North Shields v Dunston UTS

Saturday 9th March 2019.

Ebac Northern League Division 1.

Attendance: 312

Match report by: Danny Whalen.


Team line ups:

North Shields - M Robinson, Donnison, Summerly, Ormston, Nearney (Cooper) Hughes(C), Cunningham (McRoberts), Spooner, Day, Bainbridge, P Robinson (Johnston). Substitutes not used: McDonald, Purvis.


Dunston UTS - Dryden, Marrs, Halliday(C), Haley, Grant-Soulsby, Capewell, C Elliott, Pearson, Fitzpatrick, Nellis, Brooks. Substitutes not used: Scott, Harrison, Jackson, J Elliott.

Match Officials: Referee - Graeme Hopper. Referee Assistants - Matthew Morton, Andrew Elliott.


Dunston UTS made the short trip along the River Tyne to face North Shields, a town that gave us the inventors of Plasticine and the lifeboat, as they looked to drive forward in their pursuit of The Ebac Northern League title following Tuesdays surprise 0-3 home defeat at the hands of Ryhope CW.


North Shields proved to be a stern opponent earlier in the season having held Dunston UTS to a 2-2 draw at the UTS Stadium back in November, a game which saw Dunston UTS having to fight back from two goals down to take something from the game.


North Shields v Dunston UTS

- Dunston UTS Captain Daniel Halliday on the ball -


North Shields occupied 5th place in The Ebac Northern League; however their form in the league had seen them lose their last three games. Dunston UTS were without midfield dynamo Jake Stafford, currently serving a two match ban, Michael Pearson replaced Stafford with Aiden Haley retaining his place in the starting XI. Jack Elliott was named on the substitutes bench having picked up a slight injury in mid-week, he was replaced on the wing by Callum Elliott.


First half:

North Shields won the toss with the prevailing winds behind them and ominous grey clouds looming overhead at The Daren Persson Stadium. North Shields started with 3 at the back as Dunston UTS lined up in a 4-4-2 formation. The visitors first effort in attack was to result in a corner with 5 minutes on the clock, Mark Fitzpatrick patiently waited to play a ball wide to Liam Brooks, his cross diverted for the corner. The first delivery from Aiden Haley was cleared only to be put out for second corner, another Haley delivery, in swinging from the right corner flag to the left hand post found a rising Grant Soulsby, the defenders’ header hitting the outside of the post.


Liam Brooks was looking to cause problems against The Robins yet again, collecting a pass from Fitzpatrick

and with his back to goal, he turned his marker with great skill and control as his effort was collected by North Shields keeper Robinson.  Both sides were looking to get the ball down and play despite the adverse conditions. As the first 20 minutes went by, Karl Dryden was yet to have been called into action with the Dunston UTS back four looking impenetrable as Haley and Pearson controlled the middle of the park. Dunston UTS forced another corner on 20 minutes, Haley took the set piece as the rain showed up, his delivery found Liam Brooks at the near post but the forward was unable to direct his headed effort on target.


Over the next 10 minutes Dan Capewell ensured the Dunston UTS goal was not breached with a superb tackle on Gary Day, Jordan Nellis had claims for a penalty waived away having worked his way into the opponents box, Fitzpatrick carved out a chance on the edge of the box, his shot saved well by Robinson.   The first 30 minutes of the game were a tight affair with Dunston UTS creating the better attacking opportunities, North Shields were yet

to register a shot on goal. A Michael Pearson pass to Fitzpatrick  allowed  Jordan Nellis in on goal, the North Shields full back slipped and Nellis raced away down the line, as the defenders scrambled back he squared the ball to Fitzpatrick whose well taken shot was deflected for a corner.


From the resulting corner a nonchalant Liam Brooks back heel on the half volley nearly gave the visitors the lead

as North Shields diverted the ball for another corner. Dunston UTS eventually broke the dead lock, with the home sided unable to clear their lines, the ball fell to Callum Elliott, his sublime overhead kick dropped over the North Shields defence, Fitzpatrick reacted quicker than those around him, with the North Shields defenders

calling for off-side, Fitzpatrick smashed the ball past Robinson into the roof of the North Shields goal as he claimed his 23rd league goal of this season.  Goal 39 minutes. North Shields -0. Dunston UTS -1. (Fitzpatrick)  


North Shields v Dunston UTS- Mark Fitzpatrick scores Dunston UTS's first goal -


Dunston UTS looked to extend their lead before half time with efforts from Nellis and Fitzpatrick. A Liam Marrs free kick on the edge of the box just before the break was curled wide of the North Shields goal. Callum Elliott fired a first time shot over the bar, having been played in by Jordan Nellis as Michael Pearson had picked the pocket of North Shields midfielder Craig Spooner. Liam Brooks combined well with Jordan Nellis moments later as the visitors finished the 1st half strongly and the home side were yet to register a significant shot on target.  


