Magpies’ cup double dreams shattered

Frater nets only goal in semi-final

COLNEY Heath’s dream of a cup double was bought to an end last Thursday as Nathan Frater’s goal ended the Magpies’ run in the Challenge Trophy at the semi-final stage.

Frater, younger brother of St Albans City defender Ryan, struck the only goal of the game just before the break and Colney Heath’s evening was made even worse by the second half dismissals of Glen Draper and substitute Sean Brettell.

Heath sprinted out of the blocks but Kevin Ashwood shot wide and Mark Teasdale’s drive was kept out by the Dunstable goalkeeper Taylor.

Paul Armstrong came the closest to netting for the home side when he let fly from 25 yards but the former Stevenage man saw his effort rebound out of the right hand upright.

Dunstable then began to get a foothold in the game and forged a series of set plays. From one such free kick Tom Blackman was beaten but he too was saved by the woodwork and the ball bounced behind.

The winning goal came three minutes before the interval following a quick break down the left wing. Heath were caught short at the back and Frater was on hand to drill the ball past Blackman from six yards.

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The striker could have doubled his tally in the first minute of first half injury time but his dipping volley from 25 yards was excellently tipped over by Blackman.

The Magpies were left with an uphill struggle when Draper was given his marching orders after a late and high challenge on Dunstable’s Graeme Buchanan. Having harshly been booked for a robust but fair challenge in the first half the former Barton man was guilty of making a reckless challenge on halfway that saw him clatter into the Dunstable skipper.

Despite their numerical disadvantage the Magpies did still create chances but Ashwood and Ian Cooper both shot straight at the goalkeeper.

The Magpies’ chances of getting something from the game were further reduced when substitute Brettell was handed a straight red card for his comments to the referee.

Dunstable seized on this and caught Heath short on numbers at the back on several occasions but a combination of dreadful finishing and excellent goalkeeping from Blackman denied them a second goal.

Colney Heath continued to create chances but Taylor again frustrated the home side saving from Phil Tuner and then stopping Ashwood’s deft flick late in injury time.