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

MATCH REPORT | DARTFORD 1 TAUNTON TOWN 1

Dartford’s hunt for a home victory in the National League South since November continued, as a stubborn Taunton Town held them to a draw at a cold Bericote Powerhouse Princes Park.

Goal-scoring opportunities were few and far between this afternoon, as the 1,018 supporters witnessed both sides cancel each other out for long periods.

In fact, the most exciting part of the opening fourteen minutes occurred when Elliott Romain and Nick Grimes had an altercation near the opposition dugout. Taunton boss, Rob Dray, also decided to get involved by making a derogatory comment towards the Dartford striker, which sparked outrage from the Dartford players and staff. Referee, Mr Daniel Baines, eventually gained some control and booked both players involved, as well as the Taunton boss.

Play soon resumed and Mr Baines soon took centre stage once again… A Dartford move ended up with new St Albans City loanee Ibby Akanbi being fouled inside the Taunton box. The Dartford players claimed for a penalty, but Mr Baines declined their protests…

Seconds later saw Maxwell Statham commit a similar offence at the other end, whereby Mr Baines immediately pointed to the spot! Undeterred by the outrage of the Princes Park faithful, Nick Grimes stepped up to blast The Peacocks ahead in the 18th minute.

The visitors went on to control a majority of the ball after taking the lead, but the Darts soon took their opportunity when it presented itself…

A wonderfully inviting cross by Luke Coulson found Fumnaya Shomotun at the far post, who duly converted to level the score with his first strike for the Darts since signing from Sevenoaks Town (35).

The hosts couldn’t capitalise on having drawn level though, and only a superb interception from Jack Smith prevented Ollie Chamberlain from getting on the end of a dangerous cross when through on goal (44).

There was very little to speak about in terms of goal-mouth activity during the opening exchanges of the second-half. In fact, the only thing really worth mentioning was the fact that Taunton made their one and only substitution of the game in the 68th minute, as Ross Stearn replaced Nat Jarvis.

Tony Burman, meanwhile, would go on to swap Elliott Romain with Olly Box (73), Jack Smith with Taylor Maloney (82), before Alex Wall replaced Ibby Akanbi in the 89th minute.

As we return to the action, we see Luke Coulson send a curling free-kick narrowly wide of Dan Lavercombe’s upright (68), before Billy Terrell pulled off an excellent save to prevent Callum Dolman’s long-range drive from flying into the bottom corner (72).

The Dartford shot-stopper then made another excellent save to stop substitute Ross Stearn from scoring with a brilliant solo effort (78), as the visitors looked the more likely to steal the points.

However that being said, Dan Lavercombe was called into action as we entered the 90th minute to pull off a superb save to stop Alex Wall’s excellent strike from flying into the top corner.

Deep into stoppage time saw Nick Grimes given his marching orders after receiving a second yellow card from Mr Baines, as the ill-disciplined Peacocks finished the game with ten men.

Luke Coulson’s performance earned him the Man of The Match award, but the skipper would probably have preferred the three points on another difficult afternoon for the Darts.

TEAMS

DARTFORD: Billy Terrell, Jordan Wynter, Jack Smith, Luke Coulson (c), Paul Rooney, Ibby Akanbi, Maxwell Statham, Elliott Romain, Fumnaya Shomotun, Joash Nembhard, Tom Clifford.

SUBSTITUTES: Tyrell Miller-Rodney, Alex Wall, Manny Adebowale, Taylor Maloney, Olly Box.

TAUNTON TOWN: Dan Lavercombe, Zac Bell, Nick Grimes (c), Dan Ball, Ollie Chamberlain, Lloyd James, Nat Jarvis, Rabby Tabu Minzamba, Zac Smith, Cameron Evans, Callum Dolman.

SUBSTITUTES: Ross Stearn, Marcus Day, Marley Rose, Louie Slough, Evander Grubb.

Match Photos Gallery

Chris Palmer