Members Of The Spartan South Midlands Division Two.
Home Ground: Lancot Park.
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SEASON 2005-2006. DIVISION TWO CUP WINNERS: DIVISION TWO RUNNERS UP.
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Spartan South Midlands Challenge Trophy Results
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Mileage To Opponents Ground
Bedfordshire FA Senior Trophy
(League games unless stated)
20th August : Kings Langley 1 AFC Dunstable 2
A tough opener over in Hertfordshire awaited us, as both last seasons encounters ended in entertaining draws.
With keeper Martin Lauder coming out of retirement due to an injury to Steve Watts, welcoming back to the starting line up was Lee Ewins & Clive Douglas. Our hosts did start the stronger and took the lead on 16 minutes when a wicked inswinging corner was flicked home. From that moment we started to get on top and should have drawn level on 23 minutes but the goalmouth scramble did not result in a goal. We did though level when Danny Sheehan poked home from close range 8 minutes before the break.
After the re start, we continued were we left off and created a couple of chances but did not convert them. We did though take the lead 12 minutes into the 2nd period. Once again it was a scrappy affair with Tony Burgess & Kevin Taylor having a stab at the ball but when it fell to Clive Douglas he made no mistake.
Taking the lead did see us take our foot off the gas as Langley started to exert some pressure. The defence held on and Martin Lauder between the sticks was never called into action.
Team: Lauder. Siddons. Ellerton. Keeble. Ewins. White. Sheehan. Burgess. Douglas. Ojulah. Palmer (Taylor). Subs not used. Allen. Howarth.
Scorers. Sheehan. Douglas.
24th August: AFC Dunstable 3 Kent Athletic 1
After a soild result on Saturday, a tricky fixture against old foes Kent Athletic came to Lancot Park. With the reserves thrashing Kent's reserves the night before 5-0, retribution was on the cards.
With 6 changes from Saturday, Gary Ellerton, James Siddons, Clive Douglas, Anthony White & Ikeme Ojulah were all unavailable & Gary Palmer relegated to the bench. In came Graham Cook, Steve Howarth, Paul Randall, Nick Allen, Craig Butler & Steve Armstrong.
The game started quite evenly but a golden 15 minutes saw us take a 3 goal lead midway through the first half. Goals from Danny Sheehan, Craig Butler & Tony Burgess saw us become lazy upto half time as Kent's had more of the possesion.
The 2nd half was more pleasing as we did push forward but did not add to our goal tally. A consolation from the penalty spot pulled one back for Kents. The win took us to the top of the league.
Team: Lauder. Cook. Keeble. Howarth. Ewins. Randall. Allen. Sheehan (Morrisey). Butler. Burgess (Taylor). Armstrong.
Scorers.Danny Sheehan. Craig Butler. Tony Burgess.
27th August: MK Scot 2 AFC Dunstable 2
With Scot returning to the league after a year break, the whipping boys of previous seasons prefixed MK to their name and a much more youthful team confronted us.
With two draws so far this season, MK Scot looked a more organised outfit.
We dominated the opening exchanges with James Egerton in Scot's goal dealing confidently with our efforts at goal. Slack defending from Scot's first corner resulted in Charlie Walsh heading home after 22 minutes. Scot now started to get on top and our remaining 1st half performance was turning into the worst so far.
Surely the 2nd half could not get any worse?
Well, with our host's registering their 2nd corner the outcome was the same. We now found ourseves 2-0 down. With injury to Steve Howarth & Clive Douglas, replaced by Kevin Taylor & Craig Butler more youthful legs pushed us forward. With 14 minutes left on the clock Taylor was felled by Egerton and a twice taken penalty by Danny Sheehan pulled a goal back. With time running out, we bombarded the MK goal and finally drew level in the 94th minute, when a Sheehan strike slipped through the luckless Egerton hands. The fine keeper did not deserve his bad luck but a point was rescued.
Team: Lauder. Siddons. Ewins. Howarth (Taylor). Keeble. Douglas (Butler). White. Allen. Armstrong. Burgess. Sheehan. Subs not used. Morrisey. Randall.
Scorer. Danny Sheehan (2)
29th August: Aston Clinton 1 AFC Dunstable 2
Not knowing what to expect with our trip over to new boys to the league Aston Clinton, we came away with a hard earned 2-1 win.
Apparently Aston Clinton won their league last season dropping only 3 points and with an unbeaten start to their Spartan South Midlands season, confidence was high. Once again many changes were forced on manager Dermot Butler as 3 more players made their debut's. Youth was the word as Karl Fisher(16), Kwame Hoyte(18) & Steve Blower(18) lined up against our hosts. Graham Cook came in for injured Steve Howarth,Paul Randall for Clive Douglas & Kevin Taylor for Tony Burgess made it once again, half the team being changed.
Aston Clinton started the more sprightly and were well organised but did not test the young Fisher between the sticks. On the other hand when we did venture into Aston's half Stuart Pronger pulled off some fine saves from Steve Armstrong, Kwame Hoyte & Kevin Taylor.
We took the lead on 46 minutes when Danny Sheehan broke clear and struck a sweet ball which found the top corner. A dubious penalty was then awarded to us for hand ball. Sheehan once again hit home on 56 minutes. Aston did not really put any pressure on our goal until Richard Harker brought down Paul Alleyne on 85 minutes. Alleyne stepped up and hit the penalty home. More pressure was exerted but Fisher only had one shot to deal with. A more promising start to the season see's us lie 2nd in the table.
Team: Fisher. Siddons. Cook(Morrisey). Keeble. Blower(Harker). White. Sheehan. Hoyte(Butler). Randall. Armstrong. Taylor. Subs not used. Frater. Doherty.
Scorer. Danny Sheehan (2)
3rd September: Caddington 2 AFC Dunstable 3
A last gasp Steve Armstrong goal saw us top the table after an ill tempered match.
Team selection was once again high on the agenda. With the club having four keepers on the books none were available, so centre back Gary Ellerton donned the gloves.
With Caddington topping the league before kick off, with us in 2nd spot we had the chance to leap frog them.
We totally dominated the 1st half and a 3-0 lead at the break would not have flattered us. A saved penalty from Anthony White and with Ikeme Ojulah and Steve Armstrong all missing gilt edged chances it was goalless at the break.
