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25 March 2023. Dartford lose 1:2 after Chelmsford City score 2 late goals on Non-League Day.
Goals - Luke Coulson for Dartford 40', Ody Alfa 82', Giovanni McGregor 90+3' for Chelmsford City.
The first goal arrived towards the end of the first half via a good attacking move down the Dartford left-flank, before the lively Luke Coulson was on hand to score his sixth goal of the season in all competitions (40). The goal lit a spark in the Darts and they should have doubled their advantage five minutes later, after superb work by Samir Carruthers. His brilliant run saw him set himself up for a strike on the Chelmsford goal, but his effort whizzed by the wrong side of Marsden’s upright (45).
The second forty-five saw Chelmsford throwing men forward in an attempt to equalise, and they controlled the midfield for long periods of the half whilst creating opportunities. After a few corners in quick succession, they came close to levelling the score only for a Dartford player to clear Callum Jones’ goal-bound effort off the line amongst a sea of bodies (54). Dan Wilks then saved comfortably from Tyrese Johnson a minute later, before a good Dartford move saw Luke Coulson smack the Chelmsford post (63)! Manager Alan Dowson was then forced into swapping Connor Essam for Keiran Murtagh in the 74th minute, before Harvey Bradbury came on for Alex Wall (83). Meanwhile, the Clarets swapped Michael Folivi with Giovanni McGregor (72) and Arjanit Krasniqi with James Blanchfield (88). Tom Bonner and Co were being forced to defend deeply as the visitors continued to press higher up the pitch. The Darts looked defensively resolute though, until a moment of magic from Ody Alfa pulled the visitors level with eight minutes of the ninety remaining. The youngster collected the ball, made space for himself, before sending a delightful strike in off the post (82). To be fair, the ex-Dartford (loanee) winger who is on loan from QPR, was reserved and respectful to the Dartford faithful with his celebration, but the goal gave his teammates the lift they needed and deep into stoppage time, they turned the game on its head. Liam Trotter won the ball deep inside the Dartford half, before finding Giovanni McGregor with a neat pass. The substitute then made space for himself, before sending a curling drive beyond Dan Wilks and into the bottom corner to win the game for the visitors (90+3).
DARTFORD: Dan Wilks, Samir Carruthers, Connor Essam, Tom Bonner (c), Luke Coulson, Luke Allen, Alex Wall, Maxwell Statham, Jack Smith, Pierre Fonkeu, Sam Odaudu.
SUBSTITUTES: Richard Chin, Keiran Murtagh, Harvey Bradbury, Ben Dudzinski, Malachi Napa.
CHELMSFORD: Jacob Marsden, Liam Trotter (c), Adebola Oluwo, Tyrese Johnson, Michael Folivi, Callum Jones, Freddie Hockey, Odi Alfa, Ben Brookes, Frankie Terry, Arjanit Krasniqi.
SUBSTITUTES: Cameron James, Simeon Jackson, Tom Blackwell, Giovanni McGregor, James Blanchfield.
Report by Chris Palmer
Referee: Farai Hallam.
Assists: Jake Hillier, David Pilling.
MoTM: Luke Coulson
(c) SportShotz Photography