21st March. Oxhey Jets 2 AFC Dunstable 2
AFC somehow contrived to let a 2 goal lead slip, against a 10 men Oxhey Jets team who lost their keeper to a red card 5 minutes before the break. This result also hit them hard, as they dropped to 3rd in the league.
The game saw Brandon Carney make his full debut and the 17 year old re paid the managers faith in him, as he turned in a glittering display. Just having been released from the Stevenage FC Academy, he showed what a great prospect for the future he will be.
The visitors went into the game looking to go on another unbeaten run, as 2nd place in the league is now a more realistic option for the season.
Two very good chances fell to AFC in the first 6 minutes, when Enzo Silvestri and Jermaine Hall both came close. As they continued to press for most of the half, they were awarded a penalty when Oxhey's keeper Davis Boateng brought down Silvestri on 40 minutes. A certain spot kick was the result but the red card was a bit unlucky for their custodian. Up stepped Newman Carney to put away the penalty. It was soon 2-0 when 3 minutes later, Hall put in some good work to set up Silvestri to slot home from 6 yards.
Half time: Oxhey Jets 0 AFC Dunstable 2
Looking to push home their advantage, the visitors started brightly and should have extended their lead early in the half. Brandon Carney came close with a long range strike as did Hall. Then the half changed. Apathy seemed to set in with AFC and Oxhey upped their game.
The home side now started to press higher up the pitch and they pulled a goal back on the hour through a Tyler Connor header from a corner, as the AFC defence went to sleep. Now the 10 men of Oxhey were pushing forward and when Leon Cashman was to adjudged to have handled the ball in the box on 66 minutes, the leagues top scorer Lee Armitt drew them level from the spot.
Surely AFC had to respond to Oxhey's resurgence and to be fair they did but all too late. They went all out for the winner but did not really test stand in keeper Luke Beardsmore. Hall had a gilt edged chance in the dying minutes and a good shout for a penalty when it seemed Beardsmore tripped Brandon Carney. The home side were reduced to 9 men in the final seconds, when Jamie Speer planted his head on Grant Fryer.
A very frustrated AFC Manager Steve Heath said "yet again we fail to put a team away when we are on top in a game and it has cost us dear this season. Oxhey had a good 15 minutes and score 2 goals, the rest of the game we have most of it and only score 2. We have dropped so many points from winning positions and today was no different. One very bright note though is Brandon Carney. He displayed fantastic energy for a 17 year old and maturity. He was so unlucky not to get on the scoresheet and he should have had a penalty". He continued " while we had runners up in our hands, it no longer is, as a few teams can now catch us with their games in hand"
AFC Team. Porcelli. Mills. Carney (N). Fryer. Cashman. Carney (B). Cooper. Humbert. Silvestri (Griffith 72). Olaleye. Hall. Subs not used. Biggadike. Langston. Francis.
Scorers: Carney (N) 40 (pen). Silvestri (44).