Upcoming MatchCray Wanderers vs Dartford/April 16, 2024/Bericote Powerhouse Princes Park

MATCH REPORT | AVELEY 0 DARTFORD 1

Harvey Bradbury sparked the Dartford fans into wild celebrations, after his last-minute goal earned his side the spoils in a hard-fought “Battle of The Bridge” encounter at newly promoted Aveley.

With 502 supporters in attendance at Parkside on an afternoon where weather conditions were mixed, bragging rights were fought with very little to choose between the two sides.

However, it’s only fair to say that the hosts did create the better opportunities throughout the ninety minutes, but came upon a stubborn Dartford defence and goalkeeper Mitchell Beeney, who was determined to keep a clean sheet.

The opening ten minutes saw both sides create just the one effort apiece. But, neither Charlee Hughes (7) or Tyrell Miller-Rodney (10) were able to trouble the respective goalkeepers.

After a period dominated in the midfield, The Millers were the first to test a goalkeeper, as Eduino Vaz saw his strike saved by Mitchell Beeney (25). The visitors responded with a brilliant move seconds later, after Tyrell Miller-Rodney had intercepted the ball on the Aveley left-flank. He then proceeded to race up the pitch, before sending a delightful cross into the Aveley box. Lewis Manor met the ball with a powerful header, but Jonathan North was able to get down low to save it (26).

The hosts came close once again in the 37th minute, as Vaz’s free-kick smacked back off of Beeney’s crossbar, before Luke Coulson came agonisingly close with a free-kick of his own at the other end three minutes later!

It was as you were during the opening exchanges of the second forty-five, however, more space slowly became available as both sides looked to break the deadlock.

A wonderful run by Tommy Block was almost rewarded, only for Jalen Jones to step in with a couple of timely blocks to prevent the visitors from taking the lead (52). Then the hosts managed to breach the Dartford defence with a fine pass which sent Charlee Hughes through on goal. However, Mitchell Beeney pulled off a superb save to prevent the Aveley player from putting his team in front (54).

Alan Dowson was the first manager to show his hand by swapping Lewis Manor with Charlie Sheringham in the 64th minute. The substitution would prove to be the only change made by the visitors this afternoon.

Meanwhile, the hosts would make two changes themselves, with the first taking place in the 82nd minute as Alex Hernandez replaced Connor Witherspoon. That was followed by Nana Kyei coming on for Kenny Aileru three minutes later.

Returning to the action, Miller-Rodney almost set up his teammates with a terrific ball into the box, which flashed across the face of goal (68), before John Benton and Jalen Jones both came close in quick succession at the other end (71).

Dartford thought they’d been awarded a penalty in the 75th minute, only for the linesman’s opinion change referee, Mr Josh Crofts’ mind…! Lady Luck stuck around for a few minutes afterwards and intervened a second time, as the Darts lay siege upon the Aveley goal…

Only an excellent save by Jonathan North and desperate defending prevented the ball actually crossing the line during a manic goal-mouth scramble with ten minutes remaining.

Yet, the Darts weren’t going to be denied on this occasion and, with Tommy Block’s long throws causing problems for The Millers, the visitors finally got the deciding breakthrough… as the throw came into the danger area, the ball was flicked on, and Harvey Bradbury was on hand to bury his header into the back of the net (90+5)!

With the victory finally sealed at the fifth time of asking, the Luke Coulson-led Darts are up and running. The win was made all the more sweeter by Mitchell Beeney registering a first clean sheet of the campaign as well, in what was an excellent performance by the goalkeeper and his defence.

TEAMS

AVELEY: Jonathan North, Jason Ring, Eduino Vaz, Connor Witherspoon (c) Jalen Jones, Harry Gibbs, Garrett Kelly, Siju Odelusi, Charlee Hughes, John Benton, Kenny Aileru.

SUBSTITUTES: Matt Rush, Alex Hernandez, Nana Kyei, Tommy Davis, Jon Nzengo.

DARTFORD: Mitchell Beeney, Tommy Block, Baris Altintop, James Golding, Joash Nembhard, Tyrell Miller-Rodney, Jordan Wynter, Luke Coulson (c), Lewis Manor, Harvey Bradbury.

SUBSTITUTES: Tom Wray, George Whitefield, Charlie Sheringham, Ollie Box, Moussa Diarra.

Match Photos Gallery

By Chris Palmer