MATCH REPORTS

AFC Dunstable 3-3 Waltham Abbey (7-8 on penalties)
Southern League Division One Central – Play-off Semi Final
Wednesday 1st May 2024
 
AFC Dunstable’s season came to an end with this agonising and controversial play-off semi final loss on penalties to Waltham Abbey on Wednesday night at Creasey Park.
The game was full of action as you’d expect from two teams who have shared 15 goals between them in the two league games earlier in the season. It was also marked with several controversial moments that took away from a great spectacle of a game.
The Abbots had the first opportunity of the encounter but Eric Ameyaw did really well to block an effort on 8 minutes. AFC then forced several corners which the visitors cleared with ease.
The first moment of controversy soon came when Kwad Bugyei-Kyei lost possession in his own half before seemingly bringing down his opponent who would have been through on goal but the referee waved played on much to the dismay of the Abbots contingent.
Ben Weyman then shot just wide followed by a header over by Waltham Abbey at the other end. Soon after Max Rosner was on the end of a nasty tackle but no yellow card was forthcoming. He was then unlucky not to be awarded a penalty when he seemed to be brought down in the box
The visitors had a header just over the bar but the player was offside, so wouldn’t have counted. Right on half time the deadlock was broken when Jesse Akubuine gave his team the lead to stun the home crowd.
AFC came out with intent in the second half and equalised when Arnold Matshazi hit a left footed shot from just inside the area into the net.
Yellow cards were becoming like confetti as Ben Baker, Jason Hallett Nathan Koranteng (Waltham Abbey) and AFC’s Dan Idiakhoa were all cautioned for separate incidents in the space of ten minutes. The next major moment of frustration for the hosts came when Declan Rydings seemed catch Bugyei-Kyei with his arm. The referee consulted his assistant and only gave a yellow card when most were expecting a red.
In the 62nd minute AFC took the lead when Matshazi scored his second of the game with another fine strike to send the home fans into raptures. They had keeper Josh Ameganvi to thank when he made an outstanding save to deny the Abbots a leveller. Kyle Brooks almost extended their lead but hit his shot straight at Bradley Robinson when through on goal.
AFC were defending well and resolutely but with six minutes of added time indicated, the visitors were awarded a corner in the 99th minute somewhat to the disbelief of everyone in the crowd for the extra minutes being played and with no AFC player touching the ball on its way out. The corner fell to a Waltham Abbey player in a crowded area who scored from close range to equalise in the 100th minute. The hosts were stunned and so were the crowd who fell silent in shock before extra time came.
The visitors were given a lifeline and a pick-me-up. They tried to take advantage as a shot went wide and Ameganvi was again called into action to make another fine save in the first period of extra time.
Seven minutes into the second period it looked as though the game had got away from AFC when Tami Ogunnowo found the net to heap more pain on them but sixty seconds later they were awarded a penalty for handball. Rico Greco stepped up and confidently fired the ball home to level the match.
There was time for yet another yellow card for the Abbots as Akubuine joined his team mates in the long list of bookings as play came to an end and penalties followed.
In fitting with the games between the two teams the shootout wasn’t going to be a short one. Both teams scored their opening three penalties before they both missed in succession. The next two each were converted before both missed again!
The next four penalties were all scored but AFC missed and Waltham Abbey hit the target to send them through to the final 8-7 on penalties and a trip to Bedford Town who beat Ware 2-1 at The Eyrie.
It was a heartbreaking way to end the season for AFC as they had proven many people wrong from the outset. A young, inexperienced side that many thought would struggle, defied the doubters by finishing third in the league and reaching a cup final. A great achievement from a team that was only put together at the start of the season. Huge praise goes to them, the coaches and everyone involved.
 
Team: Ameganvi; Martin; Bugyei-Kyei (Greco 90′); Weyman; Ameyaw; Rosner; Idiakhoa; Nicolson; Matshazi; Walsh (Ramsay 83′); Brooks (Tamplin 79′).
Subs not used: Bonsu and Duodu.
AFC Dunstable 4-0 Barton Rovers
Southern League Division One Central
Saturday 27th April 2024 
AFC Dunstable made ten changes to the starting XI having already qualified for the play-offs as the depth of this promising squad came to fruition in this fixture with neighbours Barton Rovers.
