AFC’s play-off dreams ended by Northwood

St Mary's Cup champs Tring Athletic are holding an EGM next month
St Mary's Cup champs Tring Athletic are holding an EGM next month

Southern League Division One Central: Northwood 1 AFC Dunstable 1

AFC Dunstable’s hopes of qualifying for a Southern League Division One Central play-off place were dashed on Saturday, drawing 1-1 at Northwood.

The visitors needed to beat whatever Egham could achieve against Barton Rovers, although with the Sarnies triumphing, it mattered little as a draw wasn’t enough.

On 34 minutes AFC fell for the sucker punch, when a long ball forward saw Louis Bircham outpace Bill Morgan to finish coolly.

AFC continued to pepper the Woods’ goal but with the home keeper in inspired form, plus opportunities missed, it stayed 1-0 at the break.

The second half followed the same trend, although eventually AFC drew level from a Terry Griffiths header on the hour mark.

That left 30 minutes to find a winner but news had came through that Egham had taken the lead.

Still, AFC peppered their opposition, but Northwood held out.

That brought the curtain down on AFC’s first season in the Southern League, which saw them finish a very creditable seventh, three points off the play-offs and Beds Senior Cup winners too.

Manager Steve Heath said: “I still think we should have made the play-offs, as we have been in a position to do so for over half the season.

“In the end, our performance levels in some games were just below par, which you cannot afford at this level.

“I personally have learnt a lot from the experience and will take a lot on board.

“We will be pre-season training at the end of June and go again.”