A late Sutton goal condemned Dartford to an unfortunate defeat in their latest pre-season friendly.
A strong team eventually succumbed to a hungry Sutton outfit at Princes Park.
Sutton started the game with aplomb, attacking with pace at every opportunity and almost garnered an early lead when Anthony Jeffreys deep cross found the head of Moses Emmanuel and his resulting header was only just scrambled off the Dartford goal line.
The close chance had the effect Tony Burman would have wanted from his side as within a minute, Tom Murphy found himself some space and unleased a powerful left-footed drive that wasn’t far off.
Summer signing Lyle Della-Verde continued his impressive pre-season form by winning and taking a free kick that he floated dangerously into the box. Andy Pugh rose highest to head the back across but unfortunately Vint just lacked the finishing touch and Sutton managed to clear.
After a nervy start facing a strong Sutton side, the Darts were beginning to settle into the game and find some rhythm to their passing.
Murphy, who was having some joy out wide, engineered some space on the left to send in a cross with plenty of Dartford bodies flooding in. The ball found itself at the feet of captain Elliot Bradbrook who could not generate enough power to really trouble the keeper.
Sutton’s main chances were falling at the feet of target man Emmanuel who saw a fierce strike blocked quite soberly by Tom Bonner. Emmanuel then had another stab but could only shoot wide.
Darts star keeper Ibrahim was alert to deal with a well-hit effort from Craig Eastmond just outside the eighteen-yard box
The first half ended in a flurry of chances at both ends with Lafayette narrowly missing the target before Murphy sprung the offside trap but saw his shot parried to safety.
The Darts restarted the game with two substitutions. Warren Mfula and Lee Noble came on in place of Brown and Pugh and made a promising start to the half.
Sutton however seized a stronger foothold in the game and the warning signs were there when Emmanuel forced a good save from Ibrahim after some sloppy play gifted Davis the ball.
Sutton continued to pile on the pressure and Ibrahim was kept on his toes to beat away efforts from Aswad Thomas who connected with a low cross and substitute Adam Coombes who could only smash wide.
Eventually, the Darts stubborn defence was breached 10 minutes from time when Jeffrey Monakana’s slid a deft through ball in the middle of the park into the path of substitute Pape Gueye who made no mistake, finishing first time to score the winning goal.
The Darts did have one chance to level the scores but Mfula, who had been starved of chances in the second half, saw his big opportunity go to waste when his flying header from a Noble corner couldn’t be directed goalwards.
Dartford: Ibrahim, Harris (Habte 86mins), Wood (Fulton 79mins), Bonner, Vint, Brown (Noble 46mins), Hayes (Cue 63mins), Bradbrook (Eweka 86mins), Murphy (Ufuah 79mins), Pugh (Mfula 46mins), Della-Verde (Thorley-Porter 86mins). Sub not used: Coxall.
Sutton: Butler (Al-Droubi 67mins), Amankwaah, Thomas, Collins, Davis (Monakana 67mins), Lafayette (Coombes 56mins), Eastmond (Gueye 73mins), Bailey (Dundas 67mins), Spence, Emmanuel (Wright 56mins), Jeffrey (Cadogan 56mins).
Man of The Match: Elliot Bradbrook
By Joe Brophy
|July 18, 2017||7:45 pm||2017/18||90'|
|Grass Banks, Dartford DA1 1LZ, UK|