Steven Cunningham’s Colne side enjoyed a ‘history-making’ win over Dunston UTS in the Emirates FA Cup’s third qualifying round on Saturday afternoon in a great battle up in the North East.
For Colne, it’s their best-ever run in the prestigious tournament, and financially, the rewards are ‘massive’. The Lancashire-based side are guaranteed £11,250, but Steven Cunningham and his side will be confident in progressing even further in the competition.
In terms of the match itself, the visitors got off to a ‘perfect’ start as Tony Donaldson’s cross struck the shin of Dunston’s Craig Scott and guided it’s way into the back of the net.
Just ten minutes later, the hosts were level. A weak back-pass from the Colne defensive line allowed Liam Brooks to pick up the loose ball as he fired the ball past Hakan Burton in the Colne goal.
After an evenly contested first 30 minutes, Dunston overturned the deficit as Luke Page and Liam Brooks linked up well to feed the ball through to Dan Halliday, who neatly struck the ball past Burton to take the lead.
Right on the stroke of half-time, Dunston almost added a third as Heslop and Scott linked up well to set up Michael Pearson, but his volleyed effort was well blocked by Colne’s Lee Pugh, who heroically blocked the ball away for a corner.
The visitors came out a rejuvenated side after the break, and really started to up their work-rate, and just 11 minutes into the second-half, the visitors levelled the match up as Connor Hughes sniffed out an opportunity as a long ball was misjudged by Dunston goalkeeper, Karl Dryden which allowed Hughes to slot the ball into an empty net.
Both sides created openings in the second period, and a winning goal for either side seemed ominous. Dunston’s Michael Pearson curled his effort just wide of the post, then Colne’s Connor Hughes fired an audacious free-kick over the wall, and just over the crossbar.
Sefton Gonzales found himself in plenty of space on the edge of the box with just ten minutes to spare, but his attempt was curled just over the bar. But, just a few minutes later, Gonzales was able to eradicate the miss from his memory as the Chorley-based striker headed home a looped free-kick past a stranded Karl Dryden in the Dunston goal to secure a memorable win for Steven Cunningham’s side and the 100+ travelling Colne supporters, who created quite an atmosphere throughout the tie.
After scoring what proved to be the match winner, Colne’s Sefton Gonzales shared his thoughts on scoring the winner and potentially, a mouth-watering Emirates FA Cup tie in the fourth qualifying round.
“I thought that they we struggled in the first-half”, admitted Gonzales. “In the second-half, we all came out fighting for one another, and our fitness levels and work-rate showed that. It’s always satisfying to score a winning goal, especially in such an important game like today.”
In terms of the draw for the Emirates FA Cup fourth qualifying round, Gonzales added: “We’ll all be tuning in on Monday for the draw. Hopefully, we’ll draw one of the bigger sides at home, and put in a decent performance and throw our names in the hat for the first round.”
Dunston XI: Dryden, Marrs, Halliday, Pearson, Grant-Soulsby, Scott, Smith, Page, Scott, Heslop, Brooks.
Substitutes: Elliott, Harrison, Wright, Thear, Fitzpatrick.
Colne XI: Burton, Azam, Coveney, Makinson, Hollins, Donaldson, Hughes, Gonzales, Hazeldine, Chippendale.
Substitutes: Coleman, Poscha, Knox, Hasler-Gregg, Harris, Thorpe.
The draw for the fourth qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup will be made at 13:30 on Monday 7th October LIVE on TalkSPORT.
Emirates FA Cup third qualifying round RESULTS
Halesowen Town 0-2 Altrincham
Abbey Rangers 0-2 Whyteleafe
Ashton United 2-6 Spennymoor Town
Belper Town 2-1 Rushall Olympic
Billericay Town 4-2 Bath City
Blackfield 1-4 Dartford
Brackley Town 2-0 Warrington Town
Bristol MF 0-0 Wealdstone
Buxton 1-2 York City
Canvey Island 1-1 Bowers & Pitsea
Chichester City 1-0 Enfield Town
Chippenham Town 3-3 Slough Town
Dulwich Hamlet 3-0 Eastbourne Borough
Dunston UTS 2-3 Colne
Farsley Celtic 0-5 Southport
Haringey Borough 1-0 Cray Wanderers
Havant & Waterlooville 1-0 Hadley
Hayes & Yeading 5-4 Hendon
Hednesford Town 4-2 Blyth Spartans
Kidsgrove Athletic 0-1 Gateshead
Kings Langley 3-0 Corinthian
Kingstonian 1-1 Weston-super-mare
Leamington 0-2 Darlington
Leek Town 0-2 Kings Lynn Town
Lowestoft Town 1-2 Carshalton Athletic
Maidstone United 2-1 Hitchin Town
Maldon & Tiptree 6-1 Chertsey Town
Nantwich Town 1-0 Morpeth Town
Oxford City 2-0 Hampton & Richmond
Peterborough Sports 1-0 Guiseley
Royston Town 2-1 Beaconsfield Town
Salisbury 2-4 Margate
Stourbridge 2-1 Stafford Rangers
Sutton Coldfield Town 0-1 Boston United
Tamworth 0-0 Hereford
Tooting & Mitcham 0-2 Poole Town
Ware 1-2 Potters Bar Town
Welling 4-1 Tavistock
Weymouth 4-1 St Albans City
Whitby Town 1-1 Gloucester City