The Northern League side enjoyed much of the early possession, though it took a smart save from Niall Harrison to keep out a low shot from Billal Brahimi.

It was Dunston, though who took the lead with nine minutes played, courtesy of a misunderstanding in the centre of Boro’s defence that led to Sam Stubbs heading over his own goalkeeper

It took less than a minute for Boro to draw level as Patrick Reading rose to powerfully head home from a right-wing cross.

Harrison’s left-hand post prevented a powerful header from Stubbs edging Boro in front. The ‘keeper was well beaten but his post shook for a little while afterwards.

The woodwork was again in play a few minutes later, this time from a terrific effort from Aiden Haley who clipped the top of the bar with a shot from outside the box.

Both sides continually looked to create in a competitive game and not after Bradley James saved full-length away to his right, Alex Pattison rounded off a well-crafted chance by sending it over the bar.

Boro took the lead for the first time with ten minutes of the first half remaining. Harrison made a smart save from an Enes Mahmutovic shot, but Tyrone O’Neill followed in to tuck home the loose ball.

Both sides made plenty of changes for the start of the second half and twelve minutes into it the game was level again when Liam Brooks cracked home low and hard from the edge of the box.

Many more changes brought different formations and shapes and with that came opportunities.

A crisply-struck shot from Callum Cooke, a low drive from Billal Brahimi and a one-on-one with Tyrone O’Neill were all dealt with competently by Karl Dryden, ‘keeper for the second half, while Ben Liddle shot just over from close range.

With 90 seconds of normal time remaining Connor Malley swept over a good cross deep into the box and Dan Ward capitalised on an unchecked run when very neatly placing a glancing header beyond Dryden.

1st half: Harrison; C Elliott, Halliday, Haley (Capewell 46), Grant-Soulsby, Hall, J Elliott, Pearson, Fitzpatrick (Brooks 46), Burrell (Capt.), Thear.

2nd half: Dryden; C Elliott, Capewell, Brooks (Nellis 60), Halliday (Capt.), Stafford, J Elliott, Heslop, Thear (Haley 74), Little, Hailes.

Boro U23s
1st half: James; Mahmutovic, McGinley (Capt.), K Spence, Stubbs, Dale, Brahimi, Pattison, O’Neill, Ward, Reading. Sub: Hemming (gk).

2nd half: James; Mahmutovic (Brahimi 72), Stubbs, Guru, McGinley (Capt. to 62) (Reading 62), Malley, K Spence (Ward 72), Liddle, Pattison (O’Neill 62), Walker, Cooke (Capt. from 62). Sub. Hemming (gk).

Referee Marc Edwards
No cards

*The next friendly for Paul Stephenson's side is away to Darlington this Saturday, July 21. Kick-off at Blackwell Meadows is 1pm