29th November. AFC Dunstable 4 Cockfosters 0
It was a strange afternoon in the Spartan South Midlands Premier Division, as the leaders Sun Sports and 2nd placed Berkhamsted suffered shock defeats, along with Harefield United and Wembley who are up there challenging for the title. It gave the chance for AFC to close the gap and for Kings Langley, who are now looking like the team who are favourites with the games in hand they have.
AFC knew they were facing a team in transition in Cockfosters, who had lost their management team to Edgware Town in the week, so they came to Creasey Park with a young side who competed well for 80 minutes. It was the Enzo Silvestri show, as he came on as a sub on 81 minutes and proceeded to help himself to a hat trick in 9 minutes.
The home team saw 3 changes from the midweek draw against Oxhey Jets. Back into the starting line after a long time out due to injury was Jonathan Cooper. Leon Cashman resumed at centre back with Wayne Mills at right back.
Cockfosters were probably looking at damage limitation as AFC probed for long periods in the 1st half. A neat strike from Jimmy Hartley struck a post and a Newman Carney free kick came close. Ricky Perks in the AFC goal had to pull off a smart save but apart from that he was mainly a spectator. With the game looking like it would be goalless at the break, a sublime piece of skill from Cooper broke the deadlock to put AFC 1-0 up.
Half time. AFC Dunstable 1 Cockfosters 0
AFC upped the pace after the break and now started to dominate the game. Jermaine Hall had an effort cleared off the line and he had 2 more very decent chances to open his account. As the light faded and the floodlights took affect, the scoreline was still in the balance, as 1-0 was never going to be enough, as all it needed was a slip up and Cockfosters could have drawn level. Now with Moses Olaleye pulling the strings in midfield, he was joined by Silvestri and what an impact he made.
His first touch of the ball, resulted in him firing home from close range on 82 minutes. With the visitors visibly tiring, the AFC midfield were enjoying the freedom of knocking the ball about. Silvestri was now taking the opportunity off pushing forward and with his 2nd touch had doubled his goal tally. With the game drawing to an end, again up popped the same man to net his hat trick.
A pleased AFC boss Steve Heath said after the game "it took time to wear down Cockfosters today but some of our football in the 2nd half was a joy to watch. It was just a shame we did not put the game to bed a bit earlier but I am being picky. We created so many chances and not only did Enzo get a hat trick, Jermaine had a few chances to probably match him" he continued "every game at the moment seems to be a must win game and on Tuesday we have the chance of reaching the Challenge Trophy Quarter Final but a very tough game against Risborough Rangers await us. Then what I am being told, Saturday's 3rd Round FA Vase game is the biggest in the clubs history"
AFC Team: Perks. Mills (Bishop 72). Carney. Biggadike. Cashman. Hartley (Silvestri 80). Griffiths. Bufano. Cooper (Warne 67). Olaleye. Hall. Subs not used. Francis. Campbell
Scorers: Cooper (42). Silvestri (81, 85, 90)
Crime Count. Griffiths (yellow card)