Leverstock Green put up a good display against league leaders AFC Dunstable, but Steve Heath’s side proved too strong in the end and ran out 5-2 winners in Saturday’s SSML Premier Division game.
AFC opened the scoring early on from a free-kick swung over by Newman Carney; the Green defence couldn’t clear the ball and Terry Griffths finished from close range.
It was almost 2-0 in the 11th minute when the prolific BJ Christie got the better of Joe Horwood and went clean through, but his shot went across the face of goal and wide.
The second AFC goal came in the 29th minute, although not in the way they would have wanted to score it. The ball was put out of play after Louis Bircham went down injured, and as Leon Cashman tried to kick it back to Craig Garrett, the ball flew over the Green keeper’s head into the net.
The referee had no choice but to award the goal, but AFC showed great sportsmanship by allowing Bircham to walk through and score from the restart, pulling the score back to 2-1.
Levy began to play their way into the game for the remainder of the half, and came close to levelling a minute before the break when Bircham got on the end of Tommy Walsh’s low corner, but his shot was deflected over.
AFC went 3-1 in front from a quick break away in the 54th minute. Taishan Griffith found Cashman in the box, and he turned and smashed home an emphatic shot that gave Garrett no chance.
Four minutes later Levy were back in the game when Bircham found the top corner of the net with an exquisite chip from the edge of the box to pull score back to 3-2. However, the two goal cushion was restored in the 66th minute from an AFC corner as Danny Ryan headed the ball across goal and Josh Humbert stooped to head home.
Christie could have added the fifth goal on 83 minutes but Garrett pulled off a great save from point-blank range to keep out his shot. However, in the 86th minute Christie did finally add his name to the scoresheet, heading home from a free kick for a final score of 5-2.
Leverstock Green: 1. Craig Garrett, 2. Liam O’Keefe, 3. Damien Cruickshank, 4. Joe Horwood, 5. James Budden, 6. Lee Faulkner, 7. Tommy Walsh, 8. Jack Gilmartin (12. Reece Cameron 77 mins), 9. Louis Bircham, 10. Curtis Donaldson, 11. Dene Gardner (14. Julian Smith 63 mins). Sub not used: 15. Gavin Smith.
AFC Dunstable: 1. Ricky Perks, 2. Courtney Massay, 3. Newman Carney, 4. Terry Griffiths, 5. Danny Ryan, 6. Taishan Griffith (16. Billy Baird 77 mins), 7. Brandon Carney (15. Danny Jones 64 mins), 8. Moses Olayeye, 9. Leon Cashman (12. Roy Byron 88 mins), 10. Josh Humbert, 11. BJ Christie. Subs not used: 14. Fabio Bufano, 17. Jason Beck.