Debuts were given to Finn Rolfe and Sean Duodu while Melvyn Lubaki also made his first appearance coming off the bench to replace Dan Tagoe. Young keeper Matthew Bonsu made the bench.
Rovers’ Matt Moloney had the first opportunity in the opening minute when he tried to lob Josh Ameganvi but his effort when just over the bar. The hosts started this game brightly though and in the 2nd minute Rolfe unleashed a superb left footed strike that Sam Fearon did well to palm away. Ten minutes later Josiah Ramsay and Rolfe had shots well defended by the visitors..
With twenty three minutes gone Rocko Tamplin almost opened the scoring when he went through on goal but was denied by Fearon. Lucas Kirkpatrick tried a speculative lob when Ameganvi came off his line to clear the ball but his shot, like Moloney’s, missed the target. He then crashed a shot of the post on 28 minutes.
Rolfe, who had a fine game, had another effort on goal blocked on the half hour mark. He then set up Duodu but his shot was deflected for a corner as the half ended goalless.
The deadlock was broken in the 53rd minute when Bruce Ovbiye-Nsang was brought down in the area by Cameron Hyde. Rico Greco made no mistake from the spot, firing the ball home.
Great defending from AFC then denied Taylor Rhiney. Duodu scored the first of his two goals in the 74th minute latching on to a through ball before finishing calmly from an angle.
Six minutes later it was 3-0 when Ovbiye-Nsang scored his first goal for the first club with another excellently taken goal. Ameganvi produced a fine save for AFC when he excellently dived at full stretch to tip Jaden Brown’s shot round the post.
With four minutes remaining Duodu capped off a man of the match performance when he beat Fearon with another fine strike.
AFC finished in third place overall in the league and will now play Waltham Abbey at home on Wednesday night in the play-off semi final, kick off 7.45pm.
Team: Ameganvi; Martin; Greco (Ackah-Sanzah 60′); Rolfe; Tagoe (Lubaki 75′); Ameyaw (Ampedu 64′); Onginjo; Ramsay; Duodu; Tamplin; Ovbiye-Nsang.
Subs not used: Bonsu and Brooks.
Ware 1-2 AFC Dunstable
Southern League Division One Central
Saturday 20th April 2024
AFC Dunstable secured their place in the playoffs with a fine performance at fellow playoff contenders Ware on Saturday.
With many players unavailable through injury, the team was changed somewhat from the one that played last time out in the Bedfordshire Senior Cup Final.
As expected, it was a cagey start to the game but Arnold Matshazi came close to scoring in the 10th minute when Ware keeper Fred Burbridge failed to gather a cross cleanly and the ball dropped to the AFC forward but Burbridge recovered well to block his shot.
The OD’s were dealt a blow when Yoav Sade had to be replaced by Callum Martin soon after but the latter put in a great shift in only his 6th appearance for the club.
Louis Walsh had a great chance to open the scoring sixteen minutes in when another cross from the right found him at the back post but he was unable to control his header and it went wide. Ware’s Mitch Hahn then hit a fine volley wide of Seb Stacey’s post.
The hosts had the ball in the net on 20 minutes but Jack Dreyer was offside follow a cross from the left by the lively Theo Ofori who himself had a shot blocked soon after, as Ware upped the tempo.
There was little goalmouth action until just before half time when Kwad Bugyei-Kyei had a long-range curling effort drift wide before Ben Weyman narrowly missed the target with a driven shot from the edge of the area.
Just after the break Weyman struck another shot just wide then Dan Idiakhoa replaced the hardworking Rocko Tamplin in the 56th minute and his introduction would prove a masterstroke by the management team later in the game.
Stacey pulled off a brilliant save to deny Ofori with 64 minutes on the clock and three minutes later Weyman again shot from range which narrowly cleared the crossbar.
Matshazi opened the scoring in the 71st minute when excellent play by Idiakhoa found his team mate in the box, Matshazi spun his marker superbly and drilled the ball past Burbridge to give AFC the lead.
He got his second just three minutes later when Idiakhoa again set him up to crash a fine shot in off the underside of the bar from just inside the area to spark scenes of joy.
Ware kept going but were finding it hard to breakdown a determined AFC team. They did however score in the 93rd minute when Richard Ennin scored from close range to set up a frantic last few minutes but the OD’s held firm to pick up the points.
