Injury time heartache for Dunstable Town

Shane Bush scores for Dunstable on Saturday
Shane Bush scores for Dunstable on Saturday
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Southern League Premier Division: Merthyr Town 4 Dunstable Town 3

Dunstable Town suffered a cruel defeat to Merthyr Town on Saturday in a heartbreaking period of stoppage time as they let a 3-2 slip, falling to a dramatic 4-3 defeat.

David Keenleyside in action for Dunstable

David Keenleyside in action for Dunstable

The match was preceded by a respectful minutes’ silence to honour the memory of a long standing Merthyr supporter and also for Ethan Houghton, a Dunstable Town youth player who tragically died along with other members of his family in a road traffic incident last week.

When the game started, it was the hosts who began better, Kayon Refell grazing the post, before Ashley Evans’ cross hit the bar and post and Scott Barrow shot narrowly wide from range.

Jamie Head then saved well from Kayne McLaggon’s firm header and Ian Traylor’s shot struck the underside of the bar, bouncing to safety.

Dunstable’s good fortune lasted only to the 12th minute when the inevitable opener was scored, McLaggon tapping in a cross from close range.

But from this period of dominance, Dunstable reacted positively with Jack Hutchinson latching on to a loose ball and drawing a good save from Glyn Garner.

Still Merthyr remained on the front foot though, Gethin Jones testing Head, before the Blues were level on 29 minutes when David Keenleyside found Shane Bush who finished smartly.

Alex Cathline almost made it 2-1 to Dunstable, thwarted by Garner, before the visitors were ahead with a stunning 35-yard strike from Danny Talbot after 38 minutes.

After the break, the Martyrs made a zestful start, but Dunstable still looked for a third as Cathline’s glancing header from Keenleyside’s free kick fell just off target, before Keenleyside’s cross was tipped wide.

However the hosts equalised on 68 minutes through Refell’s unstoppable header, only for Dunstable to go back the other end and move 3-2 in front five minutes later, when Cathline found the bottom corner.

Merthyr went all out to try and salvage the game though, as Scott Barrow’s low shot was held by Head, before the game entered stoppage time.

In a cruel last few minutes, Jarrad Wright’s header drew the Martyr’s level and then Barrow fired in the winner with a beautifully executed free kick from just outside the penalty area.

Dunstable now host Banbury United on Tuesday and Chesham United on Saturday.

Merthyr: Glyn Garner, Adam Davies, Curtis McDonald, Ashley Evans ©, Gethin Jones (Jarrad Wright), Rhys Baggridge, Jon Brown (Corey Jenkins), Scott Barrow, Kayne McLaggon (Ryan Prosser), Keyon Refell, Ian Traylor.

Subs not used: Elliott Scotcher, Jaye Bowen.

Dunstable: Jamie Head, Joe Debayo (Adam Moussi), Jhai Dhillon, Daniel Talbot, John Sonuga, Adam Pepera ©. David Keenleyside (Wilson Ferreira), David Longe-King, Alex Cathline, Shane Bush (Daniel Green), Jack Hutchinson.

MOM: David Keenleyside.

Attendance: 538.