1st September. AFC Dunstable 2 Newport Pagnell Town 1 (FA Cup Preliminary Round Replay)

AFC squeezed into the next round of the FA Cup, in a game that had many twist and turns. Goals in added time of both halves saw them through and the villain from Saturday went some way to redeem himself.

From the first game, the home side welcomed back the Carney brothers, but lost striker Jermaine Hall to a knee injury and Dale Turney's ligament damage he received on Saturday. Danny Ryan got a start to partner Terry Griffiths in the centre of defence, so Leon Cashman was pushed up front and Jonathan Cooper came in for Turney. Josh Humbert was rested with a big league game coming up on Saturday.

Newport opened up very similar to Saturday, on the front foot, but on this occasion kept up the pressure for the majority of the half. Again Josh Crawley was leading their line superbly and looked dangerous all night. With Liam Smyth pulling the strings for the Swans in the middle of the park, it was difficult for the AFC midfield to get a foot hold. 

The first real chance of the game fell to Newport's Crawley, as he latched onto a poor clearance and fired just wide. He was soon to make amends, when from an Adam Pryke through ball he was taken out by Ricky Perks. From the resulting spot kick, Crawley cooly slotted home.

The Swans continued to control the ball for long periods and worked extremely hard to close down AFC at every opportunity. The hosts first real chance of the game came when a rasping Cashman shot was tipped over the bar by Mark Osbourne. It was looking like the visitors would take a lead into the break, but Crawley's eventful night continued. From a Newman Carney corner in added time, the ball was headed back across goal by Ryan and Crawley got the final touch as he put through his own goal.

Half time: AFC Dunstable 1 Newport Pagnell Town 1

To get anything from the tie, AFC knew they had to up their game and compete with Newport alot better. They started to slowly work their way into the half and were seeing more of the ball and creating chances. It was time to make a couple of changes. AFC introduced Danny Jones and Jason Beck.

With 15 minutes left on the clock, another far post corner saw Beck's header strike the post and then cleared off the line. Within a minute AFC hit the woodwork again with a crashing Griffiths header. The home side were now getting up a head of steam, as Newport were finding it more and more difficult to stem AFC's aerial power. On the other end, when they got the ball, they still looked very dangerous on the break.

With the game heading for extra time, the game was into 2 minutes of added time when AFC were awarded another free kick. Again Carney's free kick found Beck at the far post and his header set up Cashman who powerfully struck home the winner. Two more minutes were added as AFC saw out the game and set up a tie with Ryman Premier Division leaders Leiston in Suffolk.

An exhausted AFC boss Steve Heath heaped praise on the visitors " that was well and truly a great FA Cup tie. You have to give Newport enormous credit. I thought on Saturday they were quite average and had the opportunity to kill us off with 10 men but did not, tonight though they excelled especially in the first half. I did though explain to the lads at the break, surely they cannot keep us this high intensity and this proved to be the point" he continued " as we grew stronger, they slightly started to wilt a bit under the pressure. They have some very talented players in their ranks and it showed in the early stages of the game. I think fitness told in the end but saying that I did not want extra time"

AFC Team: Perks. Massay. N.Carney. Ryan. Griffiths. B.Carney. Griffith. Olaleye. Christie. Cooper. Cashman. Subs used. Jones. Beck. Subs not used. Humbert. Byron. Bufano.

Scorers: Crawley OG (45+3). Cashman (90+2)

Attendance 138.

 

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