Half time score: North Shields - 0. Dunston UTS - 1.


The two sides emerged for the second half as the clouds cleared and the sun eventually emerged although the wind had decided to change direction and spend the next 45 minutes blowing towards the visitors. News came through that Dunston UTS’s nearest rivals, namely Bishop Auckland and Consett, were both trailing at half time, much to the delight of the visiting support.  Dunston UTS remained unchanged from the 1st half, North Shields replaced defender Josh Nearney with Jack Cooper, Nearney having taken a knock just before the break.   In the opening 5 minutes Fitzpatrick was denied his second goal of the game, as the forward hit an effort from 5yds out off the upright following a Dan Capewell cross from a great run down the right hand side by Jordan Nellis, Nellis somehow managed to put the rebound wide from 2yds out.


Soon after Liam Marrs charged off on a winding run before breaking through into the North Shields box, his effort blocked by Robinson who raced quickly off his line to deny the full back.   At the other end Dunston UTS Captain Dan Halliday produced a expertly timed sliding tackle to prevent Jack Donnison’s dangerous run down the right and avert the danger.   North Shields produced their best effort of the game on 58 minutes, Gary Day let rip with

a fierce shot past Dryden only for his effort to cannon off the base of the far post, Jordan Summerly collected the rebound yards out and with the ball seemingly ready to nestle in the back of the net,  his goal bound effort was scrambled onto the post as Dunston UTS survived the attack. Controversy came moments later,  Dunston UTS hitting North Shields on the break, Fitzpatrick found himself in a good position, poised to shoot he went down

under a Kevin Hughes challenge. The visitors penalty claims were waived away as the referee instead decided

to book the forward for diving amidst fierce protestations from the away support.  


North Shields v Dunston UTS - North Shields come close to equalising -


Jack Cooper went close to levelling the game on 72 minutes for the home side as his shot bobbled wide of the post following a run down the left. With the play going end to end a Liam Marrs free kick found Liam Brooks who was to be denied by the woodwork yet again as his powerful header rattled the North Shields crossbar, Jack Cooper scrambled the  danger away.   Liam Marrs was yet again looking dangerous from set pieces, with Fitzpatrick fouled by Kevin Hughes, Marrs whipped a curling set piece effort narrowly wide of the right corner.


North Shields brought McRoberts on for Cunningham with just over 10 minutes of the game remaining. Nellis and Brooks both had good chances to put the game to bed but North Shields still remained in the game. Sensing they could draw parity the hosts elected to replace Johnston with Paul Robinson who had been subdued throughout the encounter by a steadfast Dunston UTS defence.


The last five minutes were a nervy encounter for the travelling support, Callum Elliott broke down the line to pick out Fitzpatrick, having evaded the challenge of the full back he found Brooks whose shot was blocked twice by Donnison. An effort from North Shields Gareth Bainbridge was blocked, Dryden fumbled the effort but reacted swiftly by diving at the ball and ensuring that the visitors lead remained intact. In the last minute Dan Halliday drove a long range pass up the line to play Fitzpatrick in on the keeper, Robinson raced out and was adjudged to have tripped the player. A yellow card was administered as the referee awarded a penalty. Fitzpatrick stepped up to blast the ball straight down the middle of the goal for his second of the game, his 24th league goal of the season and Dunston UTS’s 100th goal of the season in all competitions.  


Full Time score: North Shields 0 Dunston UTS 2 (Fitzpatrick 39, 89pen).  


Dunston UTS have now taken a huge step forward in their quest for The Ebac Northern League title. Bishop Auckland lost 0-5 at home to Stockton Town,  Consett lost 1-4 away to Sunderland RCA. Other teams results aside, two wins from their remaining 6 games will secure the title and promotion for Dunston UTS who now hold

a 12 point lead at the top of the table.


Should Bishop Auckland lose their next two games against Hebburn Town and their local rivals West Auckland, Dunston UTS could secure the title with a home win against Guisborough Town next Saturday. Following on

from a disappointing result in midweek, today’s game required a positive reaction. Dunston UTS to a man delivered just that. Each and every player put in a superb performance and the way in which Chris Swailes celebrated with his players at the end of the game speaks volumes for what today’s result and performance meant.  


Man of the Match: Liam Marrs. In fairness, you could take your pick from today’s outstanding team performance. Mark Fitzpatrick grabbed a brace and was a constant menace to the opposition. The back four were watertight throughout the game. Aiden Haley and Callum Elliott both came in today and rose to the occasion magnificently. Liam Marrs both in attack and defence was non stop, he was constantly looking to create and very little got past him.  


North Shields v Dunston UTS - Dunston UTS Man of the Match, Liam Marrs -


Match Pictures, view 76 pictures


Next game: penultimate home game, Dunston UTS vs Guisborough Town, Ebac Northern League Division 1, Saturday 16th March, 3pm kick off.