Dartford travelled to Essex this afternoon to play a recently promoted East Thurrock United FC in the Vanarama National League South.
Tony Burman’s starting eleven saw Danny Harris start in defence once again, with Keaton Wood taking his place on the bench after picking up a dead leg in the match against Maidenhead United.
Ronnie Vint was once again sidelined due to the decision of the Referee regarding his wrist cast.
The game started scrappy for both teams, with neither team seemingly being able to create any real chances. The first real chance fell to The Rocks when they converted from a throw in, but unfortunately for them they hit the woodwork. Wanadio then went back on the attack but was flagged as offside.
East Thurrock fought to get the first goal from sending in a number of crosses, for no one to be able to get on the end of the ball. Tom Wraight hit the post from the one chance they managed to get in the box.
For the last 15 minutes of the first half, Dartford upped their tempo and passed the ball between the players effortlessly, and their best opportunity fell to Alex Brown who saw a curling shot from outside the box hit the post.
The second half started very much the same as the first, with neither team taking full control. This changed after around 55 minutes, when a good move from The Rocks down their left wing saw a penalty awarded for a Tom Bonner foul just inside the box. Ben Marlow converted the chance to make it 1-0 to East Thurrock.
Play continued with East Thurrock dominating, and from a corner the Referee deemed another Bonner foul for shirt pulling worthy of another penalty. Again, Marlow stepped up to the plate, but failed to convert the chance and Ibrahim pulled off a good save.
This seemed to lift the spirits for Dartford, with Burman introducing Ryan Hayes in place of Ellis Brown, and The Darts started to push forward for the equaliser.
After a couple of crosses from Hayes, that no one could convert, the change finally paid off when another of his crosses went straight in at the far post. Dartford had levelled.
Dartford spent the final 15 minutes looking for the winner but it came to nothing and as the injury time was played out, East Thurrock had the best chance to get the winner after a free kick scraped the top of the cross bar.
The game finished 1-1 with a well deserved point for each team.
Tony Burman said “East Thurrock is a difficult place to come. You have to start with the right attitude and realise sometimes you dig in and it’s not going to be pretty. I think the game quality wise wasn’t great, and probably the best thing I can say is we got something for our efforts.”
East Thurrock United FC: Lidakevicius, Sammons, Nesbitt, Clark, Ellul, Marlow, Harris, Ferdinand, Walker, Gardner, Wraight
Subs: Wood, Honesty, Age, Freiter
Dartford FC: Ibrahim, Harris, Wynter, Bonner, Gardiner, A Brown, E Brown, Bradbrook, Ofori-Acheampong, Pugh, Wanadio
Subs: Hayes, Francis, Seixas, Noble, Wood