1 January 2018. Dartford win 4-1 and remain top of the Vanarama National League South. Ryan Hayes (19'), Andy Pugh (39'), Alfie Pavey (73', 78'). Elliot Romain (for Welling) (24').
Dartford substitute Alfie Pavey came off the bench to inflict more damage on former club Welling on New Year's Day. Pavey took his season's tally to 18 with a late brace as Darts made it a festive period double over their rivals. Darts had led through first-half goals from Ryan Hayes and Andy Pugh, Elliot Romain putting the visitors level at one stage with a close-range header. Dartford took the lead on 19 minutes. Pugh won the ball on halfway ahead of Jack Parkinson and set Ryan Hayes on his way, the Darts winger bursting forward before firing beyond keeper Ryan Sandford with the aid of a deflection. The lead lasted just five minutes as Elliot Romain drew Welling level just 60 seconds after forcing a good save out of Deren Ibrahim. Christian Nanetti's left-wing cross was just too inviting and Romain nodded in from close range. Sandford then produced a brilliant flying save to turn away Pugh's close-range effort as Welling were again exposed down their left-back position. Darts were back ahead six minutes before the break when Hayes played in Danny Harris and his pull back was converted on the slide by Pugh. It was nearly 3-1 on 43 minutes as Darts broke from a Welling free-kick. Again the problems came down Dartford's right wing but this time Danny Mills headed wide from close range. Welling's Joe Healy almost drew his team level either side of half-time. Before the break his shot was well blocked by Ronnie Vint. Then just three minutes after the restart Ibrahim produced a magnificent save to tip over a fizzing left-foot 20-yard drive. Sandford then spread himself brilliantly at the near post to deny Mills after a right-wing cross deflected into his path. Vint may not have won much in the air against Tom Bradbrook but he put his body on the line where it mattered to good effect after the break as well. He was back to tackle Romain after Bradbrook had rounded keeper Ibrahim before throwing himself in front of Healy's shot from a corner, which he deflected wide of the upright. Pugh nearly added a third before substitute Pavey wrapped the points up with 17 minutes left. Elliot Bradbrook's header from a corner came back off the bar and Pavey reacted quickest to nod home from close range. It was 4-1 on 78 minutes when Pavey held off Parkinson and his low shot was too good for Sandford. Welling are now seven league games without a victory in National League South, their last win coming in early November.
Dartford: Ibrahim, Harris, Onyemah, Bonner, Vint, Collier, Hayes (Della-Verde 84mins), E Bradbrook, Mills (Pavey 68mins), Pugh (Ofori-Acheampong 81mins), Murphy. Subs not used: Sho-Silva, Coxall.
Welling: Sandford, Driver, Jefford (Durojaiye 79mins), Dymond, Coyle, Parkinson, Monakana (Jebb 86mins), Healy, Romain, T Bradbrook, Nanetti (Goldberg 70mins). Subs not used: Francis, Phipps.
Images by Peter White
(c) SportShotz Photography