Dunston UTS 0
Hartlepool United 3
Dunston entertain Hartlepool United at UTS Stadium, Dunston still have players missing and players with niggling injuries, while Hartlepool are turning up with a full first team squad with former Dunston striker Scott Fenwick on the bench. The pit is in slick condition for what promises to be the most difficult game of their warm up season.
In an evenly matched game for 30 minutes Dunston held their own proving their fitness against a full football league side. On 7 minutes Dunston got the first chance as Bulford was played in by Briggs, his shot was saves by Bartlett. Hartlepool replied on 12 when Magnay had a shot which went wide from 20 yards out. After 21 minutes Burrell crossed from the right wing was deflected wide for a corner. Hartlepool striving to get control against a defiant Dunston midfield and on 21 Bingham tested Clark with a shot which he was equal and again 5 minutes later Bingham played in a shot which took a slight deflection but Clark was able to save.
A minute later Bingham got his reward as Paynter headed back across the Dunston goal to where he had created space and time to poke a shot past Clark, 1-0 to Hartlepool on 30 minutes. Dunston rallied but Hartlepool side were beginning to find their feet and push Dunston back and on 36 minutes Featherstone was played in behind the Dunston defence and played a low shot past the advancing Clark into the far corner of the net 2-0 to Hartlepool. As Dunston recovered there was only one further chance in the first half as Featherstone latched onto a Bingham lay back and shot forcing Clark again to make a fine save. All in all, Dunston were unlucky to find themselves 2-0 down at half time.
To their credit Dunston started the second half in the same vein as the first, showing that their spirits were still high, on 51 minutes Featherstone created another chance as he turned well on the edge of the box in the centre of the pitch and shot just wide. 2 minutes later Carroll was played in behind the Dunston defence and powered a low shot past Clark into the far corner of Clarks’ goal to make it 3- 0. Dunston still trying hard attacked with a Burrell cross into the area which found Briggs but he was ruled offside. After 58 minutes, Carroll played a ball into the Dunston area which found Magnay who turned and volleyed over the cross bar from 6 yards out. Dunston replied on 60 as Briggs shot over the bar from 15 yards, then a Harrison cross into the area was played back towards Morien who was just unable to get his shot away as he was closed down.
A minute later Harrison shot from an acute angle only for Bartlett to strongly save the ball. On 64, Worley drove in a shot from 20 yards out and Clark watched it closely as it went over his bar, then on 70, Oates hit a screamer past a helpless Clark only for the ball to hit the crossbar and bounce back into play and cleared. A minute later a fleet footed Oyenuga was played into the box and hit a low shot which Clark did well to stop and pounce on the rebound.
As both sides started to flag after their efforts in pouring rain chances began to fade but Dunston still tried to get a consolation goal which they deserved and Burrell tried a 30 yard shot which went just wide of the near post, on 77, Oates tried a shot went across the Dunston goal and past the far post. The battle continued but the only opportunity in the closing minutes came from Oyenuga who turned well in the area and his low shot was parried by Clark and cleared for a corner.
Dunston can count themselves unlucky not to have scored tonight after another impressive performance against an organised strong side from Hartlepool, especially with a depleted side missing some influential players in Wilkinson, Martindale, Richardson, Dixon and Thear. This was another promising performance by Dunston and we can look to better results in the Northern League.
Dunston UTS: Clark, Pearson, Halliday, Burrell, Harrison, Gilhespy, Smith, Francis, Hodgson, Bulford (Morien 45), Briggs. Subs not used: Martindale, Wilson.
Hartlepool United: Bartlett, Duckworth, Parnaby, Worley, Harrison, Magnay, Featherstone, Woods, Bingham, Paynter, Carroll. Subs: Walker, Denton, Oyenuga, Bates, Oates, Fenwick, Smith.
Report by T.C.
Next home game, Saturday 1 August 2015 v Kendal Town, Kick Off 3:00pm.