10 February 2018. Dartford snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, 1-2 to Chelmsford. Dartford threw away three points against Chelmsford at Princes Park on Saturday in National League South.
Chelmsford arrived at Princes Park having dropped down to eighth in the table after a run of just one win in seven matches. Leaders Dartford started brightly with Nathan Collier and Hayes both failing to find the target from distance. Chelmsford's best chance of the first half came on nine minutes when Miles' 20-yard free-kick from the angle of the penalty area was touched onto the bar by keeper Deren Ibrahim. There were a number of tasty challenges in the first half and referee Jack Packman lost control on the half-hour, bookings both captains but not Lee Noble for a rash tackle that sparked the handbags. Chelmsford's Shaun Batt was already in the referee's notepad by then, joined by team-mate Elliot Omozusi on the stroke of half-time, both for late challenges. Dartford went ahead on 33 minutes. Hayes picked up the ball deep inside his own half, burst forward and with the help of Danny Harris' decoy overlap, he cut inside and found the top corner from 20 yards with a trademark left-foot finish. Chelmsford skipper Anthony Church headed wide at the other end but Darts almost had a second on the stroke of half-time when Ronnie Vint fired against the crossbar after a free-kick was only half-cleared. Darts strike pair had been fairly quiet in the first half but they nearly combined for a second three minutes after the break. The Darts were on course for victory after Ryan Hayes' wonderful first-half strike. But a soft penalty, converted by substitute Kudus Oyenuga, and a goal direct from a corner by Taylor Miles produced a dramatic turnaround. Dartford had a great chance to wrap the points up when substitute Alfie Pavey beat the offside trap but he was denied by keeper Jake Jessup. Within two minutes, Chelmsford were level. Mark Onyemah was adjudged to have fouled substitute Oyenuga in a really soft award. Oyenuga tucked away the spot-kick. Hayes turned from hero to villain when he needlessly cleared the ball behind for a Chelmsford corner two minutes into stoppage time. Miles delivered from the left-wing and his corner went straight over the head of keeper Ibrahim. Chelmsford celebrated as if they had won the league at the full-time whistle, with boss Rod Stringer racing onto the pitch in jubilation.
Dartford: Ibrahim, Harris, Onyemah, Bonner, Vint, Collier, Hayes, Bradbrook, Ofori-Acheampong (Pavey 78mins), Mills, Noble. Subs not used: Murphy, Della-Verde, Pugh, Brown.
Chelmsford: Jessup, James, Braham-Barrett, Miles, Spillane, Omozusi, Giles, Church, Batt (Oyenuga 73mins), Davies (Dickson 58mins), Graham (Green 53mins). Subs not used: Haines, Johnson.
Referee: Jack Packman, Assisants: Craig Green, Simon Finnigan.
Keywords:Chelmsford, Dartford, Vanarama, football, non-league, soccer
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