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Created 8-Apr-23
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Good Friday, 7 April 2023. Eastbourne win 2:1 (Goal for Dartford, Harvey Bradbury 15'). Alex Wall and Samir Carruthers both substituted due to injury, Jernade Meade sent off for 2 yellow card offences.

Dartford endured a miserable trip to The SO Legal Community Stadium, as a combination of poor officiating and an Eastbourne Borough comeback ensured the Darts returned home pointless. After an unsuccessful goal attack on 8', Harvey Bradbury had another go as Dartford continued to attack, and forced another corner seven minutes later. Luke Coulson delivered the perfect cross, which Tom Bonner got to first. His header was blocked by a Boro defender, but the danger wasn’t clear and Bradbury headed home his third goal since arriving at the club (15).

manager Alan Dowson was forced into making an early change after Alex Wall got injured during a challenge. The striker, who’d bagged a hat-trick last time out, limped off the pitch to be replaced by Malachi Napa (22). Despite the hosts trying to get back into the game, they came up against a stubborn defensive unit lead by the ever-reliable Tom Bonner. Six minutes before the break saw Shiloh Remy come agonisingly close to levelling the score, but Ben Dudzinski was alert to thwart him with a good save (39).

The second-half saw the hosts lay seige upon the Dartford box…and within five minutes of the restart, they’d turned the game on its head! The first goal arrived in the 48th minute after the Darts failed to clear the danger from their own area. The hesitation allowed Leone Gravata to pounce and level the score. Eastbourne continued to throw men forward and two minutes later they took the lead in style. The visitors weren’t able to get the ball off of their hosts, and Luke Pearce scored with a delightful low curling drive (50).

Dartford responded by making a double substitution in the 65th minute, as Samir Carruthers and Luke Allen came on to replace Richard Chin and Jack Smith. Meanwhile, Eastbourne’s Robbie Bloor responded by introducing Morgan Williams for James Hammond at the same time. He’d go on to swap Charlie Walker with Jamie Yila after 81 minutes as well. With late challenges flying in left, right and centre, referee Mr Robert Ablitt was far too lenient…That was until Jernade Meade fouled Remy in the 77th minute. The left-back went into the referee’s book and the resulting free-kick found Mitch Dickenson, but his header smacked back off of Dudzinski’s crossbar. There was worse to come for this visitors which all but ended any possibility of an equaliser. Firstly, Meade was caught once again and brought his man down, which saw him get his marching orders after receiving a second yellow card (83). Soon afterwards, Samir Carruthers was on the end of a horrific challenge which left him in agony on the sideline. Unable to continue, the Dartford number four received treatment, as his teammates defended with nine men for the remainder of a game where virtually nothing went right for them.

EASTBOURNE BOROUGH: Lee Worgan, Kai Woollard-Innocent, Bradley Barry, Mitch Dickenson, Ryan Bartley, James Hammond, Charlie Walker (c), James Vaughan, Shiloh Remy, Luke Pearce, Leone Gravata.
SUBSTITUTES: Jack Burchell, Morgan Williams, Jamie Yila, Norman Wabo, Jay Beckford.
DARTFORD: Ben Dudzinski, Jordan Wynter, Richard Chin, Connor Essam, Tom Bonner (c), Luke Coulson, Alex Wall, Maxwell Statham, Jack Smith, Harvey Bradbury, Jernade Meade.
SUBSTITUTES: Samir Carruthers, Luke Allen, Keiran Murtagh, Sam Odaudu, Malachi Napa.

Report by Chris Palmer

Referee: Robert Ablitt
Assistants: Oscar Whiting, Jordan McRitchie.
Att: 2,300

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