Unite MK 0-3 Dunstable Town
06 July 2019
The second game of pre-season saw Dunstable Town taking a trip along the A5, to Manor Fields, home of Unite MK.
A number of new faces took to the field, in what would be an important opportunity to impress managerial duo Gareth Jackson and Ryan Sturges.
The Unite MK defence failed to deal with Ben Collins' early ball into the box, and were punished when Chris Stapleton showed amazing athleticism and accuracy to fire home a bicycle kick from 17 yards out. 40 seconds on the clock, 1-0 to the visitors.
Collins, along with other returning players Kieron Ogden, Daniel Trif and Davide Pobbe showed their experience in the first half, controlling the game well, with Collins providing many testing balls into the opposition's penalty area. That isn't to say Unite MK offered no resistance. As the half wore on, they had more forays into our territory, and threatened from a number of set pieces. Resolute defending saw the score remain at 1-0, with Davide Pobbe's fizzing effort from 18 yards clearing the crossbar by only a matter of inches.
With half an hour on the clock Ben Collins was allowed to put another dangerous cross into the box. This one was met by Chris Stapleton, whose header hit the back of the net, only to be ruled out for offside; one young fan’s cries for VAR fell on deaf ears.
The second half saw 11 changes for the hosts, and got off to a largely uneventful start, the most notable exchange being the MK winger putting a ball across the face of goal with nobody to poke it into the back of the net, which saw Dunstable Town counter, with almost identical results.
Ismael Toure looked impressive in the first half, and his surging runs and eye for a pass continued to be a feature in the second, with Town creating multiple opportunities, but unable to capitalise. But spirits were high when Rio Dasilva came onto the field, his first appearance since his horrible leg break against Bedford Town, in December.
With six minutes left to play, the game was put beyond the reach of the hosts, when Kelvin Osei-Addo turned smartly and fired into the top corner from 20 yards out. It didn't take long for a third to be added, with a well deserved goal for Davide Pobbe, who dinked past the keeper after a through-ball had set him in on goal.
A heavy challenge from a Unite MK striker saw tempers briefly flare, resulting in a yellow card for the Unite MK man shortly before the final whistle.
Two games, two clean sheets, eleven goals scored, and Jackson and Sturges can go home with plenty to think about.