Dunston UTS F.C. vs Penrith A.F.C.

EBAC Northern League Division 1.

Saturday 9th February 2019

Match report by Danny Whalen.


Dunston UTS play host to Penrith AFC in a game which pits two sides at the opposite end of The Northern League table. Dunston are currently on a winning streak of five consecutive games whilst today’s visitors currently find themselves languishing at the bottom of the table.


Penrith have found this season hard going. “The Bonny Blues” have recorded one win this season, a 2-0 away win against Ashington in January and find themselves nine points from safety ahead of today’s fixture. Dunston UTS, who still currently have two games in hand on their nearest rivals, could potentially move four points clear at the top of the table with victory today; second placed Bishop Auckland are without a fixture this weekend, whilst third placed Consett could move up to second in the table, should they manage to secure maximum points away at Seaham Red Star. Dunston UTS travel to Consett next weekend which, depending on results this weekend, could potentially set-up a clash between the top two. In an interview given to The News & Star, Penrith Manager Andy Coyles is looking forward to today’s game stating that there is no pressure on his side today and that the pressure is on Dunston to keep winning games.


Penrith have recently added Matty Clarke, and Jonny Jamieson within the last month. Yesterday the Cumbrian Club announced the signings of goalkeeper Stuart Dixon from neighbours Kendal Town and young striker Max Brown following his release from Carlisle United earlier in the week; both players will be available for selection in today’s game. For Dunston Scott Heslop is unavailable due to a hamstring injury so Liam Brooks takes his place upfront with Jordan Nellis starting on the wing. Cieran Jackson is available and finds a place on the bench.


Line ups:

Dunston UTS: Dryden, Marrs, Halliday(Capt), Stafford (Haley) Grant-Soulsby, Capewell, Nellis, Pearson, Fitzpatrick (C.Elliott) Brooks, J.Elliott (Jackson). Subs: , Harrison, Scott.


Penrith AFC: Dixon, Yarker (Paul) Clarke, Davidson (Capt), Moynan, May, Gardner, Main (Johnson), Brown, Ainsworth (Shields) Hebson, Subs: Forrester, Johnson.


Match Officials: Referee John Mulligan (Carlisle) Assts: Mark McMahon (South Shields) Paul Mosley (Wallsend).


 Penrith kick off towards the car park end with a strong win swirling around The UTS Stadium. The first opportunity of the game comes in the first minute of play with Jordan Nellis, a great ball from Dan Halliday out wide to Jack Elliott who turns his marker and floats a cross to the back post for Liam Brooks to side foot the ball into the bottom left hand corner but is adjudged offside. Penrith Michael Yarker goes down with a hamstring injury and plays no further part in the game. He is replaced by William Paul. Penrith's first chance comes a few minutes later as Shaun Gardner slips ball in Max Brown who shows good footwork but has the ball taken off his toes by Dan Capewell. The first 10 minutes is a scrappy affair, with the ball spending a fair degree of time in the air and the conditions underfoot preventing free flowing football.


On 13 minutes good footwork by Elliott whilst under pressure, plays the ball into Mark Fitzpatrick deep in his own half, losing possession and attempting to regain the ball with a sliding tackle, he receives yellow. A minute later Fitzpatrick plays a superb ball into Jordan Nellis, who controls well cutting back on the defender and pulls the ball square to Fitzpatrick, his fierce shot rattles the Penrith crossbar The first phase of the game has been a Physical encounter with neither side yet to gain any advantage. Michael Pearson, in the middle for Dunston UTS, is looking to open up the Penrith back four and on 18 minutes defender Andrew Grant-Soulsby in an advanced position plays a great through ball to Liam Brooks who superbly cuts the ball back across the goalmouth, Penrith fail to clear their lines as Halliday collects a loose ball before curling a low shot into the bottom right hand corner to give Dunston UTS a 1-0 lead.


