A thoroughly undeserved defeat, with the visitors snatching victory very late on having been allowed to keep all eleven on the pitch, which was baffling. We played well, very well in parts, but paid a big price for some defensive frailties and, despite concerted pressure, we didn’t reap the rewards.
Several changes needed to be made to the team, due to injuries (Russ), unavailability (Sammy and Webby) and departures (Kameron English having signed for Marlow this week after they made an approach). Romario was back in the side, Theo got a start and Elijah Ogunseye, who signed for us this week, made an impressive debut until he needed to be subbed. Hope the injury doesn’t keep him out for long.
We got off to a bad start when, despite there being five defenders to their two attackers, AFCD took a 7th minute lead through Jermaine Hall. The lads dug in and were ahead by the half hour, with keeper Gary Malone unable to gather shots and Dan poaching a brace in the 24th and 30th.
It would have been handy to see the half out with a lead, but Will brought an attacker down in the box in first half stoppage time and Hall scored his second from the spot. We then gave our best attacking display for a long while in the second half but got caught cold in the 88th minute when a looping cross saw Nathan Frater able to head home unmarked, which was the cue for AFCD to celebrate as if they’d won promotion.
AFCD had looked impressive for the first half hour but, once they went behind, they showed a different side to their game. rJosh Humbert should have received two yellows and Leon Cashman was also lucky to stay on the pitch. Referee Stu Kyle was woefully inconsistent. On three occasions during the game, AFCD defenders hauled our forwards down with arms round the neck but only one got booked and, having booked a forward for diving in the penalty area, a second Tom Daley effort went uncarded. Meanwhile, Bitz and Dan were booked for dissent for contesting one of the obvious fouls. Frustrating to put it mildly.
You couldn’t fault our lads’ workrate today and we definitely deserved at least a point for our efforts. Not the first time this season we’ve been on the wrong side of some awful officiating, which has probably cost us half a dozen points over the season, but heads need to stay up and the character shown today needs to be remembered and repeated.