FA Vase second round: Stotfold 1 AFC Dunstable 3
Three well-taken goals saw AFC Dunstable reach the third round of the FA Vase for the second season running on Saturday, with a 3-1 victory at fellow SSML Premier Division side Stotfold.
After 16 games apart, BJ Christie and Jermaine Hall were finally reunited up front, sharing the goals between them, while new signing Nathan Frater, joining from St Neots Town, made his debut.
The visit to Roker Park was always going to be a tough encounter, with the hosts on seven-match unbeaten run, however AFC went close on four minutes when Terry Griffiths’ effort was scrambled clear.
Brandon Carney was next to go close for the visitors, heading wide, while home keeper Adam Harpur saved well from another slick move.
The breakthrough came on 21 minutes, when Christie picked up the ball on the edge of the box and curled in a 20-yard effort past Harpur.
With Hall and Christie linking up well, it was 2-0 as Charlie Gorman picked out Hall, who finished aplomb.
AFC were denied a third as Newman Carney picked out Christie who slotted home, although Carney was adjudged marginally offside.
Stotfold were finding it hard to create any type of chances as Hall then found the net on the stroke of half time, but like Christie, was denied by the linesman’s flag.
After the break, AFC did have another goal on 55 minutes as Christie latched on to a loose ball and lobbed the advancing Harpur to make it 3-0.
The striker thought he had completed his hat-trick six minutes later, but again saw his goal chalked off for offside.
Stotfold tried to mount a response and pulled a goal back midway through the half as Mark Ellis headed home unchallenged from a corner.
The hosts then pushed three upfront and came close to making it 3-2 but AFC keeper Ricky Perks saved well from Louis Taylor.
Late on, Christie almost secured the matchball, when from two yards out, Harpur somehow kept out his shot.
Afterwards, AFC boss Steve Heath, who seen his club earn £1,000 in prize money, said: “After a couple of defeats in the league, it was good to see the players apply themselves. Stotfold have been on a good run and were probably pretty confident today to get a result.
“We had to match their endeavour on a pitch which did no favours for both teams. Three clinical finishes by Christie and Hall is the reason why I am so happy their partnership is back.”
AFC are in action on Wednesday night as they host Leverstock Green.
AFC: Perks, Massay, N Carney, Griffiths, Bufano, B Carney, Frater, Cashman, Christie, Gorman, Hall.
Subs used: Griffith, Jones, Ryan. Subs not used: Turney, Silvestri.