The Boxing Day fixtures saw Dartford travel to Park View Road, as they faced Welling United for the traditional festive period local derby in an early afternoon kick-off.
Park View Road hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for the Darts, with just one league victory (a 3-2 win in December 2017) since 1983. Steve King’s side arrived on a cold and wet afternoon with the intention of taking all three points. And that’s exactly what they did, as an excellent performance, together with a brace from Darren McQueen, gave the Darts a well-deserved victory against an inconsistent Welling side.
The Darts started strongly and within the first five minutes had registered their first attempt on the
Welling goal. The midfield combination of Billy Crook and Tyrique Hyde played a neat one-two,
before the latter took a shot, which was unfortunately blocked. A minute later, the hosts broke
forward and Moses Emmanuel had an effort fly over the bar. The Wings ventured forward again
shortly after, but a superb challenge by Crook prevented any goal-bound strike.
With twelve minutes on the clock, Darren McQueen sprinted into the box before being bundled over
by Connor Dymond. Referee, Steven Hughes, awarded the penalty and the guilty defender received a yellow card for his trouble. The Dartford number ten dusted himself down and took on the duty of taking the penalty, which he despatched straight past goalkeeper Daniel Wilks to give the visitors a deserved lead.
Dartford should have doubled their lead three minutes later when Ky Marsh-Brown got his head on
an Elliott Romain cross. Unfortunately, the former’s flicked header sent the ball wide, which was a
shame because Romain’s effort deserved a goal. The visitors were dominating play during this
period, leaving nothing for the Wings to convert into meaningful opportunities on goal. Restricted to
long-range efforts, Mark Goldberg’s side started to get frustrated and Emmanuel, in particular,
received a stern telling off from the referee. However, it was Dartford’s Alhaji Sesay who picked up
the next yellow card after the referee suggested he was taking too long! A couple of minutes later
saw Ronnie Vint go into the book for a foul just outside the penalty area. To his relief, the resulting
free kick flew wide of Sesay’s post.
The Darts didn’t allow that momentary lapse in concentration deter them, however, and were soon
back in control with the midfield trio of Jordan Wynter, Billy Crook and Tyrique Hyde driving them
forward. The latter, in particular, was thriving as he first played a peach of a pass to the right, which
unfortunately came to nothing, then a few minutes later he slipped a terrific pass into Marsh-Brown.
The latter shot well, but Wilks was there to keep the score at 1-0. Meanwhile, at the other, Bradley
Goldberg breached the backline and was through one-on-one with Sesay… or so the Wings’ striker
thought… as Tom Bonner came crashing in with a superb block!
The second half began with a flurry of activity. First Anthony Cook was booked for a foul on
Marsh-Brown, then two minutes later Dartford doubled their lead in style, as two contenders for
Man of The Match combined. Hyde received the ball in the midfield, slotted a neat pass through to
McQueen, who then passed the ball into the back of the net after getting himself one-on-one with
As the hour approached, Steven Hughes reached into his pocket again, giving Wynter a yellow card for his foul on Goldberg. Then a couple of minutes later, Romain was played through and he put the game out of Welling’s reach with a well-taken goal.
With the away fans in full-voice, Steve King then made his first change in personnel, as Luke
Wanadio replaced Marsh-Brown. The visitors continued to control proceedings and looked
comfortable as well as organised. The frustrated hosts couldn’t penetrate Bonner’s rigid defence and were, again, restricted to the odd effort from distance as the remaining time evaporated.
As the final fifteen minutes approached, Hyde received a great ball from Wynter and hit a long-range effort towards goal. Wilks held it well and then tried to get the ball back up the other end, but it went out of play, prompting Dartford to make their second substitution as the excellent Romain
made way for a returning Charlie Sheringham. The big striker should have capped his return from
injury with a goal five minutes from time, but could only roll the ball into Wilks’ hands after receiving
a fantastic pass from Vint.
Things then became rather quiet, as the hosts accepted defeat and Dartford closed out the game.
The superb McQueen came off to a standing ovation from the travelling supporters, as he was
replaced by Ryan Hayes with four minutes remaining, and Dartford completed an emphatic victory
over their rivals at Park View Road for the second time in three years.
WELLING UTD: Wilks, Dymond, Anderson, Agyemang, Swaine ©, Okosieme, Emmanuel,
Widdrington, Henry, Goldberg, Cook.
SUBSTITUTES: Rich-Baghuelou, Cosgrave, Akinyemi, Waldren, Green.
DARTFORD: Sesay, Ming, Gordon, Wynter, Vint, Bonner ©, Hyde, Crook, Romain, McQueen,
SUBSTITUTES: Hill, Hayes, Liburd, Sheringham, Wanadio.