22nd November - AFC Dunstable 3 Barton Rovers 3
A rip roaring local derby, ended up with both sides sharing 6 goals and 8 yellow cards between them. The home team took a 3-1 lead into the break, but the visitors came back in the 2nd period to share the spoils.
With AFC holding 4th place in the league, Rovers in 6th were looking to overhaul them with a win. At the break though it was looking like the hosts would stretch their points tally over them.
The OD's were forced into a change from Saturday's win over Marlow, Danny Murphy had picked up 5 yellow cards so was serving a one match ban. Newman Carney dropped into left back and his brother Brandon was recalled. The game as expected was at 100mph from the start. The visitors seem to settle quicker and exerted a certain amount of pressure. They got the ball into dangerous area's but AFC kept them at bay.
On 21 minutes Rovers pressure finally paid off when Steve Gentle opened the scoring. It was looking like AFC could just not compete with visitors commitment, as they went in search of a 2nd. Then on 28th minutes AFC were level. From a Newman Carney free kick, he picked out his brother Brandon who headed home his first goal of the season.
All of a sudden AFC had their tails up. Pushing forward, a Courtney Massay cross to the far post, saw the younger Carney leap the highest, to find the back of the net on 31 minutes to register his 2nd of the game.
Now the game was well open and a couple of skirmishes ensued. Picking up their handbags, the players on both sides continued to press. With it looking like AFC would take a 2-1 lead into the break, a well worked free kick made it 3. On 45 minutes, another Newman Carney delivery was slotted home by Jermaine Hall, for his 13th league goal of the season.
Half time: AFC Dunstable 3 Barton Rovers 1
The home teams continuity was broken at half time, when Bill Morgan had to be replaced at half time, due to a knock he picked up in the warm up. AFC's boss Steve Heath's plans of introducing Leon Cashman after his long layoff with about 15 minutes to go backfired, as he made an earlier entrance than planned at centre back.
AFC nearly extended their lead only 2 minutes into the 2nd half, as a fine strike from BJ Christie seemed destined for the back of the net. As the ball flew towards goal, somehow a deflection took if for a corner.
Five minutes later Barton reduced the arrears from the penalty spot. From a corner, a lot pushing and shoving ensued and when Tom Smith fell to the floor, the referee pointed to the spot. Connor Calcutt confidently struck home the resulting penalty.
It was now game on. Ricky Perks in the AFC goal was called into action to keep out a Calcutt shot. Barton were now on the front foot and looking for the equaliser. They nearly got it but Perks once again denied them. It eventually came on 67 minutes when AFC failed to deal with a deep cross and Smith headed home.
So with nearly 30 minutes left in the game, the only surprise is that no more goals were scored but there was plenty of attempts from both sides to alter that.
So a full blooded encounter and a great advert for local football and as in the reverse fixture back in August, both clubs had to be happy with a point apiece.
Team. Perks. Massay. N.Carney. Morgan (Cashman 45). Griffiths. B.Carney (Byron 86). Mannion. Olaleye. Christie. Humbert. Hall. Subs not used. Hankins. Cosmin. Silvestri.
Scorers: B.Carney (28: 31). Hall (45)