|Round 2 of the Gledhill Cup and at Blackpool Road, St Annes it was a big day for the Dunes Hotel Pub on Lytham Road as the Dunes FC of Division 1 took on AFC Dunes of Division 2B in a much anticipated tie.|
When this tie was drawn out at the league secretaries' meeting there was something of a cheer and ever since then the whole Pub has been looking forward to September 3rd.
The Dunes FC, being a Division 1 side, automatically received a first round bye. They've got off to a great start this season and this morning they were lying third in the league behind leaders Hydronics FC and second placed Bloomfield Vets FC. Wins against CTK FC and St Annes Ex Service FC along with a 2-2 draw against the Philharmonic FC have given them seven points from the first four games. Their only defeat came against the New Castle FC.
Last season the Dunes FC finished in eighth place in Division 1 and were rather disappointing but this was mainly due to player shortages. In last season's Gledhill Cup they fell at the Round 2 stage to Red Rose Catering FC in a 6-3 defeat.
Last season AFC Dunes had a memorable season in 3A. A fifth place finish was good enough to secure promotion to Division 2B. They also reached the final of the Division 3 Cup where they were beaten in an entertaining final by double winners, Gardeners Arms FC. They've had a mixed start in the higher Division with two wins and two defeats. This morning they were in eighth place. The two wins came aginst the Central Club FC and Partner Marketing FC with the losses coming against the Stanley Arms, Wesham FC and Fylde Coast Gates FC.
To reach Round 3 and set up this mouth watering fixture they had to get past the Windmill FC (3B) with a 3-1 win. Last season AFC Dunes fell in Round 3 to Premier Division side the Clarence FC following a 5-1 defeat.
Yesterday's terrible weather continued with squally showers, the strong wind coming straight off the sea. Today's referee was Martin Rogers. AFC won the toss and elected to take advantage of the wind. At 11:03 am the Dunes kicked off towards the sea wearing the white and blue strip.
All mates before the match, kicked lumps out of each other for 90 minutes then all back to the boozer for a few pints.
Early AFC pressure.
Dunes keeper Barry Curtis.
Fraser Cook (Left)
With the wind on their backs AFC had the better of the opening forays and on fifteen minutes they deservedly took the lead with a brilliant goal. Matt Hindle's trickery resulted in a cheeky back pass for Jay Munday to run on to. He took it inside on to his right foot, looked up then bent an unstoppable curling strike past Curtis into the top corner. 0 – 1.
Two minutes later and the Dunes equalised. A Matt Raybould clearance found touch on the left touchline. A quick Andy Wade throw in found the feet of Mark Taylor. He was allowed to turn before firing a powerful low drive across keeper Kibbler and into the far corner. 1 – 1.
AFC centre half Matt 'Snowy' Raybould.
Three minutes later and the Dunes thought they'd gone ahead. A poor clearance was pounced on by Fraser Cook but the liner's flag was up well before he found the bottom corner.
The rain comes down.
“If things don't improve you're sacked !” Dunes landlord and ex manager Jimmy Drinkwater (Right) tells new manager Steve Angus his fortune.
“Wait for me”
On 42 minutes AFC produced a couple of corners. From the second Steve Hugo delivery a Mark Prescott header was desperately kneed off the line by a Dunes defender.
Half time score : The Dunes FC 1 – 1 AFC Dunes.
AFC Dunes start the second half.
A good solid tackle.
Matt Hindle (Left)
Both sides started the second half brightly. On 55 minutes a good breakaway between Lawson and Hindle almost resulted in a goal for AFC Dunes in the photo below.
“Kid of the week”, Blake Raybould out watching dad Matt (Far right) turn out for AFC Dunes.
The Dunes were having more of the ball in dangerous positions and on 63 minutes they took the lead. Ben McKay burst through a couple of challenges and smacked it right footed into the bottom corner from just outside the area. With the wind behind it the ball flew in. 2 – 1.
“It's not a debate, get on with it”.
On your feet.
The Red Arrows celebrate Round 2 of the 40th Gledhill Cup with a fly-past.
On 67 minutes AFC went close after yet another Mark Prescott header from a corner just flew wide of the post. Beginning to push forward in search of an equaliser AFC were almost caught out less than a minute later when Cook had his second goal of the game disallowed for a controversial offside.
On 73 minutes an AFC error at the back let in Mike Lees who pounced on a poor back pass but he rushed his effort and it went high over the bar.
Is that Ryan Chorlton in the background ?
On 83 minutes we had drama as referee Rogers had no hesitation in pointing to the spot after he spotted a push by a Dunes defender on the AFC striker. After the commotion had died down up stepped the usually dependable Matt Hindle but his low effort to the bottom left hand corner was excellently saved by the diving Curtis. Click here to see the video of Matt's miss. (Sorry Matt)
The sun comes out.
On 86 minutes the AFC keeper Tony Kibbler spilled the ball but he recovered well to turn the subsequent shot around the post.On 90 minutes Kibbler wasn't so lucky. His poor goal – kick wasn't dealt with by the AFC centre halves. They were dispossessed and Danny Tonner was neatly played in one on one. Tonner made no mistake as he placed the ball past the despairing keeper. 3 – 1.
Tonner scores and Kibbler knows the Gledhill's over for AFC Dunes for another season.
Mr Rogers blows the final whistle.
Final score : The Dunes FC 3 – 1 AFC Dunes.
It wasn't the best of cup ties as the conditions spoiled it for most of the game. Saying that, both sides were guilty of overplaying passes and overshooting corners when they had the advantage of the wind.
However, there were some cracking goals, especially from Munday and McKay. If AFC had converted the penalty who knows what might have happened – possibly extra time. But they didn't and in the end the Dunes edged it to go through to Round 3. Good luck to them in the next Round.
The Dunes FC get the bragging rights in the pub for the next few weeks.
The happy Dunes goal-scorers, McKay, Tonner and Taylor.