Ten-man AFC Dunstable denied win over Ashford


AFC Dunstable found themselves down to 10 men for a second successive game on Saturday – but succumbed to an injury time equaliser from visitors Ashford Town, the match ending 2-2.

The ODs welcomed Louis Bircham into the starting line up after his transfer from Kings Langley ,and Bill Morgan replaced Terry Griffiths in defence.

The Tangerines came to Creasey Park on a high having won their opening two league games, and also progressed in the FA Cup.

The opening exchanges were evenly contested. The first real chance fell to the visitors, as the home defence got in a right pickle. It fell to Courtney Massay to clear their effort off the line.

Within a minute AFC took the lead. Debutant Bircham broke clear and finished well. Next up it was Ashford’s turn to try and get on the scoresheet, but Jamie Head saved well with his feet.

The game was now opening up and when a Christian Tavernier free kick found Jermaine Hall’s head, his effort hit the base of the Ashford post.

It was looking like AFC would go into the break a goal to the good. That all changed, when ace marksman Mark Bitmead coolly lobbed Head in the AFC goal to draw them level.

It was the visitors who threw away a golden chance to take the lead on 61 minutes but the striker failed to get his shot on target.

Then disaster struck for the hosts. Tavernier burst into the Ashford box surrounded by defenders. With all the flaying arms and legs, he seemed to have his shirt tugged and down he went. However the referee deemed he had dived, so issued Tavernier’s second yellow card.

AFC dug in and created the next chance. Nathan Frater got past two defenders and rifled his shot goalwards but Tyler Tobin was up to the challenge and saved well.

There was further controversy when sub Danny Murphy flew into the Ashford box. He went down but this time the referee pointed to the spot. Up stepped Hall to put away the penalty.

Ashford threw everything at the AFC defence but it was looking like they may hold out. However two minutes into added time, Bitmead was given another chance and he duly put it away.

AFC Team: Head. Massay. Carney. R.Frater. Morgan. Close. Tavernier. Olaleye. Hall (Bishop 72). Bircham (Murphy 68). N.Frater (Campbell 85). Subs not used. Griffiths. Silford

Goalscorers: Bircham (25). Hall 72(p)

Attendance 98