Club legend, Jonny Barnett, one match short of his 200th appearance for the Blues, summed it up beautifully with a tweet after yesterday’s game;
“On the training ground and in their own time, things will happen and Dunstable Town FC will challenge with the best of them, trust me. Youth will prevail”.
And who’s going to argue with the likes of Jonny who is someone who’s been there, done it and has the proverbial t-shirt to prove it.
Clubs with playing budgets bigger than ours can afford to sign older and more experienced players but as we are a pathway club who can only pay wages from a budget we can sustain we will continue to play and develop younger players as this is the only option open to us, hence there were four teenagers starting for Dunstable yesterday, and the average age of the Team was barely over 20.
So, as Jonny Barnett said things will take time before all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle fit together, but fit together they will.
As the old saying goes…it’s always darkest before the dawn. So have faith, stay strong and remain positive that results will come. The Team needs your backing not your absences and early departures. That does nothing for anyone’s morale, least of all the morale of young men getting their first exposure of the senior game.
Yesterday’s resurgent second half performance saw the Blues take the game to Aylesbury and score a delightful goal courtesy of Arel Amu, grabbing his third goal of the campaign, and calling on Aylesbury stopper, Nick Bennion, to make half a dozen top drawer saves to keep his side from relinquishing a well- deserved half- time lead. Bennion’s double save, ten minutes from time, initially from a Chris Wreh power drive and then from Charlie Black’s follow up, drew appreciative applause from all parts of the stadium.
Dunstable gave a debut to keeper Lewis Todd due to injuries to both Will Hunt & Nathan Harness, and welcomed back midfield dynamo, Alex Taylor, from suspension.
Dunstable were soon on the offensive, and in the first minute, Nick Bennion gave an example of his goalkeeping prowess as he managed to get down low to smother away an early shot from Arel Amu.
However it was Aylesbury who took an early lead following a well- placed free kick which evaded both the wall and Lewis Todd’s stretching arms.
Six minutes later a speculative shot from distance spun awkwardly out of Todd’s grasp and bounced cruelly over the goal line.
After such a promising start Dunstable found themselves two goals down with latecomers still clicking through the turnstiles. Aylesbury were buoyed by their start but were not going to sit back on their laurels and park any buses.
Hassan Sheikh produced another good shot on the quarter hour to try and get the Blues a foothold back into the game, but as the Blues tried to steady the ship, Aylesbury got a third on 29 minutes through Ryan Ware, and then a fourth on 39 minutes through Josh Williams.
A welcome return for popular Ethan Lamptey who re-committed to the Club on Tuesday, came on as a substitute after 40 minutes as Hassan Sheikh limped off
Half time couldn’t come quickly enough to allow Tony & Gareth to use their years of experience to settle the lads and re-group for the second half.
Saul Williams let fly on 55 minutes which bought a finger tip save from Bennion and three minute later he defied Chris Wreh. Now Dunstable were playing in a manner and style we know they can.
Charlie Black replaced Erin Amu on 64 minutes, and a few minutes later the substitution looked as if it had paid off as Charlie found room in the box to get a snapshot in, only for Bennion to again produce a good save.
After Todd produced a good save to turn the ball on to the woodwork, Joe Mead worked a clever ball to Chris Wreh who muscled his way through to set up Arel Amu, only for his goal bound shot to be bravely blocked.
Two further goals in stoppage time for the Moles gave the scoreline a gloss which certainly didn’t reflect Dunstable’s strong second half, but Aylesbury took their chances and defended well and in Nick Bennion had a match winning performance.
Off the field and behind the scenes the Committee are working seven days a week to secure commercial sponsorship and funding and will be very soon publicly launching a weekly raffle competition, called the 100 Club, courtesy of Press Officer, Steve Lewington.
The aim is to have 100 supporters buy one number between 1 and 100. Each Thursday evening those 100 numbers will be put into a hat before training and one of the players will pull out three numbers.
The first number drawn will win £100, the second number drawn will win £30, and the third number drawn will win £20.
Each number will cost £3 and the draw will take place every week even during the close season.
Committee members will be on hand at our next home games to offer more information and ask any questions you may have on the scheme.
Next Saturday Dunstable travel to Kidlington before welcoming Cambridge City to Creasey Park on Saturday 29th September, which also happens to be the first date at which you will see a supporters run stall in the Quadrant Centre where we will be trying to raise the profile of the Club and our links with the local community. We’re still waiting for final approval to be granted but if all goes to plan, we’ll be out there in the Quadrant Centre flying the flag and banging the drum to promote all three sections of this wonderful club of ours. Please come along and say hello if you see us. United we stand.
One Club. One Family. Dunstable Town.