23 December 2023. Dartford lose another match, this against St Albans City 0:3. The result puts Dartford 18th in the table, perilously close to the relegation zone.
Dartford slumped to a tenth league defeat of the season, as St Albans City struck three times in the second-half at Bericote Powerhouse Princes Park. Both sides struggled to get a firm grip on proceedings during the first-half, with clear-cut opportunities few and far between. Neither defence were feeling particularly generous and George Hoddle had the first opportunity, which flew narrowly wide of Ryan Sandford’s far post after just two minutes. Luke Coulson fired straight at Josh McNamara in the 12th minute, in what was the hosts’ first real opportunity of the afternoon. That was until the 35th minute when Tyrell Miller-Rodney met Luke Coulson’s free-kick with a powerful header, only to see Hoddle alert to clear the ball off the Saints’ goal-line.
The start of the second forty-five saw George Alexander locate Richard Chin with a pin-point cross, only to see the Charlton loanee head the ball straight into the grateful arms of McNamara (49). Joash Nembhard then fired narrowly wide from close range following a Coulson corner (53), before Dominic Hutchinson saw an effort excellently saved by Sandford at the other end (59). As the air temperature began to drop and darkness crept in, Shaun Jeffers popped up with a delightful little chipped effort to put St Albans ahead in the 70th minute. The visitors then doubled their advantage four minutes later, after Michael Clark sent a powerful header beyond Ryan Sandford (74).
The visitors were first to make a change in personnel this afternoon, as they swapped Giorgio Rasulo with Kyran Gauthier in the 76thminute. That would be followed by Ibby Akanbi coming on for Shaun Jeffers (80), before Harun Hamid took to the field for Mitchell Weiss four minutes later (84). Alan Dowson, meanwhile, waited until the 80th minute before making all three substitutions at once. Jordan Wynter, Richard Chin, and Harvey Bradbury were the three to depart to be replaced by Paul Rooney, Luke Allen, and Alex Wall respectively. Paul Rooney then came agonisingly close to pulling a goal back for the Darts in the 88th minute, but the Saints struck a third time in the 90th minute via substitute Harun Hamid to put the result beyond doubt. Tyrell Miller-Rodney was given the Man of The Match award for his performance, but that’ll be of little consolation to the midfielder and his teammates. However, Luke Coulson and Co will dust themselves down and go again on Boxing Day, where they travel to local rivals Welling United.
DARTFORD: Ryan Sandford, Jordan Wynter, Sam Odaudu, Tyrell Miller-Rodney, Luke Coulson (c), Maxwell Statham, George Alexander, Joash Nembhard, Harvey Bradbury, Richard Chin, Moussa Diarra.
SUBSTITUTES: Luke Allen, Alex Wall, Paul Rooney, Lewis Manor, Olly Box.
ST ALBANS CITY: Josh McNamara, Sam Brown, Ben Smith, Michael Clark, Ryan Blackman, Giorgio Rasulo, Shaun Jeffers, Mitchell Weiss, Joe Partington, Dominic Hutchinson, George Hoddle.
SUBSTITUTES: Harun Hamid, George Morrall, Dylan Fage, Ibby Akanbi, Kyran Gauthier.
Referee: Abigail Byrne
Assists: Ryan Dix, Jeffrey Aldous.
MoTM: Tyrell Miller-Rooney
Report by Chris Palmer
Images by Carol White-Griffiths and Peter White
(c) SportShotz Photography