22nd August - AFC Dunstable 4 London Tigers 1
With London Tigers taking 4 points off AFC last season, the home teams boss Steve Heath thought his luck could be out again, he remarked " typically the day we play our bogey side, due to holiday's, wedding's and suspensions, I had a total of 7 players unavailable today. I could only name 2 players on the bench but it does show, we do have good depth to the squad"
Making a start today was Danny Ryan, his first senior start for 18 months and he capped off his day, with scoring AFC's 3rd goal with a cracking header. Returning to the side from Tuesday night was skipper Moses Olaleye, Billy Baird and Terry Griffiths.
With a lovely warm day at Creasey Park and the pitch in excellent condition, this would suit the Tigers, as without doubt they have some talented footballers in their ranks, who knock the ball about very attractively. After they deservedly won 2-0 last season at Creasey, AFC needed to shut down the space and not let them express themselves.
The first real chance of the 1st half came on 10 minutes, when BJ Christie gave the home side the lead. With the ball falling to him just outside the 18 yard box, he well and truly put his foot through the ball. His strike was only a yard to the left of the keeper, but it had so much venom it flew past him. Apart from a superb save by Pampolim from a Jonny Cooper half volley, it would have been 2-0, 3 minutes later.
The Tigers forwards were feeding mainly on scraps as the half developed and the same could be said for the AFC forwards.
Half Time: AFC Dunstable 1 London Tigers 0
With AFC's fine record of not conceding a goal so far this season, it nearly came to an end 8 minutes into the 2nd half. A great through ball split the defence. As Benmansour bore down on goal, he only had the frame of Ricky Perks to beat. Perks stood his ground and saved well. Unfortunately AFC did not learn from this, as on the hour their record was blemished. A lovely curling shot from Tahin found the net to draw them level.
It seemed AFC players were still in the dressing room, as they had not started the half well. They decided it needed rectified and when Taishan Griffith was fouled out on the touchline, a trade mark Newman Carney free kick was headed home by Griffiths 2 minutes later. Not resting on their laurels, on 66 minutes, another Carney free kick was headed home by Ryan to extend the lead to 3-1.
With this burst of 2 goals in 4 minutes, Tigers heads seemed to drop as AFC started to create more chances. Christie came close again as his shot just went wide. It was time to introduce Josh Humbert, to make his first appearance this season after his suspension. As he settled down, on 80 minutes his sublime ball picked out Jermaine Hall, who danced round the keeper to make it 4-1.
So another decent performance and 3 more points in the bag. Heath was happy with most of the game saying " apart from the early periods of the 2nd half when they scored, we were pretty much comfortable. With Tigers, you never know what you are going to get from them, so we had to be on our mettle to nullify them. I think conceding our 1st goal was a match changer, as my players took it upon themselves to rectify it, which was pleasing"
AFC Team: Perks. Baird. N.Carney. Ryan. Griffiths. Griffith. B.Carney. Olaleye. Christie. Cooper. Hall. Subs used. Humbert. Byron.
Scorers: Christie (10). Griffiths (62). Ryan (66). Hall (80)