Wingers tear visitors apart as Darts' go second
Division One East
|Stephen McCartney reports from Stonebridge Road|
Hayes 7, 22 (pen)
Ryan Briggs 43
|Great Wakering Rovers||2||James
Martin Buglione 86
|For seventy minutes, Dartford's
football was a pleasure to watch, with their former Slade Green wingers,
Dave Martin and Ryan Hayes ripping their opponents from the other side of
the river to shreds, writes Stephen McCartney.
But two goals from the Essex side in the final 20 minutes made it a nail-biting finale, but Tony Burman's men maintained their 100% record after two games to send them into second place.
A crowd of 285 were fully entertained, so if you want to be as well, pop along to Stonebridge Road on Saturday to see Martin and Hayes destroy Stamford - yes, they were that good!
Great Wakering Rovers, opening day winners against Berkhamsted Town (2-1), will feel aggrieved inside the opening three minutes when Rochester referee, Mr Ian Cooper failed to award them a penalty when Darts' defender, Anthony Henry collided with Gianni Frankis just inside the box.
But all was forgotten when the Kent side opened the scoring after seven minutes.
Martin was the creator, picking the ball up inside his own half. The 20-year-old must have ran at least 60 yards down the left flank, leaving players in his wake. He sent over a cross, which evaded Jim Carter in the middle, but Hayes' ghosting in at the far post rifled home his second of the season.
Hayes again picked the ball up and cut inside but this time his left-footed 25-yarder lacked conviction and rolled to the grateful goalkeeper.
Former Margate star, Martin Buglione issued the home side a warning when his curling left-footed 20-yarder flew narrowly over the bar.
Dartford, however, doubled their lead after 22 minutes when Hayes' left-footed penalty found the net despite James Marrable guessing the right way.
Visiting skipper, Danny Scopes was booked for the challenge on Eddie McClements just inside the box, after some good play from Ryan Briggs and Carter before the referee pointed to the spot.
Dartford's fans, however, were by now raising the roof inside the Stonebridge Road stand and when their heroes made it 3-0 just before the break, they were in dreamland.
And what a goal it was! Hayes sent over a cross from the right, which was cushioned down by Carter's header into Briggs' path and the former Erith & Belvedere midfielder volleyed home from 6 yards.
It was a pleasure to watch Hayes and Martin in action but Dartford should have added more goals early in the second half.
Carter's flick sent Hayes through on goal, and after cutting inside, he attempted to curl the ball inside the far post, but his shot sailed wide. Carter then blazed over and McClements curled a chance wide of the same post as Hayes.
Sixteen-year-old substitute, James White pulled a goal back after 70 minutes, scrambling a goal from close range, despite Darts' goalkeeper, Kevin Hudson trying to claw the ball off the line.
Marrable pulled off a fine save, tipping McClements' shot over the bar three minutes later but when Buglione scored with a peach of a low strike, after good play from White and Frankis, it made for an exciting finale.
Although their fans were delighted with their second win of the season, Darts boss, Tony Burman wasn't as happy.
In the post match press conference he said: "I felt in the first half we didn't pass the ball as well as we should do.
"We caught them on the break but it wasn't what I wanted."
But he praised wingers Hayes and Martin for their impressive display that will surely attract higher league clubs.
He added: "Our two wingers played quite well in that half and got us out of trouble to a certain extent.
"We took too long to get our passing game going in the first half, but at the end of the day we were 3-0 up at half-time."
"I don't think we played that well tonight BUT we've got six points and we're going for another three (at home to Stamford) on Saturday."
But Burman insisted the former Slade Green pair aren't the finish article, but on this display the two talented youngsters are surely getting there.
"Their potential is very good but they need to listen to me and to the people around them," said Burman.
"They've got some lovely pace and some good skill. I'm looking forward to working with them this season."
Can Dartford compete for promotion and stage Premier Division football on their return to the town, playing at their impressive new stadium at Princes Park this time next year? I hope so, they deserve it!
|Dartford: Kevin Hudson, Tommy
Olson, Tommy Osborne (Capt), Anthony Henry, Richard Avery, Kevin Spriggs
(Ian Pulman 68), Ryan Briggs, Dave Martin, Jim Carter, Eddie McClements,
Ryan Hayes (Dominic Elmes 88). Subs: Craig Maguire, Matthew
James-Butler, Steve Robinson
Great Wakering Rovers: James Marrable, John Heffer (Glenn Robson 86), Matthew Reade (Danny Pitts 52), Nikki Beale, Iain O'Connell, Joel Etienne-Clark (James White 57), Gary Ewers, Gianni Frankis, Martin Buglione, Jason Barton. Subs: Paul Pilkington, Dave Hudson (GK)
Referee: Ian Cooper (Rochester)
Assistants: Mr K Stone (Ramsgate) & Mr R Joss (Margate)