2nd September - Barton Rovers 0 AFC Dunstable 2
With this being the only fixture in the league on Saturday, both teams had the opportunity to make great strides up the table and hit the dizzy heights of 2nd position. In AFC's case, a 3 clear goal win would have seen them top the table on goals scored. In the end they had to be happy with a 2-0 win, in a very demanding game, especially in the 2nd period.
The visitors were forced into making two changes from the superb performance on Bank Holiday Monday. Nathan Frater was unavailable, so Adiel Mannion got a start and Newman Carney picked up a strange injury the evening before, so in came Danny Murphy.
The OD's, kicking down the slope, got off to the perfect start after only 11 minutes. Ex Rovers from last season, Lee Close flicked the ball on with his head, which put in ace marksman Jermaine Hall to coolly slot home his 8th goal of the season.
Three minutes later, Hall had the chance to double AFC's advantage but his effort on goal was blocked. Next Barton had an opportunity to level the scores. Speedy left winger Nathan Olokami went on a mazy run and set up Josh Oyinson. The striker could not get enough purchase on his shot and Head easily fielded his attempt at goal.
With the slope on the pitch being a big advantage, the visitors continued to look the more likely to add to their goal tally with their possession, but no real clear cut chances were created.
Half time: Barton Rovers 0 AFC Dunstable 1
It was now AFC's turn to defend the incline, as Rovers looked to get the full use of it. They pushed forward and forced a few corners, of which the visitors defence seemed to cope quite well. When any efforts were forthcoming, Head was up to the challenge, especially a headed effort from Oyinsan, which he tipped over his crossbar midway through the half.
Rovers were now going all out to force a leveler as the game approached it's final minutes. Then a breakaway saw AFC secure the points, when Hall released sub Marcus Campbell, who outpaced the Barton defenders. His cross found fellow sub Tom Silford 6 yards from goal, who finished off the move, with only 2 minutes of normal time remaining.
So an extremely tough 3 points were secured and AFC manager Steve Heath was happy with his teams determination saying "that was not the prettiest out there today but in the end the 3 points is the most important factor. Our games with Barton are always very close and sometimes are decided on small points. We had to dig in 2nd half, as they threw everything at us and it is so pleasing to see my players up for the challenge. We were slightly down to the bare bones today squad wise having 5 players out but the 13 involved today put in a right shift"
AFC Team: Head. Massay. Murphy. R.Frater. Morgan. Bishop. Mannion (Campbell 66). Olaleye. Hall. Close. Bircham (Silford 82). Subs not used. Ajayi. Blackman. Carney.
Scorers: Hall (11). Silford (88)