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Dartford 2-1 Hyde Town
A DRAMATIC injury time goal from Richard Rose secured a 2-1 win for Dartford over battling Hyde Town at Princes Park on Saturday.
The fixture was preceded by a one minute clap for Alan Clark MBE, a life-long supporter of the Darts, local politician and charity fund-raiser who recently passed away following a long illness.
Darts struggled right from the off against the visitors, who belied their lowly position by coming out firing on all cylinders. The absence through injury of skipper Elliot Bradbrook may well have influenced Darts’ lethargic start but it was Hyde’s boldness which caused the home side to stutter for the first hour. If they play like this then they won’t be propping up the league for much longer.
It was end-to-end stuff at the start with Darts attacking the favoured Academy End.
But on 17 minutes Hyde almost got on the scoreboard when a right cross was headed goalwards by David Poole, producing a reaction stop from Marcus Bettinelli. Darts conceded a free-kick 30 yards out one minute later and Scott Spencer’s curler was turned away for a corner.
But Hyde were not to be denied for much longer and midway through the half Tom Champion was caught in possession, allowing Alex Brown to get in front of his markers to slide home a cross from Spencer. They battled to add to the score but had to be content with just a one goal advantage at the break.
Whatever was discussed in the home dressing room at half-time ultimately changed the game.
It became noticeable from the hour mark Darts were more cohesive and the substitution of Lee Noble for Jon Wallis and Harry Crawford for Adam Birchall swung matters their way. The coup de grace came when Danny Harris replaced the indefatigable Jacob Erskine who ran his heart out.
The changes posed Hyde with problems they didn’t anticipate, nor could they counter.
However, it was subsequent to the dismissal of Hyde’s Adam Griffin Darts found the net. In what might be dubbed Harry’s hat-trick horror, Crawford had a penalty saved, scored an excellent goal and had a third effort thwarted. The deciding goal came from Rose, who crowned an excellent afternoon’s defensive work by scoring the winner by lobbing visiting keeper David Carnell in injury time. Victory lifts Dartford up to fifth in the table above Grimsby Town, the side they visit this Saturday at 3pm.
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Dartford: Bettinelli, Burns, Bonner, Barber, Rose: Hayes, Champion, Wallis (Noble 60), Rogers, Birchall (Crawford 60), Erskine (Harris 75). Subs not used: Collier, Wells. Att: 1,338.