We started the 2nd half in the same vein and finally took the lead when a defence splitting pass by Craig Butler found Ojulah who slotted home on 51 minutes.
This woke up Caddington and they now started to exert some pressure with Ellerton making a couple of great saves. Our hosts drew level when Michael Law tapped home after a goalmouth scramble on 62 minutes. We went right up the other end and White headed home to make it 2-1. We continued to test Caddington keeper and the win looked to be in the bag. After a foul on Paul Quarman, Caddington flung in the free kick and Law ghosted in at the far post to score with 90 seconds left on the clock.
Not being down beat we pushed forward one more time and when Armstrong held off Mark Sutton, he slotted his left foot drive into the corner of the net. Only 25 seconds of football was left to play out.
Team: Ellerton. Siddons. Cook. Keeble. Ewins. White. Sheehan(Butler). Hoyte. Harker(Taylor). Ojulah. Armstrong. Sub not used. Frater.
Scorers: Ojulah. White. Armstrong.
10th September: The 61FC (Luton) 0 AFC Dunstable 5
It was the Steve Armstrong show, as his 4 goals went along way to finish off The 61FC in this 5-0 rout.
Welcoming back Steve Watts in goal, last seasons player of the year was rarely tested.
A fine move on 9 minutes saw Armstrong secure his 1st goal. A defensive mistake let him in again to make it 2 on 23 minutes. 2-0 at the break and we looked comfortable.
We seemed in the 2nd half we were just going through the motions, until good work on the left resulted with Anthony White's cross being turned into his own net by Stuart O'Neil.
Armstrong still had not finished his scoring feats as he notched two more to finish off a great day for him.
Team: Watts. Siddons. Ewins. Howarth. White (Leigh). Randall. Allen. Butler.(Viscogliosi). Sheehan. Ojulah (Taylor). Armstrong.
Scorers: Armstrong (4). Own Goal
17th September: Aston Clinton 1 AFC Dunstable 2 (Challenge Trophy 1st Round)
After a tough league encounter only 19 days earlier, we made the trip over to Aston Clinton once again but this time in the Challenge Trophy.
The league game saw our hosts start the game more confidently, this time we bossed most of the first half but did not bother the scorers.
The best chance of the 1st half was when Ikeme Ojulah was one on one with Aston's keeper. A weak effort resulted with his shot being easily saved.
The 2nd half was much the same as the first with us knocking the ball around. Any attacks Aston did have was easily quelled by our well oiled defence with Ryan Keeble the organiser.
It seemed only a piece of magic would change the scoring and this did happen when a Danny Sheehan free kick was superbly bent around the home sides wall and found the bottom corner on 64 minutes.
As the league game we were awarded a penalty. This time Sheehan penalty was saved but he followed up to hit home the rebound. Now we looked comfortable until Steve Howarth put through his own goal with 4 minutes remaining. We held on to set up a glamour tie against Premier Division outit Biggleswade United in round 2.
Team. Watts. Siddons. Keeble. Howarth. Butler (White). Burgess. Allen. Randall. Sheehan. Armstrong. Ojulah (Taylor).
Scorer: Sheehan (2).
24th September: Mursley United 1 AFC Dunstable 2
Another scruffy win was secured, to see us keep the pressure on leaders Old Bradwell United. The game though started positively for us as Danny Sheehan lobbed the home keeper after only 2 minutes to give us the lead. It should have been 2-0 with only 5 minutes on the clock. The assistant referee flagged Steve Armstrong offside but Ikeme Ojulah made a late run to slam the ball in. Then inside 10 minutes Ojulah broke clear again but screwed his shot wide. Surely 3-0 by 10 minutes would have killed off Mursley.
Being let off the hook, our hosts started to find some confidence and settled into the game and knocked the ball around.
They deservedly drew level when a neat move was finished by Oyika Mustafa. Mursley now started to get on top and Steve Watts in our goal, had to be at the top of his game. You could say against the run of play we took the lead 2 minutes before the break. A Steve Howarth free kick was headed home by Sheehan to take him to 10 for the season.
The 2nd half was much of a muchness with neither team really getting on top. It was good though to see us win without a good performance.
Team: Watts. Siddons. Keeble. Howarth. Ewins. White. Randall. Sheehan. Burgess. Armstrong (Doherty). Ojulah.
Scorer: Sheehan (2).
1st October: AFC Dunstable 8 Loughton Orient 0
Finally came our first home Saturday fixture this season and we entertained a good crowd. It must be said though, what was to come was not revealed in the opening 25 minutes. With a stuttering start, Loughton matched us in all departments and their lowly league position belied them.
Things though started to go wrong for them, when first Steve Armstrong slid home our 1st on 27 minutes and Steve Howarth bundled in the 2nd a minute later. As a contest it was now over as Ikeme Ojulah made it 3 on 44 minutes and then Tony Burgess struck on half time. 4-0 at the break.
The 2nd half started as the first until Ojulah sprinted clear on 57 minutes to make it 5. Two 2nd half subs made it 6 & 7. Kevin Taylor & Clive Douglas respectivley. Top Scorer Danny Sheehan took his tally to 11 with a cross come shot in the final minute.
Team: Watts. Siddons. Keeble. Howarth. Ewins. White (Butler). Sheehan. Randall (Douglas). Burgess. Armstrong (Taylor).Ojulah. Subs not used. Hoyte. Leigh.
Scorers: Ojulah (2).Armstrong.Howarth.Burgess.Taylor.Douglas.Sheehan.
5th October: Biggleswade United 3 AFC Dunstable 4 (AET) (Challenge Trophy 2nd Round)
Looking forward to a trip to Premier League outfit Biggleswade United, surely this would test our unbeaten start to the season.
Not expecting to take anything from the game, we shocked our illustrious opponents with a fighting and spirited performance.
Once again we started a game poorly and seemed to show Biggleswade too much respect. Always second to the ball our hosts gave us a merry dance. They took the lead on 32 minutes when Robbie O'Dell, who did seem to be in an offside position, danced through our defence to rifle past Steve Watts. It could have been two when Watts pulled off a great save from our skipper Ryan Keeble!.
Hoping to hold out until half time, we got to that position and prepared for the 2nd half.
