It was another frustrating afternoon for the Blues who left the Brache pointless and without a League win since the victory over Arlesey Town at Creasey Park on October 17th. On the day Crawley Green were worthy winners and Blues fans couldn’t complain at the result.
It’s scant conciliation to remember the two Dunstable efforts that hit the woodwork or the missed penalty all in the first half and all before ex-Blue Jimmy Doherty chased down what looked to have been an overhit pass and with one of those “did he mean it or didn’t he?” shots which may have been a mis-hit cross, the ball sailed over a stranded Connor Coulson hit the far post and went in the back of the net. When your luck’s out, it really is difficult to get the lucky breaks which can lift morale and put smiles back on supporters’ faces.
Jimmy’s goal reminded me of Tolu Ikuyinminu’s goal away at Potton Utd on the first day of last season. And if I go further back into the memory banks Lee Roach’s winner away at Northwood back in 2013 had a similar Je ne sais quoi to it.
Jimmy’s not the only ex-Blue now playing for Paul Blackman’s Clarets. Saturday’s side featured Kai McArthur, Dan Trif, Zion and Joe Hankins. It was Joe who calmly slotted home when 1:1 with Connor Coulson just 10 minutes into the second half to give his side what proved to be an unassailable lead.
Dunstable’s plans took an early blow when Ethan Creary suffered an injury which gave Andrew Osei-Bonsu a chance to get more needed match minutes into his legs.
In the first half, most of the action was in the home side’s half, and it was Jake Anthony whose deft flick could only find the foot of the post and then around the half hour Dylan Baker let fly from fully 25 yards with an absolute thunderbolt which rattled the crossbar before bouncing to safety.
Blues applied pressure and made inroads into the Crawley backline and were rewarded for all their endeavours with a first half penalty. Dan Trif was sinbinned by referee Connor Mackay who had a good game. Jake Anthony stepped up to take the spot kick. He shimmied and struck the ball low to the keeper’s left. The keeper guessed right and the opportunity to give the Blues the lead had vanished.
Preparing myself for a much-needed hot drink at halftime, I’d already started to message some of our overseas supporters with an update when Jimmy Doherty struck in First Half stoppage time.
To make matters worse Joe Hankin’s well taken goal just rubbed salt into the wounds.
Joe & Kyle shuffled the pack and sent on Jesse Armoo and Kelvin Osei-Addo. There was plenty of endeavour from the away side but Crawley defended deep and closed down the Dunstable playmakers and danger men, restricting second half chances.
It’s been a tough season. We’re now approaching the halfway mark and compared to last season at the exact same stage we sit in 11th place compared to 10th place a year ago, albeit having played four more games than last season. On recent form, there is again very little difference in the last six matches played over the two seasons. There’s still a long way to go and 63 League points to play for.
Our home form has been good. Fourteen points from a possible 21, with only the FC Romania defeat showing up red in the results guide. In terms of goals conceded at home, we have the best record in the League. Away from home has been more problematic.
We’ve only secured 6 points from a possible 30 and only Shefford, Arlesey & Sawbridgeworth have endured more away day blues. It’s a stark contrast which Joe & Kyle will want to address and rectify long before the five consecutive final games of the season get played at Creasey Park.