Not quite the walking wounded, but almost. The extent of the problem facing Gareth & Ryan with over a dozen players injured, suspended or unavailable was evident with being able to name only three substitutes. This was a very commendable performance, full of desire, passion and plenty of very pleasing to the eye, pass and move football, Dunstable deserved something from the game but got nothing despite a battling performance.
Playing at the superbly equipped Armadilo Stadium the game was played for long periods in driving torrential rain but in good spirit and with both sides looking to keep the ball on the ground.
The only goal of the game came after 16 minutes, and against the run of play, but Dunstable battled back strongly and on 24 minutes Evans Lamboh was denied by a fine save by the Arlesey keeper.
Dunstable Man of the Match, Helder Lopes, linked up well with Khy Smith Reed and Leo Pedro. Evans Lamboh caused problems all evening with his probing runs.
In midfield, Dan Blackman put in the type of performance that fans love to see. Balls being delivered cross-field straight to the feet of colleagues, and biting tackles against opponents.
Gregg Douglas looked composed and wore the Captain’s armband due to Chris Stapleton being injured. Gregg gave little away and with Dan Trif putting in his usual 100%, Temi Oladejo and Louis Octave looked to keep things tight at the back. There was a welcome return for Tommy Twelves who put in a good shift.
The goal had an element of controversy about it with Dunstable fans indignant that a perceived infringement in the first passage of play had missed the attention of the three Officials. With Evans Lamboh foiled midway through the first half, Dunstable kept pressing but to no avail.
Matters took a turn for the worse midway through the second half when Dan Gould received a straight red card for a professional foul which probably saved his Team from going two goals down. No complaints from the Dunstable bench as a sublime through the ball split the Dunstable defence and saw Dan “take one for the team”.
With Dan red-carded on came Ted Daniels who gave an assured and polished performance between the sticks and made sure the defence wasn’t breached for the remaining minutes.
Dan Blackman managed to talk his way into the referee’s book and as the game wore on Gareth threw caution to the wind and made his final substitutions with Roy Byron replacing Temi Oladejo and Davide Pobbe coming on for Helder Lopes.
A late flurry from Dunstable nearly paid dividends but Arlesey held firm and claimed the three points. A good turn out from the Dunstable faithful gave the players and coaches a standing ovation at the end. They deserved it. There’s no shortage of commitment or ability to get the season back on course. Three decent consecutive performances have yielded only one point but as long as the performances remain positive and players return from injury the tide will turn and we will climb the table. We keep the faith.
Dunstable Town FC Man of the Match (chosen by the Committee) Helder Lopes.