A goal deep into added on time, denied AFC from recording a fine result against National South League opponents Hemel Hempstead Town on Tuesday night, with the Tudors winning 3-2.
After the lacklustre performance against Hitchin Town, the OD’s were on their game for the full 90 minutes and pushed their opponents all the way.
The decent crowd in attendance may have thought that Hemel were going to run away with the game when they opened the scoring after only eight minutes as the same scenario happened on Saturday .
However, instead of feeling sorry for themselves, AFC buckled down and put in a fine display.
Steve Heath’s side drew level on the half hour when new signing Adiel Mannion broke clear and finished with aplomb.
This gave the OD’s confidence as they were matching Hemel all over the pitch, until falling for a sucker punch though, just prior to the break as Hemel led 2-1.
Heath made three changes at the break but still his team competed well and restored parity when BJ Christie rifled home on 55 minutes.
With AFC pushing forward they nearly took the lead as Jermaine Hall rattled the bar.
The hosts boss continued to ring the changes, as keeper. Ricky Perks made some excellent stops which looked to have preserved the draw. However, Hemel scored late on to triumph as Heath said: “I thought the lads were much better and deserved something from the game.
“I used eight subs as I wanted to look at all the players.
“It may have backfired slightly at the end when they scored but the main objective to have a tough game and come through it challenging all night was realised.” AFC host Luton Town in the David Preece Trophy on Friday night at 7.30pm.