Team: Stacey; Sade (Martin 16′); Bugyei-Kyei; Weyman; Staszewski; Rosner; Tamplin (Idiakhoa 56′); Nicolson; Matshazi; Walsh; Brooks (Ramsay 77′).
Subs not used: Ameganvi & Tagoe.
AFC Dunstable 0-1 Biggleswade FC
Bedfordshire Senior Cup Final
Tuesday 9th April 2024
AFC Dunstable’s young squad were denied at the final hurdle in a tense and competitive County Cup Final at Kenilworth Road. 
A single goal separated the sides early in the first half but it could have been different if at least one of two penalty claims for AFC had been given. One seemed odds on to be given but it was frustratingly turned down.
In front of a bumper crowd of 902, Biggleswade started brightly in the opening minutes with George Bailey shooting just wide within sixty seconds of the kick off. Then AFC’s Ben Weyman brought out a fine save from Tyler Josephs as he palmed away the midfielders’ free kick for a corner with 6 minutes played.
AFC had more of the ball following Weyman’s effort as they settled into the game. With 8 minutes gone Ethan Holt had a shot blocked by Adam Wedd before Rio Martucci’s shot was deflected wide for a corner for Biggleswade.
The only goal of the game came with 13 minutes gone when Harry Dawson picked up a pass twenty yards out and hit a fine dipping strike that beat Josh Ameganvi in the AFC goal.
FC were full of confidence at this point with further efforts from Dawson and Martucci. Callum Nicolson was denied by two headers from Biggleswade captain Tom Coles in the 17th minute as AFC tried to get back in the game.
Five minutes later FC had a golden chance to double the lead when Bailey was set up after a good move but he somehow missed the target with the goal at his mercy.
The lively Dan Idiakhoa was creating AFC’s best chances linking up well with Arnold Matshazi. With half an hour gone Max Rosner went on a surging run from deep he slotted in Holt but under pressure from Josephs he was unable to make full contact and Michael Fisher was able to clear. Some were asking for a penalty for the challenge but nothing was given. Holt was injured in the coming together.
On 34 minutes Ameganvi produced a fine save to deny Dan Bond as he tipped his effort round the post. Holt then had to be replaced due to a knee injury in the earlier collision, Rocko Tamplin taking his place.
The game was becoming really competitive as the game approached half time. Wedd and Dawson both picked up yellow cards for Biggleswade for robust challenges.
Just before the break a highly controversial incident came after Rosner went on another determined run through the middle of the pitch and played in Rio Deall who was seemingly brought down by Josephs as he knocked the ball past him. It looked clearcut but to AFC’s frustration the referee waved play on. A big decision that could have changed the game in favour of the OD’s. Matshazi shot just over after a counter attack as the half came to a close.
AFC made two changes at the break. Seb Stacey replaced Ameganvi to give both keepers a runout in the final after both have given great service throughout the season. Kyle Brooks replaced Deall.
Nicolson shot wide a few minutes into the second half before Tamplin had the best chance for AFC in the 53rd minute, agonisingly shoot just wide of the far post when set clear in the box by Brooks. Shortly afterwards Biggleswade nearly capitalised when the OD’s gave the ball away, which almost resulted in a goal.
Rico Greco then brought out a save from Josephs after a strong run down the left ended in a strike which was unfortunately straight at the FC keeper who palmed it away.
In the 65th minute Brooks headed wide from a corner as AFC were finding it hard to breakdown a well organised Biggleswade unit. 
Frustrations were beginning to show as decisions seemed to be going against AFC. With ten minutes left Kymani Skyers blocked an AFC effort before they forced a succession of corners but FC stood firm again. Biggleswade’s Alex Marsh and Fisher were cautioned as the game became on a knife edge.
Stacey then saved from Bailey before fine defending again by Skyers blocked another shot. Idiakhoa was the next to be booked as he let his frustrations out on his opponent as they broke away.
The game came to an end with disappointment for the OD’s but no one could fault their efforts against a resolute Biggleswade side who were determined to make up for last seasons loss in the final against Luton Town.
The team now have some much needed rest with no game until Saturday 20th April when they travel to Ware for a league match and then finish at home to Barton Rovers on the 27th April. 
Team: Ameganvi (Stacey 46′); Sade (Stirland 79′); Greco (Bugyei-Kyei 69′); Weyman; Tagoe; Rosner; Deall (Brooks 46′); Nicolson; Holt (Tamplin 37′); Matshazi; Idiakhoa.

