The Club was proud to have secured both a Match Sponsor in the form of Crown Precision Engineering (CPE) in Milton Keynes and a Match Ball Sponsor courtesy of Jeremy Hayes, who is the father of our on-loan goalkeeper, Nick Hayes. This is, to the best of my knowledge, the first time in a long time that dual sponsorship has been secured and is testimony to the faith and belief that companies and individuals have in this Club, its work & its philosophy. A huge thank you to both CPE MK & Jeremy Hayes for their wonderful support.
There had been an early morning pitch inspection to judge whether all of the pitch would thaw from the sharp overnight frost. Once again the Club would like to extend its thanks to local referee Alex Rayment for hastily re-arranging his morning duties to carry out a pitch inspection and then to decline his fee for his services, instead requesting for the second week running that it be paid into Club funds. A wonderful and much appreciated gesture.
There was an air of expectation among the Creasey Park faithful that Basingstoke Town's run of poor form away from home this season might continue and bring a much deserved home win.
Dunstable began the game at a canter and their early game plan so nearly brought dividends when Ty Ward's advanced on Colm McAdden in the Basingstoke goal. McAdden decided to stay tall and did not commit himself too early and hence was able to save Ty's firmly hit shot at the expense of a corner.
On 8 minutes the unthinkable happened. Not for the first time this season, an apparently legitimate and fair tackle inside the Dunstable box was adjudged to have been a foul and a penalty was awarded. The scout from QPR standing next to me and several of the Basingstoke committee members I spoke to all thought the tackle fair but the only view that mattered belonged to the referee who had spotted what he thought to be an infringement. Up stepped Basingstoke no.9, Sam Argent, who hit the ball firmly to Nick Hayes's right hand side and with sufficient direction for it to just evade Nick's fingertips.
Sam Argent ended the day with a personal tally of five goals and credit has to be paid to Terry Brown and his Team for the manner in which they went about their duties today. They were able to put together some attractive moves and in Sam Argent have a player who took his chances well and will no doubt remember today with a good deal of personal pride.
However even the most unbiased neutral, and there were several I spoke to yesterday, remarked that the final score did not reflect the game itself with Dunstable giving a good account of themselves and as always is the case they gave their all, individually and collectively, never gave up trying and never threw in the towel.
Basingstoke’s second goal was scored on 21 minutes by that man again, Sam Argent. There then followed two bookings for Dunstable with both Jonny Barnett and Keiron Ogden’s names finding their way into the referee’s book.
On the half hour mark, Dunstable so nearly reduced the deficit following intricate link up play involving the industrious and skilful Ryan Young and Gedeon Okito, who crossed a superb ball into the box for Ty Ward to head firmly but narrowly wide.
In the remaining ten minutes of the half Andrew Osei-Bonsu produced one of his wonderful shots on the run as did both Ryan Young and Ty Ward who did more than just warm Colm McAdden’s finger tips with a whistling drive just on the stroke of half time.
As the second half started Dunstable looked to get a hold of the game and replaced the ever young, industrious and energetic war-horse Jonny Barnett with Lanre Ladipo. Lanre as usual was everywhere during the second half, harrying his opponents, never allowing them time to settle on the ball and looking to play passes to feet or into spaces for attackers to run onto.
As Dunstable pushed forward looking to reduce the deficit, Basingstoke cutely managed to punish Dunstable’s offensive plans with a third goal scored on 52 minutes by George Bennett. The Basingstoke fans celebrated their third goal and sensed that a three goal margin could not be pulled back by the Home team. Still Dunstable plugged away and sought to give their fans a goal at least to celebrate. Ryan Young again tested Colm Mcadden, but today McAdden could not be beaten despite the best efforts of everyone in a Blue & White shirt.
A fourth goal for Basingstoke came on 63 minutes and gave Sam Argent his well-earned hat trick. Charlie Black came on for Erin Amu who had run his heart out for the cause. Charlie ran at the defenders and showed why Tony & Gareth were so keen to secure his signature.
Sam Argent’s fourth and fifth goals were scored in the 85th and 90th minute and added a gloss to the final score.
Today was one of those days. No reward for tireless effort and endeavour. The lads gave everything and came away pointless but with the continued admiration of the Regiment and all of the watching Dunstable fans. There was a respectful comment in the Non-League Paper following the narrow 1-0 defeat at Hitchin two weeks ago where the writer commented on how our players continue to win plaudits even if points escape them and today was another case in point.
The Regiment and fellow supporters stayed behind after the game to show these selfless, determined young men who play for our Club that their efforts are appreciated more than words can ever fully do justice and to pass on their gratitude with money behind the bar for the players to have a well-deserved drink or two.
Alex, Dudley and Neil spoke to supporters & stressed that the club remain in a period of transition and despite today’s cruel set back, efforts continue every day to re-build our club into a sustainable, family orientated, community based, fan led club that will be a beacon to others in the non-league game. Luck and success on the field seem to evade us at every turn but nothing can dampen our spirit or our determination to turn things around and see every single one of Tony and his players ambitions properly rewarded.
In mid-week Tony & Gareth had taken a party of players and committee members to the Children’s' Ward at the L&D to bring some early Christmas cheer to the youngsters staying in hospital and deliver both presents and the charm of Creasey The Lion. The visit was a huge success with L&D staff members paying tribute to the genuine warmth and respect the players showed the young patients and their families. What a truly wonderful group of young men we have wearing our colours, young men who are prepared to walk through walls for us every week. Young men who represent all that is best in today’s generation and in football, at any level of the football pyramid. The Club salutes every single one of them.
Match Sponsor CPE MK awarded the Dunstable Player of the Match to Peter Kioso for his all round play and defensive duties and few would argue with their decision.
Our 50-50 winner today also very kindly donated her winnings to Club funds. Please continue to buy your golden goal tickets and 50-50 tickets and if “Spot the Ball” used to be an enjoyable pastime for you, why not have a go at the new online version, remodelled as “Spottocash” which has a guaranteed weekly winner of £10,000. 30% of your stake is paid to Dunstable Town so please test your judgement as to where the ball in the photo is and see if the panel of ex professionals agree with you.
We are away to Kettering Town next Saturday 23rd December and away to Banbury Utd on Boxing Day. We entertain Biggleswade Town Fc at home on New Year’s Day with a 3pm kick off. Please continue to show your support for Dunstable Town FC as we start the new year off, determined to build on the considerable steps already taken towards a sustainable future.