Southern League Division One Central: Uxbridge 1 AFC Dunstable 2
AFC Dunstable were triumphant in their first ever game at Step Four level, as they won 2-1 at Uxbridge on Saturday.
On a sweltering hot day just a few miles from Heathrow Airport, the visitors had the better of the first half, before Uxbridge upped the ante after the break, forcing AFC to hold on for the win.
Steve Heath’s side opened the brighter as on five minutes, Jermaine Hall drew a good save from Paul McCarthy.
Visiting keeper Ricky Perks was called into action soon afterwards though, pushing away a strike from Thomas Anthony, before AFC had the lead with just 10 minutes gone as good work from Brandon Carney saw him pick out Tom Silford, who cut inside and found the back of the net.
Perks needed to be at his agile best to deny Wayne Carter, as Heath’s side then moved 2-0 in front, when Hall finished well after half an hour.
After the break, Uxbridge made a couple of changes as they started the second period in dangerous fashion, although AFC were still a threat, Hall testing McCarthy again who saved well.
The home side reduced the arrears on the hour mark when AFC’s defence failed to clear their line and Carter had a free header to score.
Heath brought on the experienced Leon Cashman for Hall, while they were indebted to some fine blocks by Courtney Massay and Jason Beck to keep them ahead.
With players finding the heat too much, Heath threw on teenagers Joe Hankins and Jake Kissiedu as his side almost made it 3-1, with Cashman putting a header wide.
The OD’s defence still had to put their necks on the line, to repel a couple more Uxbridge attempts to see out the game as a relieved Heath said: “I thought we should great character in the second half to keep out Uxbridge and was extremely pleased with the first half too, as we showed glimpses of what we are about.
“I was not expecting to only have eight of my squad from last season’s final game to be available as so much has happened in the summer, of which I did not see coming.
“I was missing some influential players from my squad today, hence only being able to name four on the bench and that included two 17-year-olds.”
AFC are now back in action tomorrow night when they host Histon.
AFC: Perks, Massay, N Carney, Griffiths, Beck, Byron, Silford (Kissiedu 82), Olaleye, Hall (Cashman 65), Humbert, B Carney (Hankins 75).
Sub not used: Darby.