Written by Andrew Madaras
To mis-quote the late, great Ian Dury, Reasons To Be Cheerful, Part(s) (1,2) 3
Part 1. I don’t know whether non-league football experiences at Step 5 come much better than this. It’s not hyperbole to say that Saturday’s professional performance was up among the best of the season, against a strong and very much in-form Cockfosters team, unbeaten in their last 6 games and the only team this season to beat Leighton Town at fortress Bell Close.
Part 2. For the second consecutive away game the Blues were supported by over 100 of our own supporters who travelled in great numbers, on the coach, in their cars and Regimental train and tube journeys to the end of the Piccadilly Line and to a traditional non-league ground with a warm welcome and parking restrictions everywhere.
Part 3. The introduction of Caleb Capone as a second half substitute. Just 16 years old and a product of the Club’s highly successful U18s set up, Caleb has been banging in goals for fun in the Southern Counties Floodlit Youth League, and joined Dennis Vesho & Nat Coote in being given their colours by Joe Deeney in a show of solidarity and support for the great work carried out by the U18s coaching staff.
Days of incessant and torrential downpours had made it necessary for a morning pitch inspection to be carried out. Great work by the Cockfosters groundsman ensured that the pitch passed its 10am inspection and Cockfosters were rewarded with a bumper Non-League day crowd, and a bar full of thirsty Dunstable Town supporters in celebratory mood at the final whistle.
Due to the numbers of Blues supporters travelling to away matches and the known difficulties parking at Cockfosters, the Club laid on a coach through Travel Partners, Tates Travel, with Miguel at the wheel performing a couple of 33 point turns thanks to the ongoing inconsiderate parking of certain users at Creasey Park & the narrow approach roads to the Cockfosters ground.
The coach was a sell out for supporters and echoed Vice Chair, Matt Carrington’s words on the excellent Talk of the Town podcast, when he spoke recently about the huge steps the Club had made over the past couple of seasons.
On the pitch the win kept Joe Deeney’s men in 4th position and still challenging for a spot in the play-offs. Off the pitch, the Club’s number of owners continues to grow, with another owner signing up on the day and the Club’s community support groups being in particularly high demand in the week.
The Blues were on the front foot from the off. Twice in the first few minutes, Danny Webb was denied by the bobbly pitch. In tricky conditions both sides deserved great credit for trying to play football the right way. A swirling wind behind Cockfosters’ backs in the first half seemed to die down in the second half.
This was a game where Joe Deeney’s demanding attention to detail was rewarded by his troops. All did their jobs superbly and apart from a few minutes at the start of the second half and their consolation goal shortly before the final whistle, the Cockfosters sharp shooters found only limited half chances as the Blues defence went into lockdown mode.
Tolu Ikuyinminu was awarded the Man of the Match award not only for his brace, a goal in each half, sandwiched by another for Joe Sellers West, but also for his tireless display of speed, skill and commitment.
Alfie Osborne captained by example and all over the pitch blue shirts executed the game plan to perfection.
Tolu’s first goal, just before the half hour, owed much to the strength and perseverance of Joe Sellers-West who caused havoc in the home penalty area before playing the ball while on the ground to Tolu on his left hand side. Tolu moved inside, took aim, and fired an unstoppable shot past Connor Sansom in the Cockfosters goal.
With the score at 1 -0 the Blues survived an early second half onslaught from the home side. Referee Chandwani waved away appeals for a penalty kick and the home side hit the bar with the Blues seemingly not quite switched on yet.
Any doubts though among the away faithful that it would turn out to be the proverbial game of two halves were eased when Joe Sellers-West superbly finished a creative piece of play between Ruairi Mills and Danny Webb for the latter to cross from the goal line invitingly for Sellers-West to side foot home from close range despite the close attention of his defender and Sansom. Joe’s goal takes his tally to 12 for the season and only two behind leading marksman, Kelvin Osei-Addo, who came on as a second half substitute.
Dunstable were unlucky not to grab a third as a thunderbolt from Alfie Osborne took a deflection and crashed against the crossbar, with Assistant Referee Frank Van der Wens raising his flag as Ethan Creary headed the rebound narrowly over.
Deeney shuffled his pack using all five substitutes at his disposal. With four games due to be played in the next seven days, making sure none of his squad gets too leggy will be a tough ask. Luke Dunstan & new signing & former Blues favourite, Ryan Young, will be available for Tuesday night’s trip to Aylesbury Vale Dynamos, but with Risborough Rangers due at Creasey Park just 48 hours later on the Thursday night and Biggleswade Utd on Saturday, 36 hours later, Deeney will need to rotate his squad of players to keep the levels high.
Dunstable’s third goal came two minutes before the 90, and was Tolu Ikuyinminu’s 9th of the season. Showing great control out on the left, dinked his way past a couple of defenders before calmly slotting home past the advancing keeper.
If Tolu can net again this season, he will become the fifth Dunstable player to get into double figures, joining not only Osei-Addo and Sellers-West but Danny Webb & Kyle Faulkner.
The game was won and the fans started their celebrations. In the 5th minute of stoppage time, Cockfosters scored a late consolation goal with Chris Griffin directing his header smartly past Carl Knox in the Blues goal.
With the weather as unpredictable as it is, Blues supporters are advised to keep a close eye on the Club’s social media accounts to make sure they don’t get caught out by the elements and miss a moment of what is going to be an exciting, nail-biting, edge of your seat, run in to the end of the season.