Southern League Division East: AFC Dunstable 2 Kempston Rovers 1
AFC Dunstable finally recorded a league win over Kempston Rovers as they ran out 2-1 winners in their clash on Friday night.
The three previous meetings had seen Rovers triumph 2-1, but this time AFC managed to move into a two-goal lead just after half time and then kept out a late onslaught from the visitors.
After the disappointment of exiting the Beds Senior Cup, AFC boss Steve Heath reinstated the players he rested for that game, although he was still missing the suspended Brett Longden, while injuries to Louis Bircham and Danny Murphy saw U21s Joe Hankins and Dan Blackman on the bench again.
As both these teams are very evenly matched and five games unbeaten, it was no surprise no quarter was given in the opening stages.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 28th minute, as AFC were awarded a free kick on the edge of Kempston’s box, which Nathan Frater fired into the far corner.
Chances were then few and far between for both sides, but AFC keeper Jamie Head wasn’t unduly troubled.
The second period was only five minutes old when the hosts doubled their lead.
A cross from BJ Christie to the far post just eluded Leon Cashman, but the midfielder fed Frater who surged into the box and his low cross found Christie who scored from close range.
It looked like the visitors heads had dropped, but they were gifted a lifeline within a minute, when indecision in the AFC back-line resulted in Jake Newman getting a toe to a loose ball that crept just over the line.
All of a sudden the visitors sniffed a chance to get something from the game, and they nearly did on 70 minutes, when neat footwork from Newman saw his shot strike the upright.
The game was now a full blooded affair as some tough tackles from both sides resulted in a couple of yellows, but AFC just about held on to take the points.
A relieved AFC chief Heath said: “There is never a dull moment when we face Kempston and once again there was nothing between the two sides as they never give up.”
AFC: Head, Bishop, Carney, R Frater (Tavernier 56), Morgan, Griffiths, Cashman, Olaleye, Christie (Cox 90), Hall, N Frater.
Subs not used: Hankins, Blackman, Langston.