7th November - Berkhamsted 2 AFC Dunstable 1
The final unbeaten run in the Premier Division came to an end, as 3rd place Berkhamsted defeated the leaders. With the hosts lying 7 points behind AFC but with 2 games in hand, it was looking like a 6 pointer and the Hertfordshire team came out on top. The game as a whole did lack quality, as both teams disappointed a decent crowd inside Broadwater.
AFC had been stuttering through games recently but Berkhamsted had won their previous 5 pretty comfortably which included a 4-1 win over last season champions Kings Langley in the County Cup last time out. So the OD's had to be on their guard, but both teams did not reach their optimum heights. With the game that was being labeled match of the day in the league, it did not live up to the hype.
The visitors went into the game without the services of the leagues top goal scorer BJ Christie and Josh Humbert who were both carrying knocks, so took their places on the bench. It was not a good day for Humbert, as he made an appearance late in the game only to receive a red card in the dying embers. Good news for AFC was the sight of Jermaine Hall named as a substitute.
The home side started the brighter, as Adiel Mannion got on the end of a neat move but fired his strike into the side netting. With ex AFC skipper James Baldry in the Berkhamsted ranks, he took a knock to his eye which yielded blood but he was bandaged up to continue.
It was taking AFC time to settle into the game and they nearly took the lead on 16 minutes when a Leon Cashman header was cleared off the line. From the resulting corner the same player had another header but it went wide.
Making his full debut for AFC, Jordon Frederick had a crisp low shot but Carl Tasker in the Berkhamsted goal saved low down. The game was still devoid of good chances and on 26 minutes, it would be dreadful defending by the visitors that gifted the hosts the lead. Failing to clear the ball on 2 occasions, it fell on the edge of the box. A low shot came back into the penalty area. Ricky Perks could only parry the ball out and Frank Jowle reacted quicker to poke the ball home.
It was looking like The Comrades would take that lead into the break, but with 5 added minutes on the clock due to the Baldry's injury, Brandon Carney broke clear and rounded Tasker to draw AFC level.
HT Berkhamsted 1 AFC Dunstable 1
If the 1st half was not the best, it was a chance for the 2nd half to improve the game. Unfortunately that was the not the case. Many stoppages and petty fouls ruined what should have been a showpiece game for the league. One piece of quality was a free kick set piece. Newman Carney rolled in Cashman but yet again a goal line clearance denied him. The hosts had a couple of strikes at goal that both flashed by the far post, but chances were still at a premium.
With the long ball by both teams creeping in and with lots of effort on show, refinement was still in short supply. On the hour the hosts took the lead. From a far post cross, the ball was headed back across goal by Jowle and Josh Chamberlain bundled the ball home. With the rest of the game continuing to flatter to deceive, a red card a piece in the 90th minute summed up the game as Max Farelly joined Humbert for an early bath.
So in the end, the quality of a game does not secure the points and Berkhamsted picked up a valuable 3 points. With London Colney and Hertford Town also winning, the top teams become even closer.
AFC Team: Perks. Massay. N.Carney. Ryan. Griffiths. Griffith. Frederick. Olaleye. B.Carney. Gorman. Cashman. Subs used. Christie. Humbert. Jones. Subs not used. Bufano. Hall
Scorer: B.Carney (45+3)