On 22 minutes minutes Brooks further extends the home sides lead with a fierce shot down the middle of the goal past Stuart Dixon, having connected onto the end of Jordan Nellis’ superb run and drilled low cross from outside the 18 yard box. Penrith, having started well, now find themselves with an uphill task to try and get back into the game. On 26 Fitzpatrick curls a shot from 30 which hits the post, Grant-Soulsby puts Fitzpatrick through on goal with an accurate and nicely weighted through ball down the middle of the park from inside his own half, in on goal with two defenders either side, he is bundled to the ground by Kyle May. The referee instantly awards a penalty which Fitzpatrick duly dispatches into the top left hand corner.


Dunston now find themselves 3 up within half an hour. On 30 Jack Elliott picks Kyle Mays pocket, unselfishly squaring to Fitzpatrick, only for a Penrith defender to save the visitors from going a further goal down. Max Brown, has Penriths best chance. Displaying good footwork in heavy conditions to dribble past a defender to get into a good shooting position, his shot lacks venom and is hit straight and towards Karl Dryden who saves comfortably. On 32 minutes Jack Elliott finds Liam Brooks who show fine skills to get past a defender a plays a superb low cross to Fitzpatrick who lays off To Nellis, he in turn pulls to Pearson whose well taken shot is well saved by Stuart Dixon in the Penrith goal. Penrith are forced into a substitution, with Penriths Steven Atkinson coming off on the wrong side of a challenge with Pearson. He is eventually replaced by Connor Shields.


With 40 minutes on the clock a Dunston UTS free kick on left taken by Liam Marrs evades two defenders and with Fitzy just getting a touch, the keeper manages to scramble the ball away. May launches good long ball up to substitute Shields but Mars in on hand to cut out the danger with a defensive header defend before turning the ball clear. On 43 Penriths Adam Main is cautioned for a mistimed tackle on Nellis in the centre circle. In the dying embers of a engrossing first half, Penriths Kyle May, with some good skill on the right, beats two opponents and manages to force a corner. Grant Davidson’s header hits Brooks on the back. In stoppage time Dunston UTS fail to clears their lines as Max Brown turns from 8 yards and drives the ball past Dryden giving The Bonny- blues a lifeline before HT.


Half time score Dunston UTS - 3 Penrith - 1.


Dunston Manager Chris Swailes elects to bring on Alex Haley for Jake Stafford, who has put in his usual dogged performance, as Dunston get the second half underway. Penriths Connor Shields curls a right footed cross to back stick, as the ball comes back out to him, he is flagged for offside Shaun Gardner tries his luck for Penrith with a shot from outside box which is collected by Dryden. Penriths goal before half time seems to have provided them with impetus as they open the second half with a positive approach. Dunston UTS decide on a further substitution on 50 minutes, Cieran Jackson replacing Jack Elliott. Seconds later Kyle May loses control and gifts Fitzpatrick the ball, Dunston UTS’ leading scoring rounds an advancing Stuart Dixon before calmly slotting the ball into empty net, putting the home side 4-1 up after Penrith had started the second half brightly. On 51 Jackson is fouled having dribbled neatly past 3 Penrith players, the youngster having been presented with an opportunity to show the home faithful what he has to offer.


On 53, Nellis plays a eloquent ball over the Penrith defenders to Fitzpatrick , having collected a no nonsense Grant- Soulsby, squaring the ball to Brooks but the striker is deemed offside. With 58 minutes gone 58 Penrith captain Grant Davidson gives away possession, Jackson picks up the lose ball and lays the ball off Nellis wide on the right. Nellis emerges from the other end of tackle to play a pass to Pearson, Pearson to Haley brings in Capewell who dribbles into box beating his man before shrinking the ball at the keeper. Dunston are now showing the qualities they possess as a passing side even on a rather bobbly and heavy pitch. On 60, a Brooks long range low shot forces good save from Dixon as Penrith clear. Jackson on the half way line beats two plays before passing to Brooks who lofts the the ball over defenders with the outside of his boot defenders to Fitzpatrick, who turns two players twice in box before he is fouled.


