Stotfold’s Vase dreams ended by Dunstable

Mark Ellis #7 Stotfold FC PNL-151123-111138002
Mark Ellis #7 Stotfold FC PNL-151123-111138002

Stotfold’s FA Vase hopes ended on a chilly Saturday afternoon at home to county rivals AFC Dunstable.

The 3-1 Second Round defeat brought to an end both the cup run and a seven game unbeaten sequence as a young Eagles side could not cope with the big physical side of Dunstable.

The early stages were fairly even with Dunstable shading the possession and territory but with little quality in the final third.

A couple of games of penalty box tennis was as close as AFC could muster whilst at the other end a Mark Ellis centre from the left was driven just wide by Ashley Fitton.

Then on 21 minutes the Stotfold defence failed to clear their lines from a high ball and it fell to the Bernard Christie on the edge of the 18 yard box with time and space to curl one over Adam Harpur into the top corner 1-0.

Ten minutes later a hopeful forward ball into a good area was not dealt with by home defence and Jermaine Hall ran on and lifted it up and over the on rushing Adam Harpur to score.

This saw the introduction of club captain Ryan Ellis in an attempt to try and tighten up the back line. For the rest of the first half, apart from a couple of disallowed Dunstable goals, both sides pretty much cancelled each other out

In the second half with nothing to lose Stotfold came out with renewed vigour and tried to press to create something.

They were moving the ball quicker and to feet but then against the run of play a long punt clearance from Dunstable caught the defence square and, unable to deal with the sheer physical presence on the Dunstable front line, Christie ran in to score.

Then a period of play ensued where Stotfold controlled the game and on 70 minutes an in-swinging corner from the right from Charlie Joy found the head of Mark Ellis for a thumping header into the roof of the net for 3-1.

Despite lots of effort and endeavour and some patches of good football and throwing bodies up front all it was all to no avail.

Stotfold’s focus returns to the SSML Premier on Saturday when they visit Welwyn Garden City.