Written by Andrew Madaras
Stoppage time heartache for the Blues who for a second consecutive week conceded a very late goal which saw Potton Utd return to The Hollow with a share of the spoils, which with just over 10 minutes left to play did not seem a likely scenario.
The feeling of disappointment was palpable throughout the camp as referee, Marcus Tingey called time on what had been an excellent game of football, played in the right spirit and well officiated.
Sometimes a draw can feel like a win and sometimes like a loss. The deflated expressions around Creasey Park after 5 pm told you this was the latter.
The scoreline didn’t do justice to the Blues performance. In control for long periods and “cruising” particularly once Danny Webb’s second goal for the Club in the 70th minute, many in the crowd of 209 were looking forward to a celebratory drink in the bar with the players and coaching staff after the final whistle.
That all changed with the dismissal of Robbie Goodman who handled on the line trying to block a goalbound shot. Ball to hand or hand to ball, doesn’t make an iota of difference these days. Video evidence suggests Robbie was facing the net and had his back to the shot, but referees have decisions to make in milliseconds and Dunstable offered no protests. Robbie received a red card and to add insult to injury Finbar King converted the resulting penalty.
Game on. As every football fan will tell you that air of inevitability seeped into conscious thoughts. Potton probed forward but were repelled on every occasion. Men were kept behind the ball.
The Deeney instinct. The Deeney DNA. His teams, this team, our team, hard to break down, hard to beat, and hard to score against from open play. Deeney’s trademark style.
And it was so nearly successful. But, just as happened at Tring seven days earlier, Dunstable had a hand in their own version of a Greek Tragedy when David Parkinson fired home in the 95th minute to spoil Dunstable’s day. Make no mistake it was an excellent finish which left Coulson with no chance of saving it.
When the Team has underperformed and stuttered through matches, thankfully only on rare occasions, I’ve never shied away from saying so, diplomatically and politely, because of my total respect for our management team and playing staff who individually possess more football knowledge and skill in their little toes than I do in my entire being, but also when has ever kicking anyone when they’re down acted as a motivational masterstroke? It’s a rhetorical question by the way.
But Saturday’s performance wasn’t one of those days, and this isn’t one of those reports. Dunstable didn’t get what they deserved. Man to man they were on their game from the first whistle.
The pass and move had returned. The dots had been joined.
Alfie Osborne returned from suspension to wear the One Love skipper’s armband. Well done to Vice Chair & Treasurer, Matt Carrington for arranging everything and showing the Club’s support for the LGBTQ+ community and solidarity with the England Team, and other European nations, who were forbidden from wearing identical armbands at the World Cup.
Physio Adam Ashton is busy treating the DTFC walking wounded. Alfie’s position at Centre Half was a sign that the list of players still out had not get any shorter.
Tolu & Ruari just seem to get better and better every game in unfamiliar but certainly becoming more accustomed full back positions. If you haven’t listened to Tolu’s interview with Andy Burrows on the Talk of the Town podcast, please do so. No spoilers from me, but if you want the personification of dedication then Tolu Ikuyinmenu is your man.
The midfield engine room drove the team on all afternoon. Luke Dunstan, Harry Beaumont and Joe Sellers-West were immense all afternoon. Up front, Kyle Faulkner, Danny Webb and James Verney all started. The run of bad luck with injuries continued though as both Faulkner & Verney needed to be substituted due to injury.
Dunstable finally got the goal they deserved with a downward header from Alfie Osborne on 30 minutes. Harry Beaumont’s perfectly flighted corner finding Alfie, unmarked, and 8 yards out, who headed the ball down so the bounce beat the keeper and went in off the underside of the bar.
Potton were not without attacking endeavour of their own and may have done better from close range on a couple of occasions, with the Blues being grateful for the crossbar on another occasion and the agility of Connor Coulson getting down low to keep out a free kick on another.
The second goal from Danny Webb arrived on 70 minutes. Connor Coulson kicked long and Webb found himself one on one with the keeper. Danny’s lob was perfectly executed and with Dunstable doubling their lead all looked good until Potton’s two late goals and a share of the points.
The result leaves the Blues in 10th place but with games in hand over teams above them.
On Wednesday we take on AFC Dunstable in a game dubbed “El Creaseyco”. Kick off is 7.45 pm and although normal admission prices apply, Platinum and Gold owners and season ticket holders get free admission.
On Sunday 4th December the Blues play what will be their biggest game of the season so far, and their biggest game for a number of years, when they take on Tring Athletic in the 3rd round of the Isuzu FA Vase at Creasey Park. Kick off is 3 pm.
This will be the fourth time this season the two teams will have met. At the moment it’s all square with both teams winning once and one game finishing in a 2-2 draw. A larger than average crowd is expected, and supporters are reminded to park in the overflow car park and use the walkthrough at the top left hand corner which connects both car parks, less than 50m away.
Additional catering is being provided by Farmhouse Catering who will be serving delicious hot pies, mash and gravy, which proved so popular at the Enfield FC game in the last round. Don’t forget to show your Blue Card to get your owner’s discount.