5th March - AFC Dunstable 4 Stotfold 0
For the 3rd league game in a row, AFC notched up 4 goals to consolidate 2nd spot in the league. Manager Steve Heath handed 17 year old Jake Kissiedu his senior full debut and he turned in a polished performance. Another new face in the starting line up was Bill Morgan who slotted into centre back. Missing though was midweek 4 goal hero Jermaine Hall who was not available. Brandon Carney also missed out due to illness.
With the teams being greeted with flurry's of snow as they turned up at the ground, it looked like the game could be in jeopardy. But as kick off approached, thankfully the weather took a turn for the better.
AFC, who had already defeated Stotfold twice this season in the league and FA Vase, looked to be on the front foot from the off. This paid off after 14 minutes when Nathan Frater slotted home. Looking to increase their lead, Frater came close again as did BJ Christie.
As the game entered the half hour, Christie doubled the AFC lead. Receiving the ball on the edge of the box, he turned Stotfold's skipper Michael Payne to fire home. Kissiedu was having some success out wide on the left and put in some telling crosses that just could not be converted.
Half time: AFC Dunstable 2 Stotfold 0
The hosts got off to the perfect start in the 2nd half. Within 30 seconds it was 3-0. Good work by Christie set up his strike partner Frater and he made no mistake. Unfortunately for the game, the visitors starting to lose a bit of discipline. Some rash tackles were being delivered and one saw Frater having to be replaced by Ben Darby with the 2nd period only 10 minutes old.
With the home side looking to improve their goal difference, Stotfold still used some strong arm tactics, to the extent they picked up 6 yellow cards in the game to AFC's none. To protect the young Kissiedu, Heath replaced him on 65 minutes for Danny Jones.
It was now all AFC and they went in search of their 4th. It was delivered by Darby with 15 minutes left on the clock from close range. With time running down, Stotfold's Tom Oram, already on a yellow card, made a crude challenge on Courtney Massay and was lucky to escape another.
Heath after the game was full of praise for the young debutant saying " I thought Jake did not look out of place and his attitude was first class. To think he only broke into our Under 18 floodlit team just over a year ago. Within 5 months he had progressed to the Reserves where he has been outstanding. He continued " it just goes to show how strong our youth system is and bringing them through at the right time is vital. We currently have 5 more 17 year old's in and around the Reserve team and hopefully Jake's progression will push them to match him. Its a shame Jake's introduction to the 1st team took the limelight away from Bill Morgan on his debut. I thought for someone who has not played much this season, he was outstanding but its no surprise as he has great pedigree"
On Stotfold's approach to the game he said "while I thought the referee had a good game, he tried his hardest to keep 11 of their players on the pitch. While I am pleased with the result, I now have worries over 3 players for Tuesday, who have picked up knocks from very dubious challenges"
AFC Team: Perks. Massay. N.Carney. Griffiths. Morgan. Kissiedu. Gorman. Olaleye. Christie. Humbert. Frater. Subs used. Darby. Jones. Byron. Subs not used. Cashman. Silvestri.
Scorers: Frater (14, 46). Christie (31). Darby (75)