Calor Southern League Division One Central: Dunstable Town 2 Royston Town 2
Dunstable Town twice came from behind to claim a 2-2 home draw against old rivals Royston Town in Calor Southern League Division One Central at Sharpenhoe Road on Monday.
This was a continuation of their exciting promotion battle of two seasons ago where the Crows pipped Town to the title despite losing both league games.
Royston dominated the first 20 minutes and deservedly went ahead when smart work from Ryan Ingrey was met by a perfect finish for Rob Mason after just eight minutes.
Mitchell Bryant almost added a second when his shot just cleared the bar, but Dunstable reacted positively and equalised when Danny Murphy’s corner was partially cleared and Leon Cashman pounced on the loose ball to fire accurately through the crowd of players.
All square at the interval, a feisty second half saw Lee Roache controversially booked for diving when one on-one with the keeper.
And the Crows were then awarded a dubious penalty for a foul by Damen Pickering, converted by Craig Hammond on 65 minutes.
Dunstable mounted an assault on the Crows’ goal and had several chances, the best when Matt Nolan’s neat flick to Roache saw the latter fire just wide.
Chris Marsh then had the ball in the net for Dunstable, but it was brought back for a penalty which Marsh duly converted with 12 minutes to go.
A tense and exciting finish ensued as both clubs sought a winner, but ultimately they had to settle for a point apiece from an absorbing encounter.
Director of football John McLoughlin added: “Royston Town are league favourites and I can see why, but we matched them all over the park and to be fair we missed two great chances at the end to win the game.
“I also showed the referee photographic evidence that we should have been given a penalty rather than a booking for Roache for diving.
“We have had a tough run of games but our hard work prevailed against Chalfont and we derserved the bit of luck that gave us three points. We are still finding a settled side and we are nearly there.”
On Friday Dunstable take on Crawley Green in the Preliminary Round of the FA Cup at Sharpenhoe Road, kick-off 7.45pm, and on Tuesday host Kettering Town in the league.
Blues: Head, Pickering, Murphy (Nolan), Leach, Bruce, Olaleye, Frater (Burnett), Cashman, Roache, Watkins, Marsh. Substitutes not used: Plowright, Mills, Mead.