4th November - AFC Dunstable 1 Hadley 1
In the old saying, this was a game of 2 halves. AFC took a lead into the break with a Leon Cashman strike but Hadley struck back in the 2nd period to score a well worked team goal through Zaine Gangadeen. AFC though could have snatched all 3 points in the dying seconds, when Brandon Carney's header somehow missed the target.
A couple of changes were made from the FA Vase triumph from Sunday. Making his full debut was Charlie Gorman in midfield and Brandon Carney was recalled for Danny Jones.
The home side went straight on the attack and a BJ Christie shot just cleared the bar 2 minutes in. They continued with the pressure and were rewarded on 16 minutes. Jon Cooper won a header which put through Christie. His rasping shot was pushed away by Hadley's keeper Charlie Mann but the ball found Cashman who fired home.
Christie and Cashman linked up again 20 minutes later, but Cashman could not get his shot on target. Still pushing forward a fine run and cross by Courtney Massay saw it fizz across the visitors goal mouth, but no one could get on the end of it. The OD's now had a head of steam and were looking for their 2nd. On the stroke of half time, Hadley nearly pulled a goal back as Ricky Perks had to get down low to deny them.
Half time: AFC Dunstable 1 Hadley 0
Looking to continue their attacking play, AFC nearly doubled their lead with a wonderful 25 yard strike from Gorman. Mann had to dive to his left to keep it out.
With Hadley making 2 changes at the break, they started to get back into the game and Massay had to block a shot from Jernade Mead. They were now playing some very neat football in and about the AFC half and their equaliser was a joy. A well constructed move saw Gangedeen get on the end of it to draw them level on 52 minutes.
The visitors were now getting on top and AFC were finding it hard to keep the ball. Misplaced passes and ball retention was becoming a problem for the home side. With Christie upfront though, if a chance came his way he might convert. This was the case midway through the half but Mann saved low to deny him.
Hadley continued to dictate play in midfield and put together some lovely moves. Unfortunately for them, they did not test Perks in the AFC goal enough to take a lead.
With the game drawing to a close, AFC came so near to taking all 3 points. In a goal mouth scramble, the ball popped up in the air. Brandon Carney, who is usually so clinical with his heading ability, put his effort wide from 5 yards out. FT 1-1
AFC manager Steve Heath was pragmatic at the final whistle saying " well we are still unbeaten and I have to be happy with a point. I thought in the 1st half we had chances to take a bigger lead into the break but you have to give credit to Hadley the way they responded in the 2nd half" he continued " yet again, an opponent states, that this is the best they have played this season, which we will have to get used too, being top of the league"
AFC team: Perks. Massay. N.Carney. Bufano. Griffiths. B.Carney. Cooper. Olaleye. Gorman. Cashman. Subs used. Frederick. Jones. Subs not used. Griffith. Ryan. Byron
Goalscorer: Cashman (16)