SML Premier: Biggleswade United 2 AFC Dunstable 4
Both Biggleswade United and AFC Dunstable finished their match with 10 players, as Dunstable continued their perfect start to the season with a 4-2 win on Tuesday night.
Jamie Warne and Jermaine Hall notched doubles as Dunstable raced into a four goal lead, and they appeared comfortable until Tom Silford conceded a penalty to earn him his second yellow, and give Biggleswade a way back into the match.
Tom Cookman converted the spot kick to begin his eventful evening, as he went on to score a controversial second before receiving his marching orders for a late challenge.
Still reeling from an opening day drubbing, Biggleswade would have feared a repeat performance when Warne raced through to open the scoring.
And it was two soon after when Louis Austin broke clear, only to be brought down by goalkeeper Rui Goncalves. Hall confidently dispatched the subsequent penalty, and then netted again with a smart turn and shot to send the visitors into the break with a big advantage.
The gap widened further when Warne popped up with another, but it was soon reduced, in the first of two controversies, as Biggleswade were awarded a penalty despite the assistant signalling that Silford’s challenge was a fair one.
Referee Stuart Pater disagreed, and went on to remove the 17-year-old from the pitch for his challenge, before Cookman stepped up to score.
Then followed another controversial incident, which began with Hall believing he had earned his hat-trick, but again the referee overruled his assistant who was flagging for a goal, deeming that the ball had not crossed the line.
From the resulting clearance, Cookman latched on to a through ball to score at the second attempt after Louis Porcelli saved his original effort.
Cookman may have been hoping for his treble, but instead joined Silford in getting sent off, as a late challenge earned him a second yellow.
AFC manager Steve Heath said: “The lads worked so hard and were very disciplined.
“I know the referee did not have one of his better games and to be fair to him did apologise to me for not allowing what would have been our fifth goal.
“I felt really sorry for Tom Silford, a couple of their players were marauding round the park committing foul after foul and he commits two and gets a yellow for both.
“He was visibly upset but I assured him he will learn from this and he has a sensible head for a teenager.”
Biggleswade United: Goncalves. O’Neil. Cole. Wright. Jones. Mitri. Butler. Boyd. Cookman. Nair. Threadgold. Subs used: Bilcock. Eboji. Subs not used: Darvall. Llewellyn. Randall.
AFC Dunstable: Porcelli. Mills. Silford. Pickering. Lauder. Griffith (Stobbs 76). Warne. Bishop. Austin. Campbell. Hall (Harvey 80). Subs not used: Smith. Biggadike. Clark.