Get involved: Send pictures, video, news and views - text NEWS SHOPPER to 80360 or email us
Dartford 2-1 Arsenal
DARTFORD rounded their money-spinning run of home friendlies with an excellent win over a good young Arsenal side, many of whom had returned from the club's recent tour of Asia.
To mark Darts' elevation to Conference Premier level, the shirts have to bear names as well as numbers and the second mid-blue change strip was named up except for number 12, which is presumably up for grabs.
Dartford won the toss and decided to kick to the Academy End.
As the game progressed, it became clear this was going to be the most entertaining and testing encounter so far of the pre-season.
Darts operated with Ryan Hayes playing out left, where his natural left-footedness was causing problems for the visitors.
Not that Arsenal were slouches because they showed fine passing and running skills, which kept Darts alert all evening.
It was Hayes who set up the only goal of the half on 36 minutes when his astute pass found Adam Green.
Green immediately off-loaded to Harry Crawford, who beat Damien Martinez from six yards.
The second half saw Arsenal swarm forward and win a penalty within four minutes of the restart.
Sanchez Watt went down in the area then rose to slot home the leveller from the spot by sending Louis Wells the wrong way.
The game continued to flow from end-to-end until the 81st minute when a bodged back header to Martinez was intercepted by Hayes, who calmly ghosted past the stranded Gunners keeper for what proved to be the winning goal.
There was an excellent crowd of 2,211, which brings the total pre-season aggregate total to more than 5,000, has given the club a fine financial boost.
Three wins and one defeat in the home run, as well as a goal tally of 8-2, is a fair reflection of the way the Darts' squad has blended.
Hopefully, the Non League Paper's prediction of a bottom four place for Dartford is a little bit too gloomy.
Dartford: Wells, Burns, Green, Champion, Collier (Rogers 46), Bonner, Hayes, Wallis (Rose 46), Erskine, Bradbrook (Noble 46), Crawford (Porter 88). Subs not used: Sawyer, Harris, Arber, Hammond.
Comments are closed on this article.