Dartford 3-2 Hastings

LOOKING more like their former selves, Dartford eased through to the next round of the FA Cup more convincingly than the score indicates.

Young goalkeeper Deren Ibrahim made his starting debut in place of the injured Tony Kessell and Darts included three new faces in the permitted seven substitutes.

A minute's silence was observed for former chairman Boyle Cussen and vice-chairman John Payne who had passed away the previous week.

Playing under a blotchy clouded sky Darts defended the Brooklands end and soon settled into the style of old, orchestrated by Ryan Hayes who was inch-perfect with his distribution.

Hastings obtained the first corner of the afternoon, which was comfortably fielded by the uninhibited Ibrahim, and then it was 35 minutes of delightful approach work by Darts orchestrated by Hayes on the right and Steve Butterworth on the left.

The hosts opened the scoring on 14 minutes when a three-man move was rounded off by a Brendon Cass header following a knock-back by Rob Haworth.

Dartford continued to press forward with Hayes mixing his runs and crosses and Butterworth acting as the perfect foil.

Behind them Lee Noble was at his mercurial best, making the most of Haworth's defence-stretching off-the-ball runs.

It was a surprise, therefore, when Hastings, in a frantic few minutes before the interval, contrived to gain two free kicks around the Darts' 18-yard line.

Sam Adams converted the first with a daisy-cutter which fooled everyone and, just before the added-on one minute, Ben Radley scored following another free-kick.

Trailing 2-1 against the run of play Darts rolled up their metaphoric sleeves and, in eight minutes, took back the lead.

Firstly, Butterworth latched onto a long throw out on the right and slashed home a left-foot drive and then, after a Hayes cross was headed narrowly wide by Jamie Coyle, the lead was restored for Darts when Danny Dafter swept the ball home.

Honour had been restored and Darts saw the rest of the match out with little trouble, although Hastings did get the ball in the net twice but the efforts were rightly deemed to be offside.

Darts made a couple of late substitutions.

Adam Flanagan replaced John Guest and Nic Barnes came on for Ryan Hayes, the latter drawing generous applause from the crowd for a memorable performance.

Dartford: Ibrahim, Coyle, Osborne, Powell, Guest (Flanagan 85), Dafter, Butterworth, Hayes (Barnes 87), Cass, Haworth, Noble. Subs not used: Taylor, Eferakorho, Norman, Fankem, Baigent. Att: 830