Stotfold welcomed fellow Spartan South Midlands Premier Division AFC Dunstable to Roker Park on Saturday 21st November 2015 for an FA Vase Second Round tie. The visitors have assembled an exciting squad and are one of the favourites for the league title with many players having represented teams higher than their current step five level on the non-league ladder.
Stotfold's midweek game had been abandoned due to high winds meaning one of their key players Ben L'Honore (ex Enfield Town) had to sit out this game to finish his suspension. There were further Enfield football connections as another ex Towner in defender Newman Carney started for AFC Dunstable and Drew Cardines (nephew of the ex Enfield FC striker Colin Cardines) in the starting XI for the home side.
The away side were the better side with three well taken goals from their impressive strike force of Jermaine Hall and BJ Christie (2). The scoreline could of been a little better for AFC as they did get the ball in the back of the net a further three times only for them to be disallowed for offside decisions.
On a heavy pitch Stotfold played some decent football too but lacked the cutting edge in the final third of the pitch where they really missed the aforementioned L'Honore - They appear to be building a good squad and on this showing I think they will finish a lot higher in the league than their current fifteenth position. The teams face each other again at Roker Park tomorrow in a league game.
AFC Dunstable have been given a home draw in the third round against Essex Senior League side Basildon United which should be a very good game to watch. The match was played in good spirits but there were two late (but clearly not malicious) challenges from Stotfold players during the game which resulted in yellow cards being dished out by the referee - could (or should) the referee have given a red card in either one? See from 3m 5secs and 4m 46s.
86 people watched the action - highlights with all four goals scored can be viewed below.
FA VASE THIRD ROUND DRAW 2015/16
scheduled to be played on the weekend of Saturday 12th December
Essex Senior League clubs in blue
Spartan South Midlands in red
Marske United v Team Northumbria
Sunderland RCA v Tadcaster Albion
Newton Aycliffe v Atherton Collieries
South Shields v Morpeth Town
North Shields v Runcorn Town
Dunston UTS v Seaham Red Star
Alsager Town v AFC Wulfunians
St Andrews v Leicester Nirvana
Handsworth Parramore v Cleethorpes Town
Pinxton v Nuneaton Griff
Walsall Wood v Alvechurch
Uttoxeter Town v Coleshill Town
Hereford v Brocton
Saffron Walden Town v Berkhamsted
FC Broxbourne Borough v Bowers & Pitsea
Hullbridge Sports v Stanway Rovers
AFC Dunstable v Basildon United
Edgware Town v Ipswich Wanderers
Yaxley v Sleaford Town
Hertford Town v FC Romania
Colliers Wood United v Hartley Wintney
Thame United v Kidlington
Ascot United v Camberley Town
Lordswood v Ashford United
Eastbourne Town v Sutton Common Rovers
Tadley Calleva v Newport (IOW)
Canterbury City v Knaphill
Moneyfields v Brimscombe & Thrupp
Buckland Athletic v Bradford Town
Highworth Town v Salisbury
Welton Rovers v Bodmin Town
Bristol Manor Farm v Hengrove Athletic
odds via betvictor.com - top six + selected others
Hereford FC 5/2, Salisbury 9/2, Alvechurch 8/1, Marske United 10/1, Morpeth Town 10/1 and Handsworth Parramore 12/1.
AFC Dunstable 16/1, Bowers and Pitsea 33/1, Basildon United, FC Romania, Hertford Town, Hullbridge Sports - all 50/1 Berkhamsted, Edgware Town and FC Broxbourne Borough all 66/1.
The favourites are still Hereford FC who are currently top of the Midland Football League Premier Division. They will be strong favourites when Brocton FC (currently 20th in the MFL Premier) visit Edgar Street in the Third Round. The Badgers have only won three of their nineteen league games so far and entered the competition at the second round stage where they beat Coventry Sphinx 2-3. Hereford won the away league game 0-4 on Saturday 17th October.