AFC fall at the first hurdle in FA Trophy

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FA Trophy, preliminary round: Uxbridge 4 AFC Dunstable 0

AFC Dunstable’s opening foray into the FA Trophy was ended at the first attempt on Saturday, as they were well beaten by fellow Southern League Division One Central side Uxbridge.

Manager Steve Heath yet again found his squad stretched to the limit with suspensions, injuries and departures, to the extent he didn’t have any fit players to call upon from the bench.

Having won at Uxbridge on the opening day of the season, the scoreline did flatter the hosts somewhat, as AFC went in search of a way back into the game during the second half, leaving themselves wide open at the back.

There was nothing to chose between the two sides in the 1st half as only a single goal separated them, scored by Abobaker Eisa after 18 minutes.

It should have been all square on the half hour, when a fine AFC move down the left set up Roy Byron who had his close range shot saved.

Looking to carry on where they left off in the first half, AFC conceded after just three minutes of the second period to Osman Sillah’s strike, giving themselves a mountain to climb.

They came desperately close to pulling one back on 64 minutes as Jermaine Hall’s header struck the upright and he was then denied by home keeper Paul McCarthy.

When Brandon Carney also hit the woodwork moments later, it was looking like it was going to be one of those days, which was confirmed when Matt Woods broke clear to make it 3-0 with 13 minutes left.

Again, AFC kept up the tempo though and McCarthy was called into action once more, but the visitors were caught out pushing forward late on, with Anthony Thomas completing the victory on 80 minutes.

Heath’s side didn’t give up the ghost and as the game entered injury time, McCarthy again prevented Hall from scoring a consolation for his side.

AFC are in action on Sunday this week, hosting Ashford Town (Mddx).

AFC Dunstable: Perks, Massay, N Carney, Bailey, Griffiths, Byron (Kissiedu 85), Olaleye, Humbert, Murphy, B Carney, Hall.

Subs: Silvestri, Howe, Cox.