Pearson, Luke Carr, Phil Turnbull and Sado Djalo all returned to the starting XI. Graeme Pickering made his third start for the club in goal as he stands in for Dan Staples.

Dunston looked to come flying out of the traps very early on and almost found the opener after three minutes through an unlikely source. Jack Walker with a marauding run forward from defence before unleashing a shot from range over the crossbar.

After the early excitement, the game settled down as the high winds made it difficult for both sides to get into any kind of rhythm on the ball. 

The next real opportunity on goal didn't come until 26 minutes in when Jack Maskell slipped away from the defender, and forcing the first save of the game out of Lewis Exall between the North Ferriby sticks.

Four minutes later, Dunston won a corner and came agonisingly close to taking the lead. Phil Turnbull's corner looped over the gloves of Lewis Exall and found a waiting Jack Maskell who thundered his header off the crossbar.

As the half wore on, Dunston began to get even more on top however, could only muster up half chances such as a Luke Carr free-kick which was comfortably saved. 

Despite having the majority of the possession, The Villagers almost punished Dunston one minute before the half-time break. Josh Whitley ended up through on goal however, Pickering was switched on and tipped the shot around the post.

The second half was a completely different affair compared to the opening 45 minutes. The skipper, Michael Pearson, finally gave the Dunston faithful something to cheer for as he fired Dunston into the lead on 48 minutes. Chris McDonald dropped the ball off for Pearson, who slammed the ball past Exhall from inside the box. 

The celebrations were short-lived as the visitors were awarded a penalty with 55 minutes played. Jude Swailes was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the area. Danny East stepped up and confidently dispatched the ball down the middle with a tidy finish.

Despite the setback, Dunston still looked the stronger side and almost retook the lead on the hour-mark. An acrobatic effort from Maskell was played into the path of Dale Pearson who couldn't quite connect properly, and the ball sailed over the bar. 

Dunston then retook the lead just a couple of minutes later. Some gritty work down the left by Jude Swailes as he beat his man and played the ball into the box where Jack Maskell took a touch and picked his spot from 8-yards out.

Some excellent goalkeeping from Exhall then prevented Dunston from scoring a third and this is arguably when the game changed. A bullet header from Swailes was somehow saved by Exhall. The visitors launched a counterattack and Harry Wallis was left with the simplest of finishes to level the game up once again.

North Ferriby began to get on top and then had a goal ruled out for an offside on 72 minutes. It was an excellent free kick delivery and Tarbottom's header went into the net however, the centre half was offside.

Into the final ten minutes, and North Ferriby took the lead for the first time. Some sloppy play was jumped on by the visitors and Dennett found himself clean through on goal. He took the ball around the onrushing Pickering, and slotted the ball into the empty net.

North Ferriby almost added a fourth with five minutes to go when Tarbottom forced a good save from Pickering.

With the defeat, Dunston now drop out of the play-offs, with a tricky test next week away at the in-form Stockton Town.

Report by Callum Pattison

Image Credit - Beauty Time Photography 

Published Saturday 14th October 2023