Dartford 3-1 Weston Super Mare
Dartford 3-1 Weston Super Mare

The Darts ran out comfortable three-one winners at home to Weston Super Mare this afternoon as Alex Brown, Elliot Bradbrook and Alfie Pavey helped themselves to a goal apiece in this penultimate home game of the regular season.

The opening half saw The Darts perhaps unsurprisingly much the better of the two sides with Luke Purnell certainly the busier of the goalkeepers – Berti Schotterl a relative spectator.

The home side almost took the lead inside the opening two minutes as Duane Ofori-Acheampong used his strength to hold up the ball and despite turning inside the penalty area he saw his shot blocked – The ball falling to Alfie Pavey whose shot was deflected narrowly wide of Purnell’s right-hand post.

The Darts didn’t have to wait long, though, as Alex Brown found space on the left side of the penalty area and drive his left-footed effort low and into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.

Ofori-Acheampong was proving to be a handful by his physical presence and in seeing visiting captain Jacob Cane caught in possession The Darts front-man squared it to Pavey but the ball couldn’t be controlled and it went harmlessly behind for a goal-kick.

Within a minute Andy Pugh had the ball in the back of the net but the assistant referee rules it out for offside.

Ofori-Acheampong’s physical presence then forced Aaron Parsons into an error of his own and, checking inside, shot goal-wards but Purnell was equal to it and saved comfortably.

Onyemah saw a marauding run of his own into the box rewarded with a lay-off from Liam Noble but the Dartford full-back saw his shot blocked.

On the cusp of the half-hour mark the hosts deservedly doubled their lead as captain Elliot Bradbrook, unmarked, side-footed the ball home from 12yds out – Somehow dissecting two WSM players stood on the goal-line.

Purnell then pulled off a truly remarkable save to keep the score to two as Pavey towered above his man 6yrds out and headed at goal but the ‘keeper somehow clawed the ball out in a Gordon Banks-esque fashion.

Pavey, with twenty-three goals to his name this campaign, would have been disappointed to blaze high and wide on the right corner of the penalty area after good work and link up play with Noble.

The cessation in play for the interval and the visitors making a substitution & tactical switch did little for the opening stages of the second half as neither side could get a foothold in the game as it turned uncharacteristically scrappy in nature.

In a rare foray into the Dartford defensive third Cane found enough space to get a shot away but it went harmlessly high above the crossbar.

With the half continuing to be a scrappy affair tackles began flying in and tempers eventually flared up as almost all the outfield players square up to one another just inside the visitors half – A single yellow card was shown for Noble, guilty of the challenge that finally brought about the melee.

But home fans, insistent the referee was too lenient to the visitors for that melee didn’t have to wait long as moments later Pavey raced clear of the back-line and beat the advancing Purnell to the ball tapping home into the empty net from close range.

With the game coming to close and The Darts now safely guaranteed the three points Schotterl was forced into his first real save to make as substitute Mohammad Baghdadi saw his curling goal-bound effort tipped athletically over the crossbar – Shortly after called to action once more to punch clear from a shot from range.

In stoppage time Schotterl was unable to earn a clean sheet as substitute Tom Llewellyn beat him to find the bottom right-hand corner.

The Darts remain second in National League South hot on the heels of league leaders Havant & Waterlooville going into the home straight – Although The Darts have one remaining home game this season in the diary they will hope it will be their last rather than have the play-off lottery to contend with.

 

Dartford: Schotterl, Collier, Onyemah, Bonner, Vint, Brown, Noble, Bradbrook ©, Pavey (Murphy, 79), Pugh (Ibrahim, 79), Ofori-Acheampong (Hayes, 58)

Sub not used: Harris, Mills

Goals: Brown (7), Bradbrook (29), Pavey (77)

 

Weston Super Mares: Purnell, Harper (Baghdadi, HT), Greenslade, Cane ©, Pope, Parsons, Scott, Diallo, Lee, Welch (Laird, 63), Kington (Llewellyn, 80)

Subs not used: Hill

Goals: Llewellyn (90+1)

 

Att: 1,025

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