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Created 30-Apr-23
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29 April 2023. The final league match of the 2022-23 season before the play-offs. Result was a 0:0 draw.

With the Darts having secured second position last week and Hampton & Richmond being safe, there was literally nothing to play for this afternoon, and that was reflected in the action on the pitch. As expected, Dartford manager Alan Dowson made numerous changes in the line up in order to rest a majority of his First Team. That being said, it was a pleasant surprise to see Charlie Sheringham in the starting eleven after his return from injury. The striker put in a good performance on an afternoon where minutes were more important than a victory. After a rather slow start, the Dartford number nineteen was gifted with a glorious opportunity to open the scoring in the 28th minute, after being sent through. Finding himself one-on-one with goalkeeper Alan Julian, the striker somehow struck his shot wide of the upright. Five minutes later saw Sheringham at it again, having received the ball from a superb Jack Smith pass. Unfortunately, his effort smacked back off the crossbar and was cleared by the Beaver defence (33).

As for the hosts, they started the half brightly, but soon faded into the midfield battle. They created the first opportunity after Adrian Clifton and Jordan Thomas combined to provide Daniel Rowe with a neat cross. But, Rowe was unable to test Dan Wilks with his header (10). Clifton sent a header narrowly wide of Wilks’ post two minutes later after getting on the end of Jake Gray’s cross (12), but more was to come from the hosts in the second forty-five. Within two minutes of the restart Clifton was at it again, as he tried to setup his teammate Ruaridh Donaldson. However, the latter’s effort was wide of the Dartford goal (47) and would be repeated in similar fashion eleven minutes later.

Alan Dowson would also make just the two changes in personnel this afternoon, the first of which saw Marvin Herschel replace Charlie Sheringham (77). Then, with six minutes remaining, exciting young Academy player Ollie Box came on for Bobby Dunn.
As the match continued Adrian Clifton was causing issues once again. He was the recipient of a great pass, but saw his strike at the near post excellently saved by Dan Wilks (67). Ruaridh Donaldson forced the Dartford shot-stopper into another great low save four minutes later, as his curling effort threatened to sneak into the far post (71). The Darts rarely threatened Alan Julian throughout the second-half, as they appeared quite content in just seeing out the clock while remaining virtually impenetrable at the back. The defensive unit of Richard Chin, Jernade Meade, Emmanuel Adebowale, and Academy Graduate George Whitefield rarely looked too troubled on this lovely afternoon in London.

As the sun sets on another competitive, yet entertaining National League South campaign, Dartford will be happy with a point and clean sheet to finish this season’s road trips with. Everyone now turns their attention to the upcoming play-offs to determine the Darts’ fate for next season.

HAMPTON & RICHMOND BOROUGH: Alan Julian, Ruaridh Donaldson, Dean Inman, Luis Fernandes, Alfy Whittingham, Jake Gray (c), Daniel Rowe, Dan Wishart, Adrian Clifton, Shane Dunne, Jordan Thomas.
SUBSTITUTES: Jaden Crowhurst, Callum O’Keefe, Endurance Johnson, James Comley, Dontaye Whittaker.
DARTFORD: Dan Wilks, Richard Chin, George Whitefield, Keiran Murtagh, Bobby Dunn, Emmanuel Adebowale, Jack Smith, Pierre Fonkeu, Charlie Sheringham (c), Jernade Meade, Malachi Napa.
SUBSTITUTES: Ashton Day, Jayden Boulton, Ollie Box, Marvin Herschel, Ben Dudzinski.

Report by Chris Palmer
Att: 1293
Referee: Dale Wootton.
Assists: Nick Blogg, Rudin Preca

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