Happy finale for Tingley
Inspired Darts' win final game as Tingley says goodbye to non-league football
Dartford 2-1 Burnham
Dr Martens League Eastern Division
Saturday 1 May 2004
Stephen McCartney reports from Stonebridge Road
AFTER a long and successful playing career, which started when he was eighteen, thirty-five-year old Dartford full-back Danny Tingley, played his final game before his retirement at Stonebridge Road on Saturday.
It was the final game of the season, but his team-mates pulled out all the stops to make sure they won the game, and they had to do it the hard way, as midfielder Mark Horan, was sent off after receiving his second booking in the game, nine minutes before half time.
However, it was going to be Tingley's day, as he pulled on a football shirt at this level for the final time, after playing for Gillingham in their youth team, before moving onto Sheppey United, Sittingbourne, where they went unbeaten to win the Kent League, before loyal ten-year service at Tonbridge Angels before finishing his career with Dartford, where he has spent his last season.
A touching move from Dartford before kick off, saw both teams line up parallel to each other and Tingley's wife was presented with a bunch of flowers. Tingley was presented with a trophy from Darts chairman Dave Skinner to rapturous applause ringing around Stonebridge Road.
It was an emotional day for everyone inside the stadium and Dartford got quickly out of the starting blocks to make it a day to remember for the solid defender, who was made captain for the day.
Dartford got off to a flying start as they took the lead after only seven minutes on the clock.
Paul Sykes, who started the game as a striker before dropping deep in the second half, squared the ball to Ted Ansell, who played a through ball to entertaining striker Tostao Kwashi, and from twelve yards he stroked the ball into the corner of the net past diving goalkeeper Steven Smith.
Darts' goalkeeper, James Tedder, who celebrated his seventeenth birthday last Wednesday, came off his line as Jon Horsted dragged a shot wide of the left post following a penetrating run from Tom Nutter.
Three minutes later, highly-rated Dartford midfielder, Luke May slide in the centre-circle but Burnham's Adam Logie rode the challenge before running down the middle of the pitch. He sprayed the ball to his right and Horsted clipped the ball over defender Luke Cuthbert before his left-footed volley was comfortable for the young Darts goalkeeper.
Dartford doubled their lead after 25 minutes when Ansell inside the box, squared the ball towards Kwashi. However, Burnham defender Mark Hokan, made a blunder in the middle, and the ball fell to Kwashi, and he squeezed his shot into the net despite the goalkeeper getting a hand to the shot and the ball clipping the left upright before bouncing into the net.
Moments later, Dartford lost their concentration when Sykes was elbowed by Roger Emms, and this sparked tension between players, the two dug-outs and spectators in the stand.
Horan and Steve Lockhart squared up to each other and both were booked as the visitors were awarded a free kick just yards outside the penalty area on the right hand side.
Chris Ferdinand delivered a free kick towards the far post where Emms rose above his marker, the ball bounced towards goal and Logie touched the ball home from inches from the goal-line.
With nine minutes before the break, Horan was shown his second bookable offence for a clumsy tackle on Nutter, with his back to Horan, the burly Dartford midfielder kicked out at his legs.
Following a foul on Tingley out on the far side of the ground, Ansell's fine delivery almost gave Kwashi a deserved hat-trick. He was denied by a fine flying save from Smith, who dived to his left to deny the striker's headed chance from eight yards.
The first half was very entertaining, but the second forty-five failed to live up to the first half. However, Dartford manager, Tommy Sampson got his game plan spot-on as the home side soaked up all the pressure Burnham threw at them, but they did have the help of the match officials late on.
Barry Gibson's perfect cross found Kwashi who sent his header wide of the left post before James Tedder saved high above his head, on the right post, from a looping header from inside the D by Burnham danger man Horsted.
Just before the hour mark, Sykes, who had now moved back in defence, powered a header out at the back and this caused Stewart Brown to head poorly allowing Kwashi another sight of goal but his hooked shot from twenty yards was comfortable for Smith.
Ferdinand's powerful shot from 28 yards sailed over for Burnham before substitute Terry Mitchell turned before shooting low towards goal but the Darts goalkeeper made a comfortable save from the sixteen-yard-shot.
Horsted planted another header towards goal with 73 minutes on the clock, this time Tedder was beaten, but he had Gibson to thank as he poked the eight yard header off the line.
Dartford had a rare attempt on goal with seven minutes left when substitute Richard Avery, who had replaced cramp victim Kwashi, stole the ball off Brown, cut towards the right hand side of the penalty area before dragging a low shot from 12 yards straight at the goalkeeper at the near post.
With time ticking away, Dartford rode their luck when Horsted's shot was prodded off the line by Gibson, the follow up shot by Mitchell was parried by Tedder and his rebound was lashed over the crossbar from close range.
Burnham had an equalising goal ruled out for offside with only twenty seconds left on the watch. With his back to goal, and being sandwiched by two Dartford defenders, on the left hand side of the penalty area, Horsted did ever so well to turn his markers and hit a low drive from fourteen yards past the diving Tedder and into the bottom far corner.
However, ecstasy turned into agony for the visitors as the flag was raised, and referee Mr O Sally from North London spoke to his assistant on the far side and ruled the goal for offside as Mitchell was found to be in an offside position.
Dartford: James Tedder, Danny Tingley (Capt), Tommy Osborne, Brad Potter, Luke Cuthbert, Luke May, Tostao Kwashi (Richard Avery 74), Ted Ansell, Paul Sykes, Mark Horan (sent off 36), Barry Gibson. Subs: Chris Nunn, Chris Tedder, Alan Sparham
Burnham: Steven Smith, Ravi Braich (Terry Mitchell 51), Mark Hokan, Jon Horsted, Roger Emms, Tom Nutter, Adam Logie, Chris Ferdinand, Daryl Jones, Steve Lockhart (Junior Edwards 77), Stewart Brown. Subs: Richard Cannon
Referee: Mr O Sally - North London
Assistants: Mr M Manning & Mr M Rogers