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Dartford v Dover Athletic

Dartford v Dover Athletic

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Report

Luke Allen came off the bench to win the game with a superb strike, as Dartford took part in a close and difficult encounter with Dover Athletic at Bericote Powerhouse Princes Park.

As 1,246 supporters turned up on this Easter Bank Holiday Monday, they couldn’t have wished for a brighter start under the mixed weather conditions because the hosts raced out of the blocks initially. And, within five minutes they were ahead!

And, it was in-form striker Harvey Bradbury who was on hand to pounce on what was possibly one of the easiest opportunities of his career. The visitors failed to clear the danger and Bradbury was on hand to fire home from close-range, as he scored his third consecutive goal, his fourth in five appearances for the Darts (5).

However, the visitors responded well and came close to levelling the score just five minutes later. Only the intervention of a Tom Bonner block and a goal-line clearance prevented Dover from equalising (10).

Dartford were unlucky to not have doubled their advantage in the 18th minute following a lovely through-ball by Jordan Wynter. The pass setup Richard Chin, whose initial strike forced a clumsy save from Stuart Nelson. But, the goalkeeper couldn’t hold the ball and Bradbury pounced only to see his goal chalked off for offside.

Just as the hosts were looking deadly in attack, Dover got a grip and the game seemed to become more central in the midfield areas. However, as we approached the thirty-minute mark, the visitors were level.

The goal came via Jordan Higgs, who found the back of the net after the hosts failed to deal with a corner (30). And, just like that, the game swung towards a midfield battle which neither side could really gain control of for the remainder of the half.

That was the general state of play for long periods of the second forty-five as well, although Jack Smith did smack Nelson’s crossbar with a drive from distance in the 48th minute.

The Dover goalkeeper did have to remain alert, though, as the lively Bradbury almost caught him off guard following excellent work by Richard Chin (61). Bradbury almost turned provider five minutes later, only to see Pierre Fonkeu fire over the crossbar (66).

Things in front of goal just haven’t been going right for Fonkeu recently, and it wasn’t much longer before manager Alan Dowson tried something different with a double substitution in the 72nd minute. Both Fonkeu and Chin were replaced by Luke Allen and Malachi Napa in a swap which would eventually pay dividends.

As play continued, the hosts began to pile on the pressure and, eventually, the pressure paid off and the Darts got the break they needed. Luke Allen received the ball inside the Dover half, ran forward with intent and, without any opponent able to get near him, he pulled the trigger on a delightful curling drive that dipped into the top corner of Nelson’s goal (83).

Both Dartford and the fans had to be patient this afternoon, but it was certainly worth waiting for, and a goal worthy of winning any game, let alone a Kent Derby!

The excellent Jordan Wynter was rewarded with the Man of The Match award, as the Darts completed the league double over their opponents. The result ensures that Tom Bonner and Co remain in second place of the National League South table and in that vital position needed for the battle of the play-offs.

TEAMS

DARTFORD: Ben Dudzinski, Jordan Wynter, Richard Chin, Connor Essam, Tom Bonner (c), Luke Coulson, Maxwell Statham, Jack Smith, Pierre Fonkeu, Harvey Bradbury, Jernade Meade.
SUBSTITUTES: Luke Allen, Keiran Murtagh, Bobby Dunn, Sam Odaudu, Malachi Napa.

DOVER ATHLETIC: Stuart Nelson, Myles Judd, Alfie Paxman, Jake Goodman, Jordan Higgs, Luke Wanadio, Lee Martin, Freddie Oliver, Josh Ajayi, Brandon Pierrick, Andi Janjeva.
SUBSTITUTES: Will Moses, George Nikaj, Luke Baptiste, David Boateng, Noah Carney.

Details

Date Time League Season Full Time
April 10, 2023 3:00 pm National League South 2022/23 0'

Ground

Bericote Powerhouse Princes Park
Grass Banks, Dartford DA1 1LZ, UK

Results

ClubGoalsOutcome
Dartford2Win
Dover Athletic1Loss

Dartford

12Maxwell Statham Defender
2Jordan Wynter Defender
7Luke Coulson Midfielder
8Luke Allen 16 Midfielder