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Match Report: Esh Winning (H)

Dunston sealed a safe passage into the First Round of the Durham Challenge Cup with a strong second half display, running out 4-2 winners over Northern League Division Two side Esh Winning FC.

Dunston’s first chance of the match came on nine minutes, when Sadó Djaló lined up a speculative shot from range, however his long-range effort was well wide of Craig Hannant’s goal and caused the visiting goalkeeper no problems.

 Esh Winning had their first chance of the game on twenty minutes, with midfield Lee McMahon curling a strike just over the bar of James Anderson. It must be said however, that the shot never troubled the Dunston stopper.

 Michael Fowler forced Hannant into a fine save moment later down the other end, twisting and firing low only for the Esh Winning man to tip wide well.

 As half time approached, Dunston had a flurry of oppurtunities to take the lead. First, Michael Fowler shot across goal forcing Hannant into a diving save to divert the goal bound ball, before only a goal saving tackle from Esh Winning captain Jonathan Swift denied Michael Fowler who was through on goal.

 Dunston started the second half strongly and Michael Pearson was first to test Hannant with a low powerful strike which stung the palms of the visiting keeper.

 The early pressure paid it’s dividends when Will Jenkins audaciously put Dunston ahead. After a handball by Esh Winning centre back Swift, Jenkins stepped up at the resultant free kick from 30 yards out to bend a superb effort past Hannant who stood no chance.

 Despite the lead, Esh Winning hit back just five minutes later. A slack Jake Jensen back pass which didn’t carry was intercepted by Willian Alves Olimpio who beat the onrushing Anderson to the ball and slotted into an empty net to level the tie.

 Sadó Djaló almost restored Dunston’s lead on sixty minutes, neatly Cruyff turning in the box but firing an effort just over.

 Dunston’s lead was restored on sixty nine minutes through Djaló strike partner Michael Fowler. A deft chip over the Esh Winning defence by Will Jenkins set Jack Elliott away. The winger charged in on goal and laid a low cross on a plate for Fowler who smashed home to restore Dunston’s lead.

 Will Jenkins went close to adding a third for the hosts, driving inside the box but only managing to hit the side netting with a shot. With Jenkins going close, Sadó Djaló put the icing on the cake with five minutes remaining, smashing home a half volley following a delightful Jack Elliott floated cross to seal victory.

 It got even better for Dunston with minutes to go, this time it was Liam Thear the goalscorer, coolly slotting home another Jack Elliott assist.

 Esh Winning did get themselves a consolation through a Lee McMahon penalty following a hand ball in the box, but Dunston saw out the remaining minutes to pass into the next round of the competition.

Published Wednesday 21st September 2022