15th December - AFC Dunstable 2 Kempston Rovers 1
They say somethings in football never change and this was proved again. While hardly nothing separated the two teams, it was AFC who finally recorded a league win over the Walnut Boys.
The previous 3 meetings had seen Kempston come out victorious with two 2-1 wins last season and a single goal success at the beginning of this season. It looked like the trend was going to be bucked, when AFC went 2-0 up early in the 2nd half, but the visitors pulled a goal back within a minute and proceeded to throw everything they had at the OD's.
After the disappointment of exiting the Beds Senior Cup, AFC boss Steve Heath reinstated the players he rested for that game. He was still missing the suspended Brett Longden and injuries to Louis Bircham and Danny Murphy gave him the chance to name U21's players Joe Hankins and Dan Blackman on the bench again.
With all the icy weather that had plagued many local games to the called off in the week, the Creasey Park pitch was again in great shape and the game was never under threat.
As both these teams are very evenly matched, it was no surprise no quarter was given by either of them. With AFC looking to add to their 5 match winning run, Kempston were in no mood to give up their 5 match unbeaten run.
The deadlock was finally broken on the 28th minute. With AFC being awarded a free kick on the edge of Kempston's box, it suited a right footer, so Nathan Frater took the responsibility. He decided to strike in a low shot which found the far corner.
With chances few and far between for both sides, a couple of half chances fell to the visitors, which did not really trouble Jamie Head in the AFC goal.
Half Time: AFC Dunstable 1 Kempston Rovers 0
With the temperature dropping, the intensity of the game did not. The 2nd half was only 5 minutes old when the hosts doubled their lead. A cross from BJ Christie to the far post just eluded Leon Cashman. The midfielder fed Frater who surged into the Kempston box and his low cross found Christie who scored from close range.
It looked like the visitors heads had dropped, but they were gifted a life line within a minute. Indecision in the AFC back line resulted in Jake Newman getting a toe to a loose ball that agonisingly for AFC, crept just over the line to reduced the arrears.
All of a sudden the visitors sniffed a chance to get something from the game. On 70 minutes they nearly drew level, when neat footwork from Newman saw his shot strike the upright.
The game was now full blooded. Some tough tackles from both sides resulted in a couple of yellows for each teams but in the end AFC just about held on to take the points.
Heath looked a relieved man at the end of the game saying "there is never a dull moment when we face Kempston. Once again there was nothing between the two sides. Every league game has been so competitive as the scorelines suggests. Kempston never ever give up and we have been on the end of a couple of late winning goals against them last season"
Team: Head. Bishop. Carney. R.Frater (Tavernier 56). Morgan. Griffiths. Cashman. Olaleye. Christie (Cox 90). Hall. N.Frater. Subs not used. Hankins. Blackman. Langston.
Scorers: N.Frater (28). Christie (50).