Dartford travelled to Longmead Stadium on Tuesday evening, where their poor away form
continued, as Tonbridge Angels inflicted another defeat upon them in a frustrating game for the
Adam and Jamie were forced to shuffle the squad somewhat due to injuries, but a strong starting
eleven was still named. Mark Smith continued in goal, with Rob Howard, Ronnie Vint and Josh Hill in
defence. They were joined by Alex Flisher, who played at left-back in place of the injured Tom
Bonner. The midfield consisted of Lee Noble and Luke Allen, while Ryan Hayes and Ben Greenhalgh
started on the wings. The attack was led by Adam Cunnington and Norman Wabo. The Darts’
substitutes were Jordan Wynter [who was available for selection after returning from his ban], Jay
Bacon, Charlie Sheringham, Darren McQueen and Cameron Brodie.
The Angels were fast out of the blocks and threatened to run riot in the opening thirty minutes of
the match. Steve McKimm’s squad looked comfortable on the ball in the first half, as they took
advantage of Flisher being out of his comfort zone and kept the visitors camped in their own
eighteen yard box. James Folkes and Jared Small terrorized the Dartford number 14, and created
several chances, but the remainder of the defence continued to hold strong and deal with the threat.
The Darts did attempt to break forward after they’d weathered the storm, as first Vint played a good
ball to Cunnington, who then nodded the ball towards Noble. Unfortunately, it was a little too far for
the midfield dynamo to reach and Jonathan Henly gathered the ball up with ease. A couple of
minutes later Howard made a terrific run forward, as a long ball came over the top, but his shot was
blocked and sent out for a corner.
Just as the visitors were starting to get into the game, referee Jason Richardson awarded a
questionable penalty to the hosts. Vint appeared to have won the ball with ease in the box, but his
opponent seemed to go over the defender’s leg, and the referee made the decision favouring the
Tonbridge player. Up stepped Joseph Turner to put the ball past Smith.
Dartford were awake now and tried to respond immediately. Flisher picked up the ball on the left
and released a piledriver towards the top corner, forcing Henly into a fantastic diving save. The loose
ball eventually found Greenhalgh, who also tried a long range effort, which unfortunately flew over
the bar. Ten minutes later Hill played a great ball to Wabo, who struck it well, only to see it go wide
for a corner. The corner was whipped into the Angels’ box, which they failed to clear from danger
and Hill’s shot was too much for Henly to handle as he fumbled it into the goal.
With a minute left until half-time, Tonbridge restarted and the Dartford defence failed to deal with
the attack and, subsequently, found themselves behind again as Turner netted his second of the
The start of the second half saw a double substitution from Adam and Jamie, as Wynter replaced
Flisher and Sheringham replaced Cunnington. The 53rd minute saw another good effort from Wabo
saved well by Henly, as the hosts gave it everything in search of an equaliser. Twenty minutes from
time saw McQueen come on for Greenhalgh, as the Darts continued to press Tonbridge back into
their own half. Dartford got the breakthrough five minutes after that change in personnel, as Hayes
played a dangerous ball into the box towards Vint. The Dartford number 5 missed the ball, but
Sheringham was there at the post to head the ball into the net and draw the Darts level again.
After struggling in the first half, the visitors were looking stronger now, and we’re good value for
another hard-fought point. They continued to grow in confidence, as Allen and Noble asserted their
authority in midfield, driving the Darts forward. But the players were unable to create any
meaningful opportunities. Then five minutes from the 90 saw Tonbridge hit back with a
suckerpunch. Dartford failed to deal with the ball and there was Tom Derry to tuck it home and
restore his team’s lead. Wabo tried to have the last laugh and make it 3-3 as he broke through on
goal, but his effort went agonisingly over the bar.
And so another frustrating game on the road came to an end, as Tonbridge condemned the Darts to
a fourth defeat in five away matches. The result leaves Dartford languishing in the bottom three of
the National South table, and sadly brings Adam and Jamie’s reign at the club to an end.