Written by Andrew Madaras
Photos by Chris White and Liam Smith
Dunstable Town returned to winning ways on Saturday with a 2 – 1 victory over Leverstock Green in front of a bumper crowd of 220 on a sunny afternoon at Creasey Park.
Goals from Remell Stirling and Dylan Baker were enough to secure the three points despite the visitors scoring from the penalty spot on 89 minutes to ensure the home faithful had to endure a very anxious six minutes of added on time.
Overall the Blues were well worth the three points and remain in 10th position in the table.
The teams had last met on the 28th of August when the Green had won with some considerable ease against a Dunstable side that had been without Dan Gould and Dan Trif. Joe Mead had been an unused sub.
On Saturday all three started and all were crucial in the victory.
Match Sponsor, Page Maintenance Ltd, awarded Man of the Match to Joe Mead, Dan Trif provided the assists to both goals and Dan Gould needed to be at his best to deny the men in green a goal from outfield.
Joe Parmley, Ruari Mills and Remell Stirling all kept their places in the starting X1 following excellent performances in the Dudley Latham Cup on Tuesday.
Their tremendous form poses selection headaches for Head Coach, Joe Deeney & Assistant Kyle Durcan. There is strength in depth in the Dunstable squad which had experienced old hands Jamie Nicholls, Dan Naylor and Kelvin Osei-Addo on the subs bench alongside Benji Gray & Jack Percy.
Sitting on the subs bench for the away side was 48-year-old Scott McGleish. Scott is a former professional who made over 600 Football League appearances at Peterborough, Northampton, Wycombe, Bristol Rovers, Colchester and Barnet, with a further 300 or so in the non-league game. Scott had played the full 90 minutes v Harefield Utd on Tuesday. The consummate professional.
The visitors started the most lively and pressed hard for the first 10 minutes having several shots on goal, although none worried Gould.
Dunstable came back into the game and began to press forward with greater urgency.
J’Ardell Stirling had a header cleared off the line but it was his younger brother who was in the right place at the right time to do justice to a fine piece of play from Dan Trif on the right hand side. Trif beating his man and cutting inside to square the ball to Stirling who calmly picked his spot, before side-footing the ball past the diving hands of Alfie Bonfield.
That’s three goals in his first five starts for the former Borehamwood Academy teenager.
Stirling and colleagues were now in the ascendancy but couldn’t find the back of the net again.
The attendance of 220 helped create a winning prize of £95 on the 50-50 draw. Hopefully, some of the new spectators who were taking advantage of the Club’s “pay what you want” promotion to celebrate Non-League Day, will have seen enough flair and determination to come back again.
Dunstable’s second goal was a marvellous example of Dylan Baker’s all round skill. His looping header from Dan Trif’s cross leaving Bonfield unable to prevent his side from going down two down with less than ten minutes of the 90 still to play. Baker’s last goal had been exactly five months to the day when Leighton Town visited Creasey Park.
Moments earlier Bonfield had kept his side in the contest with a fine save from Terrence Muchineripi.
However, Leverstock Green kept battling and forced their way back into the game with an 89th minute penalty which was driven powerfully and accurately, low to the left of Dan Gould’s full length dive by substitute Ethan Mooney.
Referee, Louis Stamp indicated there would be a further six minutes of added on time.
Kelvin Osei-Addo nearly made it three during stoppage time and a free kick just outside the box and pretty central with seconds to go was well defended by the Dunstable wall and the three points were safe.
Dunstable progressed to the Quarter Finals of the Dudley Latham Cup after winning on penalties against Arlesey Town on Tuesday night. Their reward is a home tie at home against Ardley on Thursday 21st April.
As the season draws to an end there is a good spirit in the Dunstable camp. Deeney & Durcan have gone about their business diligently and professionally and have put their stamp on this very young Dunstable team. The work rate is phenomenal, and the commitment and desire match it. No egos, no big time Charlies, no clock watchers or time wasters. It’s the Deaney & Durcan way. The crowd love it and so do community partners and sponsors.
The Club announced a prestigious partnership with the Disability Resource Centre as part of its Community Benefit Society and during half-time presented a cheque for £5,000. to the Cancer Unit at the Luton & Dunstable University Hospital. Fundraising Manager, Peter Bottom, achieved his aim through the Blues 4 – 5K L&D appeal and thanked everyone who had given so generously during the campaign.
This Tuesday the Blues travel back to New Lamb Meadow to play Baldock, who ground share at Arlesey Town, kick off is 7.45 pm. On Saturday they travel to Holmer Green, kick off is 3 pm.