15th August. AFC Dunstable 2 Ampthill Town 0 (FA Cup)
Two goals within the first 22 minutes from top scorer Jermaine Hall and Marcus Campbell settled this Extra Preliminary Round of The FA Cup.
Played on a Friday night, the local people turned out in decent numbers to watch the game. Changes made from Tuesday night saw Matt Langston replace injured Damien Pickering and Louis Austin had a slight groin strain, so Jamal Harvey started. AFC also welcomed back to the club Moses Olaleye, who took his place on the bench.
Ampthill Town, whose team has changed completely from the previous 2 seasons, had lost their opening 2 games in the league, so AFC fancied their chances against them.
This was proved after only 6 minutes, when a cross from Taishan Griffith found Hall in the box and his looping header nestled in the back of the net. The question was now being asked, was this the first goal of the 2014-15 FA Cup.
AFC continued to make chances but found Jack Amber in the Ampthill goal in inspired form, as he pulled off three great saves from James Bishop, Harvey and Hall. He could not though keep out AFC's 2nd when Campbell toe poked home from close range.
The home team continued to have most of the ball but when the visitors had a strike at goal, they did not test Louis Porcelli in the AFC goal. Half time. AFC Dunstable 2 Ampthill Town 0.
Feeling the tie was pretty much safe, AFC seemed to take their foot off the gas to some extent and Ampthill took advantage of this and pushed forward. Only one decent strike from Tremayne Charles which crashed against Porcelli's crossbar made AFC think the game was still in the balance and started to look for the 3rd goal.
From a corner, a bullet header from Langston was fielded by Amber but on 74 minutes he pulled off a wonder save from a Jack Lauder header. No more goals were forthcoming as AFC ran out comfortable winners.
Next up is a home tie against Southern League Central outfit Uxbridge with the date to be confirmed.
Again Steve Heath was happy with his teams commitment saying " this could have been a banana skin, as Ampthill's team has changed so much and I know what they are going through, as I had the same challenge last season. I decided not to risk Louis Austin due to a slight groin strain, as he has been injured so much in the last 12 months but I knew Jamal Harvey would not let me down.
He continued, "signing Moses Olaleye is a great addition to the squad and he will be able to help guide all the young lads in the team. Its now onto Uxbridge in the next round which will be a massive test for us but before that we have 3 tough league games against London Colney, St Margaretsbury and Wembley"
AFC Team: Porcelli. Mills. Silford. Langston. Lauder. Griffiths (Stobbs 72). Warne. Bishop. Harvey. Campbell. Hall (Olaleye 68). Subs not used. Austin. Butler. Biggadike. Clark. Taylor (GK)
Scorers. Hall (6). Campbell (22)
Crime Count. Bishop and Harvey (both yellow cards)
Ampthill Town Team: Amber. Draycott. Hill. Fattorusso. Gillies. Olaniran. Murray. Charles. Felts. Cullen. Scott. Subs. Harding (J). Aukin. Skinner. Shittu. Harding (D). Ashby. Mead.
Referee: Doug Steele. Assistants. Peter Parkins & Ed Stone