25th November - AFC Dunstable 4 Leverstock Green 2
After back to back league defeats, AFC needed to get back to winning ways, to re start their challenge for the league title. Having dropped down to 2nd spot, they closed the gap on leaders London Colney to a single point with the same games played, but the chasing pack is gathering with games in hand.
In a game where Leverstock Green would not lie down, the 3 points were safely in the bag at the end of the night. An injury during the warm up to Fabio Bufano saw Terry Griffiths replace him. Taishan Griffith was brought into the starting line up as was expectant father Danny Ryan.
The game started pretty slowly, as the visitors kept the ball well and moved it about. With Louis Bircham upfront, they had a focal point to aim for, as he movement and use of the ball all evening was a joy to watch. Leverstock took the lead on 11 minutes with a controversial penalty award. What seemed ball to hand, the referee decided to point to the spot. Up stepped Bircham to strike home the penalty for his 20th goal of the season.
AFC needed to react and quickly as this goal seemed to give Levy confidence. Within a 2 minute period, the OD's had taken the lead. On 21 minutes a Newman Carney free kick picked out an unmarked Jermaine Hall who headed home. A minute later the same person put in another free kick and Ryan was the recipient this time with his header.
As half time approached, neither side could really carve out any chances of note.
Half time: AFC Dunstable 2 Leverstock Green 1
The home side came out for the 2nd half with more vigour and started to up the pressure on the visitors defence. With 55 minutes gone, BJ Christie took on 3 Levy's defenders in a foot race. As he was about to pull the trigger he was clipped and a penalty was awarded. Carney put his shot to the left of the keeper but he saved well to deny him.
This miss did not deter AFC, as they continued to mount pressure. Next up Hall broke clear but somehow miscued his shot at goal. Nathan Frater then had an effort blocked and it was seeming the elusive 3rd goal would not come.
On 71 minutes, within a 60 second period the scoreline could have been 2-2 but it was 3-1 to AFC. A misunderstanding in the OD's defence, saw Bircham have a strike at goal which was athletically saved low down by Ricky Perks. From the resulting corner, AFC cleared their lines and Christie broke on the left and crossed for Hall to tap home. The game should have been put to bed with 10 minutes remaining. Christie set up Frater but he put his header wide from 10 yards out.
Now into added on time, it was a case of seeing out the game. Saying that, AFC decided to gift Levertsock a life line as Griffiths put through his own goal. AFC responded straight away as Christie powered home a resplendent header to open up the 2 goal cushion again.
So the losing blip in the league was ended as only one point separates AFC from the leaders.
AFC Team: Perks. Massay. N.Carney. Ryan. Griffiths. Griffith. Frater. Cashman. Christie. Gorman. Hall. Subs used. B.Carney. Jones. Biggadike. Subs not used. Beck. Olaleye.
Scorers: Hall (21. 72). Ryan (22). Christie (90+2)