29th March - AFC Dunstable 4 Hertford Town 1
After Hertford's superb result on Saturday defeating leaders Hoddesdon Town 3-1, The OD's knew they would be in for a very tough night if they wanted to keep alive their title hopes. Both teams made one change from the weekend, AFC brought in Jermaine Hall for Nathan Frater and Hertford Oni Thomas for Jordan Watson.
With the pitch in perfect order right up to 6pm, the heavens decided to open and as standing water started to form, the surface was still firm enough to cope with the deluge. Thankfully the rain subsided in time for kick off.
With the visitors on a high after Saturday's win, they started very brightly. They knocked the ball around on the slick surface and looked dangerous. With Sam Ruff's wonder goal against the league leaders 3 days prior, the AFC defence had to keep him at arms length. He did have a decent attempt at goal but it did not find the target.
The home side started to force the game and nearly took the lead on 13 minutes. A powerful header by Bill Morgan was tipped over by Glenn Williamson. From the resulting corner, Josh Humbert was on hand to head home Newman Carney's corner.
This goal gave AFC confidence and when BJ Christie escaped his marker, he could not hit the target from a tight angle. With half time approaching, a good chance fell to Brandon Carney but he screwed his shot wide. It was looking like the OD's would have to settle for a 1-0 lead at the break. Christie though had other ideas as he broke clear and coolly lobbed the oncoming Williamson.
Half Time: AFC Dunstable 2 Hertford Town 0
With an hour of the game played out, it looked like AFC were comfortable. This was to change when the visitors were awarded a penalty. James Ewington made no mistake from the spot to reduce the arrears. AFC struck back within 2 minutes when from a corner, Humbert set up Hall who slotted home from close range. On 69 minutes, it was 4-1 to the home side. Neat feet from Hall saw him curl the ball into the back of the Hertford net to secure his 23rd goal of the season.
It was seeming like Saturday's exertions were catching up with the visitors as AFC created quite a few more chances. Humbert had the chance to add to his goal tally but Williamson denied him twice. A lovely one two between Hall and sub Danny Jones saw the latter's strike well saved. As Hall went in search of his treble, he had a shot at goal which slipped through Williamson's hands to safety.
So a solid 3 points against a very good side and AFC manager Steve Heath was happy at the final whistle saying " after Hertford's great result on Saturday, we knew we had to match their performance levels. On their day Hertford are a match for anyone and lying 4th in the league proves this. I thought we showed the right attitude and played some good football"
AFC Team: Perks. Massay. N.Carney. Morgan. Cashman. B.Carney. Gorman. Olaleye. Christie. Humbert. Hall. Subs used. Byron. Jones. Subs not used. Griffiths. Frater. Silvestri
Scorers: Humbert (14). Christie (43). Hall (62, 69)