26th September - Leverstock Green 2 AFC Dunstable 5
With close rivals Hadley and London Colney not in action on Saturday, AFC had the chance to open up a glint of light between their title opponents with a win over Leverstock Green. The home side, who were yet to lose at Pancake Lane, would be a tough test for the visitors.
AFC boss Steve Heath made two changes from the win over Wembley on Tuesday night. Danny Ryan was recalled as Fabio Bufano took his place on the bench and Brandon Carney came back in for Danny Jones.
On a unbelievably lovely sunny day for the end of September, it took AFC only 8 minutes to take the lead. With a foul on Brandon Carney, his brother Newman once again delivered an inch perfect free kick into the Leverstock's box. Terry Griffiths was on hand to pounce to stab the ball home. AFC nearly doubled their lead moments later, when a forceful run by BJ Christie resulted in his shot flashing past the far post.
On 31 minutes a piece of controversy arose which you do not see very often. With Levvy's Louis Bircham going down injured, the home side put the ball out so he could receive treatment. With the ball returned to Leon Cashman, he sportingly returned the ball to the hosts keeper Craig Garrett. Unfortunately for Garrett, he misjudged the flight of the ball and it landed in the back of his net. AFC though decided to let Bircham walk the ball down the pitch and place the ball passed Ricky Perks.
This piece of play seemed to rejuvenate Levvy and they started to see more of the ball without really testing Perks though. The last action of the first half saw AFC have a great shout for a penalty. Cashman latched onto a through ball and was cleaned out. The referee though waved play on.
Half time: Leverstock Green 1 AFC Dunstable 2
Looking to make a bright start to the 2nd half, a piece of quality resulted in AFC getting their 3rd goal of the afternoon. A jinking run by Taishan Griffith found Cashman in the box with his back to goal. He turned the defender and smashed the ball home.
Leverstock though would not lie down and pulled a goal back on 68 minutes with sublime skill. Bircham somehow lobbed Perks from 20 yards to make the score 2-3. It was not long before AFC restored their 2 goal advantage. From another corner, Ryan met the ball with full force with his head. Making sure the ball found the back of the net, Josh Humbert stooped low to bravely head home.
With the game drawing to an end, a lovely passing move between sub Billy Baird and Cashman set up Christie but Garrett pulled off a smart save. Christie would not be denied though, as a well worked free kick saw Moses Olaleye pick out Cashman who crossed for Christie to head home. This completed the scoring for the afternoon and a solid 3 points were taken home.
Heath was pleased with the win saying " we knew we had the chance to open up a 3 point gap at the top of the table today. We just need to keep plugging away and keep up the consistency, which was missing last season. We do not have a midweek fixture, so its a chance for the players to focus on next Saturday"
Team: Perks. Massay. N.Carney. Ryan. Griffiths. Griffith. B.Carney. Olaleye. Cashman. Humbert. Christie. Subs used. Jones. Baird. Byron. Not used. Bufano. Beck.
Scorers: Cashman (31,51) Griffiths (8), Humbert (68). Christie (88)