St Albans City 1-2 Dartford
St Albans City 1-2 Dartford

A solid defensive display from Dartford helped them to three crucial points in St Albans.

In a match that could have gone either way St Albans took the lead after Joe Iaciofano scored from the penalty spot. Liam Nash equalised for the Darts before a second half penalty from Darren McQueen completed the turnaround.

Steve King made three changes to his side that booked Dartford’s place in the Kent Senior Cup final on Tuesday night bringing in Mark Smith, Josh Hill and Darren McQueen all into the starting eleven.

In the early phase of the game Dartford had to defend an onslaught of corners and long throws from the hosts and the defence stood up to the challenge.

As Dartford tried to play their way into the game McQueen was brought down outside the box. Jebb took the free-kick and forced Snedker to make a diving save.

Nash thought he had put the visitors ahead after meeting a cross with his head but the goal was rule out for offside.

A handball in the Dartford box from Bonner gave the referee no option but to point to the penalty spot. Iaciofano took the spot kick and scored placing the ball down the middle to give the hosts the lead. Smith dived to his right but had he stood still he would have made an easy save.

Dartford looked for a way back into the game and it only took seven minutes. Bansal-McNulty played a one-two from a short free-kick giving him space to shoot. His effort from outside the box was saved by Snedker but he could only parry into the path of Nash who had the simple task of finishing into an empty net.

St Albans almost retook the lead when a long range strike from Diedhiou whistled just past the post. The Darts then had to survive another barrage of corners from the hosts before breaking away in numbers to create a great chance for McQueen whose heavy touch inside the box let him down.

Early in the second half Dartford were awarded a penalty after a foul on Romain. McQueen fired the ball into the top corner giving Snedker no chance.

The Darts were again made to defend their goal from set pieces as the hosts looked for a way back into the game and again they were up to the challenge.

Dartford looked dangerous on the counter attack and only a fantastic block by Forster in the St Albans defence denied McQueen a second goal.

Two shouts for a penalty in two minutes from the hosts were denied after first Merson and then Iaciofano went down in the box.

The pressure was building and the scores were almost level when a superb volley from Sundire from thirty yards out hit the post. Merson then had a low strike blocked in the area.

In the final few minutes Dartford’s defence again stood tall to defend yet more corners as St Albans searched for the equaliser.

The final whistle sounded to confirm another win on the road for Dartford who remain in 6th place and will host Chelmsford City next week.

Dartford: Smith, Wynter, Braham-Barrett, Bansal-McNulty (Wanadio 72), Hill, Bonner, Jebb, Husin, Romain, McQueen (Crook 64), Nash (Vint 82)

Subs not used: Hyde, Ming

St Albans City: Snedker, Bender, Longe-King, Sundire, Forster, Iaciofano, L Gordon, Diedhiou (Merson 64), Banton (Louis 77), Noble (Nwabuokei 77), Musonda

Subs not used: Clark, R Gordon

Attendance: 712

Referee: Carl Brook