5th November. Chesham United Reserves 3 AFC Dunstable 3 (AFC won 5-3 on pens)
A long night for the 2nd week in a row, this time AFC came out on top to progress to the 3rd Round of the League Challenge Trophy, were they will meet either Risborough Rangers or yet gain Colney Heath.
On a very cold bonfire night, with fireworks being let off all around the ground, this tie did not light up until the 2nd half. AFC boss Steve Heath decided to rest a few players, with a tough schedule coming up over the next couple of weeks. Also making his debut as a 2nd half sub was ex Chesham United player Chris Mason, who has been injured since signing in the summer.
Chesham United Reserves who are a very young side, the AFC players found their energy a problem early on. The game was played in very good spirits, as both side decided to attack at every opportunity. With the game looking like it would go into the break goalless, a typical Jimmy Hartley mazy run saw him fire AFC into the lead on 42 minutes.
Half time: Chesham 0 AFC Dunstable 1
The 2nd half exploded into life when the home side drew level with a splendid goal from Jack Harris 4 minutes in. 20 minutes later the hosts took the lead with a neat free kick from Jack Mace. The game was end to end now and when Hartley doubled his goal tally for the night on 75 minutes, Chesham again came back with George Fenton heading home with 10 minutes remaining. Back came AFC with 87 minutes gone, for Fabio Bufano to score from close range to take the game into extra time.
The tie did not relent in the extra period. Jonathan Cooper struck the bar and Louis Porcelli had to pull off a great save to keep Chesham out.
So to penalty kicks. Cooper converted for AFC, then Porcelli saved Chesham's first attempt. There were no further misses from both sides as Hartley, Moses Olaleye, Fabio Bufano and Mason scored for AFC.
So onto the next round and Heath said " I thought the game was played in an excellent spirit tonight. I decided to give a few of my experienced players a night off and use the squad to its full potential. With having 2 young midfielders playing at full backs and a couple more playing in positions they are not accustomed too, they showed they have the capabilities to turn their hands to any position. It was great to see Chris Mason back, as I have high hopes for him"
AFC Team: Porcelli. Bishop. Griffiths. Bufano. Biggadike. Silvestri (Mason 45). Hartley. Hansard (Smith 67)(Harvey 73). Cooper. Olaleye. Campbell. Sub not used: Fallon (GK)
Scorers: Hartley (42 & 75). Bufano (87)