Dunkirk (H) 18/19


Coventry United FC v Dunkirk FC

Midland Football League Premier Division


Date:                 Wednesday 3rdApril 2019

KO:                     7.45pm

Venue:              Butts Park Arena



Well hello one and all. After the 2-1 away win at Romulus on Saturday, United welcome Dunkirk to the Butts Park Arena. Dunkirk have had a tough campaign this season and a defeat tonight will surely condemn them to one of the relegation spots.

United will look to build on their weekend win and another win will move them up the table a couple of places and close in on a chance of a top ten finish.

The referee gets the game under way and its Dunkirk who an interest first when the No10 Harry Wakefield stabs a cross from the right just wide of the target in the 6thminute.

United respond soon after when they break with pace and a neat through ball by Sam Belcher sets free Tyler Haddow but the keeper Richard Stainsby does well to smother Haddow’s shot just inside the area in the 9thminute. United continue to put pressure on the Dunkirk defence and are soon on the attack again with Joe Cairns running well with the ball into the area before shooting from a tight angle and hitting a post in the 12thminute.

The next 20 minutes sees the game become rather scrappy with neither side able to create any clear cut chances. Dunkirk though in the 31stminute break with the No11 Kevin Bastos who in turn plays in the No10 Harry Wakefield and his shot brings out a good save by the United keeper Brendan Bunn from his fierce drive.

United finish the half strongly with a couple of chances when Sam Belchers tame shot from a Luke Downes free kick in the 35thminute is saved comfortably by the keeper Richard Stainsby and then he saves well again after a good run and shot from United’s Ben Vallance in the 43rdminute and soon after the referee blows up for half time.

Half Time


Second Half

The second half gets under way with neither side making any changes during the break. The 49thminute sees Dunkirk make a change when they take off the No3 Alex Beno and send on the No14 Lewis Wilcox.

The game is once again becoming a bit scrappy with both teams giving the ball away cheaply at times. A couple of bookings are made with United’s Luke Downes getting his yellow card for tripping up the No11 Kevin Bastos in the 54thminute and then Dunkirk’s No14 Lewis Wilcox receiving his for felling United’s Gift Mussa in the 62ndminute.

United are seeing a lot of the ball but are finding it hard breaking down a hard working Dunkirk side who are fighting for their lives. They press again in the 68thminute and a Sam Belcher shot from range fizzes just wide of the target.

United decide to make a change of their own in the 71stminute when they take off Joe Cairns and send on Dominik Alleyne.

Dunkirk spring a rare foray forward in the 74thminute when the No8 Ryan Ejezie finds himself in space and shoots from range just over the cross bar to keep United on their toes. United soon after make another change in the 77thminute when they take off Tyler Haddow and send on Luke Jones.

The game is now into the last 10 minutes and United are ramping up the pressure on Dunkirk as they look to make that breakthrough. They break down the left with Luke Jones before he crosses the ball inside to Sam Belcher who in turn lets fly with his shot that the keeper Richard Stainsby gathers comfortably in the 84thminute. Then in the 85thminute United make their final change when they take off Sam Belcher and send on Jake Holt.

Jake Holt’s first contribution is to concede a free kick in a dangerous area for Dunkirk in the 90+1 minute. The No8 Ryan Ejezie stands over the ball before seeing his firm drive gathered by the keeper Brendan Bunn.

Then with added time ebbing away, United are still probing till the end looking to steal the points. They push forward again in the 90+2 minutes with Harrison Sawyer down the right. He crosses the ball into the area where Jake Holt is lurking as he steers the ball into the net to almost certainly claim the 3pts for his team in the dying seconds of the game.


Well it didn’t look like that goal was coming but thankfully it has as soon after the referee blows up for full time and Dunkirk’s hearts have been broken.

Full Time


In summing up this game I would have to say that PATIENCE IS DEFINITELY A VIRTUE. The game to be fair was a rather scrappy affair for most parts as both teams struggled to hold onto the ball for any length of time. United saw most of the ball though but were finding it hard to break down a stubborn and hard working Dunkirk side that were fighting for their lives.

After going into the break at 0-0, the second half saw United carry on in the same vein and once again struggled to find that killer final ball to pierce that Dunkirk brick wall. Chances were few and far between for both teams and as Dunkirk thought they had done enough to take home a precious point, United’s late sub Jake holt popped up to fire home for a late late winner in added time to give United all 3pts.

Players worthy of a mention would have to be the Dunkirk No10 Harry Wakefield. He was a constant thorn in United’s side when they did venture forward and created most of the few chances they had.

For United this was a patient team performance that finally got the reward deep in injury time. The whole defence stood firm throughout and both full backs found time to support in attacks at will.

Tyler Haddow and Joe Cairns worked hard up front and chased and harried really well but for me tonight, my man of the match goes to Gift Mussa. Gift put in another one of his no-nonsense shift that saw him cover every blade of grass breaking down Dunkirk play when a threat did appear and was then on hand to spring forward to support attacks so well played Gift Mussa.

Match Stats              United      Dunkirk

On target                      (7)              (2)

Off target                      (4)              (7)

Corners                         (8)              (2)

Free kicks                      (16)           (10)

Yellow cards                (1)             (1)

Red cards                      (0)             (0)

Offside                           (2)            (2)