Boro’ have taken on their fair share of opponents down the years and some of those teams have simply been no more than passing acquaintances, while there are others that have become – well – annoyingly familiar. For all the many times we’ve faced teams like Woking, there have been rare match-ups too. So, we’re asking, where do Dunstable stand in the grand scheme of things?
Dunstable: Us And Them
Our random club generator has, this week, perhaps found something a bit closer to home in more ways than one. Dunstable has a footballing past that’s not unlike our own in Stevenage, with clubs going out of business and new clubs being created – you know what we mean. But, where Boro’ have gone from strength to strength since 1976, it’s not the same for everyone.
At the moment, you’ll see a Dunstable Town FC riding high in the Southern League Premier Division and an AFC Dunstable competing in the Spartan South Midlands Premier Division. But the Dunstable that we’d have known – the one we only met once back in 1986 – no longer exist, having gone pop in 1994. Fortunately, the current incarnation is looking much healthier.
So, Dunstable. Specifically, the Dunstable we defeated in the 1986-7 FA Trophy Preliminary Round by a solitary Chris Myers goal. Well, the similarities between them and Stevenage perhaps aren’t to be understated. The club was formed in 1976 too – taking on the fixtures of the former Dunstable Town midway through the 1975-6 Southern League season.
Stevenage Athletic, as you may have read or even recall, went bust later that year and Boro’ had to start from the bottom.
Just before the former club’s demise, they had Jeff Astle and George Best on the books – with Barry Fry managing things on the sidelines. It had got them up into the Southern League Premier Division, leaving Athletic behind in Division One North. Not that either them or us saw their respective adventures continue much longer.
Our two towns haven’t met for nearly 30 years in a senior footballing sense now. It’ll take relegation to the Conference (for us) or a healthy FA Cup run (for the current ‘them’) to make that happen. Stranger things have taken place in the footballing world, but it does make it that bit harder for us to remember them as far as they go. For now, at least…
BoroGuide’s Dunstable club profile – for old time’s sake…