J.R. Cleator Cup 2019
Dunston UTS 2-0 West Auckland
Late second-half goals from Mark Fitzpatrick and Liam Brooks saw Dunston UTS lift the J.R. Cleator Cup at West Auckland Town’s expense.
After Dunston had two earlier goals disallowed for offside, Fitzpatrick struck first in the 75th minute before Brooks sealed the win six minutes from time in a closely fought battle at the UTS Stadium.
Gary Forrest introduced new signings Tom Flynn and Danny Mitton into the starting line-up for the non-league season’s traditional curtain raiser between the Northern League Division One winners and the Mitre Brooks Mileson Memorial League Cup winners.
Dunston thought they had the early advantage with just six minutes gone on the clock as Callum Smith’s teasing cross from the left-hand side was fired in by Scott Heslop though the linesman quickly raised his flag for offside to give West a huge sigh of relief.
At the half hour mark, West started to grow into the game and crafted two deadly attacks in swift succession.
Firstly, Adam Mitchell’s corner was met at the front post by Amar Purewal, who crashed his header inches over the woodwork and seconds later, Nathan Fisher curled a right-footed effort marginally over Karl Dryden’s goal as very little separated the two sides heading into the break.
Following a subdued start to the second periodwith Auckland’s Anthony Bell going closest with a snapshot, Dunston had a slight glimpse of Deja-vu in the 71st minute when in identical circumstances, Heslop got on the end of Smith’s cross only to see the flag being lifted once more.
However, just four minutes later, Chris Swailes’ side broke the deadlock courtesy of a sumptuous finish by Fitzpatrick, tucking the ball underneath Flynn after being played in by former Sunderland RCA midfielder Luke Page.
On 84 minutes, West’s chances of grabbing an equaliser were demolished when substitute Desejado Da Silva found Brooks unmarked outside the area and the attacking midfielder curled a sensational 30-yard strike beyond Flynn as it nestled in the far corner to seal Dunston’s first piece of silverware of the season.
West finish their pre-season on Tuesday evening when they welcome Marske United to the Wanted Stadium for a 19:30pm kick-off.
Dunston UTS – Dryden, Marrs, Craig Scott, Pearson (c), Capewell, Grant-Soulsby, Elliott (Brooks, 72), Page, Fitzpatrick, Heslop, Smith (Da Silva, 73)
Subs not used – Cedwyn Scott
Goals – Fitzpatrick (75), Brooks (84)
West Auckland – Flynn, Mitchell, Price, Mitton (Cobain, 75), Hunter, Dodds (c) (Dowson, 59), Francis, Colquhoun, Fisher, Purewal, Bell (Hegarty, 65)
Subs not used – Ellison, Connor
Referee – Michael Burrows
Report by Harry Crowe
Picture by Andy Mitchell.