We came out after the break a different team and deservedly drew level when Ikeme Ojulah outstripped a slugish Biggleswade defence to round the keeper on 54 minutes. We now had our dander up and a superb through ball by Paul Randall released Steve Armstrong who fired us 2-1 up on 68 minutes.
We now had to make sure we did not go on the defensive and did still compete. Biggleswade though did equalise with a scrappy goal. Failing to clear our lines Matthew McCartney took advantage and tapped home from close range with 18 minutes remaining. Now surely we had blown our chance and now hoped to reach extra time.
Once again we pulled ourselves up by the boot laces and completeley dominated the remainder of the tie. Our 3rd goal was a copy of our 1st when Ojulah picked up the ball on the half way line. Again sprinting through the Biggleswade defence he smacked home on 94 minutes. It was 4 as Armstrong broke clear to hit past Jamie Kyle in the Biggleswade goal.
The start of the 2nd period should have been comfortable but our hosts did pull one back with a free kick from Dean Bull with 60 seconds remaining.
So a great win was recorded and what was pleasing was all our goals were well worked moves. Next up is a home tie against Division One Cockfosters.
Team: Watts.Siddons.Ewins.Keeble.Howarth(White).Butler.Randall.Hoyte(Doherty).Douglas.Armstrong.Ojulah. Subs not used:J.Hutchings.Taylor.
8th October: AFC Dunstable 4 Markyate 1
Trying to figure out if we had a hangover from Wednesday nights heroics, or the early kick off was to blame, for a very inept performance against a team who are 20 points adrift of us.
We got off to a great start, when confusion in the Markyate defence let in Steve Armstrong for a tap in with only 3 minutes on the clock.
Markyate drew level when a poor Lee Ewins back pass, was picked up by Dean Bull to slot home on 22 minutes. More confusing was the elation seen by our opponents bench, as if they had won the league.
Their happiness was short lived, as we took the lead only 3 minutes later through Anthony White.
Completeley dominating the 2nd half, we still did not look slick and stuttered to secure two more goals through Ikeme Ojulah and Daniel Sheehan who both came on as 2nd half subs. Ian Taylor in the Markyate goal must take credit for some fine saves.
15th October: AFC Dunstable 3 Crawley Green 1
We stretched our lead at the top of the table to 5 points, with a fighting display against 2nd placed Crawley Green.
Last seasons Division 2 champions, came to Lancot Park with a brand new team, as not gaining promotion saw the team broken up.
The opening exchanges were very even, with Steve Justin bossing the midfield for Crawley. They took the lead on 28 minutes when a fine move was finished off by Luke Singleton.
We came more into the game when a super strike by Gary Ellerton drew us level with only 4 minutes till the break. With the last play of the 1st half Tony Burgess headed home right on the break, but over celebrating he was unbelievably shown the red card.
Down to 10 men for the whole of the 2nd half, we stepped up a gear and added to our score when Steve Armstrong rifled home from close range on the hour.
Crawley did try to up their game but our defence stood firm. A great win adding to Dermot Butler's manager of the month award sealed a good day.
Team: Watts. Siddons. Ewins. Keeble. Butler(Ellerton).Randall. White. Sheehan. Burgess. Doherty. Armstrong.
Subs not used. Howarth. Allen. Hutchings.
Scorers: Ellerton. Burgess. Armstrong.
22nd October: AFC Dunstable 1 Flamstead 0
With the club picking up the team of the month before the game for August/September for the whole of the Spartan South Midlands League, this could have been a banana skin against lowly but improving Flamstead.
Also on offer was the chance to equal a club record of winning 10 games on the bounce, which has been done twice before in the past.
With top scorer Danny Sheehan not available, Kwame Hoyte came in and Ikeme Ojulah was available again as Lewis Doherty moved to the bench, as the only change's from last Saturday.
Flamstead matched us in all departments as their lowly league position did them a dis-service. The away team's keeper was the busier of the two keepers and was soild with his handling and made some fine saves.
It did take a moment of brilliance to secure the points. Ojulah picked up the ball on the half way line and flew past the Flamstead defence and fired home a low drive on 62 minutes.
So the record was equalled and we moved 6 points clear at the top.
Team: Watts. Siddons. Ewins. Keeble. Burgess. White. Hoyte(Viscogliosi). Butler. Randall. Armstrong(Doherty).Ojulah. Sub not used: Howarth.
29th October: AFC Dunstable 4 MK Scot 2 (Division Two Cup, 2nd Round)
At a very blustery Lancot Park, much improved MK Scot probably felt they should have progressed to the 3rd round.
With Ikeme Ojulah unavailable, Tony Burgess joined Steve Armstrong in attack. Flu victim Paul Randall was replaced by Daniel Sheehan. Burgess's midfield berth was filled by Gary Ellerton. The latter was involved in our opener when he was flattened by Scot's keeper. A less than impressive spot kick by Sheehan scrapped in.
MK stepped up the pressure in the 2nd half and deservedly drew level. A soft shot by Colin Winne sneaked under Steve Watts on 62 minutes. Within 2 minutes we took the lead when Lewis Doherty struck. Back came Scot, when Kieron Matthews sweet volley found the corner with 8 minutes remaining. Extra time now seemed on the cards but great work by Steve Armstrong in the box,resulted in his turn then shot finding the bottom corner 2 minutes later. As Scot pushed for another goal, we caught them on the break and Armstrong was once again on hand to make it 4-2.
Eleven wins on the bounce now and a new club record.
Team: Watts. Siddons. Ewins. Keeble. Ellerton (Howarth). Butler. Hoyte (Doherty). White. Sheehan. Burgess. Armstrong. Subs not used. Taylor. Allen.
Scorers: Armstrong (2). Sheehan. Doherty.
5th November: Crawley Green 1 AFC Dunstable 4 ( Bedfordshire Senior Trophy, 1st Round)
Another incident packed game against last seasons champions, once again saw us end up with 10 men.
An even first half resulted in neither team taking any real advantage.
As the league game 3 weeks previous, Crawley's Luke Singleton opened the scoring on 54 minutes. As then, we came storming back, with a quick fire brace from Ikeme Ojulah. Another from Steve Armstrong took the pressure off as we coasted to a deserved win. Ojulah though blotted his copy book, as he was crudely chopped down but because he responded to his attack, was shown the red card. We still had time to add to our score when Daniel Sheehan added a 4th.
