SSML Premier Division: Berkhamsted 2 AFC Dunstable 1
AFC Dunstable’s proud unbeaten run in the league was ended by Berkhamsted after a 2-1 defeat at the weekend.
The visitors went into the game as the only side not to lose in the division, but after some stuttering performances recently, fell short in front of a crowd of 148.
AFC were without the services of the league’s top goalscorer BJ Christie and Josh Humbert who were both carrying knocks, as they were named on the bench.
It was not a good day for Humbert, as he made an appearance late in the game only to receive a red card in the dying embers.
The home side started the brighter, as Adiel Mannion got on the end of a neat move but fired into the side-netting.
Ex-AFC skipper James Baldry lined up in the Berkhamsted ranks and took a knock to his eye which yielded blood but he was bandaged up to continue.
It was taking AFC time to settle into the game and they nearly took the lead on 16 minutes when a Leon Cashman header was cleared off the line as he then headed the resulting corner wide.
Making his full debut for AFC, Jordon Frederick saw his crisp, low shot well stopped by home keeper Carl Tasker.
Dreadful defending by the visitors gifted Berkhamsted the lead as they failed to clear twice and when Ricky Perks could only parry a shot, Frank Jowle reacted quickest to poke home.
It was looking like The Comrades would take that lead into the break, but with five added minutes due to the Baldry’s injury, Brandon Carney broke clear and rounded Tasker to draw AFC level.
In the second period, stoppages and petty fouls ruined what should have been a showpiece game for the league.
One piece of quality saw Newman Carney roll in Cashman but yet again a goal line clearance denied him.
Chances remained at a premium, although the hosts had a couple of strikes at goal that both flashed by the far post.
However, on the hour, Berkhamsted were back in front as the ball was headed back across goal by Jowle and Josh Chamberlain bundled home.
Late on, a red card apiece in the 90th minute saw Max Farelly join Humbert for an early bath.
The result saw AFC remain at the top of the table, although they are just two points above London Colney and four ahead of Berkhamsted, who have two games in hand.
They now head to Cockfosters in the League Challenge Trophy tomorrow night.
AFC: Perks, Massay, N Carney, Ryan, Griffiths, Griffith, Frederick, Olaleye, B Carney, Gorman, Cashman.
Subs used: Christie, Humbert, Jones. Subs not used: Bufano, Hall.