24 February 2018. Dartford win 4:1. Andy Pugh (15'), Alex Brown (46'), Danny Mills (48'), Ben Gerring OG (85), Nial Thompson (87').
Dartford moved four points clear at the top of National League South with a comfortable home win over Truro on a sunny but freezing cold Saturday. Andy Pugh's brilliant volley had them in front at half-time and quickfire goals from Alex Brown and Danny Mills took the game away from the visitors after the break. A late own goal made it 4-0 and although Truro pulled one back at the death, Dartford had already done enough to take advantage of second-placed Havant's draw at Hemel Hempstead. There was a home debut for goalkeeper Berti Schotterl, who kept Deren Ibrahim out of the team, while Alfie Pavey came in for Duane Ofori-Acheampong up front. Ryan Hayes returned in midfield, as Lee Noble missed out, and Nathan Collier kept his place at centre-half with Ronnie Vint - back after suffering with flu - was named on the bench. Danny Harris made his 300th start for the club at right-back while captain Elliot Bradbrook became only the ninth player in Dartford's history to reach 400 appearances. In freezing windy conditions, neither side had fashioned so much as a half-chance before Dartford took the lead on 14 minutes. Darts were using Mills wide on the left and the Ebbsfleet loanee curled a cross narrowly wide of the far post before going close to making it 2-0. He got in behind the Truro defence but placed his shot straight at McHale and Pavey dragged the rebound wide from just inside the box. Schotterl passed his first real test, diving to his left and holding a long shot from Alex Hartridge but in truth the new man had little to do in a poor first half. Mills should have made it 2-0 when Hayes' cross reached him at the back post but failed to keep his header down.
In the second half, with the wind now at their backs, Dartford scored two goals in the first two minutes of the second half. First, Brown swept a low shot into the corner after the White Tigers had failed to stop Hayes' run into the box and then Mills' cross from the left-hand touchline drifted all the way in. Truro's defending for both goals let a lot to be desired and Darts looked like scoring every time they went forward after that. A couple of late challenges in midfield had referee Paul Howard reaching for his notebook but that was about the only fight Truro showed all afternoon. Dartford bossed the closing stages and cut the visitors wide open with a delightful passing move which ended with the ball in the net - only for the assistant to flag for offside. Shambolic defending resulted in a Truro own goal to extended Dartford's lead although the home side were denied a clean sheet by substitute Nial Thompson in stoppage-time.
Dartford: Schotterl, Harris, Collier, Bonner, Onyemah, Hayes (Murphy 80mins), Brown, Bradbrook, Pavey (Della-Verde 80mins), Pugh, Mills. Subs not used: Vint, Ofori-Acheampong, Ibrahim.
Truro: McHale, Palfrey, Riley-Lowe, Palmer, Gerring, Richards (Neal 63mins), Lamont (Keats 46mins), Hartridge, Harvey, Cooke (Thompson 75mins), Harding. Subs not used: Yetton, Booth.
Referee Paul Howard
Assistants Robert Claussen, Ollie Butcher
Keywords:Dartford, Truro City, football, league, national, non-league, soccer, south, vanarama
(c) SportShotz Photography