25th February - Royston Town 1 AFC Dunstable 0
AFC's 6 match unbeaten run came to an end, as they were a victim of a late goal by the runaway league leaders and hot title favourites Royston Town.
It was fitting that the winning goal was scored by man of the match Spyros Mentis, but the AFC defence will be kicking themselves, as the smallest person on the pitch headed home from a corner.
The visitors made one change from the midweek semi final County Cup win, seeing Nathan Frater replacing BJ Christie.
Apart from a 20 minute spell halfway through the 1st half when the Crows got on top, the game was a very tight affair. With a single goal separating the two teams back in October, it was looking like the same scoreline might be repeated, but who would secure it?
With the onlookers hoping for a flowing game, unfortunately the man in the middle seemed to be against it, as he blew up for a lot of petty fouls and showed his yellow card like confetti. Hence the game did not produce a great deal of clear cut chances, due to all the stoppages.
With AFC giving away quite a few soft free kicks, Garry Malone had to make a great double save to keep them at bay on 15 minutes. This was the beginning of Royston's good spell and how Scott Bridges from 8 yards did not convert his chance, only he will know with half hour on the clock.
A half chance fell to Frater with half time approaching, but his effort cleared the Crows crossbar.
Half time: Royston Town 0 AFC Dunstable 0
What was lacking in quality in the 1st half, made up with grit and determination. If the home side had the best of the opening half, AFC did up their game and enjoyed more possession but could not turn it into any worthwhile chances.
A good run and cross down the right by Frater just could not find Jermaine Hall in the box and the danger was cleared.
With the game looking like it would end in stalemate, yet another soft free kick was awarded to Royston. The resulting delivery was cleared for a corner, which was taken by Danny May. Mentis stole a march on everyone and headed home for the winner and joyous celebrations with only 8 minutes remaining.
As the game approached the 90 minute mark, Frater saw red for AFC as frustration got the better of him. There was still time for Christie to unleash a pile driver from 20 yards. The ball bounced off keeper Welch chest, but no one was on hand in blue to knock in the loose ball.
So a tough game for both sides and dare say there a few aching limbs that need a rest.
AFC boss Steve Heath heaped praise on Royston saying "fair play to them today. They are a very compact and dangerous team and will be worthy champions. I thought though we pushed them all the way in both games and with a bit more luck might have got something from the games"
Team: Malone. Massay. Murphy. Morgan. Cashman. N.Carney. Hall. Olaleye (Byron 88). Frater. Bishop (Humbert 73). Mannion (Christie 70). Sub not used Griffiths.