Three goals in a five-minute second half spell condemned Leverstock Green to another defeat as they went down 4-1 at home to title-chasing AFC Dunstable on Tuesday night.
Reserve team keeper Jordan I’Anson stepped in for the unavailable Kieran Jimmy, and were it not for I’Anson’s heroics the game could have been well and truly over by half-time.
The Green keeper was first brought into action in the fourth minute when Jermaine Hall ran onto a through ball to go clean through, only to be denied as I’Anson saved with his legs.
However, there were also chances for Leverstock. In the sixth minute an AFC defender slipped over, leaving Billy Smith to pick up the ball and have a run at goal before firing just wide.
A minute later at the other end, I’Anson saved again as he kept out a shot from a narrow angle from Chris Francis.
After a long spell of AFC pressure, Leverstock were threatening inside their box in the 19th minute, only to be caught out by a lightning break.
Francis was clean through again, but this time I’Anson saved with his chest.
A minute later Leverstock were on the attack again as Elias Moses ran into the box. Moses was brought down inside the box, and as Smith went for the loose ball he also appeared to be brought down, but the referee waved away both penalty appeals.
There was another chance for Leverstock in the 22nd minute when a ball from Mark Woolley put Smith through again, but he shot straight at the keeper.
I’Anson pulled off another save in the 31st minute to deny Hall again when he was clean through, but having made four great saves from one-on-one situations, I’Anson was caught out by a looping header from Chris Fryer which gave the visitors the lead in the 35th minute.
I’Anson made his fifth one-on-one save a minute before the break, again denying Francis who was clean through.
Leverstock went into the break only a single goal down, and four minutes into the second half the scores were levelled by a gift from Dunstable keeper Jamie Head.
He received a throw-in and tried to kick the ball out of the box, but kicked it straight into the back of Louis Bircham. Bircham turned quickly and stabbed the ball home for the equaliser.
The game was neatly poised now, with AFC still having most of the pressure, but Leverstock looking a threat on the break.
All that changed, however, when Dunstable were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position in the 65th minute.
Newman Carney curled the ball over the wall, and I’Anson got a hand to it to turn it onto the post, but the rebound went back into the net.
Two minutes later, Fryer scored his second with a shot from outside the box, and in the 70th minute Hall slotted the ball home as AFC pushed too easily through the middle of the Green defence.
The Leverstock resistance had crumbled in a five-minute spell, and the rest of the game petered out as the Green side could not find any way back into it.
Next up for the Green is a home game against Hadley on Saturday.