Written by Andrew Madaras
Photo by @BabaieLinda
It’s been a good festive campaign for the Blues, with two consecutive wins under their belts for only the second time this season. The champagne cork popping moment on Saturday came courtesy of a Joe Sellers-West penalty deep into the game’s last knockings. Benji Crilley had broken free and beaten his man before being challenged on the goal line to the right of the goal. Referee Neil Angus pointed to the spot and JSW did his bit to send the loyal Blue faithful back home up the M1 with a spring in their steps and smiles on their faces.
Colney Heath will be relieved that they won’t need to play the Blues again this season. At Creasey Park in the Bedfordshire monsoon season, they were undone by a late winner from Tolu Ikuyinminu, where Kyle Faulkner’s challenge on the defender out on the far-left hand side was the game’s controversial deciding point. On Saturday the debate about the penalty lingered long after the final whistle had blown.
It will be no consolation to Colney Heath that the Blues “deserved a bit of luck” As I’d written after the FC Romania game this season has been almost devoid of luck going the way of Joe Deeney’s men. Football wisdom is that over the course of the season, poor decisions, dodgy penalties, bad luck and missed sitters all work their way out and the even themselves up and the final table will show the teams in their rightful places on merit.
Colney Heath came into the game as the form team of the League. Five wins from their last six games meant Matt Day’s men could aspire to join the clubs vying for the play off places. However, what has been a problem for them is scoring goals. A return of just 28 goals from 22 games makes them 15th in the goal scoring table. If scoring has been a problem, then keeping them out has been a more successful venture. They boast the 6th meanest defence in the League and in truth, both sides on Saturday largely cancelled each other out.
Conditions were far from easy or conducive to free flowing expressive tiki-taka football but the healthy crowd of 163, the highest of the season, and over 50% higher than their average were just grateful to see a game of football. Storm Francis and the antediluvian volume of rain that had fallen caused huge flooding at Aylesbury Vale Dynamos and damaged their stand behind the goal and Saturday’s game was one of only four Spartan Premier League games to survive the weather.
New signing Ezra Forde was out injured. Alfie Osborne returned in the only changes made to the starting lineup from the eleven that had started against Crawley Green the previous Saturday.
While the home side may have fancied their chances before kick off once the game kicked off Dunstable showed the dogged determination, resilience and battle they had shown against Crawley Green, and were competitive all over the park. It was going to take something special to get past the Dunstable backline. The away fans voted for Sam Scott to be awarded the Man of the Match award. Sam’s game seems to have grown since the arrival of Will McLelland from Arlesey Town. Will had another good game and his partnership with Sam despite being only two games old has contributed to the Blues keeping two consecutive clean sheets for the first time this season.
Honourable mentions though for all the players. Each man did their job. And in the end, the Blues got the rub of the green, something which has been elusive and evaded them for much of the season.
The win keeps the Blues in 12th place. Head Coach Joe Deeney will expect nothing less than 100% effort and application from his players and hope that the same desire, application and hunger they have shown in the past two and a half matches continues on Saturday & for the rest of the season.
On Saturday the Blues are at home to Potton Utd, kick off is at 3 pm. Before then though the U18s are at home on Thursday evening at Creasey Park. Ciaran Alexander’s young guns take on Hemel Hempstead with an earlier kick off time of 7.30.