Dartford v Braintree



Dartford sit atop the National League South on Christmas Day after seeing out a 1-1 draw with title rivals Braintree.

Andy Pugh opened the scoring for the Darts before Barrington drilled home in controversial circumstances.

Amidst a tense atmosphere at Princes Park in the Darts last home game of 2017 Dartford secured the point that kept them top on goal difference with five other teams level on 39.

Going into the game, the table showed there to be fine margins between the two sides.

However, it was Braintree who made the brighter start with Ibrahim having to be alive early on to get behind a Phil Roberts strike from range.

Several half chances came the away sides way before Dartford took a surprising lead on 16 minutes.

Tom Murphy embarked on a surging run out left before teeing up Pugh who repaid his managers faith in playing him upfront with a smart finish into the bottom corner.

The goal swung the momentum in favour of the hosts and soon after, Mills was just unable to get a sweet connection of a dinked cross from Pugh to beat Nathan McDonald.

As half-time approached, Braintree begun to garner a foothold in the game with Barrington lashing a shot over for the visitors.

Danny Mills did have a glorious opportunity to register daylight between the two sides when McDonald could only parry a ferocious from Elliot Bradbrook back into the danger area.

However, an awkward bounce meant Mills was unable to force the rebound home.

The Darts were soon punished for failing to grab the second goal in harsh fashion.

Officials waving away the home side’s protests After Mills was felled on the halfway line and when Gabriel fizzed in a low cross, Barrington rammed it home.

The goal had clearly shaken the Darts as Braintree begun to dominate in the second period.

Barrington wasted his chance to make it two after he head over from a dangerous cross before Ibrahim got down well to deny Crooks who had run unchallenged into the box.

Both sides also squandered late opportunities to snatch all three points. First Roberts couldn’t find the target from a tight angle After Ibrahim misjudged a through ball.

Before Alfie Pavey sent Mills racing clear in stoppage time but the lack of support meant the chance went begging.


Dartford: Ibrahim, Harris, Bonner, Vint, Onyemah, Hayes, Collier, Bradbrook, Murphy (Della-Verde 68mins), Pugh (Pavey 67mins), Mills.
Subs not used: Sho-Silva, Noble, Cue.

Braintree: McDonald, Muleba, Gabriel, Ellol, Okoye, Frimpong, Barrington (Michael-Percil 73mins), Crook (Allen 84mins), Roberts (Baxter 90mins), Grant, Bihoutine.
Subs not used: Obanwonyi, Oliyide.

Attendance: 936.


Date Time League Season Full Time
December 23, 2017 3:00 pm National League South 2017/18 90'


Princes Park
Grass Banks, Dartford DA1 1LZ, UK


Dartford FC1Draw
Braintree Town1Draw