3 February 2024. Farnborough win 2:1 (Aaron Kuhl 50', Reggie Young 78') and (Tyrrell Miller-Rodney 51' for Dartford).
Dartford’s miserable start to 2024 continued, as Farnborough inflicted a second consecutive league defeat on Tony Burman’s side in a close contest at the Saunders Transport Community Stadium to leave the Darts winless since Boxing Day (in the league). Supporters did at least witness a much improved performance from the Darts, including an impressive display from debutante Fumnaya Shomotun. The forward had impressed everyone at Bericote Powerhouse Princes Park when he faced the Darts in the Kent Senior Cup for Sevenoaks Town. And, Tony Burman wasted little time in bringing him to Dartford. Shomotun caused lots of problems for The Yellows’ left-back (Jordan Norville-Williams) and, once he and his new teammates are more familiar with each other, the potential is there for the new number 18 to chip in with some goals as well as more assists.
The first-half saw both sides cancel each other out, as well as lack that cutting edge in the final third. The first real opportunity did come via the visitors as early as the seventh minute, after Billy Terrell spotted Luke Coulson in space and launched a swift counter-attack. Unfortunately, the skipper wasn’t able to trouble goalkeeper Jack Turner with his effort. Two minutes later saw the hosts fire narrowly wide from a corner, before we entered a period of stalemate on the pitch. As we reached the 20-minute mark, it was time for Fumnaya Shomotun to give everyone a glimpse of what he is capable of… firstly, he tore Norville-Williams inside out before sending a dangerous ball across the box, before he did the same thing once again! On this occasion though, he found Alex Wall with a neat ball, only to see Jack Turner manage to save the latter’s strike (25). At the other end, Tyrell Miller-Rodney stepped in to intercept a dangerous Farnborough pass which could easily have exposed Terrell to danger (36), before the goalkeeper himself made an excellent save to prevent Hisham Kasimu from opening the scoring in the 41st minute.
The deadlock was indeed broken after just five minutes into the second-half. Aaron Kuhl scored from the spot after the referee, Mr Michael Robertson-Tant, had awarded the hosts a penalty as a result of a late challenge by a Dartford defender (50). However, the Darts responded positively and were level sixty seconds later after Tyrell Miller-Rodney got onto the end of Shomotun’s delicious cross to stab home his third league goal of the season.
The Yellows were the first to make a change in personnel when they swapped Hisham Kasimu with Hady Ghandour after 61 minutes. That would be followed by Selim Saied being replaced by Ricky Holmes (79) and Taylor Clark coming on for Harvey Bradbury (84). Tony Burman, meanwhile, made two substitutions late on, as Alex Wall and Tyrell Miller-Rodney left the field to be replaced by Olly Box and Jack Smith in the 84th minute.
As we return to the action, we find Ghandour in lots of space on the Boro right-flank. The substitute managed to cut inside before stinging the palms of Billy Terrell with a fierce drive (65). The hosts followed that effort up with another one from a corner, which somehow stayed out after hitting Terrell’s upright (72). However, six minutes later saw Farnborough re-take the lead via a rather controversial decision from the officials to say the least…! Another corner caught Terrell out a little, and he could only parry the ball from the cross… however, the goalkeeper’s hard work was undone because the loose ball fell to Reggie Young, who fired towards the goal… But, the ball ricocheted into the back of the net via ex-Dart Harvey Bradbury, who was clearly in an offside position (78)! Apparently, the officials seemed to be the only ones completely oblivious to this fact, and the hosts had their lead restored. This decision came soon after Alex Wall was dragged back by CJ Fearn when clear though… only for Mr Robertson-Tant award the free-kick to Farnborough! The Darts tried to get back into the game, with Shomotun forcing a good save from Jack Turner in the 82nd minute. But, the hosts shut up shop and held firmly to take the points in this entertaining encounter. As for the Darts, the potential is there to see and, perhaps with a little more confidence and accuracy in the final third in particular, the positive results will come.
FARNBOROUGH: Jack Turner, Jack Ball, Jordan Norville-Williams, CJ Fearn (c), Harvey Bradbury, Reggie Young, Olly Pendleberry, Hisham Kasimu, Selim Saied, Aaron Kuhl, Sid Nelson.
SUBSTITUTES: Taylor Clark, Ricky Holmes, Millar Matthews-Lewis, Jonas Mukuna, Hady Ghandour.
DARTFORD: Billy Terrell, Jordan Wynter, Sam Odaudu, Tommy Block, Tyrell Miller-Rodney, Luke Coulson (c), Alex Wall, Paul Rooney, Fumnaya Shomotun, Joash Nembhard, Taylor Maloney.
SUBSTITUTES: Jack Smith, Maxwell Statham, Tom Wray, Manny Adebowale, Olly Box.
Report: Chris Palmer
Referee: Michael Robertson-Tant (Colchester)
Assists: Dane Johnstone (Coulsdon), Imran Khan (Stonehenge).
(c) SportShotz Photography