Next up is a home tie against UCL outfit AFC Kempston Rovers.
News then filtered through that the reserves were having a goal feast against Crawley's 2nd string. A club record win of 16-1 was registered in the league, which surpassed the 12-1 win by the reserves over 15 years ago.
Team: Watts. Siddons. Ewins. Keeble.Ellerton. Allen. Sheehan. Butler.(White) Doherty. Ojulah. Armstrong.(Taylor) Sub not used. Howarth.
Scorers: Ojulah (2). Armstrong. Sheehan.
12th November: Old Bradwell United 1 AFC Dunstable 2
With 2nd place Aston Clinton surprisingly losing at home to Kings Langley, we moved 6 points clear of them, with this hard fought win over 4th placed Old Bradwell. On a pitch, which was more suited for a mud bath, we controlled the opening exchanges and took a well deserved lead through Ikeme Ojulah after 5 minutes. When Tony Burgess doubled our lead on 16 minutes, we coasted our way to the half time break.
The 2nd half the conditions helped neither team, but when Old Bradwell pulled a goal back through Lee Wyner with 10 minutes remaining, we suffered some nervous moments. We still though missed an opportunity to increase our lead in the dying seconds when Danny Sheehan tame penalty was saved.
Yet another 1st team record equalled, as now undefeated in 16 games. Season 2002-03 was the last time it was achieved.
Team: Watts. Siddons. Howarth. Keeble. Ewins. Doherty. White. Sheehan. Burgess(Taylor). Ojulah. Hoyte. Subs not used. Butler. Harker. Randall.
Scorers: Ojulah. Burgess.
19th November: AFC Dunstable 2 MK Scot 0
The only record left to break, went today as we made it 17 games unbeaten, with a comfortable win over MK Scot.
To their credit, Scot's always give us a tough time and are the only team to take anything of us this season.
This was probably their least affective games against us, as Steve Watts in our goal was never really tested.
We took the lead on 27 minutes, when Steve Armstrong beat Scot's keeper at his near post.
The game did not really get going and when we awarded a penalty for handball deep into the 2nd half, Lee Ewins tucked his spot kick into the corner of the net.
Team: Watts. Siddons. Ewins. Keeble. Ellerton (Howarth). Burgess. Hoyte (Doherty). Randall (Allen). White. Armstrong. Ojulah.
Sub not used. Butler.
Scorers: Armstrong. Ewins.
26th November: AFC Dunstable 3 Cockfosters 1 (Challenge Trophy 3rd Round)
Since our defeat of Premier Division outfit Biggleswade United in the previous round of the Challenge Trophy, it has been hard to gauge our progress until todays 3rd round tie against Cockfosters. Our guests, who are a division higher than us in the pecking order, came to Lancot Park with a indifferent run of form. Not being unkind to Cockfosters, we were expecting a tougher game.
We took a deserved lead after 16 minutes, when top scorer Steve Armstrong broke clear and hit a sweet strike of a shot past Cockfosters keeper.
Armstrong could have added to his tally on 37 minutes, but his shot was more like a back pass.
The 2nd half was much like the 1st half as we created more chances. It was not until 12 minutes from time that we made the game safe. Ikeme Ojulah broke clear and finished with a fine strike.
More good news followed for the club as Richard Maggott made it 3-0 with 6 minutes remaining. Richard who is only 16, was a fringe player for the under 16's last season, has progressed so much in the last 12 months, he has broke into the reserves this season. He was given a place on the bench today and repaid his mentors. Cockfosters Gavin Conway pulled a consolation goal back in the dying minutes. The final thought is, that it is a shame non league football is judged on facilities, rather than the playing the game of football.
Team: Watts. Siddons. Burgess. Keeble. Howarth. Doherty. Randall.(Allen) Hoyte. White.(Harker) Armstrong. Ojulah(Maggott) Subs not used. Butler. Putman.
3rd December: AFC Dunstable 1 AFC Kempston Rovers 0 (Bedfordshire Senior Trophy 2nd Round)
With both teams having impressive defensive records, it was no surprise that only one goal would seperate the two teams.
Once again our opponents, who play in Division One of the United Counties League, are deemed to play at a higher standard. It must be said though, they are probably the most organised outfit we have faced this season.
The tie seemed to heading towards extra time, until Steve Howarth came up for a corner. His header struck the post, but he was quick enough to poke home the rebound with only 6 minutes remaining. A semi final berth is now secured with either Brache Sparta or Dunstable Town 98 awaiting us, after their game was postponed.
Team: Watts. Siddons. Keeble. Ewins. Howarth. Doherty. Hoyte. Burgess. Butler(Harker). Armstrong. Ojulah. Subs not used. Sheehan. Allen. Maggott.
10th December: AFC Dunstable 6 Padbury United 0
Another record seemed to be on the cards, as we went 4-0 up in the first 18 minutes and the 11-1 record win was under threat.
Lewis Doherty opened the scoring from the spot after 2 minutes, then Craig Butler doubled the lead on 6 minutes. It was 3-0 when Doherty got his 2nd. Top scorer Steve Armstrong made it 4 but then we took our foot off the gas for the rest of the 1st half.. We did though add another with a flying Tony Burgess header on the stroke of half time.
The 2nd half was a case of missed chances and fine keeping from Padbury's man between the sticks. The 6th was a piece of quick thinking by Ross Morrisey from a free kick.
All in all, our goal difference was improved and it was the chance for the management team to have a look at 3 players who moved up from the reserves, as they were inactive today.
Team: Watts. Siddons. Keeble. Howarth. Ellerton (Putman). Burgess(Morrisey). Sheehan. Harker. Butler(Maggott). Doherty. Armstrong. Subs not used. Hoyte. Allen
Scorers: Doherty (2). Butler. Armstrong. Burgess. Morrisey.
17th December: AFC Dunstable 0 Tring Corinthians 2
Well it had to happen. 20 games without defeat was finally ended, with this 2-0 defeat to a well orgainised Tring Corinthian side.
