DUNSTON UTS v SEAHAM RED STAR
Report by Billy Montague
Saturday 2nd April 2016
Ebac Northern League – First Division
Dunston UTS 3
Seaham Red Star 1
Dunston welcomed Seaham Red Star to the UTS Stadium for this Ebac Northern League game that marked the Club’s 1000th Northern League Game since joining the League in 1991. To mark the occasion, League President Mr. George Courtney MBE made the Presentation of an engraved salver prior to the kick-off. (See picture below)
Manager Billy Irwin was again without the services of the injured Dan Halliday, Dale Burrell, Dan Smith, Steve Bowey and Michael Liddle. Though suffering knocks, Luke Gilhespy, Gary Shaw and Steven Richardson were forced to take places on the bench while Andy Clark and Stephen Harrison were unavailable. Seaham were able to include former Dunston players David Scorer and Nicky Kane in their squad but suffered a set-back when Darryl Donnelly was injured in the warm-up.
The early stages of the game saw both sides probing without either keeper being really tested but it was the visitors who looked the more dangerous. On 14 minutes Paul Gardner made a powerful run on the Seaham right and his low cross found Craig Lynch whose shot was well blocked by Adam Wilkinson. In the 18th minute Dunston replied when Seaham keeper Shaun Newbrook made a smart save to parry a Malky Morien shot.
Three minutes later, James Luccock made a great run to the edge of the Seaham box but his cross was cut out by a last-ditch interception by Dan Kirkup at the expense of a corner. On 24 minutes Seaham were awarded a free-kick 25-yards out on their right and David Paul’s pile-driver went over Liam Connell’s bar. Dunston mounted some pressure and forced a couple of corners and from the second in the 27th minute, they grabbed the lead. Alex Francis took the kick from the left and found Adam Wilkinson who headed firmly home, giving Newbrook no chance. 1 – 0 to Dunston.
Seaham were stung into action and mounted some sharp attacks through the lively Robbie Bird and Craig Lynch, with the powerful David Paul also a threat. Dunston held their lead for only four minutes as Scott Martindale did well to deny Gardner at the expense of a right-wing corner. Robbie Bird sent over an accurate flag-kick and when the Dunston defence failed to clear, Dan Kirkup headed back to Craig Lynch who coolly slotted home. 1 – 1.
Despite this set-back, Dunston returned to the attack and threatened the visitors’ back line through Luccock and Morien. On 35 minutes Morien was fouled out wide on the left flank and Alex Francis sent the free-kick over everyone and as the ball looked destined for the top corner of the net, Newbrook somehow kept it out with a brilliant save. From the resultant right-wing Francis corner, Wilkinson almost managed another goal but his header flew just past the post.
Half-time Score: Dunston UTS 1 Seaham Red Star 1
Dunston came out in positive mood and seemed determined to regain the lead and in the 53rd minute Morien made a tricky run but just as he seemed about to score, a good block by Kirkup deflected the ball to Newbrook. The keeper made another great save after 59 minutes after a Francis through-ball had sent Luccock clear. The home side now had the bit between their teeth and forced two corners which Seaham had difficulty in clearing.
When a third flag-kick was awarded, Francis set up Dan Capewell on the penalty spot and the big central defender’s bullet header was brilliantly parried off the line by Newbrook. The ball fell to Liam Thear on the edge of the box and he smashed low into the corner. 2 – 1 to Dunston.
Boosted by the goal, Dunston were back only two minutes later and only a great clearance by Kirkup prevented Aris Guerin from adding to the score. From the corner, Thear almost repeated his earlier shot from the edge of the box but this time full-back Darren Reay was able to clear off the goal-line. Seaham were not out of the contest and on 70 minutes the ever-dangerous Lynch shot narrowly past Liam Connell’s left-hand post. In a swift break on 78 minutes, Dunston were almost caught out as Robbie Bird sprinted away in the left channel and though there were two covering defenders, Connell was very fortunate to receive only a caution when he left his goal area and obstructed the Seaham striker.
On 82 minutes the vital next goal came the way of Dunston when substitute Steven Richardson raced onto a Francis ball over the top to draw keeper Newbrook out of his goal. Newbrook did an excellent job to get something on Richardson’s effort but he was helpless as Malky Morien gained possession before calmly beating the keeper and a couple of retreating defenders before slotting home. 3 – 1 to Dunston.
Though Lynch drew a great stop from Connell in the 85th minute and Bird never gave up on getting another goal back, the Dunston defence ensured that a precious three points would be gained at long last. The final chance of the game fell to the home side in the 88th minute when Newbrook was forced into another first-class save to deflect a Morien goal-bound shot.
Full-time Score: Dunston UTS 3 Seaham Red Star 1
Dunston Man of the Match: Dan Capewell – In another excellent all-round team performance, the young central defender deserves special mention for his will to win and determination against a very good opposing forward line.
Dunston UTS: Connell, Pearson, Martindale (Gilhespy), Fisher, Wilkinson, Capewell, Luccock, Francis, Guerin, Morien, Thear (Richardson). Subs not used: Greenwood, Shaw, Clark J.
Seaham Red Star: Newbrook, Reay, Walker (Scott), Gardner, Kirkup, Scorer, Palmer, Kane (Kerr), Paul (McBryde), Lynch, Bird. Subs not used: Galbraith, Fenwick.
Referee, S. Sugden. Assisitants, A. Kitchen and A. Clark
More Match pictures Can be viewed here