KSN are proud to support:

Dartford 0-0 Chippenham Town (AET – 2-3 pens)
Dartford 0-0 Chippenham Town (AET – 2-3 pens)

After one hundred and twenty goal-less minutes it took a penalty shoot-out to separate Dartford and Chippenham Town with the visitors upsetting the form book.

Play-offs can be cruel and when they are decided on spot-kicks it is particularly tough for the teams who are beaten. Chippenham only qualified by winning at Havant and Waterlooville to leapfrog them on the last day of the season whist the Darts only missed out on third place and a bye by two points.

However, that counted for nothing when Will Henry made three saves in the five penalties that he faced.

In the first half the teams cancelled each other out with chances at a premium. Joe Hanks had a header saved for the visitors early on before Dan Roberts got in behind for the Darts, but it did not fall for him, and Will Richards got back to make the block.

Mo Dabre then created an opening for Alefe Santos, but his low driven shot hit team mate Hanks almost on the goal-line and came back out.

Hanks had a low shot saved comfortably by Reice Charles-Cook, but Dartford had the last chance of the first half when Kristian Campbell chopped back but his shot was deflected wide.

Early in the second half Santos hit a low shot from the edge of the area that Charles-Cook got down to save before Marcus Dinanga had a shot deflected over at the other end. Santos was again a threat with a drive that Charles-Cook held at the near post before Roberts laid it off to Jack Jebb who blasted well over.

Jebb then played Roberts in but his route to goal was shut down, so he knocked it back to Samir Carruthers who curled high over. Continuing in the same vein, Jordan Young fired high for the Bluebirds then Kalvin Kalala did likewise for Dartford.

Young went on another run and opened his body but curled over before the visitors should have won it late on. Santos let fly from twenty-five yards and it came back off the bar to Spencer Hamilton. He probably had more time than he thought and rushed his shot and could only spoon it wide.

Danny Leonard had the last chance in regulation time but his clever attempt back across the goal flew wide.

The first period of extra time was dominated by the hosts and Kalala combined well with Jernade Meade inside his own half and burst away on a great run before cutting in and curling just beyond the far post. However, for all their possession and a series of corners, they could not create another opening.

When the teams came out for the second period, Santos was again a threat, but his shot was saved easily by Charles-Cook before Dartford substitute Ade Azeez broke and shot, but straight at Henry.

Meade’s outside of the boot volley flew over and it was time for penalties. The first three were all saved before Tom Mehew netted by smashing it straight down the middle. Kristian Campbell fired into the roof of the net and Charles-Cook restored parity with a save.

Jordan Greenidge netted for Dartford and Noah Coppin for Chippenham. Henry made his third save leaving Santos to win it for Chippenham by sending Charles-Cook the wrong way.

Their reward is another trip to Kent with the play-off semi-final at Ebbsfleet United on Sunday. 

Dartford: Charles-Cook, Durojaiye, Meade, Campbell, K. Roberts, Bonner, Kalala (Azeez 109), Jebb, D. Roberts (Leonard 86), Dinanga (Greenidge 117), Carruthers (Allen 90+2).

Subs not used: Wilks.

Goalscorers: None

Yellow cards: Campbell

Chippenham Town: Henry, Hamilton, Grrenslade, Russe, Parselle, Richards, Santos, Dabre (Coppin 120), Young, Hanks (Bradbury 73), Mehew.

Subs not used: Al-Husaini, King, Lawal.

Goalscorers: None

Yellow cards: None

Referee: Callum Walchester

Assistants: Kieran Bailey and James Hurst

Fourth official: Steven Hughes

Attendance: 1,325 

Pictures supplied by Dave Budden.