Norton & Stockton Ancients 0-1 Dunston UTS- Norton out of League Cup

Norton & Stockton Ancients went out of the League Cup following a narrow defeat to Dunston UTS.

Liam Thear’s first-half goal was enough for the visitors to secure their place in the Third Round.

Dunston may have expected an easy game heading into this one after recording a 5-0 win on the same ground just under two weeks ago.

When the action got underway Dunston were the first to have a shot on goal when Alex Francis sent the ball narrowly wide in the 4th minute.

Five minutes later Dan Smith was denied inside the box after he received the pass from Matthew Fisher.

In the 26th minute Dunston came close again when Dale Burrell had his left-wing cross cleared off the line before it reached its intended target of Malcolm Morien.

Shortly after Dunston took the lead when Thear converted from close range after Morien had laid it off to him inside the box.

The visitors almost doubled their lead a few minutes later but Thackeray was alert to deny Smith from close range.

Dunston dominated the closing exchanges of the first half and had three half-chances to increase their lead.

First Francis shot straight at Thackeray after the ball had been laid off by Morien. Then Steven Richardson sent a tame shot at Thackeray after he had received the ball from Luke Gilhespy. Finally Morien headed the ball straight at Thackeray after a decent cross from Michael Pearson.

Early in the second half, Dunston had the first chance when Francis had a long shot deflected wide after Thear had it worked it to him.

Francis then had another try but he was denied by Thackeray.

In the 54th minute Norton had a penalty appeal turned down when Jason Blackburn was grounded by Adam Wilkinson after he was played through by Daniel O’Brien.

Just after the hour mark Dunston came close when Morien was denied at close range by Thackeray after he had worked his way into the box from the right wing.

In the 69th minute Dunston thought they had a second but Morien had strayed into an offside position before the ball was put on a plate for him by Richardson.

The visitors continued to press forward but Thackeray was on hand to save twice from Thear and a shot from the edge of the box from Richardson.

In the 83rd minute Norton almost made Dunston pay for their missed chances but Blackburn was off target when the ball was played into him by substitute Glen Donaldson.

Full-back O’Brien then tried his luck but was way off target with an effort from range.

Norton’s best chance fell to them in stoppage time when Blackburn was denied by Dunston goalkeeper Liam Connell after Donaldson had laid it off to him in the box.

Despite defeat Norton can take positives from this game after competing with a team near the top of the league. They will need to improve for Saturday though when they welcome league-leaders to Morpeth Town to Station Road.

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