Injury-hit AFC take their chances to defeat Northwood
Southern League Division One Central: AFC Dunstable 3 Northwood 1
Superior finishing proved the difference as AFC Dunstable got back to winning ways in the league with a fine victory over Northwood on Saturday.
The home team went into the game with new signings Ollie Cox and Jack Waldren from Kings Langley on the bench, while there was a full debut for Stefan Bailey, with the returning James Bishop starting too.
However, when Adiel Mannion broke down in the warm up, Cox had to replace him, meaning AFC were without a host of players, including Newman Carney, Leon Cashman, Moses Olaleye, Danny Murphy, Jason Beck.
The opening half an hour saw nothing between the two teams as it took another great finish from BJ Christie to break the deadlock, when he took Terry Griffiths’ clearance in his stride before sweeping home.
With half time approaching, the visitors drew level as the hosts failed to clear their lines and Ryan Debattista headed home at the far post.
With driving rain welcoming the players at the start of the second half, Northwood looked the more likely to get the next goal, dominating possession.
AFC boss Steve Heath decided to make two substitutions with Waldren and Kyran McGhan-George coming on and it did the trick as they went close when Christie’s cross found Waldren at the far post but he fluffed his lines.
The OD’s only had to wait another minute though to double their goal tally though as with 62 gone, the league’s top scorer Jermaine Hall collected the ball on the edge of the 18-yard box and curled a beautiful strike into the bottom corner.
This goal seemed to settle down AFC as they went all out to get a third, which arrived on 81 minutes when Josh Humbert rose the highest to head home a Waldren corner.
Afterwards, boss Heath said: “Northwood are a well established Southern League side and will win more games than they lose.
“In my managerial career, I have never known to suffer so many injuries to key players and today just summed it up, when Adiel Mannion broke down in the warm up.
“I am hoping to have my captain Moses Olaleye back soon and Newman Carney is back training, so should not be too far away.”
AFC are back in action this weekend when they host National South side Hampton & Richmond in the FA Cup.
AFC: Perks, Massay, Bishop, Bailey, Griffiths, B Carney (Waldren 60), Cox, Byron (McGhan-George 60), Hall (Hankins 85), Humbert, Christie.