Written by Andrew Madaras
Photos by Liam Smith
A scintillating display of free-flowing, attacking football from Joe Deeney’s on form side saw them score four or more goals for the sixth time this season. For their opponents, Leverstock Green, this was the first time they had conceded four goals in the League this term.
The Blues produced one of those performances when everything “clicked” and went to plan. The win saw the Blues climb to third in the table and another above average crowd pushed the season average back above 200.
The final score of 4-1 didn’t flatter the Blues. Their dominance all over the park was evident & the Green couldn’t find the answer to how to stop the waves of blue shirts pressing forward.
The two teams last met in October at Pancake Lane where a late goal from Sean Immanuel had been enough to give the Blues a share of the points in a 2-2 draw. Games between these two sides are traditionally closely fought with the Green under the experienced management of Fergus Moore & veteran, Scott McGleish, always a difficult & competitive side to play against. This season they’ve boasted the 4th best defensive record in the League, having conceded, before kick off, a miserly 24 goals in just 24 matches.
In a blitzkrieg nine minute first half spell the Blues scored three times. Sandwiched in between the second and third goals, was a goal for former AFC man, John Shamalo, who reduced the arrears before Tolu Ikuyminu scored his second, just a minute later.
Tolu’s brace showed composure and a clinical finish for the chances created for him. He could even claim the assist for Joe Sellers-West who scored while lying on the ground for Dunstable’s second goal, the original cross from Danny Webb on the right had just failed to find Joe’s diving head.
A lovely goal which started with Connor Coulson playing the ball out to Ruari Mills who found the adventurous Webb who got to the bye-line for Tolu to return the cross and Sellers-West to score probably the most unorthodox goal of his career.
Webb had been unfortunate not to be on the score sheet early on when his bullet header produced a good save from Austin Byfield in the Leverstock goal.
Shamalo had outjumped the Blues defence to pull a goal back but Benji Crilley’s long throw out on the right just 60 seconds later caused panic in the Green defence, who couldn’t clear their lines. The ball bounced free to Tolu who steadied himself and from a tight angle found the back of the net with power and precision.
The goals coming in the 29th, 31st and 38th minutes, statistically at least, the periods of the game when the Blues have scored the fewest number of goals all season.
A towering header from Joe Sellers-West on the verge of half time couldn’t do justice to Luke Dunstan’s perfectly flighted corner kick. Joe’s header unfortunately clearing the cross bar.
But this had been a super display from the Blues and the perfect antidote for a goalless 90 minutes at Harpenden, five days earlier.
If there were any half-time doubts among supporters that the home side might take their foot off the gas in the second half, anxieties were quickly put aside. On the hour mark, Webb got his deserved goal. Webb boasts an impressive record of a goal every other game and has justified Deeney’s decision to seek his signature in the autumn.
Twice before then, he’d been denied by the impressive Byfield with excellent positioning and safe hands.
His goal when it came was largely due to Ruari Mills’ quick thinking and alertness who intercepted a forward pass and unselfishly passed to Webb, who found himself in acres of space and able to pick his spot to give the Blues an unassailable lead.
On Tuesday night the Blues travelled 12 miles down the A1081 to Rothamsted Park, Harpenden, and returned home with a well deserved point under their belts. It was the type of battling performance that Deeney has demanded of his side if they’re to be challenging for honours at the end of the season. The value of Tuesday’s point emphasized by Hapenden’s 4-1 home wins on either side of the midweek match.
Having played Leighton Town in the semi-final of the Dudley Latham Cup on Tuesday night, the Blues travel to Shefford Town & Campton on Saturday. Another large Blues following is expected to try and keep the current seven game unbeaten League run going.