Thame United 3-3 AFC Dunstable

Southern League Division One Central
Saturday 6th April 2024
AFC Dunstable were left frustrated at not seeing a 3-1 lead out with seven minutes of normal time left when they looked on for the win.
Frustration was the story of the game though as AFC dominated periods but then faded on key occasions, conceding three poor goals in the process.
They made the best possible start when Ethan Holt did brilliantly to get to the byline and cut the ball back to Kyle Brooks who converted the opening goal in under a minute.
AFC were in buoyant mood and almost went two up in the 9th minute when Dan Idiakhoa went through on goal but his shot was saved by Archie Davis’ legs, followed by shot by Ben Weyman, which Davis easily claimed.
Thame had their first real effort on goal midway through the half before Arnold Matshazi tested Davis with a strike at the other end.
The half then changed direction in the favour of the hosts as AFC began to give the ball away too easily. Ryan Knight almost capitalised in the 25th minute when his shot was blocked on the line and a free header was also cleared off the line from the resulting corner.
In the 35th minute Brooks had a chance to return the favour to Holt but after rounding Davis he was just unable to cut the ball back to his team mate.
The home side drew level five minutes before the break in strange fashion. Jefferson Louis’ tame shot deceived Seb Stacey in the AFC goal and went straight into the net, although Knight was claiming a touch on the way in. Knight’s attempt to get a touch seemed distract Stacey as the free kick came in and the ball rolled into the empty net.
Against the run of play, man of the match, Weyman gave his side the lead again when he unleashed a rocket of a shot that moved in the air, catching Davis out as it flew almost through him and into the roof of the net, right on half time. 
AFC were a touch fortunate to go in with the lead but a superb goal deserving of a player who performed well throughout.
Louis Walsh came on at the break for Eric Ameyaw to add a different dimension to the attacking play and was a threat all half. He instantly flashed a low cross into a dangerous area minutes after his entrance but no one was able to connect. 
There weren’t many chances for either team until the 68th minute when United’s Harry Alexander had a shot on the AFC goal before the visitors’ counter attacked, having an attempt of their own seconds later. The OD’s then became sloppy in possession again through unforced errors, conceding a needless corner and uncharacteristic lack of ball retainment.
Ten minutes later though Weyman finished off play great play by Walsh down the right as he beat his man to cross for the midfielder to finish calmly from six yards out. The game looked like being in AFC’s control again but they conceded a poor goal with seven minutes left when a long straight ball caught out the defence and Knight was given time and space to pick his spot with ease.
Walsh almost restored the two goal lead in the 85th minute but saw his shot come back of the post and Davis’ back before the keeper gratefully gathered the ball.
It was Thame though who grabbed a point when another straight ball through the middle of the AFC backline found Knight to equalise with four minutes of normal time remaining.
The hosts were probably value for the draw as despite AFC being in control for the opening quarter and minutes around their last two goals Thame worked hard as the OD’s became frustrated with ball retention and conceding possession.
Team: Stacey; Deall (Stirland 19′); Bugyei-Kyei (Sade 57′); Weyman; Ameyaw (Walsh 46′); Idiakhoa; Nicolson; Holt; Matshazi; Brooks.
Subs not used: Ameganvi & Tamplin.
AFC Dunstable 2-1 Kempston Rovers
Southern League Division One Central
Monday 1st April 2024
Tired legs, tired minds but AFC Dunstable unbelievably scored late into injury time for the second successive game to take the points against Kempston Rovers on Monday at Creasey Park.
This was the teams’ fifth game in nine days and many could be forgiven for thinking another win was unlikely given the schedule but the strength of character from them to take four wins from those five games showed tremendous courage.
Tra Lucas created the first opportunity for AFC in the 8th minute with a fine run down the left, his cross just evaded Kyle Brooks at the far post. 
Leo Furruch responded for Kempston two minutes later with an effort that Seb Stacey saved. Stacey was called into action again soon after to save from Josh Adepoju at point blank range.
Rovers’ keeper George Whitehall then saved Rio Deall’s strike before Lucas had a golden chance to open the scoring when he went through on goal but agonisingly put his shot wide.
The visitors took the lead in the 27th minute through Adepoju when he received the ball from Farruch and drilled a left footed strike into the bottom corner.
