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Crawley Green 1-2 Dunstable Town

Crawley Green 1-2 Dunstable Town 21st January 2020 Written by Patrick MacKay, Pictures by Liam Smith.  A Chris Stapleton brace on a chilly night at the Brache ensured Dunstable Town's dominant performance was justly rewarded. Stapleton, along with Luke Little, looked industrious and dangerous from the first whistle, but the first clear opportunity fell to Crawley Green, with Dan Gould producing a decent save with his feet to deny. When a Crawley Green defender sent a weak header back in the direction of his goalkeeper Louie Lobjoit, Little's sharpness was again causing issues as he was able to latch onto the errant pass, but with the angle tightening fast, Lobjoit was able to keep the scores level. Halfway into the first period, a pacy free kick was delivered into the Green box, and when Eric Ameyaw was adjudged to have been pushed, Dunstable were given the chance to take the lead from the penalty spot. Stapleton was on hand to coolly despatch into the bottom corner. Minutes later, Stapleton was shaping to shoot from inside the box when he was crudely barged to the ground by the last man, allowing Lobjoit to gather the ball. The clearest penalty you could ever wish to see, inexplicably denied. Crawley Green reminded Dunstable how slender a one-nil lead is when Alex Marius showed fantastic technique to send a volley thundering off the crossbar from outside the box. A strong start to the second half saw Luke Little get on the end of a perfect through-ball, and with the better option perhaps being to shoot, he tried to slip the ball across to Stapleton, but saw his pass cut out by the defender. Little's endeavours would soon see him put the ball in the back of the net, but with the luxury of a two goal advantage on the line, the flag was raised for offside. After Gould had parried a free-kick away, a volley straight back goalwards was tipped over the bar. From the resulting corner, Crawley Green came a hair's breadth from levelling when a header was cleared off the line. With just under twenty minutes left to play, Stapleton nodded home a pinpoint Adam Sawyer cross, and the roar from the Dunstable faithful was enough to drown out the departing aircraft overhead. Phil Draycott ensured a nervy final ten minutes for the Blues when he converted from a tight angle on the right to halve the deficit for Crawley Green. Town were able to keep control of the game though, with Joe Hankins impressing after replacing Luke Little midway through the second half, and the Blues showed professionalism to hold onto the lead and boost confidence ahead of Saturday's visit from Oxhey Jets to Creasey Park. 


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