16th October - AFC Dunstable 4 Ashford Town (Middx) 1
With AFC going into the game searching for a bit of form after 4 games without a win, they produced a good 1st half performance which saw them take a 3-0 lead into the break.
With the squad thinned to the bone the previous week, AFC boss Steve Heath could welcome back BJ Christie and James Bishop, who both missed the FA Trophy game through suspension.
The hosts knew they were in for a tough encounter, as Ashford were looking to break into a play off position, as they lay in 6th place. Seeing the game was played on a Sunday, the club made the afternoon a family day and it swelled the crowd to 161.
AFC got off to the perfect start, when a Brandon Carney cross found an unmarked Christie at the far post to net after 18 minutes. The home side continued to press and 4 minutes later it was 2-0. Determination by Josh Humbert was rewarded when he slipped the ball under the advancing Kavanagh Keading.
If AFC thought they were on easy street, they soon were reminded as Ricky Perks pulled off a wonderful save to protect the lead they had created. On the half hour it was nearly 3, as a goalmouth scramble was cleared by the Ashford defence.
It was 3-0 though 5 minutes later, when a shot-come-cross from Christie smashed against the far post and found the back of the net.
Half time: AFC Dunstable 3 Ashford Town 0
If AFC thought the visitors would give up the chase, then they were wrong. The Tangerines started to up the pressure and for the opening 10 minutes of the half, had their fair share of the ball. As they did not have their shooting boots on, maybe more of their efforts on goal could have been more accurate.
Then with 57 minutes on the clock, a neat move by AFC saw them notch their 4th. A nice passage of passing, eventually saw Danny Murphy deliver a dangerous ball into the box and Jermaine Hall nipped in to head home.
It was time for Heath to make some substitutions, which is not a luxury he has had in recent games. The visitors though would not lie down and with 10 minutes remaining, Dan Fleming pulled a goal back from close range. They continued to pose questions to the AFC back line but in the end they held firm to pick up a very welcome 3 points.
Heath was a happy man on the conclusion of the game saying "it was good to have more players available today and I thought we were very clinical in the 1st half. This league goes to show how tough it really is, as everyone can beat each other at the moment. If today was a Spartan game last season, being 3-0 up at half time, we would have probably gone on to win 6 or 7. The Southern League is completely different, as teams just do not give up"
Team: Perks. Massay. Murphy. N.Carney. Griffiths. Bishop (Byron 70). B.Carney. Olaleye (McGhan-George). Christie. Hall (Kissiedu 82). Sub not used. Howe.
Scorers: Christie (18, 35). Humbert (22). Hall (57)