Worthing v Dartford
Dartford came out on top in a seven goal thriller, as 871 supporters inside the Sussex Transport Community Stadium were treated to an exhilarating game of football on a cold Tuesday night.
The Rebels started the game strongly, as their two wide players (Nicky Wheeler and Greg Luer) caused all sorts of problems for Dartford’s full-backs in an effort to feed Ollie Pearce.
Yet it was Ricky Aguiar who had the first shot of the game, only for his 7th minute effort rise over Mitchell Beeney’s crossbar. That was soon followed by Ollie Pearce setting up Danny Cashman, but Beeney got down to make the save (9).
At the other end, Dartford skipper Luke Coulson forced Rocco Rees into a fine save (12), before the hosts took the lead. The goal arrived after a good attack down the Worthing right-flank, which saw Joseph Felix find Danny Cashman, who didn’t miss (13).
The Rebels were in control at this point, but they weren’t able to convert any of their opportunities. Ollie Pearce was guilty of missing a good chance in the fifteenth minute, before Kane Wills fired over the crossbar (26).
For all their domination, however, the hosts were prone to the odd error at the back, and they gifted Dartford an equaliser in the 30th minute… goalkeeper Rocco Rees was the culprit and Alex Wall punished him with a fine finish to score his third league goal of the season.
The goal stunned Worthing and, as the Darts grew more confident, worse was to follow as Alan Dowson’s men became more clinical in front of goal.
A superb drive by Luke Coulson was too fierce for Rees to keep hold of, and the skipper was on hand to fire the visitors ahead following the rebound (43).
Rees was obviously feeling a little generous tonight, and the goalkeeper then proceeded to buckle under the pressure of the incoming Jordan Wynter on the stroke of half-time… enabling the Dartford number two to score a third for his team, and his first of the season (45).
The second forty-five saw the hosts launch a Rebel attack in a bid to rescue something from the game. However, the 51st minute almost saw the Empire strike back again after Archie Woods forced Rees into yet another error! Unfortunately, the goalkeeper got lucky on this occasion and was able to block Woods’ attempted follow-up.
The Rebels soon brought on reinforcements, as both Nicky Wheeler and Odei Sorondo were replaced by Juan Luque and Bailey Smith (58). That would be followed by Michael Klass coming on for Danny Cashman in the 75th minute.
Alan Dowson, meanwhile, would go on to swap Luke Allen with Sam Odaudu (75) and Alex Wall with Lewis Manor (79), before Jayden Boulton came on for the excellent Archie Woods deep into stoppage time.
As we return to the action, we find the hosts turning the screw more forcefully and, only a superb header by Moussa Diarra prevented them from pulling a goal back in the 68th minute.
However, the hosts got their goal sixty seconds later via an absolute beauty from Ricky Aguiar… his fierce drive from distance curling beyond Mitchell Beeney, leaving the goalkeeper with no chance (69).
The Worthing players’ tails were up and Juan Luque thought he’d scored an equaliser a minute later, only for the goal to be chalked off by the referee Mr Tom Ellsmore.
The decision only served to add more fuel to Worthing’s attack though, and the pulled themselves level via a neat finish by Ollie Pearce. The striker delighted the home supporters, as he danced his way into the Dartford box before firing in the equaliser (78).
Then, just as it looked like Worthing were going to steal a victory from the jaws of defeat, they self-destructed at the back! A complete mess-up between the goalkeeper and a defender saw Tyrell Miller-Rodney capitalise and win the game for Dartford with a cool finish in the 84th minute.
The result sees the Darts move up to twelfth in the National League South table, as well as remain within touching distance of the play-off positions.
WORTHING: Rocco Rees, Joel Colbran (c), Kane Wills, Joseph Rye, Greg Luer, Ollie Pearce, Nicky Wheeler, Odei Sorondo, Ricky Aguiar, Joseph Felix, Danny Cashman.
SUBSTITUTES: Cameron Tutt, Michael Klass, Jesse Starkey, Juan Luque, Bailey Smith.
DARTFORD: Mitchell Beeney, Jordan Wynter, Tyrell Miller-Rodney, Baris Altintop, Luke Coulson (c), Luke Allen, Alex Wall, Paul Rooney, Maxwell Statham, Archie Woods, Moussa Diarra.
SUBSTITUTES: Sam Odaudu, Lewis Manor, George Whitefield, Charlie Sheringham, Jayden Boulton.
|November 14, 2023||7:45 pm||National League South||2023/24||0'|