Making no excuses, it would have been nice to end the record with a 1st choice team but thats football. The squad was ravaged with 8 regulars either unavailable or suspended. From last week out went Steve Howarth, Lewis Doherty, Craig Butler, Daniel Sheehan and Richard Harker all in Ireland. Steve Armstrong made the trip back early from Ireland, but the black stuff was still running through his veins and it showed. Gary Ellerton and Kwame Hoyte were unavailable and with Ikeme Ojulah suspended, many reserves had to make the step up. We could not even call up stalwarts Anthony White and Paul Randall.
We had the better of the chances in the 1st half, as Lee Ewins should have scored from close range but missed the target with his header. He then struck the bar from a corner on 23 minutes. It seemed it would be all square at the break, until Ryan Keeble missed a clearance and Marius Matran was let in to score.
This gave Tring confidence and they were the better side in the 2nd half as we did not test Tring's keeper. Their 2nd was once again a defensive cock up. A Ross Morrisey loose pass let in Matran again. He completely mis- kicked his first effort but the ball fell kindly for him to lob Steve Watts. It was now realised it was not going to be our day. Tring could have added to their total with some close shaves but they should be happy with ending our record busting season with a fine display.
Team: Watts. Siddons. Keeble. Ewins. Burgess. Hutchings(Taylor). Allen. Morrisey. Putman. Armstrong. Duignan(Maggott).
24th December: Markyate 0 AFC Dunstable 5
We got back to winning ways with a comfortable win over 2nd from bottom Markyate. Welcoming back to the starting line up was Steve Howarth, Lewis Doherty, Anthony White & Richard Harker. The bench looked strong with Craig Butler & Kwame Hoyte amongst the subs.
After last weeks show from Steve Armstrong, he re-paid the management team with a four goal burst to take him to 20 for the season.
Another absentee from last week Lewis Doherty also got his name on the score sheet. Markyate also registered there biggest crowd of the season with 100 in attendance.
Team: Watts. Siddons(Butler). Keeble. Howarth. Ewins. Burgess. Allen. Harker. White(Hoyte). Armstrong. Doherty(Taylor).
Scorers: Armstrong (4). Doherty.
27th December: AFC Dunstable 3 Caddington 0
With Lancot Park snowbound, it was touch and go if the game got the go ahead. The wind was bitter and more snow was in the clouds but it went ahead. A fine battling display saw us take all 3 points.
Caddington had strung together some useful results, so we knew a tough game was in the pipeline.
We had the best of the 1st half but could not breach Caddington's defence as it was goal less at the break.
Caddington started the 2nd half much more strongly and did put us under some pressure, although Steve Watts was not really tested.
We finally broke the dead lock when Lewis Doherty broke clear to fire home on 73 minutes. Our second was not far away as a Doherty flick on from a corner was forced home by Steve Armstrong 6 minutes later. The points were wrapped up in the dying minutes, as sub Kevin Taylor struck home.
Team: Watts. Siddons. Ewins. Keeble. Howarth. White(Butler). Allen. Sheehan. Harker. Armstrong. Doherty(Taylor). Subs not used. Ellerton. Maggott. Putman.
Scorers: Doherty. Armstrong. Taylor.
31st December: Pitstone & Ivinghoe 0 AFC Dunstable 4
What looks like an emphatic win, does not tell the whole truth. Yes, we should be happy with a 4-0 win but as we hit our 4th after 32 minutes, once again we could not force the issue home and improve our goal difference. So much was manager Dermot Butler's dissapointment, he said it felt more like a defeat than a win, after the 2nd half performance.
We stormed into a 2 goal lead as Steve Armstrong then Daniel Sheehan scored from close range. Another from Armstrong on 16 minutes had us cruising. What did light the day up was the ever improving Richard Harker. A superb left foot strike made it 4. Harker did not come out for the 2nd half due to injury and we did miss him.
Good news on the transfer front is we have secured the services of Gary Capehorn from Dunstable Town 98 and Gareth Sealey from Biggleswade Town.
Team: Watts. Siddons. Keeble. Howarth. Ellerton(Hoyte). Burgess. Sheehan. Harker(Taylor). Butler. Doherty(White). Armstrong.
Scorers: Armstrong(2). Sheehan. Harker
7th January: AFC Dunstable 3 The 61FC (Luton) 1
A mixture of a determined 61 side, a large stroke of luck and a dubious penalty award, saw us take all three points to consolidate top spot in the league.
With two new signings in the squad, Gareth Seeley started the game, with Lee McCulloch on the bench.
After our 5-0 win earlier in the season, 61 were determined not to roll over this time and were the best side in the 1st half. They took a 1-0 lead into the break when Matt Tibbs finish was top quality on 38 minutes.
We had to step it up in the 2nd half. A huge slice of luck drew us level. A goalmouth scramble resulted in a 61 defender trying to clear his lines, hit the ball against Steve Armstrong and it bobbled over the line 4 minutes into the 2nd period.
There was no luck with our 2nd, as Lewis Doherty perfectly weighted pass released Armstrong. He was then one on one with the keeper and finished with aplomb 5 minutes later.
Our next piece of luck came on the hour when Doherty was ajudged to be fouled in the box. Firstly, the decision was very questionable, but what was sure, no way was it in the penalty area. Doherty took the penalty himself to make it 3.
Team: Watts. Siddons(Ellerton).Keeble. Howarth(White). Ewins. Seeley. Sheehan. Burgess. Harker. Armstrong. Doherty(McCulloch). Subs not used. Allen. Hoyte.
Scorers: Armstrong (2). Doherty.
14th January: AFC Dunstable 2 London Colney 5 (Challenge Trophy, Quarter Final)
With the scoreline looking like we took a beating,it does not tell the whole truth.
We must have used up all our luck last Saturday, as 2 missed penalties at crucial times could have brought the score closer.
Premier Division London Colney came to Lancot Park as overwhelming favourites, but in this competition we have knocked out Premier Division Biggleswade United and Division One Cockfosters.
Colney though made sure this was not going to be a banana skin and came out the traps at a rapid rate.
They took a deserved lead on 12 minutes when David Parkinson hit home. We struck back when Steve Armstrong drew us level 7 minutes later.
