1st Team Finished 4th in the North Berks Division 1
Chairman: Colin Dolton
Vice Chairman: Richard May
Hon Secretary: Steven Sherwood
1st Team Manager: Michael Butcher (Reading FC JMA)
U16 Managers: Duncan Mitchell & Steve Teboe
Under 16 team played in the Oxfordshire F.A Invitation Youth League
U16 Fixtures Secretary: Steve Teboe
Welfare Officer: Shelley Strange
Posted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 9:59 pm
Post subject: FA Vase 1st Round
Dunstable Town 5 AFC Wallingford 0 ht 1-0
BLUES OVERWHELM WALLINGFORD
Lincoln Brothers take the plaudits
The rain had finally ceased and with it the worries of a waterlogged pitch. In fact it turned out to be a pleasant afternoon of autumnal sunshine. The sun indeed shone on the Blues who eased through to the second round proper of the prestigious FA Vase with a comprehensive victory over AFC Wallingford of the North Berkshire league.
The Oxfordshire side’s problems began en route when an accident delayed the arrival of their match secretary which was looked on kindly by a very understanding referee. Andy Crawford of Hertfordshire who handled the game efficiently, ably assisted by his two colleagues,
Dunstable had reached this stage with wins over Hanwell Town and Cranfield United, and were the favourites today against a side who play at a lower level. But the approach was justifiably cautious as, despite dominating the Oxfordshire outfit, they had restricted the Blues to a solitary goal lead by the interval.
Wallingford (I will refer to them thus as I am one of the legions who dislike the unimaginative if ubiquitous AFC appellation….does not Wallingford Wanderers not have a certain ring to it?) I digress as always, but this side fought hard throughout and defended nobly in depth.
They needed to as the Blues have been free scoring of late, even with top scorer Grant Carney still hors de combat, owing to injury.
Manager Darren Feighery sprung a little surprise with the reintroduction of Graeme Buchanan, a player who has seen action in former Blues’ line-ups. He was initially a substitute but was brought on after just seventeen minutes to replace the injured Dan Picknell.
In league games the Blues have heartily taken an early lead, which was not relinquished and so it was today, when flying winger Kerran Birch caught out a static defence to score the opening goal after just three minutes. But this had the effect of galvanising Wallingford who played the rest of the half matching the Blues for effort if not effect. Tom Collins and Bradley Fraser showed willing but lacked the essential support in some early ripostes to the Blues forays, and Jonathan Cooper then fired just wide. Mitchell Parker had similar lack of fortune, and Paul Taylor had little of significance to perform, in keeping his second clean sheet in three games.
The eager Birch, whose pace and effort justified another goal, saw his shot saved by a somewhat nervous Jordan Eggleton who appeared to have on a pair of over sized oven gloves. A succession of Dunstable corners maintained the pressure, with the best result being a close header from Buchanan.
Dunstable did not so much squander their opportunities, but there was a little concern that they had just the one goal for all their creativity.
Cooper almost unwittingly added the second from a rebound and an alarming back pass from Damen Pickering gave Tom Collins the chance of a shot which he entirely wasted.
The urgency was fine but the Blues were met with the kind of resilient defending that could well cause a degree of frustration. Dean Whittaker assist for Jonathan Barnett looked decidedly promising but the finish was lacking.
Jordan Lee Brown cleared Jonathan Cooper’s snap shot close to the line but the second goal was not forthcoming. This made things look good for the visitors who had done well to withstand the onslaught, and they proved themselves quite able to break from midfield, often involving some good passing moves.
But for all their resistance, the start of the second half saw Wallingford virtually give a goal away owing to the timidity of their goal keeper. Luke Lincoln had scampered unchallenged along the flank and his pass sought Whittaker who later told me that he thought the keeper ‘was about to throw his hat on it, but he let it run and I tapped it in.’
He did indeed, and it did little to inspire confidence in the diligent Wallingford side.
But they did not concede again until the eightieth minute, but there were so many near misses and the rattling of the woodwork in between.
Wallingford’s best reply was a shot from the industrious Bradley Fraser that was deflected for a corner. Wayne Mills, Lucas Flood and in particular, Kyle Lincoln were efficient in defence and Graeme Buchanan displayed no let up in his motivational skills.
Dean Whittaker was replaced by a somewhat urgent and unfortunate Nathan Miller on the hour mark. I say unfortunate as although he was the architect of goals he was indeed deserving to be on the score sheet himself.
Play was briefly held up when what seemed to be the Wallingford manager – or assistant, was sent off for dissent from the bench. I say what seemed as the listed manager was Michael Butcher who was down as the number five for Wallingford. It may well have been Tristan Lewis who was listed as a substitute. But no matter.
