Dunstable Town 2-4 Berkhamsted
Dunstable Town’s first home league fixture ended in a narrow defeat at the hands of near neighbours Berkhamsted in a thrilling, end to end encounter on Tuesday night.
The evening started with an impeccably observed minute’s silence for Daniel Trif’s late wife, Ella. Our thanks to referee Ian Stewart and his colleagues for facilitating this and to our opponents who readily and sportingly agreed to this.
Tony McCool gave a home debut to promising Development Team midfielder, James Lauder, who had impressed as a second half sub at North Leigh. There was a welcome back for Captain & Leader of Men, John Sonuga, but otherwise McCool kept faith with the side that had played so well for long periods at the weekend away at North Leigh.
Visiting fans from the other side of the Ashridge Estate swelled the attendance to 127 and it was the away fans who had the first reason to celebrate as they took the lead in the 7th minute following good work by Andrew Ofuso who sprinted free down the right hand side and shot from a tight angle to put the Comrades one up, somewhat against the run of play.
Former AFC man, Courtney Massey needed to show all his experience to deny Arel Amu an equaliser with a smart goal-line clearance, however the Blues gained parity after sustained pressure through goal machine Chris Wreh on 39 minutes following good build up play and an exquisite pass to feet by Alex Taylor.
Tails up, Dunstable pressed forward but fell behind again on 43 minutes when a Courtney Massey free kick was tipped on to the bar by Will Hunt only for Matt Bateman to react first to the rebound and put his side 2 -1 up at the interval.
At half time, Jetmir Esso replaced Daniel Trif, and on 55 minutes the Blues were level again thanks to Hassan Sheik’s first goal for the Club.
Dunstable by now were in the ascendancy and came close to getting a third goal on several occasions, however as they probed deep into Comrades’ territory very late on, paid the ultimate price and were knocked by two devastating goals on the break by Bateman & Ofuso on 88 and 90+1 minutes.
After Saturday’s away fixture in the Preliminary round of the FA Cup at Corby, we play AFC Dunstable on B/H Monday as an away fixture and then on Saturday entertain Coleshill Town who have won both their opening games in the League. We look forward to seeing you all then.