Thursday 01st September 2005

Dartford book their place in last eight

Tuesday 13th
December 2005
Kent Senior Cup
First Round
Stephen McCartney reports from
Stonebridge Road
Dartford 3 Ryan Hayes 34
Eddie McClements 56
Dave Martin 81
Cray Wanderers 1 Jon Main 58

Dartford booked their place into the last eight of the Kent Senior Cup winning an entertaining game between two attack minded and talented sides at Stonebridge Road tonight, writes Stephen McCartney.

They joined holders Margate, Dover Athletic, Gravesend & Northfleet, Welling United, Bromley, Folkestone Invicta and Ramsgate in the draw.

But had Cray taken their five early chances it would have been a different story.

With a three-man attack, the Ryman League Division One visitors almost took the lead after just ten seconds, but top-scorer Jon Main's shot sailed over.

Drew Watkins' then shot over from the edge of the penalty area and it was his long ball that played in Main down the right hand side.  As ever-present goalkeeper Kevin Hudson advanced, the former VCD Athletic striker hooked the ball over him but the ball agonisingly bounced over the bar - and that was all inside the opening three minutes!

Watkins and skipper Danny Bower were both off target before stunned Dartford got back into the game.

Dean Mann - making only his fourth start of the season - was happy to let Ryan Hayes' angled drive go harmlessly wide of his near post and then he plucked Richard Avery's header out of the air following Hayes' free kick from the right.

Dartford, however, stole the lead eleven minutes before the interval when Ian Pulman cut the ball back for Hayes to clinically fire into the bottom left hand corner from ten-yards, scoring his sixth goal of the season.

Pulman was replaced by James Carter on the stroke of half-time when he picked up a knee injury.  The former Margate and Erith & Belvedere striker is set to make a hospital visit on Wednesday to have this checked out.

Hudson made a fine save after 53 minutes, turning Watkins' volley around the near post before the Darts doubled their lead three minutes later.

Mann was beaten by a Steve Hafner shot from outside the penalty area but was relieved to see it bounce off the right upright, but his joy was short-lived as Eddie McClements fired home the rebound for his 8th goal of the season.

But Cray pulled a goal back just two minutes later when Main's crisp 20-yard drive found the bottom right hand corner.

And after latching onto Terry Khan's pass, the impressive Main was unlucky not to equalise after 63 minutes when his lob over the advancing Hudson dropped agonisingly wide of the post.

Martin's quickly taken free kick from the left touch line had Mann backpeddling but the 33-year-old goalkeeper managed to tip the shot over.

Dartford wrapped up the victory with nine minutes left when McClements sent Martin bursting down the left hand side and as Mann sliced his clearance, the former Slade Green winger punished the howler to score his fifth goal of the season.

Hudson made a breathtaking save from Leigh Bremner late on.

In an EXCLUSIVE interview with, Darts manager Tony Burman was pleased with his side's victory.

"I'm really pleased with the result as Cray are a good side. They come at you and attack you with lots of players going forward," he said.

"We had a little bit of a game plan where I wanted people behind the ball and catch them on the break.

"We could have been 2-0 down in the first ten minutes because we hadn't sorted it out but after that we kept them at bay and deserved the result."

Burman praised Tommy Olson, Lee Craig and Craig Maguire, after they came into the side tonight for Gary Carter ('flu), Tommy Osborne and Ryan Briggs.

"It was Lee Craig's first 90 minutes for about three months and I wanted to see him at left back, which is one of his positions," expained Burman.

"Craig Maguire has had a couple of games for us this season and hasn't really done anything wrong.  He's a young lad, done excellent in training and played well tonight."

And speaking about Olson, he added: "If he hadn't gone on holiday at the start of the season after he played four superb games at the start of the season he may have still been in the side.  Unfortunately these things happen, someone else's got in and that's how it is."

And Burman explained why he left Saturday's hat-trick hero, James Carter on the bench, until a knee injury forced Pulman off.

"It was the case giving people 90 minutes," expained Burman.  "I want to give people two games before the Christmas break.  

"We had a reserve team game (which they won 5-0) at Sevenoaks tonight and I managed to give the lads who have been on the bench (for the first team) 90 minutes there."

With Cray's assistant manager Joe Francis in a rush, and manager Ian Jenkins media-shy, striker Gary Abbott gave his feelings on tonight's defeat.

The 41-year-old striker said: "After the start we probably could have been three or four nil up after 10-15 minutes.

"But if you don't put your chances away sometimes you do pay for it in the end and I think we did."

* Former Cray Wanderers, Bromley and Erith & Belvedere winger Mark Hammond, who watched tonight's game, told
he is hoping to move back to the club from their Ryman League Division One rivals Whyteleafe.

Dartford:  Kevin Hudson, Tommy Olson, Lee Craig, Anthony Henry (Capt), Richard Avery, Ryan Hayes, Craig Maguire, Steve Hafner, Ian Pulman (James Carter 44), Eddie McClements, Dave Martin.  Subs: Tommy Osborne, Ryan Briggs, Steve Robinson

Cray Wanderers: Dean Mann, David Hall, Danny Bower (Capt), Dean Morris (Gary Ward 88), Terry Khan, James Taylor, Drew Watkins, Jamie Wood (Matt Woolf 80), Gary Abbott (Junior Baker 85), Jon Main, Leigh Bremner.  Subs: Jamie Kempster, Adam Young

Attendance:   175
Referee:  Mr Gary Johnson (Sittingbourne)
Assistants:  Mr P Harris (Maidstone) & Mr C Clarke (Aylesford)