12th August. Biggleswade United 2 AFC Dunstable 4
AFC Dunstable made it 2 wins out of 2 in a game they were cruising to victory, then 2 poor refereeing decisions saw them hanging on at the end.
There was one change in the starting X1 from Saturday, as Jamie Warne replaced the holidaying Jonathan Cooper on the left hand side of midfield.
Warne, who is another product of our youth system, had an eventful night as he notched 2 goals, got booked and ended up playing left back. Like Saturday, AFC were a bit sluggish for the first 5 minutes but at least did not concede early this time. Getting through that short period, with our first attack, Warne sprinted clear to finish clinically. It was soon 2-0 when Louis Austin broke clear and was cynically brought down by Biggleswade's keeper Rui Goncalves who only received a yellow card. Jermaine Hall carried on from where he left off on Saturday and converted the spot kick on 9 minutes.
After Biggleswade's 7-0 defeat on Saturday, it seemed their remit was to take no prisoners. Early bookings for Jack Boyd and Tom Cookman proved this and maybe the official on the night, could have pulled out his yellow card on a few more occasions.
Biggleswade's hard arm tactics though did not deter AFC and when Hall received the ball in the box on 24 minutes a smart turn and shot made it 3-0. It now seemed that AFC were on easy street but our hosts did start to turn up the heat and Louis Porcelli had to pull off a couple of decent saves. AFC's first foul of night brought a booking for Tom Silford which would come back to haunt him in the 2nd half. Half time. Biggleswade United 0 AFC Dunstable 3
Looking to push on at the start of the 2nd half, AFC dreams were realised when a clinical finish from Warne made it 4-0 on the hour. Now all of a sudden the game started to change. The referee's first poor decision happened, when Silford was caught out and a last ditched tackle saw the ball go out for a corner according to the assistant referee. The main official though decided to award a penalty and also give Silford his 2nd yellow card for his 2nd tackle in the game. Cookman dispatched the spot kick.
Now it was time for the most controversial part of the game. Hall had thought he had completed his hat trick on 75 minutes with a near post flick. The assistant referee flagged that the ball had crossed the line but Mr Pater decided to ignore him. From the resulting clearance Cookman latched onto a through ball and smashed it at goal. Porcelli made a brilliant save but could not keep out the rebound. Now it was 4-2 and into the bargain Hall picked up a yellow card for his frustration.
With the game drawing to an end, Cookman picked up his 2nd yellow for yet another late challenge and both teams were even with players on the pitch. Biggleswade though kept on going and nearly made it 4-3 with a goalmouth scramble but AFC held on.
AFC manager Steve Heath was proud of the team at the end saying " the lads worked so hard tonight and were very disciplined. I know the referee did not have one of his better games and to be fair to him did apologise to me for not allowing what would have been our 5th goal. I felt really sorry for Tom Silford, a couple of their players were marauding round the park committing foul after foul and he commits 2 and gets a yellow for both. He was visibly upset but I assured him he will learn from this and he has a sensible head for a 19 year old"
He continued " after Biggleswade's 7-0 defeat on Saturday they made 8 changes and they felt they had a point to prove. That is why I thought we toughed it out and well deserved the 3 points"
Biggleswade United Team: Goncalves. O'Neil. Cole. Wright. Jones. Mitri. Butler. Boyd. Cookman. Nair. Threadgold. Subs used: Bilcock. Eboji. Subs not used: Darvall. Llewellyn. Randall.
Scorer: Cookman (58(p) & 76)
Crime Count. Goncalves. Boyd. Bilcock. Cookman x2. (All yellow cards)
AFC Team: Porcelli. Mills. Silford. Pickering. Lauder. Griffith (Stobbs 76). Warne. Bishop. Austin. Campbell. Hall (Harvey 80). Subs not used. Smith. Biggadike. Clark.
Scorers: Warne (4 & 56). Hall (8(p) & 24)
Crime Count: Warne. Hall. Silford x2. (All yellow cards)
Referee: Stuart Pater. Assistants: Tony Albon and L.Hantea