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National League South title bid keeps Dartford stopper Deren Ibrahim on his toes

By Matthew Panting

Concentration has been key for Dartford’s Deren Ibrahim during his team’s improved form this season.

Title-chasing Darts have conceded just 29 goals in 29 National League South games and Ibrahim has had to cope with a different workload.

“Last year where we were under more pressure in games I was getting more to do,” said Ibrahim.

Dartford goalkeeper Deren Ibrahim Picture Andy Payton

Dartford goalkeeper Deren Ibrahim Picture: Andy Payton

“This year has been a different challenge where we’ve been dominating games so I’ve had to stay switched on.

“Last year I was getting four or five things to do, this year it has been one or two. It’s more important as a keeper to stay focused”

Ibrahim produced a stunning save against Chelmsford last Saturday to keep out Shaun Jeffers early in the second half.

It wasn’t enough to ensure a point for the Darts but it was a case of replicating a training exercise in a game, Ibrahim getting up quickly from an initial save to brilliantly turn Jeffers’ effort over the bar.

“That’s what I’m there for,” said Ibrahim. “We’ve been working on that in training so it’s nice to replicate that in a game. In recent weeks I’ve picked up a little bit of form."

Ibrahim could do nothing to prevent Chelmsford’s winner after Anthony Church’s second-half strike took a deflection off a defender to find the bottom corner.

“It was quite even, the goal was a disappointing one to concede with the deflection and it wrong-footed me,” he added. “But there’s not a lot we can do about it.

“Everyone goes on about the league table, there’s 13 games to go, we’ll win games and lose games – everyone will. There will be points dropped.”

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