SML Premier: Harefield United 1 AFC Dunstable 1
Ten-man AFC Dunstable produced a battling display to earn a point at promotion rivals Harefield United at the weekend.
The visitors had to play the majority of the second half with a numerical disadvantage after captain Moses Olaleye received a harsh red card, but clung on to make it 12 league games without defeat.
AFC had gone into the game with no recognised striker as Jermaine Hall and Leon Simpson were unavailable and Chris Francis was injured.
Steve Heath’s side started brightly though with Jamie Warne upfront and had the breakthrough on the half hour mark.
Quick thinking from Newman Carney saw him slip in Leon Cashman from a free kick and he was brought down in the area by the Harefield keeper.
Carney then took responsibility from the penalty spot and converted to make it 1-0.
It looked like AFC would hold out until half time but Harefield lobbed the ball forward to win a free kick.
Ben Gill curled the set-piece into the net, beating the despairing drive of Louis Porcelli.
In the second period, Olaleye was shown a straight red for a skirmish with Liam Hind, as the home player escaped with a caution.
The dismissal saw Wayne Mills pushed to right back and James Bishop to midfield, while Jonathan Cooper went upfront.
It was backs to the wall time for the visitors, as Grant Fryer led by example at the back.
Harefield had a golden chance to take the lead when Mark Smith broke clear on 72 minutes but Porcelli was up to the challenge, while the keeper then made a wonderful save to deny Ricky Pither.
AFC introduced Jimmy Hartley for the last 15 minutes as they came close a winner themselves.
First Warne was crowded out, while Hartley went on a mazy run, but couldn’t find the target.
Fryer rose highest to meet a corner and saw his header rebound off the crossbar, while Hartley was denied a winner by Nathan Bull’s fine save.
AFC visit Hoddesdon Town on Saturday and for the thoughts of boss Heath, see the News/Gazette on sale now.