Ten minutes later, the hard working Lucas was through again but his dinked effort just cleared the crossbar. Callum Nicolson then shot narrowly wide of the post for AFC.
Five minutes before half time Lucas was again in the thick of the action but was denied by a fine last-ditch tackle. Eric Ameyaw received a yellow card right on half time for something the linesman had seen.
Rocko Tamplin replaced Rico Greco in the 53rd minute and made an instant impact by levelling the game just three minutes after coming on, firing the ball home from the edge of the box.
Ben Weyman then hit a fine shot on 73 minutes, which Whitehall did extremely well to save, while Farruch made Stacey palm away his goal bound strike at the other end.
The referee indicated 9 minutes of added time due to several delays in the half and what drama was to come in those remaining minutes. Deall came close to the winner as he went through on goal but Whitehall saved well again.
Daniel Tagoe headed just over but was ruled offside before Rovers’ substitute Luca Cardines struck the woodwork. Ameyaw received a second yellow card soon after and AFC were down to ten men but astonishingly instead of settling for a point substitute Ethan Holt kept his nerve when played through and superbly finished in the 7th minute of the nine added to spark scenes of delirium for the second time in 48 hours.
AFC are away to Thame United on Saturday followed by the Bedfordshire Senior Cup Final at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday 9th April, kick off 7.30pm.
Team: Stacey; Deall; Greco (Tamplin 53′); Weyman; Tagoe; Ameyaw; Brooks (Stirland 90); Nicolson; Idiakhoa; Matshazi (Holt 64′); Lucas.
Subs not used: Ameganvi & Martin.
Stotfold 0-1 AFC Dunstable
Southern League Division One Central
Saturday 30th March 2024
AFC’s fourth game in 7 days produced a dramatic ending when Max Rosner rose to head home a stoppage time winner at Stotfold. 
The game was a difficult one for the visitors given some tired limbs and the need for the squad to be rotated again. Stotfold will possibly feel hard done by as they deserved more for their efforts and also had a strong case for a penalty for handball just before the winning goal.
New signing Eric Ameyaw made his debut at centre back on a bright spring day in North Bedfordshire.
AFC made a good start by forcing a few corners but the hosts grew into the game during the opening 12 minutes. Dan Idiakhoa created the first opportunity five minutes later when a fine run down the right saw his cross met by Ethan Holt but he couldn’t quite get his header on target.
Rosner possibly should have done better with a free header from a corner in the 19th minute but his effort went over the bar.
On the half hour, Yoav Sade had to be replaced by Callum Martin due to injury then Conor Clarke had Stotfold’s first chance when his header was deflected over the crossbar.
Just before half time Lewis Franklin was off target as clearcut chances proved to be at a minimum.
AFC came out with intent at the start of the second half, forcing a corner and a shot on goal. In the 65th minute some resolute defending from the OD’s was needed when four shots from the home side were blocked in succession.
Rosner had another header go over before Ashley Kersey followed suit at the other end with his own header missing the target.
AFC were beginning to understandably tire as shots came in from Robbie Buchanan and Matt Ball for Stotfold but on par with most of the shots from both teams in the game, they were off target.
Henry Snee who was a threat up front for the hosts did well to bring a good save out of Seb Stacey with four minutes remaining.
In the last minute of normal time a moment of controversy came when Stacey pulled off another good save only for the rebound to fall to a Stotfold player, who hit a goal bound shot, which seemed to strike an AFC players’ arm. Despite ferocious appeals from the hosts, the referee turned down their claims stating the arm was in a natural position.
Just when the game looked like ending in a draw Rosner connected with a free kick just inside the box to send a looping header over Alfie Bonfield in the Stotfold goal, which spark scenes of joy amongst the visiting contingent. 
Three wins from four games in seven days can’t be frowned upon. A superb effort of grit and determination in a game that lacked quality in front of goal at both ends.
AFC face another game on Monday against Kempston Rovers at Creasey Park, just the fifth one in 9 days!
Team: Stacey; Sade (Martin 29′); Deall; Weyman; Ameyaw (Tagoe 66′); Idiakhoa; Nicolson; Holt; Matshazi; Walsh (Lucas 70′).
Subs not used: Ameganvi & Bugyei-Kyei.

Barton Rovers 3-0 AFC Dunstable

Southern League Division One Central
Thursday 28th March 2024
AFC’s third game in crazy schedule of five games in 9 days plus crazy weather conditions contributed to a game to forget for the visitors.
