The magic of the FA cup for the blues.
Dunstable Town 3-2 Chipping Sodbury Town.
10th August 2019.
Written by Patrick MacKay and Pictures by Chris white (Cupcake 99 photography) on Facebook. Having failed to win an FA Cup game since 2015, Dunstable Town were keen to put that right, and keep momentum going after Tuesday nights impressive league win over Baldock Town. It didn't take long before the deadlock was broken. In fact, it probably took me longer to type that first paragraph. With just fourteen seconds on the clock, Chris Stapleton opened the scoring for the Blues, controlling a poor clearance by Chipping Sodbury goalkeeper Kieren Provis on the thigh, and smashing it into the back of the net from distance. Chipping Sodbury showed no signs of being rattled though, and had a chance to equalise in the second minute, well saved by the feet of Mackenzie Taylor. With just under ten minutes gone, it was Taylor to the rescue again, when a defensive clearance rebounded into the path of a Chipping Sodbury attacker eight yards out, but the young goalkeeper got down well to deny again. Midway through the first half, Dunstable ramped up the pressure on the visitors, with Dalitso Chibwe and Evans Lamboh both narrowly missing the target before Marius Patru cut inside from the left and rifled the ball right into the top corner. The breathing space proved important for the Blues, as Chipping Sodbury showed no signs of accepting their fate. The match programme cover featured Mackenzie Taylor, and he seemed eager to be the star on the pitch too, but on the half hour mark, a Chipping Sodbury attacker saw Taylor off his line, and sent a wind-assisted shot from 35 yards out crashing onto the bar. The relief on Taylor's face was apparent! Another Blue who had a fine afternoon was Kai McArthur, and five minutes before the break he was presented the opportunity to add to the lead for Dunstable, when the ball arrived to him twelve yards out, but he couldn't keep the shot low enough. Before the break though, there was time enough for Taylor to produce three more fine saves in quick succession, as Chipping Sodbury looked to halve their deficit before the whistle. Chipping Sodbury's Sam Makepiece must have been wondering what he would have to do to get the better of Taylor. Though the wind seemed to have stepped it up a level, the action remained unchanged in the second half, with both sides looking to attack and create chances. The best chance of the early stages fell to Jack Dempsey of Chipping Sodbury, after industrious work by his teammates to dispossess Dunstable in a dangerous area, but Dempsey could only put his effort just wide of the post. Luke Little looked lively going forward for the Blues, and a brilliant cross-field ball from Daniel Trif enabled him to skilfully beat the defender before being bundled over in the box. The appeals were mainly coming from the fans, and the referee saw nothing wrong with the challenge. As with Tuesday evening, Dunstable's lead was halved with twelve minutes left to play, by Chipping Sodbury's captain Sam Makepiece. A tense ending to the game surely would follow. Within a minute, Luke Little had restored Dunstable's two-goal cushion, with a wind-assisted effort from an outrageous angle which looped over the top of goalkeeper Provis. Blues fans were bouyant, and things were looking even brighter two minutes later when Seb Smith replaced Ben Collins after missing Tuesday nights game. With four minutes left to play, the tense ending we had anticipated was back on the table, as Chipping Sodbury's main outlet, Sam Makepiece, was put in on goal, shooting hard and low into the bottom corner, Mackenzie Taylor only able to get a palm to it on it's way into the back of the net. For the second game running, Dunstable Town faced a nervous ending to a game, and will surely look to see out games with more comfort going forward. However, both games this week have indeed been seen out, and Dunstable Town will be in the FA Cup Preliminary Round, playing Shortwood United of the Hellenic League Division One West, in two weeks time.