Dartford 2-1 Bromley

TONY Burman's Dartford side earned a morale boosting pre-season success over Blue Squre South Bromley at Princes Park last night.

Let's get the ugly bit out of the way first.

Shortly before half-time, there was an ice hockey-style free-for-all in the Bromley goalmouth.

Ray Powell went for a 50-50 ball which Bromley's keeper Williams gathered just before Powell collided with him.

Williams swung a punch and then a dozen or so outfielders piled in flailing at each other.

Referee Crouch deciphered the events and red-carded Darts' Powell and O'Brien, who had run 50 yards to add his contribution, and Bromley's Toppin.

There was little inkling of the impending fracas in the play before thos other than the visitors' rearguard was beginning to be run ragged as Darts' push and run style, a la Arthur Rowe's Spurs of 60 years ago, stretched and tormented the visiting defence.

For much of the half, Darts had edged possession and it was against the run of play when, following a rare Bromley corner on the right on the 35th minute, Jay May found space to out jump the Darts and head Bromley in front.

Dartford issued a lethal repost four minutes later when Brendon Cass outsmarted Williams with an exquisite lob to square matters.

A minute later, Jamie Coyle netted from the penalty spot after yet another Dartford break had ended with a despairing tackle, this time in the box.

Then came the mini-Armageddon. Half-time was devoted to calming measures and team changes.

The second half was much more sedate, with physical contact of any kind a no-no.

It did allow, though, the Dartford faithful to enjoy a man of the match performance by Tommy Osborne, who could certainly be considered for a right wing spot on last night's display.

Darts, prompted by Ryan Hayes in particular, carved holes in the fragile Bromley defence and could easily have added to the Lilywhites' embarrassment on the night.

Certainly Darts had three or four chances when astute passes split a Bromley defence too reliant on a shaky offside tactic.

In the dying moments of a good game, Hayes was set free but his effort kissed the outside of Williams' right post.

Dartford: Kessell, Coyle (Osborne 45), Norman, Flanagan, Ketchell (Holding 65), O'Brien, Powell, Barnes (Hayes 53), Cass, Dafter (Butterworth 53), Noble. Subs not used: Howarth White, Ibrahim.

Bromley: Williams, Parkinson, Haverson, Toppin, Obaze (Comeille 45), Gillman (Davis), Joseph (Hockton 45), I'Anson, McBean, May (O'Sullivan 45), Fazakerley (Murray 45). Att: 645.