17th October - AFC Dunstable 2 Harefield United 1
With AFC racing into a 2 goal lead inside the first 12 minutes, it looked like they would go on and rack up the goals. Harefield though pulled a goal back 2 minutes later and the day turned into a frustrated one.
With Josh Humbert serving a one match ban and Leon Cashman nursing a slight calf strain, it meant Fabio Bufano and Roy Byron made starts. Before the game. AFC boss Steve Heath collected the Team of the Month award for August from the leagues President Brian Smith.
It took the home side only 6 minutes to open the scoring. From a Newman Carney corner, it was yet again his brother Brandon that got on the end of it with a header. AFC's lead was doubled 6 minutes later when BJ Christie picked up the ball just outside the Hare's 18 yard box. He ghosted past 2 defenders and unleashed an unstoppable strike that flew into the top corner.
Surely now it was a chance to increase the OD's goal difference, but indifferent defending allowed the visitors to reduce the arrears. From a cross from the left, Ricky Perks pushed it away but as the AFC defence were static, Liam Baker was first to react to slot the ball home.
That goal seemed to send AFC into their shells and Harefield became alot more confident. While they grew into the game, their play though did not threaten the AFC goal.
Half time: AFC Dunstable 2 Harefield United 1
Looking to up the pace after the break, AFC slowly started to take command of the game. From a Courtney Massay cross, Brandon Carney rose well but saw his header strike the post 3 minutes into the half. 6 minutes later the Harefield woodwork was hit again. This time Jason Beck went roaring down the left wing. His cross eluded everyone in the box and skimmed the crossbar.
With AFC's captain Moses Olaleye making a big impact in the middle of the park, he was pulling the strings as he probed with his passing. The hosts nearly extended their lead with 12 minutes remaining. As Christie went past 2 Harefield's defender, his shot across goal just bypassed the far post. If that was nearly 3-1, it should have been when sub Leon Cashman turned his marker in the box but blazed his shot over the bar from 6 yards.
It was now looking like the 3 points were in the bag as time was fast approaching. Harefield though forced a couple of late corners and a free kick which the AFC defence eventually cleared.
So with Welwyn Garden City surprising losing to Holmer Green and London Colney dropping 2 points at home to Cockfosters, those results favoured AFC along with Hertford Town, Berkhamsted and Hoddesdon Town who all won.
Heath was happy with another 3 points say " the way we came out of the traps, I thought we would be in for a comfortable afternoon. Fair play to Harefield for pulling a goal back, as that set us back a bit in the 1st half. The 2nd half though, we pushed hard to extend our lead and had a few chances to do that". On his injury list he continued " Cash picked up a slight calf strain from the Luton game, so I thought best to place him on the bench. Jermaine Hall is not far away now, as he was warming up with the team today as was Danny Jones. Dale Turney is still a few weeks away though"
AFC Team: Perks. Massay. N.Carney. Griffith. Beck. Griffiths. B.Carney. Olaleye. Christie. Bufano. Byron. Subs used. Cooper. Cashman. Subs not used. Ryan. Baird.
Scorers: B.Carney (6). Christie (12)