Valiant AFC can’t quite stone the Crows

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Southern League Division One Central: Royston Town 1 AFC Dunstable 0

AFC Dunstable’s six match unbeaten run came to an end on Saturday as they conceded a late goal to narrowly lose runaway league leaders Royston Town.

The visitors had made one change from the midweek Beds County Cup semi-final win over Kempston Rovers, with Nathan Frater replacing BJ Christie.

Apart from a 20 minute spell halfway through the first half when the Crows got on top, the game was a very tight affair.

AFC gave away a number of soft free kicks and keeper Garry Malone had to make a great double save to keep the scores goalless on 15 minutes, while Scott Bridges somehow missed the target from eight yards on the half hour mark.

Frater cleared the bar with a shot of his own, as the first period finishing goalless, while after the break, AFC upped their game and couldn’t create any clear-cut chances.

Frater’s run and cross was cleared away from Jermaine Hall, while with time running out, Royston had the winner as Danny May’s deadball delivery was headed home by the hosts’ star man Spyro Mentis, the smallest player on the pitch.

Late on, Frater was sent off for AFC, while the visitors almost levelled as Christie’s 20-yard piledriver was parried by keeper Welch.

Boss Steve Heath said: “Fair play to Royston, they are a very compact and dangerous team and will be worthy champions.

“I thought though we pushed them all the way in both games and with a bit more luck might have got something from the games.”

AFC host Beaconsfield SYCOB this weekend.

AFC: Malone, Massay, Murphy, Morgan, Cashman, N Carney, Hall, Olaleye (Byron 88), Frater, Bishop (Humbert 73), Mannion (Christie 70).

Sub not used: Griffiths.

Attendance: 215.