Upcoming MatchHendon vs Dartford/April 23, 2024/Silver Jubilee Park


Dartford’s winless run continued, as promotion chasing Chelmsford City condemned them to another heavy defeat on the road.

In all honesty, the first forty-five was another half to forget for Adrian Pennock’s struggling side. And, the high-flying Clarets took advantage at a blustery Melbourne Community Stadium in front of 1,581 supporters on this Easter Good Friday.

Robbie Simpson’s outfit looked the more confident, as they forced the visitors back with their high press and earned early corners. The warning signs were clearly evident when Luke Jenkins sent a long-range drive narrowly wide of Rhys Byrne’s upright in the 16th minute.

Then, just after Dartford had ventured forward for the first time and earned their first corner of the afternoon (27), the hosts took the ball up the other end and were ahead within two minutes.

Jermaine Francis and Jazzi Barnum-Bobb combined well to enable the latter to send a dangerous ball across the face of goal, whereby Charlie Ruff was on hand to bundle the ball over the line (29).

One goal should have become two when George Alexander robbed Joash Nembhard and played Ruff through, but Byrne pulled off a superb save to keep the Chelmsford man’s vicious strike out (39).

However, the hosts did indeed double their advantage two minutes later when Alexander got on the end of a Ben Brookes cross to leave Dartford with a mountain to climb in the second-half (41).

The start of the second-half saw Pennock swap Luke Coulson with Jack Smith (46) in a bid to try and rescue something from the game. The Dartford boss would also go on to swap Jordan Greenidge with Fumnaya Shomotun (77), before Luke Allen came on to replace Brandon Barzey (86).

The hosts, meanwhile, also made a change at half-time as Anthony Wordsworth came on for Finley Barbrook (46). That would be followed by Samir Carruthers coming on for Josh Castiglione (69), before Henry Ochieng replaced Calum Watts (84).

As we return to the start of the second-half, the Darts burst out of the blocks and looked far more positive. And, within two minutes they were back in the game after Brandon Barzey found the back of the net with a close-range finish (47).

Barzey was on fire during these opening exchanges of the second-half, and only a combination of Ben Brookes and goalkeeper Henry Gray prevented the Dartford winger from grabbing a second (55).

Yet Barzey still wasn’t done. And he came agonisingly close from the following corner, only to see Josh Castiglione clear his goal-bound effort off the line (56)!

A minute later saw Rhys Byrne pull off another great save to prevent a Francis drive from flying into the top corner (57), before the goalkeeper was at it again to prevent an audacious Carruthers effort from dropping into the goal (76).

However, it was at this point that the game turned once again into the hosts’ favour. George Alexander fired in his second and The Clarets’ third with ten minutes remaining, after good work by Brookes.

Then Charlie Ruff scored his second and a fourth for the hosts, after Chelmsford had passed their way through the Dartford defence (83) to condemn the Darts to a fourth defeat in their last six games.


CHELMSFORD CITY: Henry Gray, Ben Brookes, Dave Winfield (c), Jermaine Francis, George Alexander, Finley Barbrook, Luke Jenkins, Charlie Ruff, Jazzi Barnum-Bobb, Callum Watts, Josh Castiglione.

SUBSTITUTES: Anthony Wordsworth, Samir Carruthers, Ody Alfa, Freddie Hockey, Henry Ochieng.

DARTFORD: Rhys Byrne, Jordan Wynter, Luke Coulson (c), Paul Rooney, Maxwell Statham, Brandon Barzey, Joash Nembhard, Taylor Maloney, Jordan Greenidge, Olly Box, Ronny Nelson.

SUBSTITUTES: Tom Wray, Jack Smith, Luke Allen, Alex Wall, Fumnaya Shomotun.

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Chris Palmer