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Dartford vs Maidstone

Dartford vs Maidstone

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Report

Dartford were desperately unlucky not to progress to the Kent Senior Cup Final, after a poor referee decision cancelled out Alex Wall’s opener, before Maidstone United won the penalty shootout lottery.

It was a relief to take a break from league action on this fresh Tuesday evening under the floodlights of Bericote Powerhouse Princes Park, and a much changed Dartford outfit took on a strong Stones side in front of 411 supporters.

With Adrian Pennock including a few young players in his squad, alongside a few First Teamers returning from injuries, the Darts started the game very well. The combination of Alex Wall, Ibby Akanbi, and Olly Box were causing no end of problems for the Maidstone defence, as they thrived on the passing and vision of a returning Luke Allen.

Yet, it was a Joash Nembhard (who was captain for the evening) pass that created the first opportunity for the hosts. His long ball released Alex Wall, who fired towards goal, forcing Lucas Covolan into the first save of the game in the 6th minute.

The Dartford number nine was clearly in the mood this evening, and he combined well with Olly Box two minutes later to force another save out of Covolan (8).

The game was open though, as both sides looked for the opening goal, and it wasn’t long before the threat of Matt Rush became evident when Joash Nembhard made an excellent block to prevent the Maidstone striker from testing young goalkeeper Tom Wray (15).

George Whitefield then stood strong to thwart a Maidstone counter-attacked, before Nembhard blocked a Muhammadu Faal effort in the 23rd minute.

With the game becoming stretched, Paul Appiah’s weak pass was pounced on by Box, as he stole the ball and raced away. He then set up Wall with a peach of a cross, which Wall smashed home to give the hosts a deserved lead (35).

The visitors responded immediately via Matt Bentley, who forced Tom Wray into a good save a minute later, before Jepthe Tanga and Sam Corne combined well to enable the latter to fire at goal. But, the Maidstone skipper couldn’t keep his shot down (41).

The opening exchanges of the second forty-five saw Alex Wall force Lucas Covolan into another good save in the 50th minute.

Adrian Pennock was the manager to move first this evening, as he introduced two Academy players with his first substitutions of the game. Olly Box and Luke Allen were the two to make way, as Finley Scillence and Jeremiah Pinder entered the pitch (55). That would be followed by Jayden Boulton replacing Alex Wall in the 67th minute.

The Stones, meanwhile, went on to swap Muhammadu Faal with Chi Ezennolim (64), Bivesh Gurling with Riley Court (77), and Paul Appiah with Reiss Greenidge (83).

As we return to the action, we see Jeremiah Pinder release Finley Scillence with a lovely pass, but Lucas Covolan was there to prevent the Dartford youngster from doubling the host’s advantage (65).

The visitors began to gain a foothold in the game at this point, but the defensive unit of Joash Nembhard, Manny Adebowale, George Whitefield, and Jayden Boulton held them at bay, and were protected well by Jack Smith and Tyrell Miller-Rodney.

But, not for the first time this season, a referee decision went against the Darts. As the visitors attacked the Dartford box, Tyrell Miller-Rodney turned to block an incoming ball… only for Mr Isaac Searle award the Stones a spot-kick for “handball”!

Sam Corne then stepped up to level the score from the spot (79), having sent Tom Wray the wrong way.

Opportunities were few and far between from then on, as this semi-final entered the lottery of a penalty shootout.

The visitors won this one 4-3, with Sam Corne, Matt Bentley, Jepthe Tanga, and Liam Sole all converting their spot-kicks.

Tom Wray did well to save Maidstone’s second penalty by Matt Rush, and Ibby Akanbi, Jack Smith, and Finley Scillence all scored their spot-kicks. But, Lucas Covolan managed to save both Joash Nembhard’s and Tyrell Miller-Rodney’s efforts to send Maidstone through.

TEAMS

DARTFORD: Tom Wray, Tyrell Miller-Rodney, Jack Smith, Luke Allen, Alex Wall, Ibby Akanbi, Maxwell Statham, Manny Adebowale, George Whitefield, Joash Nembhard (c), Olly Box.
SUBSTITUTES: Rhys Hobbs, Jeremiah Pinder, Jayden Boulton, Louis Earley, Finley Scillence.

MAIDSTONE UNITED: Lucas Covolan, George Fowler, Sam Corne (c), Matt Bentley, Muhammadu Faal, Harry Kyprianou, Paul Appiah, Liam Sole, Jepthe Tanga, Bivesh Gurling, Matt Rush.
SUBSTITUTES: Chi Ezennolim, Reiss Greenidge, Riley Court, Harry Earle, Sam Smith.

Details

Date Time League Season Full Time
March 19, 2024 7:45 pm Kent Senior Cup 2023/24 90'

Ground

Bericote Powerhouse Princes Park
Grass Banks, Dartford DA1 1LZ, UK

Results

ClubGoalsOutcome
Dartford1Loss
Maidstone1Win

Dartford

13Tom Wray Goalkeeper
15George Whitefield Defender
14Manny Adebowale Defender
20Joash Nembhard Defender
12Maxwell Statham Defender
5Tyrell Miller-Rodney Midfielder
6Jack Smith Midfielder
24Olly Box 27 Midfielder
8Luke Allen 16 Midfielder
11Ibby Akanbi Forward
9Alex Wall 25 Forward
13Reece Hobbs Goalkeeper
16Jeremiah Pinder 8 Midfielder
25Jayden Boulton 9 Defender
27Finley Scillence 24 Forward
27Louis Earley Midfielder