Unable to play their passing game due to torrential wind and rain before and during the match, the OD’s struggled throughout as Barton played the conditions the better to claim the points. Seb Stacey pulled out of the starting line up due to illness so Josh Ameganvi deputised.
The wind was gale force, causing the ball to become out of control as the game started with Rovers using the conditions well to apply pressure, forcing some corners and a save from Ameganvi. 
Former AFC man John Shamalo then found space on the edge of the area to shoot past the visiting keeper with 25 minutes gone.
The pitch was starting to become very muddy as the rain continued to fall. Max Rosner tried fo use the surface by skimming two powerful low free kicks at goal, which Tyler Josephs did well to turn away for a corners.
Ameganvi took a goal kick in between Rosner’s strikes at goal, which flew back 20 yards before going off for a throw in such was the force of the wind!
On the hour mark Robbie Goodman flashed a shot wide of the post for Barton before Arnold Matshazi hit one wide at the other end.
The AFC front man did have the ball in the net in the 63rd minute but a foul had already been given.
The home side doubled their lead five minutes later when another former AFC player Lucas Kirkpatrick forced his way to the byline where his cross seemed to loop up of an opponent, catch the wind and drop at another former AFC players feet in Taylor Rhiney who couldn’t miss from a yard out. 
Barton’s man of match, Kirkpatrick continued to apply pressure. He shot just over in the 75th minute before Ameganvi made an excellent save six minutes later to deny him a goal.
The game got a bit feisty in the closing stages with Rhiney and Rosner both shown yellow cards for a confrontation.
Kirkpatrick killed the game early in added time following up Rhiney’s shot that came back of the post to drill a shot past Ameganvi.
It was a night to forget for AFC but credit went to skipper for the night, Ben Weyman, who played very well and never have up the cause considering the way the game was going. 
Team: Ameganvi; Onginjo (Tagoe 31′); Greco; Brooks; Stirland; Rosner; Tamplin (Walsh 58′); Weyman; Holt (Ramsay 65′); Matshazi; Idiakhoa.
Subs not used: Stacey and Nicolson.

AFC Dunstable 3-2 Biggleswade FC

Southern League Division One Central
Tuesday 26th March 2024
AFC made it two wins in a row at a very wet Creasey Park on Tuesday night.
Rocko Tamplin had the hosts first shot on goal in the 17th minute, which was deflected into Tyler Josephs arms.
Six minutes later AFC took the lead when Louis Walsh turned in the area and drove his shot high into the net for his first goal for the club.
The lead was short lived as Biggleswade were awarded a penalty for a trip in the box and Dan Bons made now mistake on the half hour mark.
The visitors were the better team up to the break as AFC lost some fluency.
They did though come out with more urgency at the beginning of the second half and retook the lead with a fine side foot finish from Yoav Sade from 18 yards in the seven minutes in.
Tamplin broke free of the Biggleswade defence in the 69th minute to drill home an effort from just outside the area to give his team a 3-1 lead.
Biggleswade had a claim for a penalty turned down on 77 minutes before Bond got his second with six minutes left. Lawrie Marsh drove forward and played in his team mate who struck his shot past Seb Stacey. 
Stacey an excellent save in the last minute of the game with Pat Staszewksi brilliantly clearing the follow up off the line to seal the points for AFC.
Team: Stacey; Sade; Greco; Brooks; Stirland (Weyman 59′); Staszewski; Tamplin; Nicolson (Tahoe 84′); Holt (Matshazi 59′); Walsh; Lucas.
Subs not used: Ameganvi and Idiakhoa.
AFC Dunstable 1-0 Welwyn Garden City
Southern League Division One Central
Saturday 23rd March 2024
A tight encounter was always expected between the two form teams and so it proved. A fine attendance of 320 on Non League Day saw a tale of two penalties decide the match.
New signing from Bedford Town, Louis Walsh made his debut on chilly day at Creasey Park.
The game started like a chess match with both teams making cautious moves but no shots on target. Welwyn came close on two occassions with efforts narrowly wide of Seb Stacey’s post while AFC’s Rio Deall had their first real attempt when his shot went wide on 17 minutes.
The visitors responded with another strike that was inches off target 29 minutes in. The game was showing signs that one goal would win the game and that goal came in the 35th minute when an AFC player was fouled in the box and Arnold Matshazi stepped up to calmly to beat Charlie Crowley from 12 yards.