The remainder of the 1st half is where our first piece of luck ran out. Firstly a rash tackle by James Siddons saw a penalty awarded to Colney. Anadous Gerber confidently struck his spot kick firmly in. We seemed to be heading into the break only one goal adrift. This was not to be as the last attack of the half saw a cross come into the box. Steve Watts cut out the cross but his pary hit Gary Ellerton on the thigh and bounced over the line.
The 2nd half could not have started any worse but it did. No danger was on the cards when Watts came to clear his lines on 47 minutes. The only thing though was his clearance went straight to Jason Valentine 20 yards away and he made it 4-1.
Hoping not to be on the end of a thrashing, we stepped up the pace and Armstrong pulled a goal back on 72 minutes. We now felt we had a chance and when Armstrong was felled in the box, Lee Ewins penalty could have drew us closer but he missed the target. On 83 minutes Armstrong was pushed at a corner and another penalty was given. This time Armstrong stepped up but his kick was saved.
This gave Colney belief and the last kick of the game saw them make it 5 and give the scoreline a bit of an unjust reading.
All and all London Colney were the better side, but if only we could have made our penalty misses count, it could have been closer.
Team: Watts. Siddons. Keeble. Ewins. Ellerton. Burgess. Sheehan (Butler). White. Harker (Randall). Armstrong. Doherty(Maggott). Sub not used. Howarth.
Scorer: Armstrong (2)
21st January: AFC Dunstable 4 Kings Langley 1 ( Division Two Cup)
We progressed into the semi final of the Division Two Cup with this comfortable win. Awaiting us are Old Bradwell United who beat Risborough Rangers 3-2.
A good sound team performance was delivered and we got off to a perfect start, when Steve Armstrong fired home his 20 yard strike with only 6 minutes on the clock. We should have extended our lead, when a flowing move ended with Daniel Sheehan's volley being well saved. The next chance fell to Tony Burgess, but his weak header was straight at Langley's keeper. So only a one goal lead was taken into the break.
We continued to apply pressure and when Gary Ellerton notched from close range, it was all but over. 16 year old Richard Maggott came off the bench and hit home on 71 minutes. Langley briefly woke up and pulled one back through Richard Davis 6 minutes later. It seemed they may pull another back but when Sheehan broke clear, his pass found Maggott who scored to make it 4-1.
Team: Watts. Siddons. Ewins(McCulloch). Howarth. Keeble. Ellerton. Sheehan(Allen). Burgess. White(Maggott). Armstrong. Doherty. Subs not used: Randall. Butler.
Scorers: Maggott(2). Armstrong. Ellerton.
28th January: AFC Dunstable 0 Kings Langley 1
We suffered our 2nd defeat of the season, but unlike our first reverse against Tring Corinthians, we fielded a very strong team and Kings Langley thoroughly deserved the win.
Having defeated Langley only last Saturday in the cup, this time they turned up at Lancot Park with a game plan.
We never really got out of 1st gear and only had one strike at goal all game.
Kings Langley got the only goal of the game on 54 minutes from a corner, when an unmarked James Davis headed home.
We huffed and puffed trying to find an equaliser but it never materialised.
Team: Watts:McCulloch(Seeley).Keeble.Howarth.Ewins.Allen(Sheehan).Burgess.Ellerton.Doherty.Armstrong.Ojulah(Maggott). Subs not used. White.Siddons.
4th February: AFC Dunstable 5 Risborough Rangers 1
Our recent Jekyll and Hyde form was in our favour this week, as we registered a comfortable win over Risborough Rangers.
With 4 players missing from last Saturday, including top scorer Steve Armstrong, we welcomed back Richard Harker, Gareth Seeley and Daniel Sheehan though to the starting line up.
We had the perfect start when a Harker corner was headed home by Lewis Doherty after 6 minutes. To Rangers credit, they did look dangerous for the next 15 minutes but did'nt force home their advantage. Two goals 4 minutes before the break killed off any chance of a shock. A wonderful 25 yard strike by Seeley and a fine move finished by Sheehan made it 3-0 at the break.
The 2nd half was the Lewis Doherty show. With many remarks about his stature being brought into question by our opponents, he replied in the best way by hitting two more goals to complete his hat trick. A Robbie Morgan last minute goal was scant consolation for Risborough, which was over shadowed by Gary Ellerton losing his cool with an assistant referee regarding the goal. His silly reaction saw him receive a red card for his troubles.
Team: Watts. Siddons. McCulloch. Howarth. Ellerton. Seeley(Butler). Sheehan(Taylor). Allen. Harker(Palmer). Doherty. Burgess.
Scorers: Doherty (3). Seeley. Sheehan.
11th February: AFC Dunstable 2 Mursley United 0
A game, which never really got going, saw us pick up the points to consolidate top spot. Mursley who took a 7-1 thrashing last Saturday, seemed to be determined that it would not happen again.
With Daniel Sheehan in the USA, Steve Howarth suffering with a broken wrist and Gary Ellerton's headaches returning, in came Ryan Keeble, Lee Ewins and Ikeme Ojulah.
We took the lead on 24 minutes from an unlikely source. A Lewis Doherty corner was headed home by Lee McCulloch. We were pretty much comfortable for the rest of the 1st half with Mursley looking dangerous occasionally.
The 2nd half was an even affair and another goal was needed to finish off our opponents. When Gareth Seeley, with 10 minutes remaining broke clear, his shot was saved but in the following scramble, Ikeme Ojulah fired home from close range.
Team: Watts. Siddons. Keeble. McCulloch. Ewins. Seeley. Allen. Burgess(Morrisey). Harker. Doherty. Ojulah(Palmer).
Subs not used: Mallett. Butler.
18th February: AFC Dunstable 3 Old Bradwell United 1
With Old Bradwell visiting Lancot Park, it was a dress rehersal for our Division Two Cup semi final at Bradwell in March.
Our opponents, who have just been named team of the month for January in The SSML, were full of confidence.
Saying that though, we did take the lead early on as a Lee McCulloch free kick was well headed home by Gary Ellerton. Bradwell did look lively but did not have an end product. The scoreline remained 1-0 at the break.
Slack defending after only 2 minutes into the 2nd half saw James Smith draw Bradwell level. They now started to take the game to us, but to our credit we also upped the pace. On the hour we once again took the lead when Steve Armstrong fired home. Our 3rd was not far away as another flowing move ended up with Gareth Seeley scoring.
