Wilson bags debut winner as Dynamo show Dunkirk spirit
By Shepshed Newsdesk
Jordan Wilson scored a debut goal in stoppage-time to hand Shepshed Dynamo a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Dunkirk.
By Lucas Monk
Wilson, who joined the club last week from Lutterworth Town, made a dream start to his Dynamo career, heading the ball home in the seventh minute of time added on to secure a priceless three points.
Ryan Ejezie had cancelled out Matt Melbourne's opening goal in the first half, but Wilson's dramatic winner elevated Shepshed to third in the Midland Football League table.
Dynamo, who were without defensive trio Jake Betts, Joe Pheasant and Chris Acott, handed a debut to Burton Albion loanee Regan Ganley. Jordan Wakeling, Josh Thomas and Sean Doy completed the back line.
The hosts got off to a slow start. Brandon Ganley, cousin of Regan, had to hold a header from George Bosworth after a flighted free-kick was flicked on.
Dunkirk continued to make most of the game's early running. Ejezie skipped away from a defensive challenge and let fly from distance. Shepshed shot-stopper Ganley did well to parry the shot behind for a corner.
Dynamo then enjoyed their first real foray forward - and were unlucky not to have taken the lead.
Pearson Mwanyongo cracked an effort against the outside of the post from distance after good hold-up play from Melbourne.
His side would, however, take the lead on 32 minutes from their next incursion of the Dunkirk half.
Shepshed worked the ball wide. Liam Hurst delivered a pinpoint cross into the box. Melbourne did the necessary from close range, guiding the ball home with aplomb.
But the lead would prove ephemeral - as a defensive mix-up handed Dunkirk a route back into the contest just nine minutes later.
Home 'keeper Ganley failed to deal with a long punt forward, and Ejezie stole in to ensure an even half of few chances ended level.
In contrast to the first period, the second was far from short of goal scoring opportunities.
Ejezie blazed a shot over from inside the box after Melbourne headed Thomas's cross over the bar.
Dynamo then had a penalty shout when Melbourne went down in the box under a challenge from Dunkirk's Lewis Wilcox, but the referee dismissed their protests.
Damion Beckford-Quailey's side were beginning to up the ante, but they had a slice of fortune when Bosworth rattled a dipping volley onto the crossbar.
Dunkirk keeper Alex Smith denied Wilson after the latter burst through on goal. He then did likewise to keep out substitute Sam Moore.
The match was finely poised, and chock-full of tension. Hard, abrasive tackles abounded with Niall Prenderville receiving a yellow card for a late challenge.
The Boatmen had belied their lowly league position, frustrating their hosts for large swathes of the game.
But Shepshed would eventually find the breakthrough.
With time running out, Moore fired in a shot. The ball took a deflection and leapt into the air. Melbourne managed to flick it on. Wilson then rose highest to send a looping header over the keeper and into the net and the home fans delirious.
This was not Dynamo's finest performance of the season, with Dunkirk competing well for much of the match. It was a far cry from their assured dismantling of the same opponents back in October.
But Beckford-Quailey's men scarcely take any lying down, and they exuded much in the way of Dunkirk spirit to claim a vital three points despite the absence of several key players.
They will now look to next Saturday's visit to Long Eaton United as they bid to keep their promotion hopes alive.
Dynamo: B. Ganley, Doy, R. Ganley, Wakeling, Thomas, Hurst, Whymark, Prenderville, Mwanyongo (Moore 66'), Patrocinio (Wilson 58'), Melbourne.
Unused substitutes: Hill, Day, Conteh.
Dunkirk: Smith, Howes, Jones, Carroll, Wilcox, Whyman, Hickey (Appiah 86'), Ejezie, Wakefield, Bosworth, Barr-Rostron (Beno 66').