After a late equaliser led to a penalty shoot-out defeat for Dunstable Town on Tuesday, things got off to a pretty bad start on their short journey to Hertfordshire on Saturday.
It took the home side six minutes to open the scoring, when Dan Gould could only push a shot from the edge of the box into the path of a London Colney attacker, who couldn't fail to give his side the lead.
Dunstable came to life after going behind, and despite playing on a surface that presumably had cabbages and potatoes inches beneath the players feet, started playing some neat football.
Kyle Faulkner made an impact on his debut for the Blues, and created their first chance with a great free kick from the left, but Ethan Creary couldn't keep his header down.
Dunstable Town stalwart Dan Trif was instrumental in the build-up for the equaliser, intercepting a short pass in the middle of the park before his cross was headed down by Joe Sellers-West into Faulkner's path. The defender managed to block the resulting shot, unfortunately for him, with his hands. Faulkner stepped up and slotted home to score a debut goal and restore parity.
Barely two minutes later and the Blues took the lead, with Faulkner again instrumental in the build-up, flicking the ball over the head of the defender in a distinctly Gascoigne-esque manner, before seeing his shot deflected wide for a corner. Liam McCrohan was at the backpost to meet the corner and give Town a deserved lead, and as with Faulkner before him, it was his first goal for the club.
Outnumbering the home fans by quite a margin, the travelling Dunstable fans didn't have to wait long before the margin on the scoreline was also widened. With thirty-six minutes played, Trif and Sellers-West again linked up well, with the latter playing Terence Muchineripi in down the left, and his shot was inch perfect into the bottom corner, a fine way to score your first goal for Dunstable Town.
The away side were not in a merciful mood, and there were chances for more before half time, the Colney goalkeeper fumbling a shot before recovering on the goal line, and then a Kwazim Theodore overhead kick headed off the line the most notable examples.
The home goalkeeper had a difficult game, but made a brace of fine saves early in the second half from free kicks, palming one round the post before tipping a deflected effort onto the crossbar. These saves could have proved important when Town allowed Colney back into the game, conceding a headed goal with twenty-five minutes left to play.
London Colney exerted pressure for a spell, and threatened an equaliser on a couple of occasions, most notably a chipped cross/shot which rebounded off the upright before hitting Dan Gould on its way out for a corner.
Almost a month ago to the day, Charlie Ogle was scoring the winner against Dunstable Town for Aylesbury Vale Dynamos, but today, having signed for the Blues, he was on hand to score his first goal for the club, which was apparently the theme for the day. When Brodie Cousins won possession in the middle of the park, he played it to Faulkner, who drove at the defence before turning and centring for Ogle, whose shot was flapped into the net by the dismayed goalkeeper. With little over ten minutes to play, this looked to be the breathing space Dunstable needed.
Two minutes later Faulkner got his second of the game. Good work from Sellers-West and Dylan Baker, coupled with the London Colney backline failing to clear, allowed Baker to lay the ball to Faulkner from the by-line to side-foot home, putting the cherry on top.
Led by debutant captain and man of the match Jamie Nicholls, the Blues climbed out of the relegation zone, and will look to build on what was a fantastic performance when Oxhey Jets visit Creasey Park on Saturday afternoon.
Written by Patrick MacKay
Photos by Liam Smith