4th April - Dunstable Town 0 AFC Dunstable 2 (Bedfordshire Senior Cup Final)
A new name will be engraved on the Bedfordshire Senior Cup, which dates back to 1894, as AFC Dunstable came out worthy winners as ace marksman BJ Christie delivered two 1st half goals which settled this final.
With the original game being postponed on March 20th due to a waterlogged Kenilworth Road pitch, both clubs rocked up to the home of Luton Town to play out the final being labelled "Elcreasyco"
The final was well hyped, as both of Dunstable's senior club had reached it, so the trophy would make its was back to Creasey Park, to be on show whoever were the victors.
The final in the end was a tight affair, as really only 3 good chances fell in the game and all of them to AFC.
After seeing pictures of the pitch on March 20th on how waterlogged it was, tonight it was in excellent shape. Drizzle in the air greeted the 2 teams at kick off, which mean't the ball zipped off the surface on many occasions.
It was Dunstable who started the more brightly, as they seemed more comfortable on the ball. With AFC's top scorer Jermaine Hall being well shackled, this gave space to Christie, who took full advantage 12 minutes in. Great work out wide by Nathan Frater, saw him skip by 2 defenders and deliver a pin point cross that found Christie unmarked at the far post to slot home.
It was becoming obvious, that Dunstable's main strike weapon was going to be from set pieces. AFC gave away a few free kicks and corners in this period after the goal and a looping header from Bradley Hewitt nearly caught out Garry Malone in the AFC goal, who had to tip over his effort.
With 32 minutes gone in the half, AFC doubled their lead. From a clearance from Leon Cashman, Hall got his head to the ball on the half way line. Dunstable's skipper Adam Pepera completely mistimed his headed clearance and Christie strode forward and unleashed an unstoppable strike from 20 yards that gave Town's keeper Jack Smith no chance.
Half time: Dunstable Town 0 AFC Dunstable 2
With the 2nd half only a minute old, AFC should have stretched their lead. As the ball bounced around Town's penalty area, it fell to Josh Humbert. Looking like all he had to do was put the ball into the net, he slightly sliced his shot that went wide. Josh did comment after the game "I not in the team to score goals, just to break up play and give the ball to the play makers"
With the game now settled into a pattern, Dunstable found it hard to create any worthwhile chances that might see them get back into the final. They were guilty of too many wayward passes and any strikes at goal, were easily defended by the OD's back line. It looked like Dunstable had set up a good chance for Zack Reynolds, but Town's number 7 blazed his effort well wide.
So with the game drawing to a close, the Bedfordshire FA delegates announced that 2 goal hero BJ Christie was their man of the match. Then the final whistle blew and AFC were now the County's Senior Cup champions, which will see them take on Luton Town in pre season to battle it out for the Premier Cup.
AFC boss Steve Heath was full of praise for his whole squad saying "I could be unpopular with some of my players tonight for not starting them, but I had to make decisions best for the club on selection. Saying that, they were absolutely top class and took it fantastically. They took a full part in the warm up and did not sulk at all. That shows what a great bunch of players I have at my disposal"
Moving on he continued "I have watched Dunstable on a couple of occasions and they are a strong fit side and very dangerous at set pieces. I knew we had to be at our best to nullify that part of their game. I thought we deserved it on the night and to beat a team a team a step higher than us, shows we have come a long way. I would like to put it on record that the lads were an inspiration tonight and congratulations to all of them. They put behind them the heartache of last seasons final, to fall to a disputed injury time goal, so to bounce back was a great achievement"
Team: Malone. Massay. Murphy. Morgan. Cashman. N.Carney. Frater. Olaleye (Bishop 86). Christie (Byron 90). Humbert. Hall (Mannion 86). Subs not used. Griffiths. B.Carney.
Scorer: Christie (12, 32).