5th December - Stotfold 0 AFC Dunstable 5
A delighted AFC boss Steve Heath, was full of praise for his players, as they came away from Roker Park with a convincing win. Before the game he said " with the windy conditions and poor pitch, I would have been happy to record a scrappy 1-0 win"
Playing against the wind in the 1st half, goals by Brandon Carney, Josh Humbert and BJ Christie gave AFC a cushion at half time. Looking to exploit the conditions in the 2nd half, they pinned Stotfold in their own half for the majority of the 45 minutes, as they struggled to move the ball forwards. It was 2 late goals by Christie that rewarded Heath's tactics and the AFC forward ended the day on 27 goals for the season.
The visitors were forced into 3 changes from last Saturday. Leon Cashman was serving a one match suspension and Jermaine Hall was suffering from the affects of tonsillitis, so was an unused substitute. Keeper Ricky Perks was at a wedding, so in came Gary Malone. Recalled was Josh Humbert after his 3 match suspension and Nathan Frater.
After the hosts thought they were unlucky in the FA Vase game 2 weeks previous, they should have no complaints this time, as AFC keeper Malone was mainly a spectator for the whole 90 minutes, even though the Eagles were pleased to have their top scorer Ben L'Honore in their starting X1, as he missed the Vase game.
As the two teams sounded each other out for the first 10 minutes, it was a superb corner by Newman Carney that found his brothers head for Brandon to open the scoring. Coming to terms with the wind against them, it was soon 2-0 to AFC. Once again the older Carney was the supplier. He put in a quality free kick and this time Humbert was the recipient, as he poked home from close range.
With the home side so intent to supply L'Honore, they kept over hitting their passes and Malone had to be content to just picking up loose balls. With 10 minutes remaining in the half, a great run by Courtney Massay down the right, saw him whip in his cross and Christie was on hand to flick the ball home.
Half time: Stotfold 0 AFC Dunstable 3
With the hard work done in the 1st period, AFC decided to try and keep the ball and not make the same mistake Stotfold did by getting the ball forward as quick as possible, as the wind was always going to be the winner. With having 3 goals disallowed in the FA Vase game, it was only one this time, when Christie was ruled offside on 55 minutes.
As the OD's continued to probe, when a move did break down, the Eagles could just not get forward, as a combination of the visitors working hard to press them and the wind, they just could not launch any meaningful attacks.
It should have been 4-0 on 82 minutes, when a great cross from Taishan Griffith saw Christie head just wide. Looking to make up for that miss, he decided to make the scoreline more convincing. Put through by sub Dale Turney he finished clinically on 88 minutes. 2 minutes later he completed his hat trick, as he outpaced the Stotfold defence to slip the ball home.
So a good 3 points, Heath was pleased with his teams commitment, he said " just think, to have players missing of the calibre we had out today, all the squad are pulling in the right direction and worked so hard in difficult conditions. I am hoping to have my skipper Moses Olaleye back soon, as he is training and doing the warm ups and it was so good to see Dale Turney back today, after being out for 3 months" he continued " Josh Humbert and Nathan Frater had to come off today with knocks, we will assess them to see if fit for Tuesday"
AFC Team: Malone. Massay. N.Carney. Griffiths. Beck. Griffiths. B.Carney. Humbert. Christie. Gorman. Frater. Subs used. Bufano. Turney. Subs not used. Hall. Silvestri. Olaleye
Scorers: Christie (35, 88, 90). B.Carney (15). Humbert (22)