A solid performance sets us up with the County Cup semi final against Brache Sparta next Saturday.
Team: Watts. Siddons. McCulloch. Ewins. Ellerton(Keeble). Seeley. Allen. Burgess. Harker(Butler). Doherty(Ojulah). Armstrong. Subs not used. Palmer. McGann.
Scorers: Ellerton. Armstrong. Seeley.
25th February: AFC Dunstable 1 Brache Sparta 2 (Beds Senior Trophy - Semi Final)
Once again, Brache Sparta ended our interest in the Bedfordshire Senior Trophy at the semi final stage as they did 3 seasons ago.
We got off to a awful start, when a Dean Lewis strike slid under Steve Watts body and crossed the line on 6 minutes.
Three minutes later we should have drawn level, when a defence splitting move ended up with Daniel Sheehan shooting wide when it was easier to score.
We deservedly though did equalise when Sheehan was pulled back in the penalty box. Lewis Doherty made sure with the spot kick with 17 minutes on the clock. It should have been 2-1, when once again Sheehan was put in the same position as before with the same result.
The 2nd half did not live up to the 1st as both teams battled for supremacy. It was unfortunate that another mistake by our defence was to decide the tie. What looked like no danger, Gary Ellertons attempted headed back pass did not have enough meat on it and Brache's No 9 stole in and flicked the ball home on the hour.
We did have one more chance when Tony Burgess's shot hit the post with 4 minutes remaining.
Team: Watts. Siddons. McCulloch. Ewins. Ellerton. Doherty. Allen. Sheehan. Harker. Burgess. Armstrong. Subs used. Maggott
4th March: AFC Dunstable 5 Pitstone & Ivinghoe 0
After last Saturday's cup defeat, we were back in league action and ran out comfortable winners. As last Saturday, we should have been 2-0 up within 5 minutes but poor finishing once again let us down. We did finally break the deadlock on 26 minutes when Gareth Seeley hit home. Two more goals right on the stroke of half time killed off any hopes of Pitstone staging a recovery. Lee Ewins (43) & Lewis Doherty (45) made the 2nd half a stroll in the park.
Further goals by Ikeme Ojulah (69) & Steve Armstrong (81) finished off the scoring.
Now the title chase is turning into a 2 horse race as Aston Clinton defeated Kent Athletic 4-0.
Team: Watts. Siddons. Keeble. Ewins. Ellerton. Seeley. Sheehan. Burgess. Harker. Doherty. Armstrong.
Subs used: White. Maggott. Ojulah.
Scorers: Seeley. Ewins. Doherty. Ojulah. Armstrong.
11th March: Old Bradwell United 0 AFC Dunstable 3 (Division Two Cup Semi Final)
Another cup final for the club as we registered our 3rd this season with this dominate display. Such was the ease of the win, Martin Lauder in our goal did not have a save to make. The only down side was the inept performance from the referee. How the scoreline was 0-0 at the break beggars belief as chance after chance was not converted.
The 2nd half was a different matter though, as finally our dominance started to pay dividends.
Top scorer Steve Armstrong opened the scoring a minute into the 2nd period and when Daniel Sheehan lobbed Bradwell's keeper 12 minutes later to make it 2-0, the tie was all over. To put the icing on the cake, Ikeme Ojulah made it 3 on 71 minutes. We still have to wait to see who we will face in the final, as Aston Clinton face Totternhoe in a few weeks time.
Team: Lauder. Siddons. Ewins. Keeble. Burgess. Capehorn. Sheehan. Allen. Harker. Ojulah. Armstrong. Subs used: Doherty. Maggott. White.
Scorers: Armstrong. Sheehan. Ojulah.
18th March: AFC Dunstable 2 Totternhoe 2
This draw against local rivals Totternhoe, takes our chances of winning the title out of our hands. The game hinged on who used the fierce wind to their advantage but what was not taken into consideration, was the fantastic form of Totternhoe's keeper Massey.
Totternhoe took the lead on 15 minutes when James McCarthey broke clear to score. We pulled a goal back against the wind when Steve Armstrong slid the ball home. Looking like we could go into the break on even terms, ex OD Steve Graham headed home.
The 2nd half was like the Alamo as we used the wind effectively but Massey was in prime form, as he pulled off save after save. We finally equalised with 12 minutes remaining through Daniel Sheehan. With Aston Clinton winning again, they are now favourites for the title and the game against them in 2 weeks time, will go a long way to see where the trophy ends up.
Team: Watts. Siddons. Keeble. Burgess. Ellerton. White. Allen. Sheehan. Harker. Doherty. Armstrong.
Subs used. Palmer. Taylor.
Scorers: Armstrong. Sheehan.
25th March: Risborough Rangers 0 AFC Dunstable 7
After last Saturday's dissapointing draw against Totternhoe, we got back to winning ways with this convincing win. It was the Ikeme Ojulah show, as the elusive striker was available and he hit 5 of the goals to take him to 19 for the season.
Other strikes by Steve Armstrong & Gary Palmer completed a dire day for Risborough.
Footnote: We will face neighbours Totternhoe in the Division Two Cup Final. They pulled off a shock by beating Aston Clinton 3-2 in their semi-final.The Final is on Wednesday 19th April at Ampthill Town FC, Kick Off 7.45pm.
Team: Watts. Siddons. Keeble. Ewins. Burgess. Capehorn. Allen. Harker. White. Ojulah. Armstrong.
Subs used: Doherty. Howarth. Palmer.
Scorers: Oujlah (5): Armstrong. Palmer.
1st April: AFC Dunstable 0 Aston Clinton 3
The April fool was on us, as we lost top spot for the first time since October and to make things worse, with Kent Athletic winning see's us in 3rd place.
The title now seems beyond us, as a sound 2nd half performance by Aston Clinton saw them take the spoils.
The 3-0 scoreline did not seem possible as we opened up very strongly and could have scored a couple in the first 15 minutes. Once Aston settled down, they started to take control of the game. We held on until the break but our opponents carried on in the same vein and took the lead on 62 minutes through Paul Alleyne. Our chance to draw level came when Steve Armstrongs shot missed by inches. This encouraged Aston and a Gary Capehorn mistake saw Alleyne hit a 2nd. The icing on the cake came in the dying minutes when Alleyne completed his hat trick.
