Photos by Liam Smith
The long awaited launch of the Dunstable Town vets team finally got underway this past Sunday in the southern first division with the blues taking on league favourites Denbigh FC who finished only second on goal difference.
Manager Chris Golding was keen to not only field a competitive team made up of players who share in the morals and beliefs that our club that are installing across all age groups around football for all and being inclusive for the community. Golding was fortunate enough to be able to field several players from the club's incredibly popular walking football section.
On a very hot summer evening, the gents took to a very warm Beds FA pitch with a very good turnout from some very committed Dunstable Town faithful as well as an enthusiastic Denbigh contingent. The game started with Dunstable dominating the ball for the first 10 minutes probing at the Denbigh back line but without any real penetration… around 15 minutes into the game, a long ball caught the Dunstable backline sleeping with the Denbigh no.11 racing after the long ball that was collected by the Dunstable no.1 with the striker kicking out of Potters hands and off the pitch whilst running into the Dunstable keeper. The referee awarded a Denbigh penalty that was comfortably dispatched.
Dunstable went looking for an instant response with our shape became disjointed leading to some overplaying at the back that allowed the Denbigh no.9 to somehow acrobatically get on to a deflected clearance and flick the ball past Potter for a 0-2 lead with 5 minutes of the half to go.
Dunstable were in shock and struggling for answers and where handed a lifeline after some excellent hard work and determination from Lewis Hutchings forcing a mistake at the back and capitalising on the error with a very calm finish beyond the keeper.
Half time and the team got together and adjusted their shape before universally agreeing to get at their opponents and stay to the game plan of moving the ball fast with purpose.
The second half started and Dunstable went on the offensive from the go with the forward line of Giddy, Robson and Hutch pressing high allowing Howson and Green to dominate the Denbigh midfield and showing a clear level of class and ability moving the ball at speed with quality.
Dunstable worked the ball out wide and quick thinking from Saunders freed Hutch who linked up beautifully with Howson and green before delivering into the area with a powerful driving finish from Striker Chris Robson finishing the move of the game with a decisive finish.
Dunstable’s tales were up with Chris Harvey commanding in the backline winning every header and tackle within his radius allowing for Golding to start stepping into midfield to create overloads around the pitch.
Following a Harvey header Golding collected the second ball and strode forward into the Denbigh half before playing the ball out wide to the waiting Hutch, Golding continued his run and was rewarded with a sublime delivery allowing Golding to make contact with an expertly taken first time finish into the far corner.
Dunstable were in control having turned the match on its head and taken the lead 3-2.
Credit to Denbigh who responded well and forced and good save from Potter with a fierce drive from close range.
After a mix up with instructions Robson was given a yellow and an instant sin-bin leaving the Dunstable side down to 8 men. Soon after as Green broke away he was closed down by x2 Denbigh players during the tussle Green lost his footing leading into a lunge that was followed by a slide into a tackle leading to a second Dunstable yellow and sin-bin. With Dunstable playing the remaining 4 minutes with now 7 vs. 9 the gents dug in well and held firm until the final seconds of the game where a free kick allowed the Denbigh side to pack the Dunstable box and with Potters view both restricted as well as blocked by bodies the ball fortuitously found it’s way into the bottom corner to make it 3-3 on the night.
Full credit to a very competitive and organised Denbigh side and was certainly a baptism of fire for this fresh faced Dunstable side who represented the club well on their first outing.
A big thank you to all the Dunstable faithful who came out to support the side on what was a very entertaining game of football.