Dunstable Town ground Jets as Stapleton on target again
A second brace of the week for Chris Stapleton and Joe Hankins double helped Dunstable Town ground Oxhey Jets at Creasey Park on Saturday.
Dunstable started well, with Eric Ameyaw having an early header cleared away, but the Jets hit the front when Louis Bircham headed past Dan Gould.
After soaking up pressure, Dunstable levelled when Hankins charged down goalkeeper Filip Chalupniczak’s attempted clearance and the ball ricocheted into the net.
The turnaround was complete midway through the half when the in-form Stapleton chased a lost cause and nicked the ball from the defender.
His shoot towards the far corner was parried by Chalupniczak to Harry Shepherd who turned in the rebound.
Gould produced a fine save from Luke Preedy’s looping shot to preserve the lead, but the Blues looked the more threatening.
Davide Pobbe had time and space to line up a long-range drive which clattered against the bar via Chalupniczak’s fingertips.
More opportunities came, but it wasn’t until Hankins was felled inside the box just before half-time that Stapleton added a third from the penalty spot, sending the keeper the wrong way.
The Blues looked hungry for more in the second half, with Ameyaw’s header cleared off the line before Oxhey made their task even harder on the hour mark when Jamie Speer was sinbinned, and then ultimately red-carded.
Goalscorer Bircham was then sinbinned, and the result was put beyond doubt with 25 minutes left when Stapleton took a long ball, cut inside Ashley Lewis, and fired into the top corner.
But Jets pressed on and Gould got down low to save from Sean Giordmaina one-on-one.
With 18 minutes left Shepherd became the latest sinbinnng, and Preedy set a few nerves rattling when he fired into the top-corner to make it 4-2.
But with Town defending capably, Hankins added a fifth came when he latched onto a ball down the line, outmuscled Jude Bell, and slotted past the oncoming keeper.
Daniel Trif, presented with a trophy before the game to mark his 100th Blues appearance, provided a perfect cross for Hankins to complete his hat-trick, but his header was off-target.
After two good wins, Town host Biggleswade United on Saturday (ko 3pm).