BISHOP AUCKLAND v DUNSTON UTS
(500th Away League Game)
Wednesday 30th March 2016
Ebac Northern League – First Division
Bishop Auckland 2
Dunston UTS 1
Dunston made the journey to Bishop Auckland to face the in-form South-West Durham side with a team severely weakened by injury. After grabbing a well merited draw with Guisborough Town last Saturday, manager Billy Irwin had to deal with injuries to Luke Gilhespy, Michael Liddle and Steve Bowey as well as long-term absentees Dan Smith, Dale Burrell, Gary Shaw, Craig Hodgson and Dan Halliday. Stephen Harrison and Andy Clark were also missing. New signing Dan Capewell was able to continue after making a very promising debut last weekend with James Luccock and Liam Thear returning to the starting line-up.
Dunston made a very positive start to the game and dominated the opening minutes with some useful possession bringing an early Liam Thear effort when he latched onto a Malky Morien flick-on. Bishops struggled to create and opening until the 8th minute when a dangerous cross by winger Sam Orritt forced a good interception from Dan Capewell who cleared for a fruitless corner.
Just two minutes later there seemed to be little danger to the Dunston defence when a loose ball fell to Fred Woodhouse 25-yards from goal, but the striker let fly with a surprise shot which flew over Liam Connell and dipped viciously to go into the net off the underside of the crossbar. 1 – 0 to Bishop Auckland.
Despite conceding the lead against the run of play, Dunston kept plugging away and Morien just ran out of space after taking a good pass by Michael Pearson who had been set up by a tricky run by Steve Richardson on 15 minutes. On 21 minutes Matty Fisher had a shot saved by keeper Edward Wilcynski after being set up by Thear but on 25 minutes a Woodhouse effort was deflected over Connell’s bar when he was set up by the persistant Andrew Johnson.
On the half-hour, Johnson had a blistering shot saved by Connell and when the ball fell to Woodhouse his close range effort was brilliantly blocked by the Dunston keeper. In the 38th minute a strong Alex Francis shot was deflected for a corner after the midfielder had been set up by Thear. From the Francis flag-kick Malky Morien sent a close-range header against the post but the ball was scrambled clear.
On 41 minutes Dunston went close again after a bad mis-kick by keeper Wilcynski resulted in another corner-kick. Francis sent over an accurate corner that saw substiute Aris Guerin, on for the injured Steve Richardson, see his goal-bound header cleared off the line. As half-time approached Bishops were hanging on and Liam Thear just failed to take advantage of good set-up by Morien but Dunston were not to be denied and in the first minute of added time they grabbed a deserved equaliser as Aris Guerin got on the end of another Francis corner to head home. 1 – 1.
Half-time Score: Bishop Auckland 1 Dunston UTS 1
Boosted by their late equaliser in the first-half, Dunston came out in determined mood and made the first chance after 47 minutes when Guerin got a good flick-on to send Morien through but his shop was blocked. The top-scorer almost provided another goal for the visitors when he made a great run on the left and smashed the ball across Wilcynski for James Luccock to stab narrowly the wrong side of the far post. On 52 minutes Matty Fisher sent a great through ball to release Guerin who was only denied by a last-ditch tackle at the expense of a corner.
Bishops replied with a dangerous low cross by the classy Jeff Smith but Connell gathered well. On 55 minutes Guerin was almost in again when he just failed to finish a Morien cross. Two minutes later it took an excellent challenge from Dan Capewell to deny the dangerous Andrew Johnson. In the 62nd minute, good approach play by Guerin saw him set up Morien whose cross fell to Michael Pearson who brought a good save from the Bishops keeper. On 68 minutes it was Morien again whose cross caused chaos in the home defence but the ball was scrambled away from the goal-line. On 73 minutes Bishops almost scored on the break when Priestley Griffiths raced away on the left before cutting in and hitting a right-foot curler just beyond the far-post.
Dunston went close in the 76th minute when Wilcynski saved well from Morien but he was beaten a minute later when a great move on the right saw Liam Thear send Michael Pearson in to cross to the near post where Malky Morien thumped a solid header against the post. The game turned in the 85th minute with an extremely poor decision by the referee. When Matty Fisher went for a fifty-fifty ball in the centre of the field, the ball bounced up between him and his opponent. Unbelievably, the official deemed that Fisher’s tackle was worthy of a straight red.
The referee was clearly influenced by the Bishop supporters behind the goal who were screaming for every decision during the game. In the remaining time left, Dunston battled hard to hang on to what would have been a deserved point but in the third minute of added time, Andrew Johnson latched onto a pass and, even though he appeared to be offside, went on to slot past Connell. 2 – 1 to Bishop Auckland.
Full-time Score: Bishop Auckland 2 Dunston UTS 1
Dunston Man of the Match: The Whole Team – Under the circumstances it would be wrong to single out any one individual on a night when everybody in the squad did their utmost to get a result despite some abysmal refereeing.
Bishop Auckland: Wilcynski, Thompson, Hoganson, Purewal, Colquhoun, Griffiths, Orritt (Ward), Nicholls, Johnson (Jury), Woodhouse (McCarthy), Smith. Subs not used: Tarling, Lambert.
Dunston UTS: Connell, Pearson, Martindale, Fisher, Wilkinson, Capewell, Luccock, Francis, Richardson (Guerin), Morien (Gilhespy), Thear (Bowey).
Subs not used: Greenwood, Clark J.
Report By Billy Montague