Dartford’s winning run away from home continued as they beat Hampton & Richmond in an
entertaining game at the Jezzards Beveree Stadium on a cold Tuesday evening.
Steve King’s side arrived in good spirits and, as expected, a strong starting eleven was announced.
The backline was unchanged with Mark Smith in goal and Tom Bonner, Josh Hill, Jordan Gibbons and Liam Gordon in defence. The midfield and attack consisted of Billy Crook, Luke Allen, Cameron Brodie, Elliott Romain and Norman Wabo. New signing, Ky Marsh-Brown, was also given a starting role as Darren McQueen took his place on the bench. He was accompanied by Luke Wanadio, Ryan Hayes, Andy Pugh and Ronnie Vint.
With both teams on good form recently, the 451 supporters arrived expecting a good game of
football and they weren’t disappointed. After a quiet start, it was Dartford who created the first
meaningful opportunity in the twelfth minute. Wabo broke down the right, got the better of Kyron
Farrell, and sent a dangerous cross into the box only to see Charlie Wassmer deal with it courtesy of his face! A minute later saw referee Sunny Gill show Marsh-Brown a yellow card for simulation in the Hampton box.
After a few meaningless opportunities for the Beavers, Marsh-Brown sent a brilliant ball towards
Wabo, who then sent a header crashing against the post. A minute later saw the Darts take the lead
when Marsh-Brown got the better of Matt Young and slotted the ball past goalkeeper Dan Lincoln.
The debutant then went off to celebrate his first ever goal for the Darts with his teammates, and
A couple of minutes later saw the hosts equalise when Tyrone Lewthwaite sent a cross into the
Dartford danger area for Jake Grey, who put the ball past Smith. After some frantic football, Romain
was put through in the 35th minute only for Wassmer to bring him down. The referee awarded
Dartford the penalty and up stepped Romain to drive home his second goal in consecutive matches.
Lincoln got to the ball but the shot was too powerful for the keeper to keep out.
With seven minutes remaining before half-time, Romain should have given Dartford a two-goal
advantage with two good efforts in quick succession. First Lincoln saved well from a fierce shot, then the rebound fell straight back towards Romain, who went for the acrobatic effort, only to see Lincoln pull off another fantastic save.
Dartford started the second half well and Allen made his intentions clear when his pass released
Romain down the wing. Unfortunately, the resulting ball into the box was dealt with by the hosts
and they began to press forward in search of an equaliser.
With Hampton enjoying a majority of the possession in the second half and pushing the Darts back
into their own half, the visitors began to seek hitting them with the counter-attack, while defending
with discipline. The plan almost rewarded Steve King’s men in the 67th minute, when a quick
counter saw Romain break forward and release Gordon in the opposition’s box. The left-back found
himself in a great position and unleashed a powerful drive towards goal, only for Lincoln to save
Seven minutes from time saw the left-back at it again, but this time the Beavers’ defence managed
to deal with the danger, thus keeping the score at 2-1. Earlier in the half saw some very strong
defending from Bonner and Co, as they stood firm, threw bodies into the line of fire, and defended
several attempts from the Hampton attack.
With time running out fast, the hosts tried to create goal scoring opportunities, but Dartford held
firm, restricting them to long-range efforts that were off-target, as they closed out the remaining
minutes to secure a sixth consecutive victory on the road.