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9 December 2023. Dartford draw 2:2 against league leaders Yeovil Town, putting Dartford 12th position in the league. Goals for Dartford by George Alexander 17', Richard Chin 70'. Goals for Yeovil Rhys Murphy 10', Jordan young 77'.
After some heavy rain, Groundsman Jay Berkhauer and some "willing" volunteers put all hands to the pumps and got the pitch playable in time for the KO.
Dartford dug deep and fought hard to earn a valuable point against Yeovil Town, as the league leaders came up against a Ryan Sandford in superb form between the Dartford sticks. With the Darts having had a fixture break for nearly two weeks, it was no surprise to see the Glovers looking sharper during the opening exchanges. Their fluidity and pace looked to be causing all sorts of problems for the Dartford defensive line. And, only the alertness of Moussa Diarra prevented Sonny-Blu Lo Everton from opening the scoring after just five minutes. A Yeovil man was then brought down inside the Dartford box, prompting the referee (Mr Charles Martland) to award the visitors a spot-kick. Rhys Murphy stepped up to slot the ball home and give Yeovil a 10th minute lead. For all their early domination, though, Yeovil were pegged back in the 17th minute. Luke Allen fended off numerous challenges, before sending in a delightful cross, which George Alexander put into the back of the net with a lovely cushioned header. Ryan Sandford then saved superbly from Michael Smith (24) and Sonny Cox (25), as the Glovers looked to retake the lead. Jordan Young then rattled the crossbar with a delightful 39th minute free-kick, before Sandford denied Cox once again as the half-time break beckoned (42).
The second half started a little quieter than the first, but the visitors looked for opportunities to get a set-piece in dangerous positions. They succeeded in the 51st minute, only for the Dartford defensive wall do its job and block Jordan Young’s free-kick. In the 64th minute, Alan Dowson made his one and only change in personnel for the afternoon. Paul Rooney was the man to come on to replace Tyrell Miller-Rodney. Yeovil, meanwhile, would use all three available substitutions. Two came at the same time as Dowson’s, as Sonny Cox and Rhys Murphy were replaced by Jake Hyde and Frank Nouble respectively. That would be followed by Jordan Maguire-Drew coming on for Jordan Young in stoppage time at the end of the ninety.
The Darts took full advantage of a defensive mix-up in the 70th minute. Richard Chin picked a defender’s pocket, before firing in his second goal in as many games for the hosts to turn the game around. He then came close to adding a third for Dartford, but his 77th minute drive was narrowly wide of the upright. However, a minute later saw the excellent Jordan Young cap his performance with a well-taken goal to equalise at the other end (78). Ryan Sandford saved well from Will Dawes with ten minutes remaining, in what was a Man of The Match performance from the goalkeeper, as both sides had to settle for a point apiece in this highly entertaining contest.
DARTFORD: Ryan Sandford, Jordan Wynter, Sam Odaudu, Tyrell Miller-Rodney, Luke Coulson (c), Luke Allen, Maxwell Statham, George Alexander, Joash Nembhard, Richard Chin, Moussa Diarra.
SUBSTITUTES: Baris Altintop, Alex Wall, Paul Rooney, Lewis Manor, Archie Woods.
YEOVIL TOWN: Joseph Day, Michael Smith, Morgan Williams, Jacob Wannell, Will Dawes, Sonny-Blu Lo Everton, Charlie Cooper, Matthew Worthington (c), Jordan Young, Rhys Murphy, Sonny Cox.
SUBSTITUTES: Frank Nouble, Joshua Owers, Jake Hyde, Jordan Maguire-Drew, Duncan Idehan.
Referee: Charles Martland.
Assists: Dane Johnston,, Teddy Osborn
MoTM: Ryan Sandford
(c) SportShotz Photography