Written by Andrew Madaras
Photos by Liam Smith & Chris White
The League season started in spectacular fashion at Creasey Park where former Blue, Charlie Jones, kept his former teammates out with a string of spectacular saves before Danny Webb came off the subs bench to score two well-taken goals late in the game to give the Blues a winning start to the season and a 2 – 0 victory over Aylesbury Vale Dynamos.
Joe Deeney had asked for a response from his men who had succumbed to a heavy home defeat to Risborough Rangers, just three days earlier in the final pre-season friendly, and a response was just what he got.
The experience and wise head of Joe Reynolds was a factor and a reshuffle of the X1 that had featured on Saturday saw the Blues rattle the crossbar in the first half and Jones making a couple of very important saves.
Luke Dunstan played in on the right of goal by Joe Sellers-West was narrowly over after the Blues had soaked up the early pressure from the visitors.
Ethan Creary played a 60-yard defence splitting pass which enabled Kyle Faulkner to advance on goal. Even from a tight angle, his shot was destined for the near side top corner before Jones became it's equal with an important save.
Ruairi Mill’s pinpoint inswinging corner was met beautifully by Luke Dunstan but his header from a crowded 6 yard line could only find the woodwork.
By now the Regiment, young and not so young members, were in fine voice and creating a great atmosphere for a crowd of 235 to enjoy.
Tolu Ikuyinminu was next to be deprived by Jones, who got down quickly to his right to keep the scores level.
Still, the Blues pressed with an angled shot from Joe Sellers-West whistling past Jones’ far post.
Referee, Robert Poole blew for half-time with the game finely poised and everything to play for.
On the hour mark, Deeney made the first of four substitutions, replacing Reynolds with Danny Webb. Within minutes Webb had been narrowly off target as he aimed for the far hand top corner but he made no mistake on 71 minutes latching on to a through ball from Kyle Faulkner, fired home from 20 yards at the tightest of angles.
By now Creasey Park was rocking. There was noise and excitement everywhere and Deeney’s Barmy Army were rewarded with a second Webb goal on 85 minutes when Tolu’s cross from the left was tuned in by the predatory Webb in the right place at the right time.
The Blues saw out the remaining minutes without further incident and for the second consecutive season got their League campaign off to a winning start.
Just four days later though a very uncharacteristically poor performance from the Blues saw MK Irish deservedly progress into the Preliminary Round of the Emirates FA Cup.
Missing the influence of Joe Sellers-West & Harry Beaumont from Tuesday night’s win, the Blues struggled for most of the 90 minutes to find their rhythm and were outgunned by the home side.
MK Irish led by a first half stoppage time goal from former Blue Mason Spence, but in truth could have been further ahead by that stage. Danny Webb restored hope briefly in the second half with a well-taken goal at the end of a purple patch of Dunstable play which rewarded the large contingent of travelling supporters, only for MK Irish to go down the other end and win a penalty which was duly converted by another former Blue, Ty Ward before the goal of the game in the 84th minute from Ryan Smith sealed Dunstable’s fate.
Blues Head Coach Joe Deeney pulled no punches in his post-match interview with the Talk of the Town podcast, apologising to supporters for his side’s below par performance.
You always get straight talk from Joe, win or lose and he never gives excuses or hides behind platitudes or niceties. He congratulated MK Irish on their win and promised the travelling support a better performance next Saturday 12th August when we travel to St Panteleimon, who this season groundshare at Potters Bar FC.