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Dartford 3 Hampton 1 match report

By Matthew Panting

Dominant Dartford booked their place in the National League South play-offs on Easter Monday.

Goals from Elliot Bradbrook, Alex Brown and Ronnie Vint did the damage against injury-hit Hampton.

Ironically, the teams could yet meet in the play-offs as ground grading issues mean that seventh place - where Hampton currently sit - could be good enough to claim the final spot.

Alex Brown scores Dartford's second goal against Hampton. Picture Matthew Walker

Alex Brown scores Dartford's second goal against Hampton. Picture: Matthew Walker

Dartford made three changes from the Good Friday defeat at Hungerford. Out went Tom Murphy, Alfie Pavey and Lee Noble, who were all on the bench, with Duane Ofori-Acheampong, Ryan Hayes and Luke Wanadio their replacements.

Darts were ahead as early as the seventh minute. Hayes caught left-back Sam Gallagher napping and when the initial shot was only parried by keeper Sam Howes, captain Bradbrook was on hand to drill the loose ball home.

It was a torrid opening for Gallagher (illness), who was quickly substituted with Jay Gasson moving to left-back.

He fared little better against Hayes, however. A neat move involving Hayes and Andy Pugh found Ofori-Acheampong at the near post and his flick was saved by Howes.

Dartford's Ryan Hayes in the thick of the action against Hampton. Picture Matthew Walker

Dartford's Ryan Hayes in the thick of the action against Hampton. Picture: Matthew Walker

Hampton had a glorious chance to level against the run of play when they were awarded a penalty by referee Lloyd Wood. But Michael Kamara fired his 21st-minute spot-kick well over the bar.

Darts quickly punished the visitors for that miss, adding their second goal on 29 minutes. Again Pugh and Hayes were at the heart of the move, the former forcing an error from Gasson initially. The ball was worked to Brown on the edge of the box and his 20-yard shot went in via the underside of the bar.

Bradbrook did well to continue just before the break when a nasty foul by Christian Jolley saw the Darts captain receive lengthy treatment. Jolley was shown a yellow card.

Hampton started the second half in positive fashion and were rewarded with a goal on 54 minutes. Jolley crossed from the right-wing and Nathan Collier headed in against his former club to cut Dartford's lead in half.

Darts restored their two-goal advantage with 14 minutes left when Vint turned in a right-wing cross from close range. 

Dartford: Ibrahim, Harris (Wood 67mins), Wynter, Bonner, Vint, Brown, Hayes, Bradbrook, Ofori-Acheampong (Pavey 86mins), Pugh (Noble 86mins), Wanadio. Subs not used: Murphy, Coxall.

Hampton: Howes, Kamara, Gallagher (Rivic 17mins), Gasson, Murphy, Hicks, Osei (Livingstone 86mins), Jolley, Collier, Odametey (Ten-Greotenhuis 37mins), Hippolyte-Patrick. Subs not used: Bishop, Olalade.

Attendance: 1,101.

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