Upcoming MatchDartford vs Sutton United/July 27, 2024/Bericote Powerhouse Princes Park


Dartford’s five-month winless run at Bericote Powerhouse Princes Park was finally ended on the final day of the National League South season, as they defeated Truro City to finish on a more positive note.

As 1,057 supporters braved the cold and windy weather conditions, both teams did their best to finish the season on a high after what has been a challenging campaign to say the least.

Rhys Byrne was the busier of the two goalkeepers, and was called into action in the 15th minute by saving Tyler Harvey’s strike.

Yet, it was Byrne’s team that took the lead seven minutes later, when Joash Nembhard got on the end of Luke Coulson’s corner to send a bullet header beyond the hapless James Haman (22).

One goal should have been two when a Luke Allen drive was somehow cleared off the Truro goal-line (23), as the Darts threatened to gain full control of the game.

But, the visitors were never out of this contest and soon began threatening the Dartford defence once again. Only the alertness of Byrne prevented the lively Adam Porter from equalising (32l, before the goalkeeper saved well from Andrew Neal (35) and Connor Riley-Lowe (40).

The Darts, meanwhile, were causing problems of their own at the other end, as the trio of Luke Coulson, Luke Allen, and Olly Box made sure the Truro defence wasn’t able to rest.

And it was the skipper who almost assisted Alex Wall with a lovely pass, only to see Haman prevent the latter from capping the move with a goal before the break (43).

The start of the second-half saw the visitors make a change in personnel, as Daniel Rooney made way for Ryan Brett (46). That would be followed by Dominic Johnson-Fisher coming on for Adam Porter (56), before Joshua Hinds replaced Ryan Law (71).

Adrian Pennock would also make use of all three available substitutions this afternoon, the first of which saw Ollie Bray replace Alex Wall in the 63rd minute. That was shortly followed by George Whitefield coming on for Sam Odaudu (65), before the excellent Paul Rooney left the field for Fumnaya Shomotun (77).

As we return to the action, the lively Olly Box came close to doubling Dartford’s lead (52), before the equally lively Luke Coulson did the same in the 59th minute, but neither really troubled James Haman… but Luke Allen did with his 71st minute long-range drive, which forced a superb save out of the Truro City goalkeeper.

At the other end, the visitors smacked the crossbar (63), before Rhys Byrne pulled off a superb triple stop in a matter of seconds (76) to frustrate the White Tigers.

The points were virtually sealed a minute later when a mistake in the Truro defence enabled Ollie Bray to find space, before sending a deep cross into the danger area. Haman wasn’t able to deal with it and inadvertently helped the ball over the line, but we’ll credit Bray with the goal that doubled the hosts’ lead.

For all his efforts this afternoon though, Rhys Byrne was desperately unlucky to not register a clean sheet. Tyler Harvey being the player to spoil the goalkeeper’s afternoon with a consolation strike deep into stoppage time (90+4).

But Dartford weren’t to be denied a deserved victory, as Olly Box was rewarded with the Man of The Match award for his efforts.

As the curtain closes on another National League South season, Adrian Pennock begins work on building a squad to tackle the Isthmian Premier League next season. However, there is the small matter of a semi-final in the London Senior Cup to tackle first.


DARTFORD: Rhys Byrne, Sam Odaudu, Jack Smith, Luke Coulson (c), Luke Allen, Alex Wall, Paul Rooney, Joash Nembhard, Taylor Maloney, Olly Box, Ronny Nelson.

SUBSTITUTES: Tom Wray, George Whitefield, Ollie Bray, Fumnaya Shomotun, Jordan Greenidge.

TRURO CITY: James Haman, Connor Riley-Lowe (c), Benjamin Adelsbury, Edward Palmer, Adam Porter, Dean William, Tyler Harvey, Daniel Rooney, Andrew Neal, Tom Harrison, Ryan Law.

SUBSTITUTES: James Melhado, William Palfrey, Ryan Brett, Joshua Hinds, Dominic Johnson-Fisher.

Match Photos Gallery

Chris Palmer