Carney scores late on to rescue a point

Brandon Carney

Brandon Carney

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SSML Premier Division: Hoddesdon Town 1 AFC Dunstable 1

Brandon Carney’s late goal secured AFC Dunstable a crucial point in their long-awaited top-of-the-table clash at Hoddesdon Town on Saturday.

With just nine minutes remaining and trailing 1-0, Town gave away a free kick 25 yards from goal, as Newman Carney’s pinpoint delivery was headed home by brother Brandon to rescue a point.

The result kept the gap at five points with AFC having two games in hand on the leaders, although third placed London Colney trail AFC by five points with with two games in hand on Steve Heath’s men themselves.

Speaking afterwards, Heath said: “I thought the lads showed great character after the massive disappointment of losing the County Cup final in the 90th minute on Tuesday night.

“We knew Hoddesdon have a great home record only losing once in the league and if they would have opened up a eight point lead, that would have been very hard to pull back.”

Even though the game was very competitive, it never lived up to its top billing as chances were few and far between.

AFC made two changes from the midweek cup final, as Brandon Carney and Bill Morgan came in for Jermaine Hall and Terry Griffiths.

In front of a crowd of more than 200, both sides found it hard to settle, with defences holding the upper hand.

The dangerous pairing of Mark Summers and Tommy Wade for the Lilywhites were slowly getting into their stride as it was Summers who broke the deadlock on 26 minutes with a sweet strike that keeper Ricky Perks no chance.

The visitors almost responded straight away, as from a free kick, Nathan Frater struck the crossbar, while Brandon Carney’s snap shot was tipped over by Lee Robinson.

In the second period, the game became quite niggly as a number of yellow cards were brandished.

Hoddeson tried to slow the game down, but AFC kept the pressure up and eventually drew level through Brandon Carney.

Late on, Summer had a decent chance to win it, but could only fire straight at Perks as the spoils were shared.

AFC travel to struggling Bedford this weekend.

AFC: Perks, Massay, N Carney, Morgan, Cashman, B Carney, Gorman, Olaleye, Christie, Humbert, Frater.

Subs used: Hall, Beck. Subs not used: Byron, Jones, Griffiths.

Attendance: 205.