Cashman's late strike salvages point for AFC
Southern League Division One Central: AFC Dunstable 2 Marlow 2
AFC Dunstable were forced to share the spoils with Marlow at the weekend, having to twice come from behind to salvage a point.
With the first half largely devoid of any real quality, it was the visitors who broke the deadlock on 42 minutes as Jay Welch’s wayward shot was turned in by Isaac Osei-tutu.
However, AFC hit back moments before the interval thanks to a neat finish from Jermaine Hall.
In the second period, AFC continued to create the more clear cut chances as Roy Byron’s cross just eluded Terry Griffiths at the far post, while on the hour, Josh Humbert drew a neat save from Marlow keeper Simon Grant.
AFC nearly took the lead on 65 minutes, when BJ Christie’s strike crashed against the bar, while with time running out, he rounded Grant and fired goalwards, only to see Chris Ovenden clear off the line.
Trying to force the winner, AFC were hit by a sucker punch on 86 minutes as the unmarked Max Kilman’s header somehow eluded the hosts defence and crossed the line.
However, rather than feel sorry for themselves, the home side went in search of the equaliser as Christie forced a corner and Hall’s delivery was headed home by Leon Cashman.
Late on, Marlow’s Joshua Francis was dismissed, with AFC’s Jason Beck show yellow after a melee, with the visitors almost stealing victory when Phil John’s strike crept under Ricky Perks body, but the keeper grabbed it just in time.
AFC boss Steve Heat said: “We never really got going in the first half and I was surprised at Marlow’s long ball tactic as we started to fall into that category.
“Our first two games has seen us playing some nice football but we just could not recreate that.
“What I was really pleased with, was the character we showed to respond twice quickly from going behind.
“I would have snapped your hand off to have seven points from our first three games.
“It was probably our first real test regarding playing a combative team and apart from not providing our usual quality, we stuck to our task and competed well.”
AFC now travel to local rivals Barton Rovers tomorrow evening.
AFC: Perks, Massay, Cashman, Griffiths, Beck, Byron (Cooper 68), B Carney (Silford 72), Olaleye, Hall, Humbert, Christie.
Subs not used: Hankins, Darby.
Bookings: Perks, Christie, Beck.