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Match Report: Flitwick Blues 2-3 Dunstable Town U15 Lions

Match Day 1: 17 September 2022



Pre Season

The 2022 season finished in a bitter way for Town. Beaten by a more physical Tattenhoe side to the league title on the last day of the season and then losing the cup final. Bounce back is now key. I will liken the summer changes at Dunstable to Edu and Arteta at The Arsenal; the only difference being that Joe and Sam do not have as big a magnetic board to use! There has been a deliberate shift in culture, expectations and playing staff. Physicality, quality, pace and creativity have been added in all areas of the park. The side has been balanced out and while some long serving and talented players have parted company with the Blues, the side is probably the best it has ever been. The team has experimented with tactics and formations, allowing a greater tactical flexibility; being able to go from an attacking 4-3-3 to a defensive 4-5-1 / 5-4-1. Town are able to adopt a high press and also a set defensive shape to greater levels, making them difficult to beat.


Pre-season was therefore exciting. The team played some excellent passing football that culminated in a Tournament win at Dunstable. Town made every semi final and usually the final. Town were never outclassed. The aim was bonding a new group of players together. This was further achieved at a day at the water park on the inflatables. The new management team is experienced, passionate and with wide footballing knowledge. This should get the best out of the players. It carefully builds on the foundations of the previous manager who adeptly led the team. Their aim is clear. It is lofty….the double or nothing!


Pre Game

As a mark of respect, following the death of her Majesty the Queen, all football was cancelled last weekend so today’s game becomes a tough opener. Flitwick have recruited well. They have pace and strength upfront and are combative in midfield. A summer tournament meeting will have provided both sides with an opportunity to size each other up. If Dunstable want to achieve the goals set, then this is a game that will set a useful marker towards that objective. To add extra spice, first team Manager Joe Deeney was in attendance to watch the proceedings.



First Half

Following an impeccably observed minutes silence for her majesty, the game began in a scrappy way with the ball bouncing around and no one gaining control of the game. The two styles of play were obvious: Town wanting to play and dominate on the ball and Flitwick looking to get the ball forwards, into the channels, to turn the defence and play on the counter attack. This proved how the opening chance came about. Flitwick put the ball over the top and it relied on some good defending from Jayden who managed to get the striker off balance as he shot.


Town moved the ball well through the phases and a wonderful ball into the box should have brought the opening goal. Ads beat the keeper to the ball and it was scrambled off the line. Jayden took the ball off Cookie and sprayed a diagonal ball to Buddy. it was shifted onto Darren, who was fouled. The free kick was cleared. Darren’s quick feet gained him space in the box and he shot tamely at the keeper. Flitwick continued with their counter attacking style and Cookie produced an excellent sliding tackle to stop the striker rounding him to score. However, in the 21st minute, against the run of play, Town went behind. The ball was allowed to bounce and the Flitwick striker lofted the ball over Cookie. It was an excellent finish (0-1). This did not change the pattern of Town’s play and with the clock counting down to half time Town found an equaliser. Darren’s hold up play was good. The ball went to Josh and he rolled the ball into the corner from a central position. (1-1). It was the least Town deserved.


Second Half

Flitwick started the second half brightly. The ball bobbled around the box and Cookie was forced to save. He scrambled around the box and rolled the ball quickly out to Charlie. Charlie played squared to Joe. He put a delicious ball in between the right back and centre half. Josiah gambled, ran on to it and rifled the ball home, with his left foot, to give Town the lead. (1-2) There was a real sense that Town needed another to secure the win, as the game was so close. Flitwick came back and Cookie palmed a free kick over the bar. Flitwick pressed high and this led to their equaliser. Town were not quick enough with the ball and gave possession away on the edge of the box. Cookie blocked a shot, but it fell to a Flitwick striker, who passed it square and his striker partner took a touch and smashed home into an empty net. This was an avoidable goal to concede. (2-2) The game descended onto a midfield battle with neither dominating possession nor controlling the game. However, with 16 minutes to go, Town managed to get the winner. A corner was not cleared, Ben got a knee on the bouncing ball and diverted it to Josiah, who drilled down on the ball to find the side netting. (2-3) Flitwick appealed for handball, but the referee was unmoved. The goal stood. There was still a long time to go and much to their annoyance, Flitwick had a goal ruled out for offside. However, Town stood firm and saw the game out for a vital win against a side who will be there or there abouts at the end of the season.



Post Game

Two key features stood out from Town’s play. Firstly, Buddy’s crossing was excellent all game. The full back put in crosses quickly with pace and from the half space (a tactic Pep uses at City with De Bruyne). This type of cross is effective against a deep lying defence and gives the strikers the run of the defence who can ball watch. Additionally, Town were most effective when they moved the ball to the wings as Josh and Darren looked dangerous all game. Town were the better passing team and dealt well with Flitwick’s physicality. Le Vien said in his post match comments that “it was a big win” with “all 16 playing their part” and “making positive contributions.” Sam simply roared “Yes!” What will have pleased the gaffers most was the togetherness and the game management in the final 10 minutes. Town saw out the win; a win that showed they can mix it up.


Goals: Josh (1), Josiah (2)

Assists: Darren (1), Joe (1) Ben (1)







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