Nathan Miller was in the role of providing an assist when Luke Lincoln’s lovely lob struck the cross bar with Eggleton stranded. An over hit back pass from Damen Pickering caused momentary alarm but it shook Taylor out of his lethargy caused by under employment.
Luke Lincoln repaid the compliment of the earlier assist when he picked out Miller who shot just over the bar. The predatory Lincoln saw his next shot blocked and Lee Brown shot from range for the visitors but was well wide of the intended target.
But still it remained just 2-0 and it did seem that despite all the effort that it might well remain so until what was indeed a blistering last ten minutes, when the Blues consolidated their overall domination. First came Jonathan Cooper’s fine goal that seemed to me to go wide. It seemed so as the ball went into the net and out through a tear in the netting.
So it was 3-0 and more to come. Nathan Miller was again in an enterprising position and his fine shot hit the bar and there was Luke Lincoln to complete the move, much to his delight.
Both Lincoln brothers were interviewed after the game and this may be read in the next home programme; but I can reveal that they are both delighted to be a part of the current Dunstable team after being rendered surplus to requirements at Biggleswade United at the end of last season. United’s unheeded loss is Dunstable’s gain, and Luke underlined this by banging in two goals against his former club in the last league game.
Luke also scored two in this outing, scoring the fourth and fifth goals on eighty-two and eighty- six minutes. It underlined Wallingford’s capitulation, with their young side facing what was ultimately a rout and that after their hard work and effort in a praiseworthy first half.
But, to my chagrin, and indeed to their chairman’s, the team decided to forgo the usual supplied refreshments and thus broke a rule, as well as signifying an act of discourtesy to their hosts. They had an extended debriefing, but there is no excuse for forgoing the formalities. Their officials munched away on their sarnies amid apologies, but I would be aggrieved if our own team had acted thus at another ground.
Wallingford were, of course justifiably upset at succumbing to the blitz of the last ten minutes, but we can only prosper as clubs if sportsmanship and dignity in either victory or defeat can obtain. Even at our level there is a degree of noblesse oblige to be maintained.
The Wallingford chairman apologised on behalf of his team and asked me to mention that the matter would be addressed very soon. We thank him for that gesture.
Jonathan Cooper was the sole booking for the Blues and I am sure he has now incurred a suspension, but along with a caution for Wallingford’s Ben Gladwin, the game was free of confrontational incidents.
Darren Feighery was adamant that the man of the match for the Blues went to Kyle Lincoln and it met with general approval.
Feighery was quietly content with the result, it being his eighth game back at the helm and his results speak for themselves and his selected teams. Eight games, six wins and two draws with twenty-three goals for and seven against.
He is aware of the tricky game coming up at Gosling Park, the new home of Hatfield Town, but he has every reason to feel confident.
Grant Carney, absent through injury today told me he was ‘well proud’ of his young lads – and I will not omit the relatively not so young whose experience is vital to the balance of the team.
The lucrative prize money is incentive enough and clubs at our level see it as manna from heaven, but each game must be won to get the prize. Dunstable will be anxious to see just who they are pitted against in the second round, with some speculation of the possibility of meeting AFC Dunstable, who triumphed over our sister league club, Colney Heath by 3-1 the night before.
Whoever it is, there will be no fear, given recent form and a rejuvenation of spirit within the club.
The hasty arrangement of a possible extra time and penalties on the day was thus academic.
The Wallingford officials and supporters were an affable bunch and they were let down by their side if not so much on the field for the first half but by their team’s absence after the match in the clubhouse.
Dunstable resume their league programme with a couple of away games after an unprecedented eight successive home games. The next league game at Creasey Park will be Hillingdon Borough on Saturday 16 October.
It will be of great interest to see if the team can do something about, and here I whisper, losing their last four away games. They are unbeaten at Creasey Park and I rather fancy them obtaining something of a good result when they face Hatfield Town and St Margaretsbury.
Paul Taylor, Wayne Mills, KYLE LINCOLN, Blues’ man of the match, Damen Pickering, Lucas Flood, Jonathan Cooper goal, 80 minutes,
Kerran Birch, goal 3 minutes, Daniel Picknell,
Dean Whittaker, goal, 48 minutes, Luke Lincoln, two goals, 82 and 86 minutes, Jonathan Barnett.
Substitutes- Tom Dolan, Nathan Miller, not used Robert Newman and Neal Perrin.
Jordan Eggleton, Gareth Sanashee, Jordan Lee Brown, Tristan Campbell, Michael Butcher, Komal Llewellyn- Reid, BRADLEY FRASER, Ben Gladwin, Tom Collins, Karlton Lee, Mitchell Parker.
Substitutes – Omar Mohammed, Ben Jennings and Tristan Lewis.
Officials – referee – Andy Crawford assisted by Alan Wilson and Steve Bates all from Hertfordshire. All three gave exemplary performances.
Thame Utd were ground-sharing with AFCW this season.