• Richard Scott

Dunstable Town 0-1 Sutton Coldfield Town....


Written by Andrew Madaras,Picture by Chris White.

If further proof was needed of the progress being made with the development of Dunstable Town FC players yesterday should have settled the matter conclusively once and for all. Nathan Harness, all 18 years of him, played for a Premier League’s Under 23 Team in a competitive League fixture in the north of England. Just let that sink in for a minute or two. This is Nathan Harness I’m talking about. Our Nathan Harness. Dunstable Town FC Nathan Harness, playing for the U 23’s of a Premier League football team with players on the verge of Premier League stardom, and some, no doubt, stars and household names already getting game time while they recover form or return from injury. If that doesn’t warm the cockles of your heart then you’re probably supporting the wrong football team. Nathan’s parents, Malcolm & Deena, have supported their son during his time at Dunstable Town and have supported Tony & Gareth as they help him develop and find his feet in the mens’ game. If you’ve watched Tony’s piece to camera on our promotional film he made it very clear when he said; “Defining success for a pathway football club means bringing a player into the First Team and then moving them on” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ux7tRJ2ykUc&t=191s Tony wrote in Saturday’s programme notes that Nathan will be returning to Dunstable Town after his U 23’s stint but please be under no illusion some of yesterday’s team, and next week’s team and every team you see in our colours, are destined to grace stadia more in keeping with the likes of televised clubs than those inhabited by the 84 loyal Dunstable Town fans yesterday. In Nathan’s absence yesterday in stepped, 17 year old Hemel Hempstead no. 2 stopper, George Paulin on dual registration terms. With ex Chelsea, Celtic and Russian international keeper, Dimitri Kharine, as your goalkeeping coach, you’ll need to know your stuff, and young George did just that, making some vital saves as the Sutton Coldfield big guns were firing. I echo Tony’s programme notes in thanking Hemel Hempstead Manager, Joe Deeney, in allowing George to register with us at such short notice. Thanks also to Spartan South Midlands club, Leverstock Green FC for their part in ensuring George’s registration reached Southern League HQ in time for kick off. Injuries forced one starting selection change from the X1 that won so convincingly away at Welwyn Garden City on New Years Day, with Saul Williams dropping to the bench to be replaced by Hassan Sheikh. It was Sutton Coldfield though who looked the most lively in the early stages of the game, as Dunstable appeared to struggle to get to grips with their opponents movement, on and off the ball. A slow start took a turn for the worse when the visitors went ahead on the quarter hour mark with a goal from Mitch Piggon, borne from a long throw in on the left. Dunstable looked to ignite a spark but found themselves thwarted and frustrated as the Sutton Coldfield midfield tightened their grip and starved the Dunstable forwards of the supply they needed. There was a let off for Dunstable on 38 minutes when Sutton Coldfield hit the bar although a Kyle Lincoln rocket on the verge of half time looked promising but just fizzed over. Sutton Coldfield boast a mean defence. 25 goals conceded in the League, makes them the 3rd best defensive team, and also the 3rd highest ranked team on their travels, and with recent wins against highly fancied Bedford Town and away at Thame Town, and an FA Cup draw against Alfreton Town this is a Club that can clearly hold it’s own. Dunstable appeared for the second half kicking towards the car park end, and if ever there was a game of two halves….this might not actually have been it, but Dunstable in the second half looked a totally different proposition. Passes found their man, shots found their target, and the players, individually and collectively found their form. Suddenly Mr Gwilliams in the Sutton Coldfield goal found he had work to do. James Lauder from distance in the first few minutes of the second half brought out a good save from the keeper closely followed by Alex Taylor, whose shot had real power behind it, but unfortunately went straight down Gwilliams throat. Next up to have a pop at goal were Gedeon Okito and Hassan Sheikh who both were determined to do justice to a fine mazy run by Marcus Gouldbourne but with Gedeon’s shot blocked, and Hassan’s sneaking wide, Dunstable could count themselves unlucky not to be on level terms. On the hour mark, Saul Williams replaced Erin Amu, and minutes later sibling, Arel got power behind a header which was well taken by Gwilliams. Saul Williams got on the end of a cleared Alex Taylor free kick but again Gwilliams was up to the task. At the other end, Dunstable were indebted to a piece of brave goalkeeping from George Paulin who one on one with a Sutton Coldfield player advancing at speed, stood tall, narrowed the angle and made an important stop. Minutes later George was at it again to again deny the away side. For the last 10 minutes Chris Wreh came on to replace Hassan Sheikh and using his muscular frame made a couple of half chances but never quite found the purchase to his shot. In the last 5 minutes Saul Williams got to the bye line whipped in a delightful ball that struck an advancing defender who could only watch with relief as the ball bounced the right side of the post. Had he been six inches further away, that deflection goes in, and Town would have had a deserved equaliser. Four minutes of stoppage time brought proceedings to an end and despite a strong second half Sutton Coldfield had just about enough about them to keep Dunstable out and take the points north to the West Midlands. In the absence of Simon Reilly, unwell at home but with all our good wishes for a swift recovery, Colin Lauder took charge of the Development Team as they played AFC Hayes in the Suburban Challenge Plate. Goals from Mark Reilly, Ehban Nancarrow-Martin (p) and Kuda Sangoya were enough for Town to come home with the victory. The match featured two of our 16 year old stars of tomorrow, Ben Lincoln in goal and L’Kharmi Gale, who has already been called up to the County side. On Thursday evening the Development Team are away again, this time in League action against Harefield Utd, kick off is 7 45pm. If you’ve not already watched the young Blues play this season, you really don’t know what you’re missing…remember it’s from these ranks that the likes of Rio Dasilva, Erin Amu, James Lauder, Ben Collins, Nathan Mullings, Kieran Ogden, have come through so that should give you an idea of what you can expect to see in terms of quality. The First Team are back in action away at Berkhamsted on Saturday 12th January. The home match in August was an absorbing end to end contest won finally by two late break away goals by the visitors, who have gone on to sit in 7th place in the League table, and who in Matthew Bateman, have the League’s second highest goalscorer. It looks a fine game of football is on the cards. The Club, the Managers and the players are always grateful to you for your support particularly away from home, and it’s been gratifying to know that as many of 30 of you have travelled away with us this season. Berkhamsted being all of 11 miles from Dunstable will hopefully see a few more Dunstable fans get behind Tony & the lads. And before all of the above, the Club have been offered a slot on the Ollie Bayliss Non-League show on BBC 3CR on Monday 7th January at 7 30pm. We hope to have Mind BLMK Fundraising Manager, Hayley Coomber join us to help promote our long talked about Crowdfunding scheme, which is expected to launch in the next 24 hours. Please show your support if you can afford to by a small donation to our appeal for Mind, Mind BLMK and Dunstable Town Football Club. One Club. One Family. Dunstable Town FC. 


 

Dunstable Town Football Club is a members owned football club that is run by the Club Committee

through its annually elected Club Officers, constituting the Chairperson, Treasurer and Secretary.

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