15th November. AFC Dunstable 2 Hadley 0
A workman like performance from AFC today, saw them move up a couple of places back to 4th in the league. With the team missing suspended Enzo Silvestri and James Bishop, boss Steve Heath was also without his skipper Wayne Mills due to his unavailability. Good news was the return of Jermaine Hall, who made a late substitute appearance.
AFC though had to contend with a player who has turned out in the UEFA Champions League no less for Arsenal. Jernade Meade made that impressive call, when he came on as a sub back in December 2012 against Olympiacos. He also appeared in the televised League Cup tie when Arsenal defeated Reading 7-5 in the same season. Since Arsenal he moved onto Swansea City then onto Luton Town were he has been released.
Unfortunately for Hadley and Meade, he only stayed on the pitch for 31 minutes. His handball on the line resulted in a red card and a penalty for AFC.
The game was very tight affair, as Hadley who had won their 4 previous games in all competitions, came into the game at full strength and were full of confidence. You could say the handball was the turning point of the game. It was unlucky for Leon Simpson whose attempt was netted but the referee blew for a penalty before it crossed the line. Newman Carney converted the spot kick.
Half time: AFC Dunstable 1 Hadley 0
The 2nd half was much the same as the first. Both teams were probing all afternoon and to be fair to Hadley performed better with 10 men. They passed the ball very comfortably but did not test Ricky Perks in the AFC goal until they were 2-0 down when Perks pulled off a great save.
With Hadley pushing forward nearing the end of the game, they started to leave gaps at the back and AFC started to create more chances. They made it 2-0 with 9 minutes left on the clock, when Jimmy Hartley ghosted past 3 Hadley players. He got to the byline but instead of going for the cross had a pop at goal. The ball took a wicked deflection and wrong footed Charlie Mann in the Hadley goal. It could have been 3-0 in the dying minutes when Mann blocked a strike from Hall.
So a tough 3 points and AFC gaffer Heath said " I knew today would be very tight as Hadley have been in good form recently. Having a ex pro like Mickey Hazard in charge, he is always going to get the best out of his team"
AFC Team: Perks. Griffiths. Carney. Biggadike. Cashman. Warne. Hartley (Hansard 83). Bufano. Francis (Hall 74). Olaleye. Simpson (Harvey 84). Subs not used. Mason. Porcelli (GK)
Scorers: Carney (31 pen). Hartely (81)
Crime count. Biggadike (Yellow)