Dartford began their London and South East Regional Premier Division campaign with a hard fought 2-0 victory over Ashford Town (Middx) at Princes Park on Sunday afternoon.
The Darts had the first chance of the match on 3 minutes when Katie Butts drove down the right hand flank and into the penalty area, but her shot could only find the side netting from 10 yards.
The visitors then had a spell of pressure, with Jade Charlton making two saves from close range before watching two shots flash across her goal and wide. Dartford came closest to breaking the deadlock on 24 minutes when Shauni Griffiths’ 20 yard free kick rattled the post.
Dartford took the lead on 45 minutes when captain Lizzie Adams shot from the left hand edge of the penalty area, across the goalkeeper and into the net.
Ashford Town came close to equalising on 51 minutes following a great left wing run and shot which hit the Dartford woodwork, but Dartford doubled their lead on 61 minutes when Caitlin Hirst was tripped in the penalty area. Jo Woodgates, on her competitive debut for the Darts, slammed home the penalty to make it 2-0.
It should have been three for the home side on 69 minutes when a number of chances for Griffiths, Hirst and Alicia Gibbs went begging. However, Dartford saw the game out comfortably, with Shauni Griffiths hitting the woodwork for the second time in the match deep into stoppage time.
Dartford: Charlton, Torry, Woodgates, Livett, Butts, Adams, Stevens, Griffiths, Dyett, Hirst and Brinkley. Subs: Davis, Burnham, Gibbs, Vaughan and Mansfield