Welwyn responded instantly and went of the attack. They were awarded a penalty of their own two minutes after Matshazi converted. A handball was given and Dernell Wynter had the chance to bring his team level. HIs penalty was heading for the bottom right hand corner but Stacey dived full length to make a brilliant save to maintain the lead.
The opening of the second half was much like the first, an even contest with little chances on target from open play.
On the hour Welwyn had yet another shot just wide of the target while Matshazi did brilliantly well to round Crowley, it looked like he would double his tally but his side foot shot went agonisingly in to the side netting on 63 minutes.
Welwyn were becoming frustrated with some of the referees decisions and a couple of yellow cards were produced in the last quarter of the game to Bradley Wadkins and Alex Harris.
Tra Lucas did brilliantly well at the byline to get past his marker despite having his shirt pulled but he was unable to get the cross in to a team mate and the visitors defence cut off the angle.
AFC showed determination and grit lead by skipper Callum Nicolson who showed his leadership skills when needed most to make sure his team kept a clean sheet and remained focused until the end.
Yoav Sade and Dan Idiakhoa received cautions for delaying the restart before Welwyn had a free kick just outside the box in injury time but it was well blocked by the AFC wall and cleared to safety. James Kaloczi was booked for dissent in the lead up to the free kick being taken, as he also became frustrated with the referee for what he thought was not moving the wall back far enough.
The free kick turned out to be the last action of the game as the hosts made it two wins and clean sheets in a row.
Team: Stacey; Sade; Bugyei-Kyei (Tamplin 43′); Weyman; Staszewski; Rosner; Deall (Brooks 73′); Nicolson; Idiakhoa; Matshazi; Walsh (Lucas 68′).
Subs not used: Ameganvi and Stirland.
Bedford Town 0-3 AFC Dunstable 
Southern League Division One Central
Tuesday 19th March 2024
AFC Dunstable bounced back from Saturdays disappointing loss to Kings Langley in style but beating league leaders Bedford Town at The Eyrie om Tuesday night.
The game had previously failed to finish or start on two occasions and with AFC leading 1-0 in the abandoned game many could have thought their chances had gone for a win but a superb performance of resilience, discipline and game management saw them collect all three points.
Ethan Holt was still missing through injury so Daniel Idiakhoa played up top along side Arnold Matshazi. Pat Staszewski came in for Charlie Stirland.
Bedford controlled the game for the opening 15 minutes, having most of the ball and forcing some corners and free kicks around the AFC box.
The visitors then grew in to the game keeping possession well and having some corners and free kicks of their own. The Eagles striker Leon Lobjoit skimmed the top of Seb Stacey’s bar in the 25th minute followed by an effort from Matshazi at the other end, which Mark Smith did well to save.
The game became more open in the 38th minute when the hosts had Jack Green sent off for a late tackle on Callum Nicolson as he broke away when a corner was cleared. Thankfully Nicolson was able to continue.
Five minutes later AFC took the lead when Matshazi’s shot was parried by Smith but it could only find Ben Weyman who smashed the ball home high in to the net. Right on half time Matshazi had another effort on goal but this time it was off target and in to the side netting.
Rocko Tamplin replaced Yoav Sade at the break and it didn’t take him long to make an impact. Three minutes in to the half two shots were cleared off the line in the same attack but Tamplin followed up to rifle the ball past Smith.
Game management came in to play as AFC kept the ball really well to tire the hosts who were clearly struggling to get back in to the game a man light.
The game was made safe in the 65th minute when Weyman cross for Matshazi who delightfully turned in the box and shot low past Smith to make it three.
With 77 minutes on the clock Tra Lucas brought out a fine safe by Smith who stuck out a leg to divert the goal bound effort for a corner.
Bedford had two wild efforts going over the bar before Stacey did well to palm away a shot from the edge of the box with three minutes left.
AFC road the early storm. kept their discipline and thoroughly deserved their win.
Team: Stacey; Sade (Tamplin 46′); Greco; Weyman; Staszewski; Rosner; Deall; Nicolson (Lucas70′); Idiakhoa; Matshazi; Deall; Bugyei-Kyei (Brooks 62′).
Subs not used: Ameganvi and Stirland.
