REPORT: ST NEOTS TOWN
They managed to make life difficult for us. What enthusiasm, what fitness. They looked to be a very young team, they get paid nowt and I would be proud to be a supporter of theirs. Fan owned... of recent time..just hope they manage to pick up some goals soon and climb the table. Good luck Dunstable. ( Hereford Utd fan 31/10/17)
After the ecstasy of Tuesday came the agony and sheer unadulterated pain of Saturday. The high followed by the low. Nowhere were these very different emotions so visibly expressed than in the Creasey Park home changing room and bar, where supporters sought solace eagerly checking phones to see how Gosport had fared against Dorchester. A late Dorchester equaliser brought the tiniest bit of comfort to some, but nobody associated with Dunstable Town wants to be reliant on Southern Premier League safety thanks to the misfortunes of our relegation threatened rivals. We want to survive by pitting our skills and our wits against our opponents and beating them fair and square, through skill, endeavour, discipline and talent. Saturday was so nearly another point on the board and another point in the survival bank but “so nearly” was like, on so many other occasions this season, just not quite enough. The margins get thinner and thinner all the time.
I needed cheering up, so decided to raid the archives and start this report of Saturday’s 3-2 defeat to St Neots Town with the comments of a Hereford FC fan who posted the first paragraph on their Fans’ Forum on October 31st after our Boys had played out of their skins in a 2-0 defeat at Edgar Street the same night. We may have lost the game that night but I would like to think we won a lot of friends, just like the writer.
On Saturday the final goal in the 5th minute of stoppage time for St Neots proved to be a cruel and undeserved finale for Dunstable . The game had come to life in the second half with pulsating, flowing, attacking football played by both teams in a competitive and skilful manner. In the end it appeared as if Tuesday night’s exertions against Weymouth finally took their toll as tired Dunstable legs toiled to clear their back lines for the last period of play and succumbed right at the very last.
How different emotions had been just 25 minutes earlier when Daniel Trif, again playing superbly in the heart of defence, pounced on a loose ball from a corner to steer the ball past Jake Jessup and into the back of the net. Within 20 minutes of the restart Dunstable, who had trailed to a 14th minute penalty at half time, were now ahead 2-1. Ryan Young had scored a sumptuous equaliser on 48 minutes with a fine shot on the run which, in terms of quality,matched his goal five days earlier against Weymouth. Mr Young is simply unstoppable at the moment, terrorising opposing defences with his speed and skill.
Manager Tony McCool’s pre season words about Ryan’s ability are coming true. He can spot a good ‘un when he sees one, can Tony. (See Tony’s Blog here)
Talking of Tony, I cheered his call to arms on Saturday when he urged the Dunstable & Houghton Regis populace to come and show the Lads their support as we prepare for our seven remaining Cup Finals at Creasey Park. ( Read it in full here)
The number of retweets on Twitter showed that there is still a commitment towards this Club out there in the twittersphere. Tony has Dunstable Town flowing through his veins and coursing through his body. If anybody deserves success it’s Tony McCool for his dogged determination and sacrifice in putting together a team of young men, who week in week out, play with skill, passion and a hunger to be the best they can be. Tony’s desire and commitment knows no boundary and has no equal.
Tony needed to be at his peerless best to encourage and motivate in the first 20 – 30 minutes with Dunstable getting harried off the ball and making too many passes to the opposition. We all knew the Team could, and would do better after a re grouping and re focusing of minds in the half time team talk and so it proved. For the final 10 minutes of the first half, Dunstable showed a real intent to get back into the game and, but for a finger tip save from Chelmsford City signing, Jake Jessup, making his debut in the St Neots goal, would have pulled level with a delicately placed free kick from Arel Amu in first half stoppage time. This had been a good spell of pressure from Dunstable in the final few minutes with Andrew Osei-Bonsu narrowly shooting wide and Ty Ward and Ryan Young also causing problems for the St Neots backline.
St Neots had deservedly gone ahead. in the 14th minute following a Route One goal kick from Jessup, which had been pounced on by Dylan Williams who tore into the box only to be tackled and judged to have been fouled in the process. Williams brushed himself down and converted the spot kick giving Will Hunt no chance. One nil to St Neots.
St Neots sensed their recent loss of form may have turned. They continued to play some nice football which Dunstable found difficult to contain, however thanks to some excellent defensive work Dunstable held firm. Will Hunt again produced some excellent saves and on this form, looks to have been a very shrewd signing by Tony & Gareth. It’s a big step up for Will from playing Step 5 football this season at Barkingside but just like Charlie Black and Daniel Trif before him, he’s looked every inch the part and a good fit for the Team.
After the first 20 – 30 minutes of uncertainty Dunstable established a foothold in the game and worked their socks off and deserved their lead midway through the second half. However St Neots had other plans and within 5 minutes of Daniel’s goal had bagged themselves an equaliser through Taylor Parr, who capitalised on one of Johnny Herd’s long throw in’s which had been a dangerous part of the opposition armoury throughout the afternoon.
With 20 minutes left to play and with their tails up, St Neots proceeded to push forward in numbers. Tony & Gareth rang the changes bringing on Captain and Leader of Men, John Sonuga, Eldon Maquemba and Ethan Lamptey to try and shore things up at the back and add fresh legs up front.
Will Hunt produced three further outstanding saves as Dunstable grittily held on with one in particular, a flying save up to his left in the second minute of stoppage time surely enough to have secured a precious home point and a morale booster to reinforce the message that these Boys are the real deal.
But football, just like life, can deliver the cruellest of blows and the knock out blow for Dunstable came from a cross on the Dunstable left which was converted by Kieran Wiltshire poaching on the far post. The flag stayed down to the surprise of many relieved St Neots fans and victory was theirs.
Dunstable had undoubtedly played their part in delivering a feast of exciting football for the neutral to savour and enjoy, but while the St Neots fans celebrated enthusiastically in the club house after the game, Dunstable fans took stock and knew their Team had done themselves proud and given their all for the Club.
Match sponsors, Hawkes & Smart, chose Daniel Trif as the Dunstable Town Man of the Match but Wil Hunt will have run him a very close second and deserves special mention for his performances last Tuesday and again on Saturday.
Our next home match is on Saturday 10th February when we entertain Stratford Town. The following week we entertain Hereford FC, who are expected to travel in large numbers and swell the Creasey Park coffers. We are seeking volunteers for the Hereford match to help in a variety of positions and would warmly welcome you on board for what we hope will be an exciting and rewarding game of football. Please use the contact details on the site if you are able to help.
If you happen to be in Merthyr Tydfil on Tuesday 13th February come and watch our young gladiators pitch their wits against Merthyr Town in a rearranged fixture. It’s half term, it’s a beautiful drive through Oxford on the old A40 and the Boys would love to see you there.
We are Dunstable Town, never bowed, never giving up.