DARTFORD 0 BRENTFORD B 2
Dartford’s seven-month unbeaten run in competitive games at Bericote Powerhouse Princes Park came to an end, as a strong Brentford B side sent them out of the London Senior Cup in the Quarter Final stage.
A goal in each half was enough to see the Premier League Academy/U23 professionals through as 305 supporters braved the freezing cold and wet conditions. However, Dartford did make a good account of themselves and, on another night, things may have gone differently for Steve King’s men.
Despite the Bees B’s passing the ball confidently, it was the hosts who looked more threatening in attack during the first forty-five. As a majority of Dartford’s attack came via Ody Alfa on the right-flank, it was fitting that it started as early as the sixth minute. Jack Jebb played a delightful pass to Alfa, who sprinted along the wing before sending in an inviting ball towards Jake Robinson. The striker took the shot on, but goalkeeper Matthew Cox made a fine save.
The Brentford defence was called into action again in the 11th minute, when Alfa’s powerful ball into the danger area prompted a defensive header to clear. The resulting corner found the head of Tom Bonner, but the captain couldn’t find the target.
Undeterred, the hosts came forward once again with a driving run from make-shift right-back Kory Roberts. He found Luke Allen, who then found Robinson, who was through into the box. However, the towering figure of Brentford defender Nico Jones got a decisive foot in the way to clear the danger (15).
Ten minutes later saw Alfa and Robinson combine once again, with the former bursting forward and sending in a delicious cross. Robinson met it with a beautifully struck volley, but the ball flew agonisingly over Cox’s crossbar.
Despite their efforts, however, the hosts found themselves behind on the half-hour, after a decent attack was rewarded with a clinical Ryan Trevitt strike from the edge of the box. Dartford responded once again and were awarded a corner in the 36th minute. Jebb whipped the ball in and Connor Essam reached it with a powerful header. Unfortunately, he was unable to test Cox in-between the Brentford sticks.
Seemingly in control of the tie, the young Bees set about keeping things tight during the second-half as they rarely looked troubled to be honest.
That’s not to say that Dartford didn’t try, because Tom Bonner and Co certainly gave it their all in an attempt to get themselves level. None more so than in the 54th minute when the lively Ody Alfa breached the Brentford defence with a delightful run, only to then fire wide of the upright.
In the 66th minute, manager Steve King made all his substitutions in a bid to try and find the equaliser. George Porter, Jake Robinson, and Ody Alfa all left the field to be replaced by Kalvin Kalala, Danny Leonard, and Ade Azeez.
However, for the second game in succession, the Darts finished the game with ten men. The same player was involved, but on this occasion it was through no fault of his own. Whilst defending well, left-back Junior Tiensia then remained on the ground injured and, unfortunately, had to leave the field in the 73rd minute. His injury looks serious, so I’m sure everyone will agree when I say that we all wish him a speedy recovery.
With eight minutes remaining, the visitors attacked and Bonner was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the box. Referee, Mr Daryll David awarded Brentford a penalty and booked the Dartford captain in the process. Nathan Young Coombes stepped up to convert the spot-kick, which added insult to injury on a miserable night for the Darts.
DARTFORD: Dan Wilks, Kory Roberts, Junior Tiensia, Luke Allen, Connor Essam, Tom Bonner ©, Ody Alfa, Jack Jebb, Jake Robinson, George Porter, Tyrique Hyde.
SUBSTITUTES: Kieran Murtagh, Ade Azeez, Danny Leonard, Kalvin Kalala, Jordan Wynter.
BRENTFORD B: Matthew Cox, Daniel Oyegoke, Val Adeokun, Ben Hockenhull, Nico Jones, Dom Jeffries, Nathan Young Coombes, Ryan Trevitt, Roy Syla, Tristian Crama, Myles Peart-Harris.
SUBSTITUTES: Roco Rees, Jaako Oksanen, Jude Russell, Lewis Gordon, Hans Mpongo.
By Chris Palmer