Written by Andrew Madaras
Photos by Liam Smith
Dunstable Town eased their way into the 1st Round of the Isuzu FA Vase with a comprehensive 4-0 victory at Creasey Park over SSML Division 1 side Holmer Green on Saturday afternoon.
The Blues task was made significantly easier just before the half hour mark and with the score 1-0 to the Blues, when the away side were reduced to 10 men with a player receiving his marching orders for bringing down Joe Sellers-West just outside the area.
What, on paper, was always going to be a big ask for the Greens, then became inordinately more difficult having to play the final hour with just 10 men.
A bumper crowd of 266 witnessed the victory, no doubt swelled by the International Break, but this was the fourth time this season the home gate had attracted more than 250, and the fourth time the lads had scored four or more goals in four successive games, and just for the record, the first time since the Club became run by the fans in 2017, that the team had won four games back to back.
It took the average gate up to 204, in all competitions and judging by the enthusiastic backing of 40 plus Junior & Senior Regimentals behind the goal, the infectious enthusiasm, Joe Deeney & Kyle Durcan have generated around Creasey Park and around the town, that figure is set to rise over the course of the season.
The match also brought about the end of a straight run of, count them, 9 home games. When the team play at Colney Heath on Saturday 1st October it will have been two months since they last played away from Creasey Park.
One player who sadly won’t be fit for Saturday is Kyle Davison-Gordon who left the field in extreme pain and needing to go to hospital. Kyle needed surgery on a dislocated wrist and will be sidelined for a few weeks.
Holmer Green’s best chance came early on. After 7 minutes they had a golden opportunity to go ahead but couldn’t capitalize on the chance, and instead found themselves one nil down when Ethan Creary side-footed home through a crowd of players following a deflected cross which hit the far post and fell invitingly for Creary to finish confidently.
The Green’s goal was living a charmed life with the woodwork, some fine goalkeeping & and some excellent last minute defending denying the home side.
The woodwork again came to the Green’s rescue on 34 minutes when Liam McCrohan was denied by the post.
The Blues were taking full advantage of the additional player and applied extensive pressure with wave after wave of blue shirts pressing forward.
The Greens goalkeeper was having an excellent game but even he was unable to stop Kyle Faulkner scoring his 7th goal of the season with a neat finish from a chance he made his own following a long clearance at the back from J’Ardell Stirling.
The Blues took their two goal lead into the half time break and continued the second half where they’d left off at the end of the first half, firmly on the front foot.
Terrence Muchineripi sent over an inviting cross from the left which Joe Sellers-West met sweetly but couldn’t keep his header down.
Then on 47 minutes an own goal which summed up Holmer Green’s luck on the day. A cross from Ethan Creary had to be played by the defender running towards goal. On his left shoulder was Kyle Faulkner who would have had a tap in if the luckless defender hadn’t got to it first. When your luck is in, the ball is cleared into the car park but not on this occasion and the ball flew into the net.
Deeney shuffled the pack and brought on newly signed striker, Sean Emmanuel. Emmanuel with one of his first touches struck the ball low and hard. It struck Joe Sellers-West and wrong footed the goalkeeper who could do nothing about it.
4-0 on 64 minutes and although there were no further goals, Dunstable kept up the pressure but found the Green’s defence determined not to concede again.
The Blues progressed into the First Round, one of 206 clubs still in the draw for the chance of a place at Wembley in May.
Their next opponents will be Step 6 Norwich CBS FC who play in the Thurlow Nunn Eastern Division 1 league on Saturday 22nd October at Creasey Park.
Before then, the Blues have four away matches, the first of those being at Colney Heath on Saturday 1st October. They then travel to Tring on Tuesday 4th October in the Premier Division Cup before entertaining Leighton Town at Creasey Park on Saturday 8th October.
Spectators are advised to arrive early for what is expected to be the largest gate of the season.