Created 31-Dec-23
134 photos, 2 videos

30 December 2023. Last match of 2023. Dartford fall victim to a 90+6 minute of 7 minutes of extra time to an own goal making the result a 1:1 equaliser and shared points.
Dartford were unfortunate to not complete a league double over their local rivals, after Welling United scored an equaliser deep into stoppage time in this derby fixture. A bumper crowd of 2,022 supporters were treated to an entertaining encounter as both sides looked to finish the year on a positive note. After a relatively even start, it was the Darts who scored first after nineteen minutes. Luke Coulson was the man to get the goal, after he’d got onto the end of Paul Rooney’s delicious cross to smash the ball into the bottom corner. Luke Allen then came close in the 22nd minute, before Ryan Sandford made a routine save from Anthony Papadopoulos a minute later. Sadly, Luke Allen picked up an injury and wasn’t able to continue. The returning Jack Smith was his replacement in the 32nd minute, having signed for the club for a second spell recently. Ryan Sandford was called into action again to save well from Green (36), before Kain Adom fired narrowly wide of the goalkeeper’s upright (39).
In the Second half, Anthony Papadopoulos hit the inside of the Dartford upright from a long-range drive (49), before Ben Winterbottom saved well from both Richard Chin (53) and George Alexander (57) at the other end. Sandford then saved Dominic Odusanya’s 25-yard effort superbly (66), before Winterbottom rushed out to thwart Coulson from scoring his second from a one-on-one situation (67). Sandford pulled another top save out of the bag to prevent Papadopoulos from equalising (72), before saving superbly once again eight minutes later, this time from Thomas Bramble (80). However, the goalkeeper’s clean-sheet was lost deep into stoppage time when Crossley Lema’s cross deflected into the back of the net via the unfortunate Moussa Diarra in the 97th minute, as the visitors rescued a valuable point. The result ensures that the Darts collected four points from their local rivals, as Luke Coulson and Co finish 2023 unbeaten in two games. As a new year begins, Dartford have something positive to build upon and hope to close the gap to those play-off positions.

Alan Dowson would go on to swap George Alexander with Harvey Bradbury in the 69th minute, before making his final substitution in the 89th minute, as Jordan Wynter came on for the excellent Richard Chin. Danny Bloor, meanwhile, would also use all three of his available substitutions, the first of which saw Crossley Lema come on for Enoch Muwonge (81). That would be followed by Josh Chambers replacing Anthony Grant (85) and Jepthe Tanga coming on for Cameron Green (90). Referee Mr Dean Skipper booked TEN players during the match, 6 for Dartford and 4 for Welling.

DARTFORD: Ryan Sandford, Sam Odaudu, Tyrell Miller-Rodney, Luke Coulson (c), Luke Allen, Paul Rooney, Maxwell Statham, George Alexander, Joash Nembhard, Richard Chin, Moussa Diarra.
SUBSTITUTES: Jordan Wynter, Jack Smith, Alex Wall, Lewis Manor, Harvey Bradbury.

WELLING UNITED: Ben Winterbottom, Cameron Green, Taylor Curran, Anthony Grant (c), Dominic Odusanya, Tristian Abrahams, Kain Adom, Anthony Papadopoulos, Thomas Bramble, Ike Orji, Enoch Muwonge.
SUBSTITUTES: Crossley Lema, Adam Roscrow, Jepthe Tanga, Josh Chambers, Lachlan Byrd.

Referee: Dean Skipper
Assists: Samuel Everitt, Lee Markwick
Att: 2022
MoTM: Ryan Sandford
Report by Chris Palmer
Images by Carol White-Griffiths and Peter White

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