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Dartford 2 Welling United 1 match report

By Steve Tervet

Elliot Bradbrook had a penalty saved but went on to score a late winner for Dartford against Welling.

The skipper converted a cross from his long-time colleague Ryan Hayes as the Darts followed up Saturday's draw against Maidenhead with a hard-earned derby victory on Tuesday night.

Welling were in the game throughout but too often their final ball lacked quality.

Dartford manager Tony Burman Picture Andy Payton

Dartford manager Tony Burman Picture: Andy Payton

Keaton Wood failed a fitness test before the game so Darts boss Tony Burman was forced to make one change to his starting XI. In came midfielder Ellis Brown, with Tom Gardiner moving across to centre-half and Danny Harris again reverting to right-back.

Welling, having thrashed Concord 5-0 at the weekend, were unchanged.

The home side should have been ahead inside three minutes, Ellis Brown somehow turning the ball over the bar from six yards when Duane Ofori-Acheampong picked him out with a cross from the left.

By that point Andy Pugh had already forced a save from Chris Lewington, turning well inside the box, but Welling then began to enjoy a good spell.

Danny Waldren lashed one shot over the bar and was closer with his next effort which flew narrowly wide of Deren Ibrahim's left-hand post.

Back came the Darts, Bradbrook looping a volley wide from distance and Luke Wanadio - who played for Welling last season - doing well to dig out a cross from the left but delivering a ball which was just too strong for Pugh in the middle.

Lyle Della-Verde stung Ibrahim's palms with a low shot which the goalkeeper couldn't hold but as the ball momentarily squirmed free in front of him, the flag went up for offside.

Welling had given away six penalties in their first eight games of the season and they conceded a seventh with 26 minutes on the clock. Wanadio's cross from the left was heading for Ofori-Acheampong until the centre-forward was bundled over clumsily at the back post.

Bradbrook's penalty was saved by Lewington but Alex Brown stuck out a leg to knock the rebound into the net.

Dartford were only in front for nine minutes though. Adam Coombes, who scored a hat-trick in the win at Concord, powered a fantastic free-kick across Ibrahim and into the far corner from 25 yards out.

Wanadio's driven corner from the right fell at Pugh's feet in the last half-chance of the first period but the ex-Wings striker could only hook the ball over the bar from the edge of the penalty area.

Ofori-Acheampong forced a save from Lewington within seconds of the restart before Ali Fuseini thumped a shot out of the ground at the other end.

Dartford's best moments centred around Wanadio, who almost picked out Ofori-Acheampong with a whipped cross from the left.

Wanadio's next ball into the box ran invitingly for Alex Brown, whose shot was on target but well blocked as blue shirts threw themselves in front of the ball.

Burman turned to Hayes with an hour on the clock and the winger had a shot saved when Darts broke at pace following a Welling corner. Wanadio led the break down the left but he delayed his shot and by the time the ball reached Hayes on the right, the visitors had men back.

The game went through a lull, Coombes smashing a shot well over at one end before substitute Lee Noble did likewise for Dartford.

But with 10 minutes remaining, Hayes swirled over a cross from the right and Bradbrook, as he has done so many times over the years, arrived late to force the ball home.

Welling put a good move together in the closing stages but Della-Verde couldn't keep his half-volley down and with that went their hopes of snatching a draw.

Dartford: Ibrahim, Harris, Wynter, Bonner, Gardiner, A Brown (Noble 73mins), E Brown (Hayes 61mins), Bradbrook, Ofori-Acheampong, Pugh (B Francis 78mins), Wanadio. Subs not used: Seixas, Coxall.

Welling: Lewington, Nelson, J Brown, Fuseini, S Francis, Hayles, Joseph-Dubois, Waldren, Walker (Whitely 78mins), Coombes, Della-Verde. Subs not used: Banton, Johnson, Leacock, Agu.

Attendance: 1,210.

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