10 April 2023. Dartford win 2:1 (Goals by Harvey Bradbury 5', Luke Allen 83'). Dover goal by Jordan Higgs 30'.
Luke Allen came off the bench to win the game with a superb strike, as Dartford took part in a close and difficult encounter with Dover Athletic at Bericote Powerhouse Princes Park. It was in-form striker Harvey Bradbury who was on hand to pounce on what was possibly one of the easiest opportunities of his career. The visitors failed to clear the danger and Bradbury was on hand to fire home from close-range, as he scored his third consecutive goal, his fourth in five appearances for the Darts (5).
However, the visitors responded well and came close to levelling the score just five minutes later. Only the intervention of a Tom Bonner block and a goal-line clearance prevented Dover from equalising (10).
Dartford were unlucky to not have doubled their advantage in the 18th minute following a lovely through-ball by Jordan Wynter. The pass setup Richard Chin, whose initial strike forced a clumsy save from Stuart Nelson. But, the goalkeeper couldn’t hold the ball and Bradbury pounced only to see his goal chalked off for offside.
Things in front of goal just haven’t been going right for Fonkeu recently, and it wasn’t much longer before manager Alan Dowson tried something different with a double substitution in the 72nd minute. Both Fonkeu and Chin were replaced by Luke Allen and Malachi Napa in a swap which would eventually pay dividends. As play continued, the hosts began to pile on the pressure and, eventually, the pressure paid off and the Darts got the break they needed. Luke Allen received the ball inside the Dover half, ran forward with intent and, without any opponent able to get near him, he pulled the trigger on a delightful curling drive that dipped into the top corner of Nelson’s goal (83). Both Dartford and the fans had to be patient this afternoon, but it was certainly worth waiting for, and a goal worthy of winning any game, let alone a Kent Derby! The excellent Jordan Wynter was rewarded with the Man of The Match award, as the Darts completed the league double over their opponents. The result ensures that Tom Bonner and Co remain in second place of the National League South table and in that vital position needed for the battle of the play-offs.
DARTFORD: Ben Dudzinski, Jordan Wynter, Richard Chin, Connor Essam, Tom Bonner (c), Luke Coulson, Maxwell Statham, Jack Smith, Pierre Fonkeu, Harvey Bradbury, Jernade Meade.
SUBSTITUTES: Luke Allen, Keiran Murtagh, Bobby Dunn, Sam Odaudu, Malachi Napa.
DOVER ATHLETIC: Stuart Nelson, Myles Judd, Alfie Paxman, Jake Goodman, Jordan Higgs, Luke Wanadio, Lee Martin, Freddie Oliver, Josh Ajayi, Brandon Pierrick, Andi Janjeva.
SUBSTITUTES: Will Moses, George Nikaj, Luke Baptiste, David Boateng, Noah Carney.
Referee: Tom Ellsmore
Assists: Steve Goldup, Peter Conn
MoTM: Jordan Wynter
Images by Carol White-Griffiths and Peter White
Report by Chris Palmer
(c) SportShotz Photography