National League South 2019/2020

    Marsh LaneMarsh Ln, Oxford OX3 0PF, UK

    Oxford City
    Dartford FC
    0 - 1
    Final Score


    Dartford arrived at Marsh Lane off the back of three consecutive wins on their travels. The Darts
    started the game on equal points with today’s opponents in the National League South table, but a
    moment of brilliance saw them move three points clear.

    With the appointment of Steve King as Dartford Manager, Interim Manager, Tony Burman, intended
    to come away with three points against Oxford City in his final match at the helm. And a strong
    starting eleven certainly reflected that intention. Mark Smith remained in goal and stood behind a
    defensive line which consisted of Captain Tom Bonner, Ronnie Vint, Josh Hill and Rob Howard.
    Central midfield saw the excellent duo of Lee Noble and Luke Allen, while Luke Wanadio and Ben
    Greenhalgh ran the wings.

    With Charlie Sheringham out injured and Adam Cunnington having left the club, Darren McQueen
    came in to lead the attack. He was partnered by the returning Andy Pugh, and what a delightful sight it was to see the Dartford number 17 back on the pitch! The substitutes included Ryan Hayes, Jim Town, Cameron Brodie, Norman Wabo and the returning Mark Onyemah. It was also a delight to see the Dartford left-back return from a lengthy time on the sidelines.

    The Darts started positively and were the more threatening in an entertaining first half, as a pacey
    attack caused problems for Mark Jones’ Oxford City. The combinations of Greenhalgh, Wanadio,
    McQueen and Pugh forced several corners as Dartford ploughed forward, probing for a way through.

    With opportunities aplenty, the visitors just couldn’t seem to pass the perfect ball once in the box
    because Oxford were defending in numbers. However, in the 27th minute, the tireless McQueen
    forced a great save from Craig King, who managed to direct the ball behind for a Dartford corner.
    The attacking pace and hard work from the Darts was eventually rewarded in the 35th minute, when Greenhalgh was allowed to run at the host’s defence. Cutting into the box from the right, the
    Dartford number eleven then unleashed a beautiful effort which curled into the top corner.
    The Hoops tried to respond immediately, but their efforts were futile. The closest they came was
    when Kyran Wiltshire received the ball from a corner and sent a powerful effort towards goal, which
    Smith gathered comfortably. The remainder of the half saw Dartford defend well to go in with a 1-0
    advantage at half-time.

    The Darts started the second half brightly and should have doubled their lead straight from the
    kick-off. The cross came in from the left wing and Greenhalgh was presented with a glorious
    opportunity. Unfortunately his effort went high and over the bar. Ten minutes later saw the hosts
    create an equally glorious opportunity, as good work from Reece Beckles-Richards saw him get
    through the Dartford defence. Thankfully, his well-struck shot cannoned off the post and away to

    With Oxford searching for the equaliser, Dartford defended in numbers and pressed the hosts well.
    Playing with hard work and desire, the Darts frustrated the hosts as they tried to take advantage of a pacey attack by hitting them on the counter-attack. This was a tactic that almost paid off in the 71st minute, when the excellent McQueen broke forward and forced a great save from King. Six minutes later saw Smith make a superb save with his feet, as Zac McEachran looked certain to score.

    A string of substitutions occurred during the second half, with Brodie replacing Noble and Wabo
    replacing McQueen for the visitors, as the Darts sought the services of fresh legs to see out the

    With time running out fast, the hosts threw everyone forward, but a stubborn and focused Dartford
    defence stood firm as purple-shirted bodies threw themselves in front of every ball. On the one
    occasion when Smith looked to be beaten, a Dartford player was there on hand to clear the ball off
    the line and preserve the lead.

    And so a fourth straight win on the road in all competitions was accomplished by a combination of
    hard work, determination, and a moment of sheer brilliance from Ben Greenhalgh, as Tony Burman
    hands the reigns over to Steve King in perfect style. The result sees Dartford close the gap to the top ten as they begin to climb away from the drop zone.


    DateTimeLeagueSeasonFull Time
    October 12, 20193:00 pmNational League South2019/202090'


    Marsh Lane

    Marsh Ln, Oxford OX3 0PF, UK


    Oxford City0Loss
    Dartford FC1Win