25th November - Hanwell Town 0 AFC Dunstable 2
After the superb 2-0 win over 2nd placed Cambridge City on Monday night, AFC boss Steve Heath had to make sure his team did not go into Saturday's game against lowly Hanwell Town, that just turning up would result in 3 points.
He was though dealt a blow when Christian Tavernier, James Bishop and Ollie Cox were struck down with illness and were not available. This gave the chance for the club to show the pathway they are trying to achieve, as 18 year olds Joe Hankins and Dan Blackman were promoted up from the Under 21's. Both featured in the latter stages of the game.
With both teams winning their previous outings, as this league suggests, there are no easy games. Hanwell were a dogged opponent and were not going to go down lightly.
The opening half resulted in both sides not showing too much craft. Long range off target shots were becoming the order of the day. AFC came close to taking the lead, when a Jermaine Hall flick shot bounced off the top of the bar.
No quarter was being given as a midfield battle was being pursued. Some half chances fell to each team but on these occasions neither keeper was called into action.
The only real action of the half, was somehow the man in the middle showed 4 yellow cards for not very much.
Half time: Hanwell Town 0 AFC Dunstable 0
The deadlock was broken only 3 minutes into the new half, when Louis Bircham opened the scoring for the visitors. As the ball bounced about in the Hanwell box, he latched onto it and fired AFC in front.
That goal gave the visitors some confidence and started to take a stranglehold on the proceedings. Even though clear cut chances were not forthcoming, they pushed their opponents back as they looked for the 2nd.
With the game looking like a 1-0 scoreline was going to be the outcome, with the clock showing 10 minutes remaining, 2 golden chances fell to Hall to put the game to bed. On both occasions though he was denied. Then AFC nearly fell for the sucker punch. With the game entering its final stages, the hosts thought they had drawn level from a header but it was ruled out for offside.
So with 2 minutes remaining, AFC finally got their 2nd. Again the ball found its way into the Hanwell box and BJ Christie reacted first to poke home for his 3rd goal in his last 3 games.
Team: Head. Longden. Carney. R.Frater. Morgan. Griffiths. Bircham (Cashman 67). Olaleye (Blackman 88). Christie. Hall. N.Frater (Hankins 76).
Goalscorers: Bircham (48). Christie (88)