24th October - AFC Dunstable 2 Colney Heath 1
Today, AFC used up one of their "get out of jail free" cards, as a unfortunate slip up by the visitors keeper, gifted Terry Griffiths with a tap in from 2 yards to seal all 3 points and end the day as the last undefeated team in the Premier Division, as Hertford Town suffered defeat at the hands of FC Broxbourne.
AFC boss Steve Heath rang the changes as he made 4 from last Saturday. In came Leon Cashman, Danny Ryan, Jon Cooper and Gary Malone between the sticks. Out went Terry Griffiths and Taishan Griffith, who dropped to the bench. Jason Beck picked up an injury at work and Ricky Perks was unavailable.
As last Saturday, AFC came roaring out the blocks. A perfect run by BJ Christie, saw him beat the offside trap to fire home. The goal was clocked at 41 seconds. With Colney Heath occupying 18th in the league, AFC were hoping to build on the early lead but as last week seemed to lose their way again.
The visitors came close when a strike by Tobi Omotosho was tipped over the bar by Malone. With 16 minutes on the clock, from a Newman Carney corner, Bufano got his head to the ball but it cleared the bar. Colney were becoming well set up, as they quelled everything AFC could throw at them, as a fragmented half came to a close.
Half time. AFC Dunstable 1 Colney Heath 0
As the rain started, it greeted the players for the 2nd half. The home side thought they had doubled their lead when Cashman slotted home. The joy was short lived as he was flagged offside.
On 52 and 53 minutes, low shots from Christie and Cashman were easily fielded by Olly Leslie in the Magpies goal. To be fair to Colney Heath, as they were still in the game, they started to be more positive as the game opened up. On the hour they came close to pulling a goal back. A pot shot at goal took a deflection and was cleared away by Newman Carney.
5 minutes later, Christie skipped by 2 tackles and as he bore down on goal, Leslie was quick off his line to deny him. AFC came close again on 68 minutes. A fine cross from Courtney Massay saw it pick out Brandon Carney. His header just slid wide of the far post.
Colney Heath continued to press AFC all over the pitch and were starting to create chances. With 20 minutes remaining a slick strike by Omotosho just went wide. Up the other end another Bufano header was just off target.
With AFC pushing for a 2nd, they were punished with 80 minutes gone. A fine run by Steve Burford saw him break into the box. His low powerful shot was too hot for Malone, as it found the back of the net. 2 minutes later the visitors nearly took the lead but Malone pulled off a fine save.
With the heavens now well and truly open and 2 minutes into added time. A Newman Carney free kick was flung into the box. It seemed that Leslie would easily pluck the ball from the sky as he was unchallenged. Somehow he let the ball slip through his hands and sub Griffiths gleefully tapped the ball home. The Magpies though were not finished, as they went all out to try and find another goal. The home sides defence held firm though and the points were secured.
Heath was full of compliments for the visitors, he said " while people will look at the result and see a late winner, it does not tell the full story. You have to give Colney Heath great credit. They conceded a very early goal but did not panic. They did set up quite defensively in the first half but went for it in the 2nd. I have told my players, that is what we will have to expect being top of the league, as teams will not just roll over"
AFC Team: Malone. Massay. N.Carney. Bufano. Ryan. B.Carney. Cooper. Olaleye. Christie. Byron. Cashman. Subs used. Humbert. Griffiths. Griffith. Subs not used. Baird. Silvestri.
Scorers: Christie (1). Griffiths (90+2)