Match Report No 7 – Dartford 5 New London Lionesses 1
Sunday 25th September 2022; Weather: Grey and overcast with light breeze
Dartford kicked away from the stadium in the first half.
Dartford got off to a rather slow start and during the opening seven minutes a long range shot from Adele, that didn’t really test the keeper, was the closest Darts got to a goal. However, on eight minutes Shauni Griffiths’ shot struck the crossbar and rebounded to safety. It was Shauni again who provided the next goal -bound shot, on eleven minutes, but her effort was blocked by a defender.
The Lionesses, in an attempt to try and contain Emily Read from making her characteristic runs down the right, brought another player over to help at the left-back position. This inevitably led to spaces within the centre of their defence which helped to open the game up.
After eleven minutes, Georgie Davis played a good ball down the line for Nicha Dyett and she produced a cross into the box that was latched onto by Shauni but her goal-bound shot struck a defender and was cleared.
Dartford’s passing was improving all the while, Amy Reader feeding Shauni who played back to Charlie Torry whose pass out to the right reached Emily Read. With two defenders constantly at her back she nevertheless won a corner, one of many to be won this afternoon. Em’s corner was high into the box and met by Charlie but her header just missed the target.
Darts were now knocking the ball around nicely and full of confidence; this time Amy Green passed to Shauni, who played it inside to Adele. She spread the ball out to the opposite wing for Emily Read but she was closed down quickly on this occasion.
Amy Green, always in the thick of things, pushed the ball through to Emily Vaughan; she passed back to Adele who tried a long diagonal ball to Shauni but the pass was intercepted and went out for a throw. But the smooth passing was good to see and easy on the eye.
Then came a chance with a long shot from Amy Green which flew into a ruck of players and was deflected out for a corner. Lionesses pulled all their players back to pack the penalty area. It worked this time as the corner was well defended.
Now Charlie Torry came charging into the affray and tried her luck with a thunderous 30-yarder which rose just over the bar.
The Lionesses goalkeeper, due to her earlier injury, left the goal-kicks to her defenders, but on more than one occasion these were fairly weak and gave the Darts more attacking opportunities, yet the goal just wouldn’t come.
On twenty minutes there was a nasty clash of heads – Emily Read being the least affected but the Lionesses’ player needed attention, which came from Dartford’s bench, which was a nice touch.
In the 23rd minute Darts finally made the break-through they deserved. After a Lionesses attack was broken up by Georgie, she immediately found Adele who played the ball out wide to the right, finding Em Read. She produced another gem of a cross, deep to the far post which evaded the goalie’s leap and dropped over her head into the net for the first goal.
Darts kept up their attacking play, this time Amy Reader to Charlie, on to Adele, back to Amy Green out to Charlie who tried a long ball over the defence for Em Read to chase but the pace of the ball this time beat Em’s attempt to keep it in play..
Half way through the first half, the Lionesses had a rare attack but their final ball was always found to be a bit wanting and Darts cleared their lines. Darts built their next attack from Paris who rolled out to Charlie, she passed to Em Read on the right, who found Adele who directed the ball into the penalty area. The ball found its way to Em Vaughan but she was crowded out by a stubborn defence.
A free-kick from Georgie on the left wing reached Shauni who cut inside and fired off a shot towards the far corner of the goal. It passed the goalkeeper but missed its target by just a few inches.
On 29 minutes a free kick from Georgie found Shauni. She took on her marker, turned the defender inside out before delivering a fine shot which beat the goalie, this time finding the back of the net to make it 2-0.
Darts were effective at playing the passing game and everyone was able to get in on the act. This time Adele played the ball to Jo Woodgates who passed forward to Amy Green who slid it out to Shauni who in turn sent it on to Nicha. She then played it on to Em Vaughan who, with her pass back, lined-up Amy Reader for the shot. From the edge of the penalty area Amy sent in a powerful drive – right on target – but the goalie was well-placed on her line and got her whole body behind the save. Darts’ inter-passing-play really deserved a goal on this occasion.
On 40 minutes, Charlie passed to Em Read who with the close attention of two defenders, still managed to win a corner. Her nicely flighted kick came down in the 6-yard box and was bravely met by the keeper, who parried it away. But only as far as Amy Green who unleashed a terrific shot from the edge of the area that rattled the crossbar.
On 43 mins came the Darts’ 3rd goal – An own goal, which was turned in from a dangerous cross-ball from Amy Green.
There was almost another goal on the stroke of half-time. Adele’s forceful header found Em Read who then ran her lone defender ragged before crossing into the area, where it was met by No 10 Em who volleyed her shot at goal but it just rose too high and cleared the bar. That would have been a lovely goal!
In the opening couple of minutes, the fourth long stoppage of the match was for an injury to Amy Reader, but she shrugged this off and continued.
Five minutes into the second half, another beautiful delivery from Em Read dropped into the 6-yard box, the ball got cleared but only as far as Shauni, who, on the edge of the penalty area drove the ball back at goal, and this one too smashed against the crossbar, eventually dropping into the hands of the goalie.
A minutes later (51 minutes) Darts made it 4-0. A forceful run was made by Em Read and she had time to stop and square back a pass to Amy Reader who crossed to Amy Green. For a moment she teed it up for a shot, then neatly sent the defender the wrong way by side-footing it on to Charlie who beats her man and attempts to play it through a ruck of players but is cleared. It is intercepted by Jo who played the ball out wide to Em Read. Her pin-point pass into the goal-mouth was met and neatly finished off by Emily Vaughan.
Amy Reader, tried to ‘run-off’ her earlier knock but was replaced by Izzy Michalski on 60 minutes and Alicia took over from Adele.
A 64th minute break from the Lionesses from the centre-line found their forward through on goal in a one-on-one with Paris and, to her credit, slotted the ball neatly beyond Paris’ reach to make the score 4-1
In the 65th and 67th minutes, Lizzie Adams and Rachel Ahern enter the affray. Then Nicha received the ball and passed on to Lizzie Adams, who in turn, sent it across the penalty area to Shauni who beat her man and placed her shot across the goal which only missed the far post by inches.
Izzy and Em Read on the right were a real handful for the Lionesses defenders and still the Darts were urged forward at every opportunity. A nice group of passes between Lizzie inside to Georgie, on to Jo then out to Shauni,was a joy to watch and although on this occasion ended in a slightly misplaced pass, the ball was reclaimed by Em Vaughan who fed it back to Lizzie and found its way out to the right wing for Em Read. From Em’s accurate cross Lizzie just got under the ball too much and her header cleared the crossbar.
On 89 minutes Nicha had a game of football on her own, keeping the ball while attempted tackles were coming in from every angle, and then played a great through-ball to Izzy who ran into a bit of a melee. The loose ball fell to Lizzie Adams who put a shot back into the area and Em Vaughan was there to hit it home and complete the Darts’ scoring. 5-1
Deep into stoppage time, from a short corner Em Read to Georgie and back to Em, she crossed it into the area where it was side-footed accurately into the net by Lizzie Adams, but the goal was disallowed for off-side, so Darts were deprived of the 6th goal and Lizzie Adams of her opening goal for the season. Nevertheless, Darts ended on a high with a successful encounter with a team that was expected to provide stiffer opposition.
Dartford F.C. Women: Paris Smith; Jo Woodgates, Georgie Davis; Amy Reader, Amy Green, Charlie Torry, Adele Pearce, Emily Read, Shauni Griffiths, Nicha Dyett and Emily Vaughan, Subs Issy Michalski,
Alicia Adams, Lizzie Adams and Rachel Ahern