The referee awards a second penalty. Fitzpatrick takes and sidefoots low to the right, his shot forced away by Dixon for a corner denying the Dunston UTS striker his hat-rick. Michael Pearson fires right of the Penrith post following good interlinking play around the box. Dunston make their final substitution on 64 minutes Fitzpatrick coming off and Callum Elliott coming on. Nellis and Brooks are moved upfront with Callum Elliott moving to right wing. A Jackson curling shot in 66 minutes is well saved by Penriths Dixon, the on loan youngster having dummied defenders and thrown a few step overs into it for good measure, the ball falls to Pearson, as Penrith are unable to clear their lines, a Brooks pass is dinked over the defenders ball drops back out to Jackson for the shot which narrowly evades the Penrith goal. Grant Soulsby sees cut out a Penrith attack on 67 minutes, heading away from a cross as Dunston UTS’s attempt to play out from the back puts them under pressure from a cross on the right. Callum Elliott, on the right wing, audaciously chips ball over head of Matthew Clarke but is unable to get the ball into the box on 73 minutes. Brooks tries a long range effort on 75 minutes however, goes wide following another fine display of dribbling skills from Jackson.


Aiden Haley floats a fine 30 yard pass from the centre out wide to Callum Elliott who beats his man with tidy footwork, Pearson and Nellis link up well with triangular passing, which Penrith fail to keep up with. Jackson goes through an array of step overs, dropping his shoulders before narrowly missing. Dunston UTS earn a corner on 78, Penrith replace Alex Main with Stuart Johnson which Capewell heads down to Pearson who narrowly heads over the Penrith bar. With 10 minutes remaining a Grant- Soulsby mis timed challenge results in a free kick to Penrith on the edge of D. Shaun Gardner takes from 25 yds out and strikes a struck curled shot straight into the arms of Dunston UTS keeper Karl Dryden.


Dunston UTS’s Aiden Haley executes a defence splitting pass, Brooks find Nellis whose pace beats defenders before playing the ball to Jackson, unfortunately the ball doesn’t come down to get shot off as it bobbles up. Penrith have a good on chance on ​ 85 minutes, Max Brown gets a good shot off from a ball though the middle having battled to win the ball but Dryden is on hand to parry it away. In the dying stages of the game a Nellis dummy and step over is acrobatically tipped over by Penrith's Dixon for a corner. From the corner a Capewell flick on to Pearson is well saved. Penrith get the ball out quick as Grant Davidson tries from distance for Penrith but his shot goes narrowly over. The closing stages of the game have been end to end.


Dunston UTS pass the ball round well on a bumpy surface, Callum Elliott forces a corner by driving to the byline in the last minutes. Penrith clear the corner as Referee John Mulligan draws the game to a close Final score:


Dunston UTS - 4. (Halliday 19, Brooks 23’ Fitzpatrick 27’ pen, 52’

Penrith AFC - Power 45+2’.

Attendance: 227


Consett lost 0-1 away to ten men Seaham Red Star which means a table topping Dunston go into next week ends clash with Consett 4 points ahead with a game in hand. With Consett unable to gain any points today, Bishop Auckland remain in second however Dunston UTS still have one game in hand on Bishop and two games in hand on Consett. Penrith can come away from today’s game feeling that their effort levels matched the League leaders in what were difficult weather conditions.


They were guilty at times of offering the home side too many opportunities, which given the quality Dunston UTS possess they were ruthless in taking what they were afforded.


Dunston UTS Man of the Match: Liam Brooks. Playing in his natural position as a striker, he was a thorn in Penrith's side throughout the game. He worked tirelessly up front and showed a lot a neat touches to bring others into play. He took his first goal well and may feel aggrieved at not getting more goal. Also of note, Cieran Jackson got a chance to display his abilities today. For a young player, he has an abundance of skill and it will be interesting to see how far he can progress in the game.  



Liam Brooks Dunston UTS Man of the Match



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