AFC beat the weather to claim vital victory over Northwood

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Southern League Division East: AFC Dunstable 2 Northwood 0

AFC Dunstable fought through a blizzard to register another vital three points in their play-off quest at the weekend.

After an 11am pitch inspection saw local referee Alex Rayment give the game the go-ahead and once a number of orange balls were secured, AFC began well, Terry Griffiths’ effort on 11 minutes comfortably saved by visiting keeper Xavi Comas.

Louis Bircham was denied by Comas, but AFC went ahead on the half hour mark when Nathan Frater fired home.

The lead was nearly doubled soon afterwards as Bircham struck the upright.

After the break, with conditions not letting up, hosts keeper Jamie Head was called into action to keep out Jermaine Osei’s effort.

On the hour AFC’s lead should have been doubled when from a corner, Jermaine Hall’s shot was blocked on the line, then Griffiths effort from the clearance hit the post.

Eight minutes later striker Drew Roberts had a golden chance to extend AFC’s advantage but failed to find the target.

Finally the home side’s pressure paid off though as from another corner, BJ Christie swept the ball home with 10 minutes to go.

With the points secured, it gave the chance for 19-year-old Sam McCelland to experience Southern League football, when he made his debut as a late sub.

It was great reward for the U21 player, who has captained his team to top of the SSML Development Division and a Bedfordshire Intermediate Cup final.

The result kept AFC in third place, as they are now two points adrift of Beaconsfield in second, but seven ahead of Cambridge in seventh place.

AFC travel to bottom side Arlesey Town on Saturday, who have yet to win at home all season, with three draws and 14 defeats from their 17 matches.

AFC: Head, Longden, Carney, R Frater, Morgan, Griffiths, Tavernier, Bircham (Olaleye 70), Christie (McCelland 90), Hall (Roberts 70), N Frater.

Subs not used: Cashman, Blackman.

AFC’s trip to Beaconsfield on Monday night was postponed for the second time due to the pitch being covered in snow.

The game will now be played on Tuesday, April 24.