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Hereford 2-2 Dartford
DARTFORD overcame an injury crisis to secure a share of the spoils in Saturday’s draw at Hereford United.
Hereford had high hopes of a win, having signed two strikers leading up to the game.
They also included one-month Gateshead loanee Richard Brodie on the bench, who did have a late run-out in the last half hour but was not really effective.
Darts defended the Edgar End in the first half and had the edge in the opening spell, taking the lead on 11 minutes when Matthew Godden made ground along the right wing before crossing for Lee Noble at the far post, whose shot was hit low past home keeper Rhys Evans.
Indeed, it could very easily have been two but Godden’s shot on target was parried by Evans.
Hereford came back, mainly down the right but the final pass into the box was pretty ineffective.
During this spell Elliot Bradbrook received a yellow card and will now miss Wednesday’s Kent Senior Cup tie against Charlton Athletic.
Just to add to Darts’ run of ill-fortune, Kenny Clark limped off at half-time and was replaced by Josh Hill.
The Bulls needed to up their game in the second half and did so with some conviction.
Four minutes after the restart, winger Rob Purdie passed to Kevin Krans, who volleyed a rocket shot past Alan Julian to level the scores.
Worse was to follow for Dartford when Ross Dyer scrambled the ball over the goal-line 11 minutes later.
It could have been game, set and match had not Dan Walker shovelled an effort over the bar when faced with an open goal.
Two substitutions turned the game Dartford’s way, with Ryan Hayes on for Max Cornhill on 72 minutes and Uche Ibemure on for Noble five minutes later.
Faced with a stream of typical Hayes crosses, Hereford found themselves in unfamiliar territory and were backed up in defence.
Five minutes from time a foul out right by Hereford led to Dartford’s equaliser when Uche Ibemere scored his maiden Dartford goal by hitting home Hayes’ accurately struck dead-ball kick.
It could, and should, have been worse for the Bulls as Dartford piled on the pressure with three stoppage time corners but the visitors were unable to capitalise.
Still, the improved run of form continues.
Dartford now face back-to-back Princes Park games this week, Wednesday’s Charlton cup tie followed by Saturday’s league encounter with Hyde.
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Dartford: Julian, Burns, Clark (Hill 46), Collier, Mitchel-King, Cornhill (Hayes 72), Godden, Noble (Ibemere 77), Bradbrook, Woodyard, Harris. Subs not used: Porter, Monger. Att: 1,583.
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