23rd January - Wembley 1 AFC Dunstable 3
AFC turned in a Jekyll and Hyde performance, as they picked up all 3 points against in form Wembley, who had risen to 5th in the league. Steve Heath decided to start with the same X1 that put 8 past FC Broxbourne 7 days earlier. He also had Leon Cashman available again after injury and he took his place on the bench.
The visitors got off to a great start, when Nathan Frater curled in a precise strike, which was out of reach of Wembley's keeper after only 4 minutes. You would have thought that would be the catalyst to go on and put Wembley to the sword. This was not the case, as they struggled to get any cohesion to their play and gave the hosts far too much time on the ball.
As Wembley settled into their usual passing routine, the OD's were finding it hard to come to terms with it. When they did get the ball forward, BJ Christie and Frater were feeding on scraps. The home side were becoming more dangerous and it was looking like AFC needed get to the break with their slender lead to re-group. This was not to be. Failing to clear, it fell to Ricky Perks to palm away a strike at his goal. The ball fell kindly for Wright to place the ball into the empty net. The goal was timed at 48 minutes.
Half time: Wembley 1 AFC Dunstable 1
If the visitors turned in a mid table performance 1st half, they rectified that with a title contender one 2nd period. They should have taken the lead 2 minutes into the half, when Brandon Carney's point blank header from 2 yards was kept out by Wembley's custodian. From the resulting corner, Josh Humbert blasted over from 5 yards out.
AFC were now competing a lot better and closing down the dangerous Wembley play makers. This was proved on 57 minutes, when Christie chased down a lost cause, he was rewarded for his perseverance to slip home a right footed strike to regain AFC's lead. All of a sudden the visitors midfield sprang into life, as Humbert seemed to be all over the pitch and putting in a man of the match performance. Perks was now becoming a spectator, as he did not touch the ball again until the 86th minute.
Six minutes later, it was 3-1 to AFC. From a Newman Carney free kick, Jason Beck somehow from a standing jump, put so much purchase into his header, it flew into the top corner.
The visitors were now well on top, as they raided down the left with Brandon Carney and Courtney Massay on the right. With more of an edge to AFC's play, Christie came close to adding to his tally of 33 for the season.
So a first win against a top 5 side this season, Heath said at the final whistle " a few home truths had to be said in the changing room at half time and to be fair to the players responded magnificently. That 1st half performance was just not good enough if we are going to compete for the title. We have to deliver our 2nd half effort more often and I cannot see why we cant"
AFC Team: Perks. Massay. N.Carney. Beck. Griffiths. N.Carney. Gorman. Olaleye. Christie. Humbert. Frater. Subs used. Cashman. Hall. Jones.
Scorers: Frater (4). Christie (57). Beck (63)