Written by Andrew Madaras
Pictures by L-Smith Photography
A thrilling match settled by “kicks from the penalty mark” as the FA rulebook likes to call a good old-fashioned penalty shoot-out, saw Dunstable Town progress into the third round of the SSML Premier Division Cup with the reward being another home tie on Thursday 21st April against Ardley Utd, who by coincidence, will be our opponents less than 48 hours later in our final League game of the season.
So, for the second time in less than a fortnight, Joe Deeney’s men have got the better of their Bedfordshire rivals. On the 12th March, the Blues won away 2–0 at the New Lamb Meadow, and although Kelvin Osei-Addo struck a delightful 13th minute goal, Dunstable needed the heroics of Dan Gould to progress into the next round.
With the Blues staring defeat in the face, Gould made two magnificent penalty saves to leave Joe Mead with the task of dispatching his penalty to get the win. Mead, looked the calmest man in Creasey Park as he struck the ball confidently into the back of the net from 12 yards.
Thermal vests and gloves had been put back into wardrobes as Spring put in a much-welcomed appearance.
Dunstable were forced into several changes. Liam McCrohan, Jamie Nicholls, Joe Sellers-West all out injured with Dan Naylor, Terrence Muchineripi and Kyle Faulkner carrying knocks & niggles and needing to start on the bench.
Joining them on the bench was long ball throw in specialist, Benji Crilley and exciting teenage prospect Axel Piesold.
The changes meant welcome starts for Joe Mead, Joe Parmley, Ruari Mills and Kelvin Ossei-Addo.
All four have waited patiently for their opportunity to show the fans what they’re about. All four have shown tremendous loyalty and all four justified Joe & Kyle’s decision to start them on Tuesday.
It was Kelvin though who made the biggest first impression. Skipper for the night, J’Ardell Stirling intercepted a ball in the middle of the park and fed the ball through to Dan Trif overlapping on his right. Dan beat two men and crossed for Kelvin who turned on a sixpence and rifled the ball home left footed with precision and power.
Moments before that he’d shown speed and power to lose his man and fire narrowly over.
However as hard as they tried Dunstable could not find the elusive second goal.
There was no shortage of effort or desire but Arlesey managed to keep the back door shut, and while that’s the case then it only takes one well taken chance to get back into the game.
With somewhat predictability that was what happened just after the hour mark when Gould could only stand and watch as Jake Davis equalized from 8 yards out following good work down the left hand side and a clever cutback.
Dunstable made a double substitution. Kyle Faulkner replaced Kelvin Ossei-Addo, and Terrence Muchineripi replaced Benji Gray.
Momentum swung back in favour of the home side but despite the lions share of possession and chances, they couldn’t find the back of the net again.
However, despite the lottery of penalties, Dunstable managed to come through the test of nerves and secure their place in the next round v Ardley Utd.
Saturday sees the visit of Leverstock Green to Creasey Park. To celebrate Non-League Day, admission will be “pay what you want” with fans being able to enjoy specialist Caribbean catering from Jamaica Mi Crazy as well as Creasey Park’s own Bestie Burgers and Barry’s Frys.
Creasey Park launch a unique lager on Saturday. Crossbar is a specialist lager brewed by Greene King. Every fan buying a pint of Crossbar will be entered into a half-time competition to have the opportunity to hit the crossbar from 45 yards and win a free pint from the bar.