AFC warm up for Rushden & Diamonds FA Vase tie with fine Leverstock win

AFC Dunstable v Leverstock Green. wk 36.AFC Dunstable v Leverstock Green. wk 36.
AFC Dunstable v Leverstock Green. wk 36.
Molten Spartan SML Premier Division: AFC Dunstable 4 Leverstock Green 1

AFC Dunstable maintained their challenge at the top of the Molten Spartan SML Premier Division as they beat Leverstock Green 4-1 at Creasey Park on Saturday.

AFC continued their good form leading up to next Saturday’s massive FA Vase fixture against former Football League club Rushden & Diamonds as a great second half performance ensured they retained second place in the table.

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Kyle Lincoln gave AFC the lead on 19 minutes, only for Adiel Mannion to level two minutes later.

However, a second half brace from Courtney Massey (57 and 90+1) and a Richard Harker (68) strike secured victory for the hosts.

There were plenty of chances in the game for both sides and Ashley Aimakhu had to clear off the line in the opening minute to prevent AFC’s BJ Cristie from scoring.

AFC had a couple of near-misses from headers before taking the lead on 19 minutes when a far post cross from Jonathan Barnett allowed Lincoln to ghost in at the back stick to emphatically blast past Green keeper Nigel Wharton.

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However, the Green side responded well and were back on level terms within two minutes when Mannion netted Stewart King’s cross.

Both sides created further chances and just before the break the Leverstock keeper made a great double save from Harker and tipped a header from Craig Butler on to the bar as he looked certain to score.

The visitors were on the back foot early in the half, but defended well until AFC retook the lead on 57 minutes.

Leverstock cleared two corners, but from the second one fell to Massey who struck home an unstoppable shot from 25 yards.

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Green continued to threaten until Cooper charged into the box and Harker stabbed home on 68 minutes.

And the scoreline was given a flattering look when Massey shot home in stoppage time for AFC.

AFC go to Hertford Town in the league on Tuesday, entertain AFC Rushden & Diamonds in the first round qualifying of the FA Vase on Saturday and host Hatfield Town in the league on Wednesday week.

Manager Alex Butler added: “We are in good form, but we now need to be focused and on the top of our game for the big one next Saturday, when arguably the most high profile team in ex-Football League side Rushden & Diamonds come calling in the FA Vase.

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“R&D are expected to bring close to 500 supporters to Creasey Park, so I will urge everyone to come along to our great facility and support us for what is going to be a cracking tie.”

AFC: Ryan Darby, Courtney Massey, George Hickley, James Baldry, Jack Lauder, Jonathan Barnett, Chris Francis, Craig Butler, BJ Christie (Jonathan Cooper 62), Richard Harker (James Bishop 70), Kyle Lincoln. Substitutes not used: Ryan Quinn, Anthony Leslie, Carl Ibbotson.

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