On a chilly Sunday evening, Dunstable Town had been drawn away vs Northern Premier side Stotfold Juniors who were sitting 2nd in their league table.
Due to a 45-minute delay (ref delayed), the Dunstable players had plenty of time to stretch and sober up from Saturday's festivities!
Dunstable started well playing with a 3-4-1 formation with both Green and O’Brien finding their feet well and getting on the ball early. Stotfold had a very lively forward who worked hard and pressed the Dunstable backline well causing a degree of unrest in the opening stages as both teams were finding their feet. Dunstable however clicked into gear quickly and so marauding runs from O’Brien were keeping the Stotfold defence penned in on the edge of their box with J Hutchings carrying on where he left off from the previous week and offering a real threat up top with some lovely hold up play and genuine threat in the air.
The first goal came after some great build up play down the right hand side, Ian Pegrum played the ball inside the Green who played a first time ball into the path of Lew Hutchings who expertly found his brother in a perfect position to slam the ball home from 5 yards out 1-0 Town!
Dunstable’s confidence grew with Rob Kurzawa doing a fantastic job on the Stotfold danger man enabling Golding and Keeble to start doubling up down the left hand side…the next chance came after another Golding and Keeble link up with the Stotfold CB coming out to meet Golding for a 50/50 challenge and ending up on his backside. Golding continued his drive forward down the left hand side before cutting the ball back to the onrushing Jay Hutch who directed his effort towards goal only to see the Stotfold goalkeeper turn into prime David Seaman and claw the ball back from the line as it looked to be a certain Dunstable goal! Outstanding save and a sign of things to come!
A terrific cross from Keeble from the left hand side found Jay Hutch at the back post who jumped high and forced a terrific save from Stotfold No.1 who not only kept out Hutchings's header but was also alive to save the follow up effort from Lew Hutch!
The second goal was coming and sure enough, Hutchings was involved this time it was Lew Hutch with an inch perfect cross finished off by the ever green Ryan Keeble who timed his run to perfection and finished with aplomb 2-0! At this point Jay Hutch’s hangover had caught up so Liam came into the game and provided some much needed energy and desire up top to help Dunstable see the game out to halftime.
As the second half began Stotfold came out with purpose and had several long range efforts that were dealt with comfortably from the standing keeper Craig Saunders who was a Rock at the back as well as using his experience to just talk the team through the game. There were some fantastic spells of play from Dunstable who in all honestly were very comfortable for the majority of the game and saw the game out in a very professional manner.
If it wasn’t for the Stotfold goalkeeper the scoreline would have been a lot larger as he pulled out some great saves to Deny Jay Hutch & Keeble as well as some resolute defending from the Stotfold team. A fantastic performance from all involved and a very hard week to pick the MOM but it went to Bazza for a domineering performance in the middle of the pitch.