1st March - AFC Dunstable 4 Wembley 2
It was a personal triumph for Jermaine Hall, to help himself to all 4 goals in a bruising encounter with Wembley but in the end picked up 3 more vital points. It could have been even better for him, if he had not blasted a 85th minute penalty over the Wembley crossbar to register 5.
On a cold bitter night, the Creasey Park groundstaff once again came up trumps, as out of 7 Premier Division games due to be played, this one was the only survivor. Being one of the games AFC have in hand on leaders Hoddesdon Town, they took full advantage to close the gap to 2 points with still a game in hand.
The visitors who are known for their free flowing football shocked the hosts by taking the lead after only 6 minutes. An uncharacteristic long ball caught out the AFC back line and Joe Wright pounced to finish coolly. Looking to respond quickly, the hosts were level 6 minutes later. Good work by BJ Christie set up Hall to register his first goal of the night.
Only another 2 minutes had passed and AFC were in front. Once again Hall had to thank Christie for his 2nd after he was bundled to the ground. Up stepped Hall to sweep home the resulting penalty. It was now looking like the OD's had a grip on the game as they created a few more chances. Once again though they fell for the sucker punch, as another long ball eluded AFC's defence and Adam Murad took full advantage to slot the ball past Ricky Perks on the half hour.
AFC struck straight back and within 3 minutes were back in the lead. It was that man Hall again, who was in the right place at the right time to complete his hat trick.
Half time: AFC Dunstable 3 Wembley 2
If the 1st half was full of good football, the 2nd was a niggly affair as both teams could not settle into any type of pattern. A midfield battle was starting to unravel, as both teams were not giving each other an inch. Petty fouls started to introduce themselves and it was looking like whoever scored next would light the blue touch paper. Luckily this was not to be, as from a Newman Carney corner on 82 minutes, Hall was on hand to make it 4-2 to AFC, which seemed to knock the stuffing out of Wembley.
It could have been a more emphatic scoreline if Hall had taken advantage of Christie's hard work. As he bore down on goal, he was brought down for the 2nd penalty of the night. Hall failed to cap off an even better night for himself as he put the spot kick into orbit.
AFC Team: Perks. Massay. Jones. Griffiths. N.Carney. B.Carney. Gorman. Olaleye. Christie. Humbert. Hall. Subs used. Cashman. Darby. Frater. Subs not used. Mills. Byron.
Scorer: Hall (12. 14(p). 32. 82)