Dartford crashed out of the Kent Reliance Senior Cup last night after losing 4-2 to Cray Wanderers at Hayes Lane last night.
The two teams met in the Kent Senior Cup last season in the first-round stage with the Darts going through on that occasion.
Looking for a repeat result, Tony Burman rang the changes from the team that swept aside Barking at the weekend and what followed was a game for the neutrals as an entertaining first half concluded with two goals apiece
Cray answered with two early second half goals from Lawrence and the Darts ultimately couldn’t pull themselves back into the game.
Cray struck first in the tie, Lawrence opening the scoring with six minutes on the clock.
A throw in for the home side worked its way to Aaron Rhule down the left who delivered an arching cross into the box which was met by Lawrence to plant his header out of reach from substitute keeper Tony Coxall.
Looking for an immediate response, the Darts almost equalised straight away when the ball found its way to Tom Murphy from a tight angle who smacked a shot against the post.
Warren Mfula then had a golden chance to pull the Darts level as sloppy defending allowed Mfula to burst through on goal but his effort was spectacularly cleared off the line.
The equaliser was coming however and the Darts finally made their pressure count in the thirty-sixth minute with a wonderful goal.
Toby Ajala collected the ball thirty yards out and with no other options, proceeded to thunder an unstoppable strike past Carey.
Having done so well to get themselves level, Dartford were then punished for sloppy defending of their own after good goalkeeping from Coxall.
First, Coxall spread himself big to deny Lawrence after he was played through in the penalty area but following up the rebound, the referee adjudged Ronnie Vint to have bundled him over from behind and Michael Power duly stepped up to convert the penalty to restore Cray’s lead.
Nonetheless the Darts were once again level within a minute as a long ball forward was flicked into the path of Mfula who engineered some space to tuck home his side’s second equaliser on the stroke of half time.
The Darts were the architects of their own downfall however as they were once again caught napping at the start of the half as Cray had grabbed their third within five minutes of the restart.
A free kick from Dent was floated towards the near post for Lawrence to guide into the net.
Cray extinguished any hope of Dartford pulling themselves back into the game for a third time when they finally got the elusive two goal comfort five minutes later.
A fortunate pin-ball landed at the feet of Rhule who held the ball up to play in Lawrence to turn his marker and slot home his hat-trick.
Dartford had one opportunity to halve the deficit but Andy Pugh’s half volley soared agonisingly wide of the upright and Cray saw out the rest of the half to deliver a disappointing result for such an inform Dartford side.
Cray Wanderers: Jordan Carey, Ben Mundele, Timi Osidobu, Marcus Evans, Mitchell Nelson, Zak Henry, Dean Carpenter, Karl Dent (Capt.) (Michael Frieter, 73), Michael Power (Freddie Parker, 59), Ralique Lawrence, Aaron Rhule (Bradley Stevenson, 63).
Subs: Lea Dawson, Joe Vines
Dartford: Tony Coxall, Temi Eweka, Henri Fulton, Ronnie Vint, Richard Sho-Silva, Keaton Wood (Capt.), Toby Ajala (Andy Pugh, 68), Michael Habte, Warren Mfula (Liam Gillies), Alfie Cue, Tom Murphy (John Ufuah, 75).
Subs: Tom Bonner, Deren Ibrahim
|September 20, 2017||7:45 pm||Kent Senior Cup||2017/18||90'|