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Published: 21:30, 19 July 2016 |
Updated: 21:31, 19 July 2016
Dartford went down 3-0 at home to Millwall in their latest pre-season friendly on Tuesday night.
The game kicked off in searing heat at Princes Park and Neil Harris' side were able to keep the home side at arm's length for much of the evening.
But with fitness so key at this stage of the summer, a workout like this will have done the Darts a power of good with the National League South season less than three weeks away.
Albert Jarrett, the only trialist in Dartford's starting XI, lined up on the right of midfield with Andy Pugh up front as a lone striker.
Millwall's starting XI was full of senior players and included summer signings David Worrall and Gregg Wylde.
The visitors had the first effort on goal when Shaun Williams slapped a free-kick towards the top corner and goalkeeper Deren Ibrahim dived right to concede a corner.
Millwall hit the front on 10 minutes. Fred Onyedinma twisted and turned on the edge of the Darts box and fired the ball into the bottom corner.
Onyedinma had a hand in the Lions' second goal, slipping the ball right to Aiden O'Brien who beat Ibrahim with a confident finish.
Dartford started to enjoy more possession but they lacked Millwall's cutting edge whenever they got into the final third.
It should have been 3-0 when the ball fell to O'Brien a few yards out but he lashed his volley over.
Jarrett then cut inside onto his left foot and swirled a cross towards the far corner. Jordan Archer, in the Millwall goal, had to back-pedal and claw the ball behind.
Dartford's best move of the half saw Elliot Bradbrook play the ball into Pugh and he set up Alex Brown for a shot which flashed over.
Pugh won the ball high up the pitch and Dartford were in for a moment but although Pugh played in Jarrett, the winger couldn't keep his shot down.
A misplaced Tom Bonner pass gave O'Brien another chance on the stroke of half-time but he could only find the side netting as Ibrahim tried to narrow the angle.
Darts boss Tony Burman gave Ellis Brown a chance to shine in the second period, with youngsters Kaka Dembele and Ben Francis also sent on for Dartford.
But it was the League 1 side who continued to monopolise possession.
Onyedinma knocked Keaton Wood off the ball and was about to pull the trigger but the former Millwall man recovered well to make an important blocking tackle.
A good move by the Lions saw James Brown cross from the right for Onyendima, who climbed well and directed a header back across goal but just wide.
Play went through a scrappy phase as Millwall sent on a load of substitutes.
Kaka Dembele had a shot saved for the home side before Ibrahim pulled off an excellent save after Kyron Farrell's cross from the left had run for Kris Twardek at the back post.
One long ball got Jamie Philpot in behind the Dartford defence and his eyes lit up until Bonner got back to block.
Moments later, Bonner looked to have played his way out of trouble near the touchline but Philpot slid in to dispossess him, sending Twardek running down the right. Philpot made ground to get in the box, meet Twardek's low centre and lash the ball past Ibrahim from a narrow angle.
Dartford looked a little ragged in the closing stages and Lewis White forced another save from Ibrahim as Millwall finished well on top.
Dartford: Ibrahim, Gardiner, Wynter, Bonner, Vint (E Brown 46mins), Wood, Jarrett (Dembele 46mins), Bradbrook, Pugh (Seixas 81mins), A Brown (Warritay 78mins), Noble (Francis 46mins, Menga 76mins).
Millwall: Archer, Brown, Nelson, Webster, Craig, Worrall, Thompson, Williams, Wylde, Onyedinma, O'Brien. Subs: King, Romeo, Bray, Rooney, Chesmain, Twardek, Donovan, Farrell, White, Pavey, Philpot.
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