April 2015 - Reserves clinch the double
Its been quite a week for the clubs Reserve Team, as within a 2 day period, they were crowned champions of the SSML Reserve Division North and West, then the following night won the Bedfordshire Intermediate Cup.
Needing 3 more points to win the league with a trip to Mursley United on the 18th April, that was not required, as the only team that could overhaul them, Crawley Green, lost 2-0 to Holmer Green on Tuesday 14th April, so the title was secured without kicking a ball and with 3 games to spare.
The following evening, a trip over to Biggleswade was made for the final of the County Cup. This would be the 3rd time in 5 seasons that a AFC Reserve team have made it to this final and they were looking to make it 2 wins out of 3 finals.
Coming up against Great Barford 1st team from the Bedfordshire County League Division One, by half time it was looking like a romp was on the cards. AFC completely dominated the 1st half as they bossed for large periods, but just could not find the breakthrough. Then 5 minutes before the break, they scored twice to go 2-0 up with goals from Adrian Pitfield and top scorer Oliver Buckley.
With their domination so apparent, it looked like the 2nd half would be a breeze, but Barford came out a different team in the 2nd half and pulled a goal back within 3 minutes of the re start. They started to compete alot better and were causing the AFC back line some problems. Luckily though, AFC regained their 2 goal cushion when Anthony Leslie made it 3 on 51 minutes.
The final was not over though, as Barford struck the post from a free kick and Matt Fallon had to pull off a couple of brave saves. With Barford throwing everything at AFC, they were susceptible to the counter attack and could have paid a few times but AFC squandered numerous chances.
So a league and cup double for the team and a big well done goes out to Paul Axten and his players. He said after the game " it is great to win 2 trophies in my first full season with these young players. Tonight was strange, as I thought we were a bit below par, but it is all about the result in the end in finals. It is also great for the club, as 6 of the squad tonight represent our Under 18 team as well. I would like to thank Great Barford, as I thought both teams delivered a good spectacle and the 2nd half was quite nerve racking as they upped their game"
The next big challenge for the team is the championship play off's. The top 2 from the SSML North & West and South & East, play off for the overall champions of the league's Reserve Divisions. Their semi final is at Creasey Park on Tuesday May 5th, probably against Sun Sports Reserves, who won the Hertfordshire Intermediate Cup tonight as well.
AFC Team: Matt Fallon. Tyler Minney. Adrian Pitfield. Barry O'Brien. James Kefford. Dwayne Head. Glen Thompson. Kane Axten. Ben Darby. Oliver Buckley. Ross Adams. Subs used. Anthony Leslie. Connor Rimmell. Brayden Judge. Sub not used. Sonny Clayton (GK)
Scorers: Pitfield (41). Buckley (45). Leslie (51)