Kings Langley 4-2 AFC Dunstable
Southern League Division One Central
Saturday 16th March 2024
AFC Dunstable had an uncharacteristic off day in Hertfordshire on Saturday despite a good start and taking the lead with a goal from Daniel Idiakhoa.
Langley forced the early pressure in the opening minutes with a shot that ended with a corner which AFC cleared.
Ben Weyman almost broke free in the 5th minute but was flagged offside as he went through on goal.
Idiakhoa made the breakthrough eight minutes later when he capitalised on a mistake in the hosts defensive area and fired his team into the lead but from then on AFC were second best for most of the game.
Langley drew level just three minutes later when Yoav Sade brought down an opponent in the area. Former OD’s player Louie Collier made no mistake from the spot.
The hosts took the lead in the 25th minute when Michael Adu-Poku was able to bring the ball down and score from close range.
Rico Greco had a shot saved before mazy run almost ended in a goal but his finish was off target.
He had the opportunity to draw his team level five minutes before the break when a team mate was pushed in the box and a penalty was awarded, which he calmly converted.
It looked like the spark they needed to go on a win the game but it was not to be Isaac Pedro was allowed time and space to score from a few yards out just before half time.
Tra Lucas had a shot blocked while Sade headed over the rebound as AFC headed into the break a goal behind.
Changes were made at the interval with Kyle Brooks and Kwado Bugyei-Kyei come on for Sade and Greco.
Seb Stacey made a superb low save to keep the deficit to one, six minutes into the second half as Langley looked to extend their lead.
Arnold Matshazi then whipped in a cross but there was no one on the end of it to convert. He then had a shot go over the bar on the hour mark.
AFC were beginning to get frustrated with the way the game was panning out. Idiakhoa was booked for a late tackle then Callum Nicolson was also shown a yellow card shortly after Weyman’s indirect free kick for a back pass was blocked.
With thirteen minutes left Max Rosner shot narrowly wide from distance but thirty seconds later the ball was in the back of the net at the other end. Another close-range finish saw Jermaine Howe hold off his marker to put the game virtually out of reach.
AFC kept going with Matshazi who had the ball in the net but was ruled offside in the 84th minute before Gabriell Ortelli pulled off a great save to deny the striker in injury time.
Weyman then had another free kick blocked as a frustrating day drew to a close.
It was only AFC’s third defeat in twelve league games and many positives can be taken from the recent run. It just wasn’t meant to be on Saturday.
Team: Stacey; Sade (Brooks 46′); Greco (Bugyei-Kyei 46′); Weyman; Stirland; Rosner; Idiakhoa; Nicolson; Deall; Matshazi; Lucas (Tamplin 65′).
Subs not used: Ameganvi & Staszewski.
AFC Dunstable 2-1 Thame United
Southern League Division One Central
Saturday 9th March 2024
A last minute goal by Yoav Sade gave the hosts all three points in a hard fought game at Creasey Park on Saturday.
The young, energetic and entertaining OD’s have now lost just once in seven league games as they are now level on points with the fifth placed play-off team, scoring 56 goals in the process, the second highest in the league.
The opening quarter of the game created little goalmouth action as both teams played out a midfield battle but United did force a minor scramble, which ended in a corner and a shot over the bar from the restart in the 17th minute.
AFC’s Ben Weyman had a penalty shout turned down on 20 minutes before team mate Rio Deall’s long-range shot was well saved by Archie Davis five minutes later for the games first effort on target.
Thame made the breakthrough in the 28th minute when Oliver Hogg was found in space as he met Louis Fountain’s cross with a diving header that gave Seb Stacey no chance.
The hosts replied with the equaliser in the 34th minute when Arnold Matshazi collected Daniel Idiakhoa’s pass and curled a beauty into the net from corner of the box.
On the hour AFC’s Rocko Tamplin and Matshazi had shots cleared off the line in the same move as AFC applied pressure.
The excellent Davis denied Matshazi again from point blank range before pulling off a superb save to palm away Max Rosner’s header with five minutes left.
Sade produced the winning goal with 90 minutes on the clock, scoring from just inside the area when the visitors failed to clear their lines
Team: Stacey; Sade; Greco (Tamplin 56′); Weyman; Staszewski; Rosner; Idiakhoa (Brooks 77′); Nicolson; Holt (Lucas 56′); Matshazi; Deall.
Subs not used: Ameganvi and Stirland.
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