Written by Andrew Madaras Picture by Chris White.
Football is a cruel mistress. Dunstable Town deserved something from this game but left the pitch at ten to five pointless despite a strong, and much improved performance in which match sponsor, James Reeves representing Greene King, awarded the Man of the Match bubbly to Alex Taylor.
A disappointing run of results has left the Blues looking nervously over their shoulder as rivals, North Leigh, Kidlington, Aylesbury and Welwyn Garden City have began to pick up points in recent matches. There have been games where we have been out fought, and been second best but yesterday, as in the game away at Barton a fortnight ago, the Blues have played good football and can consider themselves desperately unlucky to have gathered only one of the six points possible.
Suspension, injury and player unavailability again forced Manager, Gareth Jackson, into shuffling his pack. There was a bright and promising full home debut from Folabo Agunbiade who did enough to justify Gareth’s faith in plucking him from Buckingham Athletic reserves.
On the subs bench was another new name for many, Kamran Khan, who has deservedly got a call up from the Development Team where he has performed at a consistently high standard all season. In the Dunstable squad yesterday were five players who have graduated from the Development team into the First team.
An unseasonal hail storm half an hour before kick off left standing water on the terraces and flooded the dug outs. How many good citizens of the town this dissuaded from taking advantage of half price admission we will never know. The attendance of 107, considering the pre kick off weather was largely made up of home support, who along with the players made a very generous donation of 91 Easter Eggs which will be donated to the Childrens’ Wards at the Luton & Dunstable Hospital. Thank you all for your incredible generosity.
Not in a generous mood though was the Yaxley back line. As Dunstable swept forward in the first half, taking the game to our opponents, attack after attack was repelled.
On ten minutes Davide Pobbe and Saul Williams combined well to create a chance for Alex Taylor whose shot had both power and direction but was well held by Aaron Butcher in the Yaxley goal.
Having seen our lads under the cosh so many times recently it was refreshing to see the Blues go on the offensive with an industrious midfield pushing forward to give the orange shirted men something to think about.
A few minutes later “Follie” Agunbiade’s shot was just over, Erin Amu cleverly creating the chance on that occasion.
In between these incidents the Blues had a let off at the other end when one of the Yaxley players wasted a good opportunity.
On the half hour a superb cross into the box from Joe Mead invited a touch to divert it into the waiting net, but lady luck was again no where to be seen as no blue shirt could find that all important touch.
Saul Williams, on the stroke of half time, brought out a good save from Aaron Butcher, but Blues fans were generally pleased with their side’s improved performance and attacking intent, despite going in at half time goal less.
Ben Collins came on at half time to replace Follie Agunbiade and with ten minutes of the second half played Saul Williams broke free and was excruciatingly inches wide from putting Dunstable a goal up. A few minutes later though and Dunstable got just reward for their patient build up and desire to move the ball quickly to feet when Saul Williams seized on a loose ball following Alex Taylor’s blocked shot, weaved his way round Butcher and on the second attempt was able to steer the ball into the net.
Match Day Sales Manager, Patrick McKay was busy canvassing supporters for their player of the season and handing out ballot papers. An opportune time to score if ever there was one.
Phones were checked to see how North Leigh were faring against Aylesbury and Kidlington against Didcot. Permutations were calculated and smiles replaced frowns.
8 minutes later and smiles disappeared as Liam Hook equalised for Yaxley.
Dunstable tried to counter straight away, both Daniel Trif and Ein Amu got shots away. Gedeon Okito’s free kick needed a good save from Aaron Butcher diving to his left, and Saul Williams had a shot on target bravely blocked by a Yaxley defender.
With five minutes left and thoughts of a point being scant reward for a good team performance, Charley Sanders popped up to break Dunstable hearts and take the points back to Cambs.
Three matches remain for Dunstable to gather some points and head towards safety. Performances such as those at Barton and against Yaxley should, if repeated for the next three games, bring some points but no one is being complacent or resting on their laurels.
On Saturday we travel to the West Midlands to play Coleshill and on Easter Monday play Welwyn Garden City at Creasey Park with a 3 pm kick off. We need each and every one of you to come and support the lads and help get us over the line.
Before those games though the Development Team play their Intermediate Challenge Cup Final against Henlow at Kempston Rovers ground (MK42 8SZ) kick off is 7.30 pm.
On Thursday night they beat title chasing Ascot Utd 2 – 1 at Creasey Park with a scintillating performance which bodes well for the future for several of our young starlets and leaves Simon & Colin’s young guns third in the final table with a very impressive 55% win record this season.
It’s an interesting statistic but 12 of the First Team squad of 28 players have come through the Development Team ranks, which shows the sterling work that goes on behind the scenes and out of the glare of publicity and their immense value to the Club as a whole.
One Club. One Family. Dunstable Town FC.
George Naismith and Ben Collins with Secretary Andrew Madaras .