Upcoming MatchHendon vs Dartford/April 23, 2024/Silver Jubilee Park

DARTS BAG THE POINTS AGAINST A DEFIANT MILLWALL

Match Report 23 – Dartford 3 Millwall Lionesses 2
London & SE Regional League, Premier Division, played on Sunday 10th March 2024 on PP Community 3G
(This was scheduled to be played in the main stadium but were forced to change due to a waterlogged pitch).
Dartford team: Jade Charlton, Gabby Howell, Chana Hinds, Georgie Davis, Megan McKeag, Jo Woodgates,
Lizzie Adams, Emily Woodhouse, Shauni Griffiths, Emily Vaughan, Amelia Woodgate
Subs (used): Xayla-Rae Alberts, Hannah Cleary, Madison Woodgate
Scorers: Emily Woodhouse, Jo Woodgates, Emily Vaughan

DARTS LEAD, FALL BEHIND, BUT RECOVER TO BAG THE POINTS

Dartford got off to a positive start and in the opening spell created two goal-scoring opportunities plus a big shout for a penalty all within the first six minutes.

On three minutes, Amelia got behind the defence and cut the ball back for Lizzie just outside the 6-yard box, but her shot was saved by a defender who managed to get a foot to the ball to cut out what would have been a certain goal.

Then on six minutes, Georgie played a high ball down the left, which had a lot of back spin on it and Shauni neatly controlled it and cut back into the penalty area leaving her marker for dead but was pulled down by the next defender but appeals for a penalty were waived away by the referee.

Darts, still searching for the opening goal, came so close in the 12th minute. Gabby passed forward to Emily Woodhouse who then fed it on to Amelia whose shot was saved on the line by a desperate lunge by a defender who stopped the ball from going in at the far post, but injured herself in the process.

But on 25 minutes came the opener; a good team goal this; from Chana’s back pass to Jade out to Chana onto Meghan up the line to Shauni who played a neat one-touch pass inside to Emily Vaughan whose through-ball was latched onto by Emily Woodhouse who finished the job with a great strike – her first senior goal for the Darts.

Half-time came with just the single goal separating the teams

HT 1-0

Millwall were a different side in the second half and were quicker to the ball and got some effective diagonal balls to the left side where eventually their goals came from. Firstly, a snap-shot equaliser on 50 minutes, then another shock as they took the lead on 63 minutes. 1-2

In between the goals Jade had to make an exceptionally good save and Gabby managed to complete the clearance. Dartford were, unusually, slightly on the rack for a period of time and it was only with the addition of fresh, strong running from Xayla-Rae that Darts managed to claw themselves back. She certainly injected that spark which put a bit of fear into the Millwall defenders. Darts began to get their game back on track and began playing as they know they can.

On 73 minutes, Amelia made a great run down the left, but was sent sprawling by a defender who was struggling to keep pace with her. This was just a foot outside the left of the penalty box. Jo’s free-kick was just a bit too heavy for the occasion and the ball sped past the far post with no-one close enough to get anything on the ball. But Darts were getting closer.

In the 79th minute, Darts produced flowing football and a smart move by Lizzie up to Emily Vaughan who gave Amelia a short pass and in turn, fed it wide to Hannah. She produced a great ball into Emily Vaughan, who was immediately flattened by a defender. A free-kick from 25-yards, directly in front of goal was thundered goal-wards by Jo and the goalie stood no chance. It literally flew into the top right-hand corner, maybe just grazing the underside of the bar on its way in. 2-2

Now it was all Dartford, with their work-rate upped and now in for the kill and the three points. Then came a big scramble in the Millwall’s goal-mouth but the keeper did well and saved.

But Millwall were still a threat going forward, and in the next minute Jade did well to stand up strong and save in a one-on-one situation, although Georgie was behind her, covering the line.

On 84 minutes – another great scramble in the Lionesses’ goal-mouth and Darts almost had a freak goal. The goalie parried a shot from Amelia and her clearance struck a close-in defender so hard that it ricocheted back and crashed against the bar and went over for a corner – a real let-off for Millwall.

From the resulting corner, Shauni put over a really good one, high and near the 6-yard line where it brushed the head of a defender and Emily Vaughan headed it back towards the goal. A defender tried to clear with a weak kick and Emily gratefully walloped the ball past the defenders and goalie into the net for her ‘Mother’s Day’ present. 3-2

The last seven or eight minutes were quite pulsating, with Millwall battling for an equaliser and Darts trying to increase their lead but Darts had done enough and the final whistle meant three huge points were destined for the Darts. A great show by everyone. A big shout-out for Madison who has joined us and made her presence felt coming on as a second-half sub.

Report by Tony Brown

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