Concord Rangers 1-1 Dartford Match Report
Dartford came from behind to earn a share of the spoils against an in-form Concord Rangers in the National League South.
Concord captain Steve Cawley followed up with a sharp rebound to give the home side the early advantage before a stunning strike from Hayes hauled Dartford level.
The Darts will rue an opportunity wasted as they squandered an early penalty and failed to capitalise on their second-half dominance however the draw was enough to maintain their status as league leaders.
Dartford captain Elliot Bradbrook was handed a golden chance to give the away side an early lead after just five minutes after Danny Mills went down inside the penalty area.
However, an unusually poor spot kick from the skipper allowed Louis Well’s to save down to his right and Concord survived the ensuing scramble.
Buoyed by the joy they were finding utilising Mill’s physical presence, Dartford kept up the pressure with Mills having a goal-bound effort charged down before Andy Pugh could only fire the rebound back into the grateful arms of Wells.
Despite their early dominance, the home side drew first blood against the run of play, shortly after the quarter hour mark.
Deren Ibrahim failed to hold a curling effort from Ben Greenhalgh and Concord skipper Crawley was first to anticipate the loose ball to poke home from inside the six-yard box.
Clearly shaken, Dartford almost found themselves two down as a long-range effort from Harry Lee took an unfortunate deflection that narrowly avoided the far post.
The Darts regained their composure shortly before the break and started to fashion chances once more.
Mills tried his luck from distance before Mark Onyemah almost scored a fantastic goal from outside the area, but the ball cannoned back out of the post.
After the restart, it was the home sides turn to hit the woodwork. A sweetly curled free kick from Greenhalgh beat the wall but failed to beat the post as it bounced away from danger.
It took a wonderful solo strike from Ryan Hayes to finally break down the stubborn Concord defence.
When the ball found its way to the Darts wide-man, he was afforded too much space to cut inside and send a ferocious drive into the roof of the net.
Alfie Pavey looked to be the difference maker once again from the bench but his strike was deflected over the bar late on, after Tom Murphy had wasted a free header at the back post.
It all could have been in vain however as the Beach-boys looked to snatch all the points in the dying embers as a shot from the edge of the area beat Ibrahim but thankfully crashed back out for the underside of the crossbar.
Dartford held on and are now unbeaten in four and remain the team to beat with two points clear as they continue to set the pace in the division.
Concord: Wells, Girdlestone, Brown, Lee, Knight, Roast, Da Costa (Farrell, 41), Nasha Jr, Akinwande (King, 81), Cawley ©, Greenhalgh
Subs: Topley, Smith, Marsh
Dartford: Ibrahim, Harris, Onyemah, Bonner, Vint, Collier, Hayes, Bradbrook ©, Mills (Pavey, 61), Pugh (Ofori-Acheampong, 77), Murphy (Della-Verde, 87)
Subs: Sho-Silva, Coxall
|January 6, 2018||3:00 pm||National League South||2017/18||90'|
|The Aspect Arena|
|Thames Rd, Canvey Island SS8 0HH, UK|