Northern League Division One
Dunston UTS 1
Dunston were on their travels again to play Washington at the Nissan Sports Ground after nearly 2 weeks of poor but expected bad weather. After a morning of a fairly fresh breeze blowing in the referee passed the sodden pitch playable. Washington are currently vying for a top six placing in the league after a good start after their promotion to the First Division whilst Dunston are currently in third place but have played more games than the clubs just below them. Dunston have added to their squad in the past weeks signing Ex-Shildon, and South Shields forward Aristotte Guerin-Lakonga from Whitley Bay. With the barren period allowing injured players to recover manager Billy Irwin has a good squad to select from although with the rearranged Vase 3rd round tie on Tuesday night his team selection will be mainly to give players match time.
Dunston started well and in the first minute Morien strongly chased down a long ball forward and crossed to the back post were Gary Shaw saw his shot deflected for a corner. 3 minutes later Fisher shot wide after Morien held the ball up and then laid it off on the edge of the box. A long ball from Washington defence behind the Dunston defence on 5 minutes saw Whinn race towards the box with Wilkinson giving chase and his attempted tackle ended up as a foul challenge which resulted in a penalty to Washington. Davison steeped up to score the penalty and give Washington a surprise goal advantage.
On 10 minutes Davison had a shot which went wide of the target. Dunston recovering created a chance on 13 when Francis played a neat one two with Morien only to see his shot go wide of the near post. On 20, Francis on the right put in a low cross which was cleared as far as Pearson whose high cross was well collected by former Dunston keeper Carmichael. With a strengthening wind behind them Dunston pushed on and Morien on 24 minutes saw his 20 yard free kick saved by Carmichael, a minute later Morien again saw a shot heading for the top corner palmed wide by Carmichael, from the corner into a packed box Guerin-Lakonga turned on the ball and lashed a shot past Carmichael for the deserved Dunston equaliser.
Dunston's Lokonga-Guerin (Blue)
On 32 Connell did well under pressure from Whinn to collect the ball, before Fisher saw a 25 yard shot heading for the top corner pushed clear by the alert Carmichael. On 38, Dunston gave away a needless free kick 22 yards out, Swansbury struck the ball goalwards and Connell saved well diving to his right, the ball went back into play and a low cross back into the area saw Butler with enough space to poke home a shot to make it 2-1 to Washington. Dunston were deflated but managed to recover but were unable to score again before half-time as the heavens opened and the promised storm arrived.
Half- time Score Washington 2 Dunston UTS 1
Dunston UTS celebrate Lokonga-Guerin's goal.
Dunston came out fighting in the second half and got their first chance on 53 minutes as Guerin had a shot from 6 yards blocked by the keeper, followed by a spell of pressure in the Washington box which resulted in a Dunston shot being blocked by a defender and a strong appeal for hand ball turned away by the referee. On 55, Morien picked up a loose ball and shot which Carmichael gain saved. Washington despite the a strong wind behind them were struggling to make advances on the Dunston defence until the 63 minute when Davison struck a shot too well from 20 yards which rebounded of the cross bar, Dunston pressed on and on 64, Francis shot just wide of the near post from just inside the box and the 2 minutes later Morien won a challenge on the edge of the box and played a shot through the crowded box which Carmichael blocked and then was cleared.
On 67 with his first touch of the ball after coming on as substitute for Guerin-Lakonga saw his low cross blocked, the rebound fell to Pearson whose strong shot was blocked. A minute Later Richardson had a 15 yard shot blocked. On 74 a long ball from defence to Butler was played across the Dunston area and only a good Wilkinson clearance for a corner prevented a dangerous situation for the Dunston defence. On 75 another long ball was headed down by Davison needed a strong challenge by Smith required to alleviate the danger.
On 82, a Smith cross to the back post fell to Richardson whose shot was blocked by a desperate defence. Dunston continued to battle but were restricted to a Smith shot from just outside the box into the near post side netting before the referee called an end to the game after only 3 added minutes despite Washington’s time wasting, 4 substitutions and also injury time to several players.
Final Score: Washington 2 Dunston UTS 1
Dunston failed to take advantage of the superior play in the first half and were punished severely for two fouls which Washington took full advantage for, despite a good debut goal from Guerin-Lakonga. In the second half against a strengthening wind and lashing rain Dunston deserved more for their efforts and were rarely under pressure at their end apart from a couple of Davison efforts. However good keeping and defending held their advances to bay. The introduction of Richardson gave a little more hope for the Dunston faithful but it was just not enough.
Dunston’s Man of the Match: Malcolm Morien – he created chances but saw his efforts and those of his fellow players saved by a good goalkeeping display by Carmichael. It was a brave Dunston team performance with good performances by some players especially Pearson who did well, but too many missed opportunities cost them the game and the points.
Washington: Carmichael, Croft, McGuinness, Preston, Swansbury, Tait. Walton, Wallace, Butler (Cassidy 81), Davison (Wardle 90+), Whinn, Subs not used: Stewart, Rowe, Shields
Dunston UTS: Connell, Pearson, Halliday, Burrell, Wilkinson, Gilhespy, Fisher (Smith 42), Francis, Guerin-Lakonga (Richardson 66), Morien, Shaw. Subs not used: Martindale, Clark, Thear.
Referee, Scott Taylor, Assistants, Andrew Botha, Mark McMahon.
Match Report By, T.C.
Next home game, FA Vase R3, Dunston UTS v Seaham Red Star, Kick Off 7:30pm.