Hall strikes early as AFC march past Saints

AFC Dunstable striker Jermaine Hall
AFC Dunstable striker Jermaine Hall

SSML Premier Division: St Margaretsbury 0 AFC Dunstable 1

AFC Dunstable climbed back up to second in the SSML Premier Division with a gutsy 1-0 win at St Margaretsbury on Tuesday night.

The visitors had had to call on all their resources, to pick up the three points and leapfrog London Colney to close the gape to a single point on leaders Hoddesdon Town who surprisingly lost 3-0 to lowly Leverstock Green.

AFC boss Steve Heath welcomed back Jason Beck after suspension, but lost the influential Josh Humbert an hour before kick off when he fell ill, while Terry Griffiths was also unavailable as full back Newman Carney moved to centre back.

With not many chances in the game, AFC netted the only goal on 12 minutes when leading scorer BJ Christie turned provider, taking Charlie Gorman’s pass to cross for Jermaine Hall to convert from close range.

The game then became a midfield battle as both teams found it hard to supply chances for their strikers, as AFC took their slender advantage into the break.

After the break, Saints sensed they had a chance in the game and applied some more pressure on the AFC back-line.

However, the visitors nearly doubled their lead on 62 minutes when substitute Nathan Frater forced a decent save from the home keeper.

The hosts had a couple of half chances due to some hesitation in the AFC defence, but they recovered in time to clear any danger.

With the game drawing to an end, Tom Davis should have drawn Saints level in the final minute of normal time.

Good work out wide saw the ball find him unmarked in the box but he ballooned his shot over the bar as despite the referee then adding on nine minutes of injury time, the OD’s held out to pick up three vital points.

Manager Steve Heath said: “It just goes to show that the league this season is very tough.

“Teams down the bottom are fighting for their lives and that was proved.

“We really had to dig deep for the win, as St Margaretsbury especially in the second half pushed for an equaliser.”

AFC could go top this weekend with a win over Welwyn Garden City at home, as long as leaders Hoddesdon fail to beat Leverstock Green.

AFC: Perks, Massay, Jones, N Carney, Beck, B Carney, Gorman, Olaleye, Christie, Cashman, Hall.

Subs used: Frater, Darby.

Sub not used: Silvestri.

Attendance: 22.