Ref justice as AFC pay the penalty

Action from Biggleswade United v AFC Dunstable
Action from Biggleswade United v AFC Dunstable

SSML Premier Division: Biggleswade United 1 AFC Dunstable 0

AFC Dunstable made it three league games without a win as they lost to a controversial penalty at Biggleswade United on Saturday.

The result saw AFC remain seven points behind leaders London Colney who also lost, as they have also not scored in their last three matches.

After the disappointment of the goalless draw with Bedford on Bank Holiday Monday, AFC put in a much better performance and deserved at least a draw from the game, which was played in front of an excellent crowd of 303.

The first half was all blood and thunder as both teams sounded each other out, although with defences mainly on top, chances were few are far between.

United had the chance to take the lead, when a Tom Cookman drive flashed across the AFC goal.

However, AFC’s BJ Christie then broke clear but Joachin Martos was quick off his line to deny him as neither side could break the deadlock at the interval.

With the heavens opening to greet the players for the second half, it was the visitors who started the quicker and pressure was being applied.

Jason Beck came close with a strike at goal on 53 minutes but screwed wide, while Martos denied Christie moments later.

The hosts then had an excellent chance for the breakthrough but Akwafei Ajeakwa could not get on the end of a Cookman cross with 15 minutes left on the clock.

Just when the game looking like it would end in a stalemate, the referee decided to award the home side a penalty after what seemed like an innocuous coming together between Brandon Carney and Cookman.

The Biggleswade striker fell to the ground and to the amazement of the AFC players the official pointed to the spot.

From the resulting kick, AFC keeper Ricky Perks got his hands to the ball but in the wet conditions it slipped into the net as there was no time to mount a response.

AFC manager Steve Heath said: “While we put in much more effort than on Monday, we still have come away with no points.

“I have a bad taste in my mouth by an apology I received at the end of the game over the penalty decision but I do not want to dwell on that too much.

“I thought for the first 20 minutes of the second half we created a few decent chances but at the moment they are just not going in.

“If we had scored then, it might have been a different result.”

AFC are now primed for a massive game in the club’s history as they host Salisbury FC, managed by Steve Claridge, in the FA Vase fourth round on Saturday.