9th August. AFC Dunstable 5 Sun Postal Sports 3
It was goals galore, as AFC Dunstable got off to a winning start against newly promoted Sun Postal Sports who came up as champions.
Four players made their senior debuts for AFC today, Lewis Porcelli, Tom Silford, Taishan Griffith (all teenagers) and Louis Austin. Three returning players in the shape of Damien Pickering, Jonathan Cooper and Jermaine Hall also started.
In a pristine new kit and reverting back to blue socks, it could have not been a worse start for AFC as stalwart James Armstrong slipped past Jack Lauder to fire Sun Postals into the lead after only 2 minutes. Needing to settle down as nerves seem to be getting the better of them, AFC started to pass the ball better and when Austin pulled clear on the left, his curling right footed strike found the top corner on 8 minutes. AFC now had a head of steam and when Hall turned Postals centre half, his clumsy tackle up ended Hall. The same player picked himself up and stroked home the resulting penalty on the quarter hour. It was soon 3-1 when a crisp strike found the bottom corner from Lauder.
It was now all AFC as they attacked at will and the Sun defenders were finding it hard to cope with the pace of the AFC front runners and when Austin got his 2nd after great work by Marcus Campbell to make it 4-1, it looked like the game was all over. To be fair to Sun Sports management team, they made a couple of changes and all of a sudden for the remainder of the half had a couple of decent chances. One produced a fantastic save from 16 year old Porcelli in the AFC goal. They did though convert one when completely unmarked in the box, Steve Noonan headed home with 2 minutes left of the half. AFC should have gone 5-2 up but Austin struck a post as he lobbed the keeper. Half time AFC 4 Sun 2.
The 2nd half would be played on a knifes edge as Sun felt they had the tools to get back in the game. It should have been all over as firstly James Bishop had a gilt edge chance but put his effort wide and Cooper had a strike at goal with a similar result. Would AFC rue these misses as once again Moonan headed home on 64 minutes to reduce the arrears. Now the game was there for the taking for both teams. It was end to end as both teams went all out for the win. Who would get the decisive goal ?
A strong run by Bishop set up Hall and is cuteness saw a hand ball in the box and yet another penalty. Again Hall found the corner with 16 minutes left on the clock. There was plenty of time for more goals but the biggest shock there was not.
AFC Manager commented after the game " I knew this would be a stern test today, as Postal's beat Colney Heath 2-0 in the week" he continued " It was great to have a strike force of Louis Austin and Jermaine Hall and Louis still has a lot more to come after being injured for most of last season. Also to see a 16 year old keeper playing at this level is great for the club. We started with 5 teenagers today and a further 2 on the bench, which shows what talent we have here"
AFC Team: Porcelli: Mills: Silford: Lauder: Pickering: Griffith (Smith 79): Cooper (Clark 82): Bishop: Austin (Harvey 75): Campbell: Hall. Subs not used: Biggadike. Taylor (GK)
Scorers: Austin (8 & 28). Hall (14(p) & 74(p). Lauder (21)
Sun Postals Team: Hampton: Wallace: Weeks: Twesigomne: Bonner: Noonan: Bashiri: Lewis: Armstrong: Lynskey: Pooley. Subs used. Fearon: Sullivan. Johnson. Subs not used. McCreeth (GK)
Scorers: Noonan (43 & 64). Armstrong (2).
Referee: John Wynne. Assistant Referee's: Stewart Beardon and Richard Willson