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    Princes Park

    Dartford FC
    Leyton Orient
    0 - 2
    Final Score

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    With the football season only a fortnight away, Dartford’s pre-season warm-up games are arriving
    thick and fast. Game number five saw the Darts face another tough fixture, as Leyton Orient came to
    Princes Park on Saturday 20th July.

    The hosts have been showing signs of strength and consistency in previous games, collecting some
    good results along the way. Managers Adam and Jamie have been rather successful in the transfer
    market too. The new arrivals appear to be adapting to their new surroundings and are beginning to
    feel at home at Princes Park. It can also be said that a few of the trialists have shown promise as
    well, especially 22-year old defender Luke Warner-Eley, who signed for the Darts on Friday.
    Visitors, Leyton Orient, would be forgiven for not wanting to turn up this season after the sad and
    shocking death of manager Justin Edinburgh on the 8th of June. One cannot begin to imagine how
    the staff, players and fans of the club must be feeling. Such occurrences have a tendency to make
    things like football pale into insignificance. On the other hand, football also has a wonderful way of
    bringing people together for the greater good, and this was the case with Saturday’s friendly match.
    There were fundraising buckets situated around Princes Park in aid of The Justin Edinburgh 3
    Foundation, and there was a minute’s applause conducted honourably before kick-off.
    Despite such difficulties, The O’s have been in excellent form under the guidance of Interim Head
    Coach, Ross Embleton and his assistant, Danny Webb. The club have won three of four games and
    even managed a 2-2 draw with Championship side, Hull City at Brisbane Road. Such pre-season
    results must surely be encouraging for all involved with the club, which was promoted to League
    Two from the National League last season. Everyone involved will surely want to continue the
    success that Justin Edinburgh achieved by getting the club back into the league.
    Regardless of the circumstances, Leyton Orient were always going to provide a stern test for Adam
    and Jamie’s side. This was proven by the starting eleven for this game, which saw a very strong
    lineup announced and only two trialists listed, both of whom were on the bench. Meanwhile, the
    visitors had two new signings available. Midfielder Josh Wright [ex-Bradford] started, while striker
    Lee Angol [ex-Shrewsbury] was on the bench.

    Dartford got the game underway in front of 821 fans, but the hosts were slow in getting started and
    were made to pay in the 4th minute. Leyton Orient won a free kick on the right hand side, which was
    lifted into the box. O’s defender, Marvin Ekpiteta, managed to get on the end of the ball, stabbing it
    home to give the visitors the lead. Five minutes later should’ve seen Orient double their lead, as Joe
    Widdowson saw his attempt cleared off the line by Luke Warner-Eley, as he raced back to defend the
    Darts’ goal.

    That moment seemed to spark Dartford into life and they began to assert their authority on the
    game and searched for an equaliser. The midfield trio of Lee Noble, Sam Blackman, and Josh Hill
    started to put themselves about a bit with some crunching tackles throughout the match.
    Meanwhile, the Darts also used the width to good advantage, with the right and left combinations of
    Jordan Wynter/Ryan Hayes, and Luke Warner-Eley/Luke Wanadio respectively working together
    well. As the half hour mark approached, the hosts were awarded a free kick which saw Wanadio
    strike the ball straight at the O’s defence. Unfortunately the resulting corner came to nothing as the
    visitor’s defence stood firm.

    As the Darts continued searching, Leyton Orient were always a threat going forward, and a free kick
    was given away on the edge of our area as half-time approached. Ruel Sotiriou struck the ball, but
    thankfully, it blazed over Mark Smith’s goal to the relief of the crowd.
    The second half saw the Darts venturing forward more and Warner-Eley tried his luck with an
    ambitious effort in the 47th minute. Unfortunately, a spectacular effort it wasn’t, as his shot from
    the left flew harmlessly wide of the target. Eight minutes later saw the impressive Wanadio collect
    the ball on the left and play a beautiful pass into the path of Cameron Brodie. The crowd groaned as
    the latter scuffed his shot and the ball was collected with ease by Sam Sargeant in the O’s goal.
    The football in the second half was entertaining to say the least, as Dartford searched for the
    equaliser and Orient pressed to put the game beyond reach. The football was end to end, with both
    sides creating opportunities. Unfortunately it just wasn’t happening for the Darts in the final third.
    That’s something that couldn’t be said for the visitors, who made Mark Smith work in the 63rd
    minute. James Brophy cut in onto his left foot, opened up space in the Dartford defence, and let fly
    with a powerful shot which was heading into the top corner. However, Smith was equal to it, diving
    to his right and making the save of the match. Seven minutes later, Sargeant made a diving save
    himself to keep out Ben Greenhalgh’s excellent effort from distance.
    Despite their hard work, it just didn’t happen for the Darts and they paid the price three minutes
    from time. Orient won a corner, which was whipped into the box and nobody picked up Sam Ling as
    he ran into the penalty area unmarked. His powerful header flew into the back of Smith’s goal and
    sealed the win for the visitors.

    Result aside, this match saw another good performance from the Dartford players. With more
    accuracy in the final third, the result would surely have been different.

    Video

    Details

    DateTimeSeasonFull Time
    July 20, 20193:00 pm2019/202090'

    Ground

    Princes Park

    Grass Banks, Dartford DA1 1LZ, UK

    Results

    ClubGoalsOutcome
    Dartford FC0Loss
    Leyton Orient2Win