Written by Andrew Madaras
This was a thoroughly entertaining match which Dunstable won, coming from behind in the second half thanks to two towering headers from J’Ardell & Remell Stirling. Both goals coming from corners on the left-hand side taken by Tom Bryant.
We are hugely grateful to Lincoln City Academy Manager, Jordan McCann who brought the Club’s U18’s to Creasey Park. It’s a 230-mile, 5 hour round trip but this will have been a good run-out for the players of both clubs. The Imps youngsters were a credit to their Club and played some very neat football, which drew warm and appreciative applause from the home support at the end.
Only a fingertip save from Connor Coulson at full stretch tipping a shot onto the bar stopped the away side getting a draw.
Blues Head Coach, Joe Deeney, has the unenviable task of choosing his best 16 players ahead of the first SSML Premier League fixture away at Potton Utd on the 2nd August, with so many staking legitimate claims to be in the starting X1. He and number two, Kyle Durcan, still have two more pre-season friendlies, away at Winslow on Tuesday evening and then away v Luton Town’s U18’s to help resolve the selection quandary.
It's been a remarkable transformation that has taken place on and off the field at Creasey Park in the past 12 months. Deeney & Durcan’s appointment in October last year has had the Heineken effect the Board of Directors hoped it would do with a huge upsurge in gates and season ticket and ownership sales matching the improved results on the pitch.
The attendance was 168 and most will have gone away satisfied that they’d seen their team put in a 5-star performance and leave everything out on the pitch.
An opening goal from Kelvin Osei-Addo after just 7 minutes was just the start Dunstable wanted. Joe Sellers-West had a shot well saved by the Imps keeper but Kelvin, with his poacher’s instincts heightened, reacted quicker than anyone else and grabbed his third goal in pre-season.
The away side levelled 20 minutes later punishing the Blues who lost possession out on the right-hand side. Their counterattack was executed swiftly and with accurate precision.
One all at half time and with everything to play for, the Blues made the wholesale changes to the line up these pre-season games are designed for.
Five minutes into the second half and the away side celebrated a second goal.
Deeney & Durcan urged their team on.
Parity was restored midway through the half, when J’Ardell jumped higher than anyone else to meet a glorious in swinging corner from the cultured foot of Tom Bryant. As soon as J’Ardell’s head connected with the ball it had “Goal” written all over it as the back of the net bulged to the delight of the Regiment behind the goal.
Dunstable now had the bit between their teeth and pressed harder and higher.
It was a case of déjà vu when 9 minutes later, younger brother Remell, scored an almost carbon copy of his brother’s goal. With his goal against Hertford Town last Saturday, that’s now two from two for the ex Borehamwood man.
Referee Tom Ratherham blew the final whistle and both sides knew they’d played their part in providing a great spectacle for supporters.
We wish the young Imps all the best for the coming season.
The Blues travel to Winslow on Tuesday evening and then play Luton Town U18’s at the Brache on Saturday, please note the early kick off at 10 o’clock.