18th August - Potton United 2 AFC Dunstable 0 (FA Cup Preliminary Round)

For the first time in a few seasons, AFC bowed out of the FA Cup at the first attempt, as they could not get past a stubborn United Counties Division One side in the shape of Potton United.

Going into the game against a team two levels below, AFC boss Steve Heath had a full complement to pick from, as every player in his squad was now available for selection.

Travelling up to North Bedfordshire, they were greeted with a fine pitch to play on. The locals were out in force to cheer on their team.

Heath decided to make two changes from the defeat at Kempston Rovers on the Tuesday. He decided to bolster his strike force, as BJ Christie and Nathan Frater replaced Adiel Mannion and Tom Silford.

It was looking like it was the right decision, as for the opening 20 minutes of the game, the visitors pinned the hosts back but as Tuesday's game, failed to get any of their efforts on target. When the Royals did escape from their defensive duties, the AFC back line coped with any attack.

Then it could be stated the game turned on its head. 25 minutes on the clock, Christie, who had just returned from a suspension, left his mark on a grounded Potton player and received a straight red card. 

For the next 10 minutes AFC were in disarray and Potton took full advantage when they opened the scoring with a deflected effort from Joe Aris which found the top corner.

Half time: Potton United 1 AFC Dunstable 0

Looking to re group in the second period, the visitors continued to see most of the ball but found it hard to break down a resolute defence who were coping admirably. On top of that, they now had the opportunity to catch AFC on the break, as they went all out for the equaliser.

Even though AFC were forging out some half chances, they still found it hard to get any on target.

Then with 8 minutes left on the clock, from an AFC free kick, Potton broke and their pace caught out the visitors and four of their players were on hand at the far post to score and Courtney Broughton was the man who decided to take that opportunity.

It could have got even worse for the OD's just before the goal, a strike on target hit the upright, rolled along the line and was eventually cleared.

So a game that started so brightly for AFC in the sun, ended with a constant drizzle, which summed up their night. Potton fully deserved the victory, as their game plan worked to perfection, by soaking up whatever pressure AFC could exert and hitting them on the break.

Team: Head. Massay. Carney. R.Frater. Griffiths (Murphy 85). Close (Mannion 85). N.Frater. Olaleye. Christie. Tavernier (Bishop 62). Hall. Subs not used. Morgan. Byron. Campbell. Tom Silford

Attendance 185

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