30th September - AFC Dunstable 0 Moneyfields 0
After two successive league defeats, AFC welcomed new unbeaten league leaders Moneyfields to Creasey Park. The Monies, as they are known, finished runners up in the Wessex League last season but gained promotion as Portland United turned it down.
Not knowing what to expect from our visitors today, it soon became apparent they are a one off. Saying that though, they are a mighty good football team and you can see why they top the table.
The hosts went into the game looking to improve on the result on Wednesday night. Even though a 3-0 loss was recorded against title favourites AFC Rushden & Diamonds, the performance was a marked improvement from the previous two outings.
Having had Louis Bircham for two games at the beginning of September, he had returned to Kings Langley. Then on Friday night he moved back to AFC on a permanent basis. He was expecting to be on the bench, but an injury to top scorer Jermaine Hall in the warm up saw him get a start. A couple more changes were also made, as Bill Morgan and Christian Tavernier came in as Danny Murphy and Courtney Massay dropped out.
From the outset, you could see that the game was going to be a fiery one, as straight away Moneyfields were high octane and the referee was going to have his work cut out.
The first real chance of the game fell to the hosts. Eight minutes had surpassed when a Nathan Frater header went wide. It looked like AFC would open the scoring on 17 minutes, when a header from Lee Close was somehow kept out by Monies keeper Stephen Mowthorpe.
It was now AFC's keeper Jamie Head who was called into action as he saved from Gary Austin. The game was now full blooded and no prisoners were being taken. Then on the half hour it looked like the home side had taken the lead. It was Close again with a header that found the back of the net, but it was ruled out for offside.
Half time: AFC Dunstable 0 Moneyfields 0
If the 2nd half was to live up to the 1st, then the crowd would not be disappointed. And it did.
The chance of the game came along on the hour. Nathan Frater escaped his marker and bore down on goal. He rounded Mowthorpe but his touch took him wide of the goal and his effort was cleared off the line.
No quarter was given by either side but still no goal were forthcoming. Plenty of yellow cards were being shown though, with some a bit dubious. In the end, Monies skipper Steve Hutchings was shown his 2nd, as his eventful game came to an end on 70 minutes.
So with 20 minutes left on the clock, could AFC get a winner against the 10 men of Moneyfields. They pushed forward looking for that elusive goal but the visitors seemed to be coping pretty well. Then the last kick of the game could have seen Moneyfields nick all three points. From AFC's pressure, the ball was cleared to Ryan Pennery upfield. Neat footwork by the forward saw him get his shot away but Head saved.
So an honourable draw and AFC boss Steve Heath was happy with the outcome saying "that was a proper game of football today. Even though it was goalless, the commitment from both sides was high intensity. I have watched some games this season from higher leagues and that today matched any I have seen. Moneyfields are a very strong and good side and you can tell many of their players have played at a higher level and looking at their profiles, quite a few started out a pro clubs"
AFC Team: Head. Bishop. Carney. R.Frater. Morgan. Close (Campbell 75). Tavernier. Olaleye. Christie. Bircham (Hall 88). N.Frater. Subs not used. Murphy. Griffiths. Massay.