Team: Watts. Siddons. Ewins. Keeble. Burgess. Doherty. Allen. Capehorn. Harker. Ojulah. Armstrong. Subs used: Sheehan. Palmer. Maggott.
8th April: Crawley Green 1 AFC Dunstable 2
Goalscorers: Tony Burgess: Lewis Doherty.
15th April: Kent Athletic 3 AFC Dunstable 0
Our interest in the league title finally ended with crushing defeat by 2nd place Kents. To even gain runners up on this form might also be beyond us.
Ex OD Lee Loasby came back to haunt us as he opened the scoring on 10 minutes.
Robert Walsh made it 2 with 6 minutes remaining as we pushed for an equaliser. Loasby put the icing on the cake with a 3rd with the last kick of the game.
Too many ineffective performances by many players have seen us fall away badly in the league. Concerns now turn to the Division Two Cup Final on Wednesday, as now Totternhoe should be favourites to lift the trophy.
19th April: AFC DUNSTABLE 2 TOTTERNHOE 0 (DIVISION TWO CUP FINAL)
After Saturday's dismal performance, the team picked themselves up, to put the 2nd piece of silverware in the trophy cabinet for the season.
With 3 changes made from Saturday, in came Anthony White, Gary Capehorn and Ikeme Ojulah. Steve Howarth, Craig Butler and Lewis Doherty moved to the bench.
Being watched by a decent crowd, we opened the stronger and created 2 good chances in the first half. Both chances fell to Steve Armstrong, the first on 19 minutes saw him miss the target. He came closer 7 minutes later when he broke clear but his strike was brillantly saved by Gary Duncan in the Totternhoe goal. Various long range efforts completed the action in the 1st half.
Looking to step up the pace after the break, we completely dominated the 2nd half. Looking to get the ball wide, Totternhoe struggled to cope with wide men White & Harker. We took a deserved lead on the hour, when good work by Armstrong released Ikeme Ojulah. He outpaced the Totterhoe defence to slot the ball home. We continued to push forward and Duncan was the busier keeper. On 72 minutes it was 2-0. Harker cut in from the left and his right footed strike took a wicked deflection and found the net.
We were now comfortable and Totternhoe's only chance in the 2nd half fell to James McCarthy who fired high and wide.
Special praise must go to Tony Burgess and Lee Ewins who dominated the dangerous McCarthy and Gary Simpson. The only down side was 9 bookings in the match. It was not that kind of game and all yellows came in the 2nd half.
With the rain pouring down the final whistle finally came. Steve Armstrong stepped up to pick up the cup.
Team: Watts. Siddons. Burgess. Keeble. Ewins. White(Butler). Capehorn. Sheehan(Howarth). Ojulah(Doherty). Armstrong. Subs not used. Allen. Maggott.
Scorers: Ojulah (60). Harker (72).
22nd April: Padbury United 3 AFC Dunstable 8
After such a solid defensive performance in the cup final, today's result was more like a rugby scoreline. With Padbury having no recognised keeper available, it showed as their stand in keeper let in Richard Harker's cross on 4 minutes. Our keeper Steve Watts decided to follow suit, as he also was confused with the same type of shot and Padbury were level.
After 15 minutes it was 4-1. Goals from Steve Armstrong, Daniel Sheehan & Richard Maggott seemed to have the game tied up. Another error by Watts gifted Padbury their 2nd. Not to be out done, we scored 2 more before the break to make it 6-2 at half time.
Now was the time to push forward, but another defensive mistake saw Padbury pull another back as Ryan Keeble put through his own goal. Manager Dermot Butler was so dismayed with the performance he introduced himself onto the pitch with 15 minutes to go. Further goals by Armstrong and Tony Burgess secured the win. With Kent Athletic losing runners up is back on.
Team: Watts. Siddons. Ewins. Keeble. Burgess. Butler(C). Allen. Sheehan. Harker. Maggott. Armstrong.
Sub used: Butler(D)
Scorers: Armstrong (3). Harker (2). Maggott. Sheehan. Burgess.
25th April: Flamstead 2 AFC Dunstable 4
What started as a stroll in the park, ended up with us scoring two late goals to take all three points.
For the first 15 minutes we completely dominated and took a deserved lead when Gary Capehorn set up Richard Maggott on 6 minutes. Many gilt edge chances came and went as firstly Steve Armstrong, then Richard Harker, Daniel Sheehan and Gary Ellerton should have seen us on easy street.
We paid for those missed chances, as Lee Ewins was the culprit as he gifted Flamstead their equaliser on 22 mintues. Our hosts were now looking more confident but again chances came and went. Finally we took the lead when Harker slipped in Armstrong who netted from a tight angle on 29 minutes.
The start of the 2nd half once again saw another error as Flamstead drew level. The turning point of the game came when Gary Ellerton handled in the penalty box but no spot kick was given. Up to the other end saw us take the lead through a scrambled effort by Steve Howarth. The points were sealed when Harker hooked in the winner with 7 minutes remaining. 2nd spot was regained but a large improvement will be needed to stay there.
Team: Watts. Siddons. Ewins. Howarth. Ellerton. Capehorn. Sheehan. Allen. Harker. Maggott. Armstrong. Subs used. Doherty. O'Brien.
Scorers: Maggott. Armstrong. Howarth. Harker.
28th April: Tring Corinthians 3 AFC Dunstable 2
Tring completed the double over us and are the only team in the league to do so. With Kent Athletic only drawing, runners up is still in our hands.
Scorers: Harker. Doherty.
1st May: Totternhoe 1 AFC Dunstable 4
Runners Up is secured with a repeat of the Division Two Cup Final. The big difference this time was the ease of the victory. Many chances went begging before Daniel Sheehan gave us a 1-0 lead at the break.
Two further strikes from Sheehan and one from Steve Armstrong saw us run out easy winners. We can now party on Saturday at Loughton Orient and enjoy our presentation at Lancot Park in the evening.
Team: Fisher. Siddons. Ellerton. Ewins. O'Brien. Tubb. Sheehan. Butler. Harker. Doherty. Armstrong.
Subs used. Maggott. Palmer. Mallett.
6th May: Loughton Orient P-P AFC Dunstable
3 Points awarded.