BLUES STAGE MEMORABLE COMEBACK.
Cambridge City 3-3 Dunstable Town,Goals Chris wreh, Erin Amu, Alex Taylor. Written by Andrew Madaras, Picture is of Erin Amu taken by Chris White.
Dunstable went into this match against middle of the table Cambridge City without leading goal scorer Arel Amu, who had signed for Conference South side, Hemel Hempstead, in mid week. As a pathway club, this is precisely the type of news we want to broadcast and shout from the rooftops as it shows what we’re doing is having the desired effect and results we wanted. Arel leaves with our sincerest thanks for his selfless devotion to the cause and for being an outstanding role model to all of the players in the Club. We hope he finds the back of the net at Hemel as often as he has done for us this season and continues to attract the interest of bigger clubs. In a week of departures from the Club, Jonathan Barnett announced he was also leaving the Club. Jonny recently completed his 200th appearance for Dunstable Town & is one of the dozen or so players that I can recall from when I first started to watch Dunstable Town ten years ago. He has been a marvellous servant of the Club and a terrific ambassador for us both on and off the pitch and we, of course, wish him well for the future and thank him for everything he has contributed to the Club. And finally, also confirmed as having left was former gaffer Tony McCool, who confirmed his departure last weekend. A better advocate or practitioner of helping young players develop and achieve their potential will be hard to find, and it was entirely fitting that former Blues, Peter Kioso and Andrew Osei-Bonsu both paid tribute to Tony’s prowess on Twitter when his departure was announced. It’s only right that the Club pay tribute to the man who took over at the helm in the summer of 2017 and so nearly steered the Club to another season of Southern League top flight football. Without a playing budget, expenses account or anything resembling money, Tony worked unpaid and assembled a squad of young, ambitious and talented players who, also without payment of wages or expenses for the whole season, would have walked through walls had Tony asked them to. As a raconteur of football stories, there are few better. As a coach of the highest calibre Tony’s departure is a big loss for the Club, but as with Arel and JB, our thanks and good wishes are bountiful and unequivocal but adjust and move on we must. But there to take over the reins are Messrs Jackson, Lauder and Qoku. And doing very nicely too are our new managerial trio. Yesterday’s 3 – 3 draw means that they remain unbeaten in their managerial tenure and had Cambridge City not scored an 88th minute equaliser would still have a 100% win record to their name. Huge credit has to be paid to all three men for stepping up to the challenge and for the dignified and business like way they have conducted themselves in steadying the ship and keeping the Team playing in the style that has been drilled into them hour after hour in training and in competitive matches. At 20 minutes past three there was no suggestion that Dunstable would get anything other than a pasting at the hands of the Lillywhites. With former Blues, Luton Town & England C International, Adam Watkins, pulling the strings in midfield, Cambridge were running through the gears and causing all types of problems for Dunstable, who appeared out of sorts. Two goals down already and being pulled and stretched all over the park, the 25 or so Dunstable fans present prepared for a long afternoon. Five minutes later, Marcus Gouldbourne tore down the right hand side and delivered the perfect cross for Chris Wreh to bury the ball beyond the reach of ex Town keeper Jamie Head, and suddenly Dunstable were back in the game and Cambridge knew things wouldn’t be going all their way. As the first half wore on, Dunstable started to find their feet and got the measure of their opponents, decreasing the dangerous supply of crosses coming from the left hand side, and starting to get their passing game going. Skipper Kyle Lincoln, wearing the captain’s armband for the first time, organised his defence and midfield so tightly that City attacks were largely thwarted. At the other end, Dunstable now started to pose more of a threat with Saul Williams and Marcus Gouldbourne using their considerable pace to good effect. Also looking every bit the part yesterday was Erin Amu, who I made my DTFC Man of the match for a superlative performance all over the park. It was Erin who on 73 minutes found himself in receipt of the perfect, defence splitting ball, from Hassan Sheikh, and in space, converted the deserved equaliser. And in truth it had been coming and was nothing more than Dunstable deserved on the balance of play. The style of play was lovely to watch. No hoofball just passes to feet. Pass and move, keep probing the back lines until a gap presents itself. Hassan’s delivery had everything in it we know this man has in his locker. An eye of a needle pass, simple but so effective. No more than two minutes later and Dunstable went and did the unthinkable, as Alex Taylor, fired in off the near post to complete a memorable comeback. But City weren’t ready to throw in the towel just yet. With fifteen minutes left on the clock plus stoppages, they poured men forward and with just two minutes to go Keano Robinson met a corner powerfully and with direction to give Connor Coulson no chance. However despite conceding at the same time as last week against Bromsgove, the defence held it’s nerve and even though Alex Taylor received a straight red for a late challenge, the final whistle blew at the end of a thoroughly entertaining game with the points shared. The Team worked their socks off yesterday and thoroughly deserved the hard earned point. Cambridge, I suspect, having been 2 – 0 up and seemingly coasting, will probably feel as if that was points lost and remain now without a home win since November 10th. For me, speaking as a supporter first, what has been so gratifying and pleasing to see, both yesterday and last week, has been the camaraderie and the unity this squad of players has shown to each other and to the Club. This has not been the easiest of fortnights for the Club, but we’ve all come through it and we owe it to Gareth and to the players to give them our absolute and unconditional backing which we are more than happy to do. On Thursday, Colin & Val, will be back in the dugout at Creasey Park steering, we hope, the Development Team to victory in the Suburban Challenge Shield against Tring in the re-arranged fixture following Thursday night’s postponement. Admission is £5 & free for U 16’s. Two days later on Saturday 2nd February ,make a note in your diary as Kempston Rovers come to town on a good run of form which has them in second place in the League form guide ( last 4 away matches) while for Dunstable a very pleasing little run of three wins and a draw in their last six has seen us rise to 7th place in the League form guide (last 6 matches) Gareth, Colin & Val will be looking to build on the solid foundations they have laid over the last 180 minutes and push on with the progress already made. We need your support on the terraces and in the stands to be the 12th Man and show your support for Gareth and the lads. The same evening the Club is holding a fund raising quiz night at Creasey Park. Entrance is £6 which includes a buffet with teams of 6 proving popular, but not mandatory. It’s still not too late to enter so please contact Chairman, Neil Barker, on firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets and further details & enjoy a thoroughly entertaining evening and help raise funds for the Club. We look forward to welcoming you all next time. One Club. One Family. Dunstable Town.