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Ryan Hayes testimonial: Dartford 4 Ebbsfleet United 2 match report

By Steve Tervet

Ryan Hayes helped Dartford beat Ebbsfleet in his testimonial match on Sunday afternoon.

The long-serving winger played almost the whole game before being withdrawn seconds before the end so he could take the applause of the crowd.

Both teams provided a guard of honour before kick-off and the hundreds who turned up to mark Hayes' service to the Darts were treated to an entertaining spectacle.

Ryan Hayes walks out with his children Freddie and Madison Picture: Steve Crispe

Fleet manager Daryl McMahon sent out a team full of first-team players for the first half but it was Dartford, who included five former players in their starting line-up, who led 3-0 at half-time.

Hayes took less than six minutes to create a goal, his teasing cross from the right glanced inside the far post by the head of Andy Pugh.

Elliot Bradbrook then had Ebbsfleet keeper Jon Miles scrambling with a shot from outside the box.

The visitors were awarded a penalty when Lee Burns up-ended Bradley Bubb although Deren Ibrahim kept out Bubb's weak spot-kick.

Bubb pulled into space and connected with a right-wing Sam Deering corner but lashed his shot high over the bar.

Tom Bradbrook challenges Kenny Clark in the air Picture Steve Crispe

Tom Bradbrook challenges Kenny Clark in the air Picture: Steve Crispe

And it was 2-0 moments later when Pugh turned the ball across goal and Tom Bradbrook stretched to convert at the far post.

Left-back Jack Connors saw a shot deflect behind after Darts failed to clear a corner but a third goal followed before half-time when Lee Noble's free-kick from around 40 yards out drifted all the way through the box and crept beyond Miles.

A rash of half-time substitutions slowed play almost to walking pace after the restart although there was plenty to keep the crowd entertained as some old favourites rolled back the years.

Danny Dafter, Rob Haworth, Brendon Cass, Mark Arber, Anthony Henry, Tony Kessell and Adam Flanagan all entered the fray for Dartford while McMahon gave himself 45 minutes for the visitors.

Paul Lorraine returned to make a guest appearance for Fleet, whose new line-up also included Shane Huke, Dean Pooley and Stacy Long.

Dartford captain Elliot Bradbrook celebrates with goalscorer Andy Pugh Picture Steve Crispe

Dartford captain Elliot Bradbrook celebrates with goalscorer Andy Pugh Picture: Steve Crispe

But it was a trialist, Darren McQueen, who made the biggest impact with two goals.

He stabbed home a low Ollie Boulding cross and then scored from the penalty spot when Arber was penalised for shirt pulling.

In between, Concord Rangers boss Flanagan announced his arrival into the game by flattening McQueen as the nippy forward burst through Dartford's half.

Griffiths headed an excellent Huke cross wide of the far post and then failed to hit the target again, dragging a low shot across the face of goal after McMahon had released McQueen on the counter-attack.

But the goal of the game came seven minutes from time when three of Dartford's old boys combined to fantastic effect.

Flanagan's raking crossfield ball picked out Joe Bruce and his cross was headed firmly beyond Miles by Haworth to a huge cheer from the home crowd.

Dartford: Ibrahim (Kessell 46mins), Bruce (Flanagan 63mins), Gross (Henry 46mins), Burns (Raishbrook 60mins), Vint (Dafter 46mins), Collier (O'Brien 69mins), Hayes, E Bradbrook (Cass 46mins), T Bradbrook (Bruce 69mins), Pugh (Haworth 46mins), Noble (Arber 46mins).

Ebbsfleet: Miles, Shields (Boulding 46mins), Connors (Liddle 68mins), Clark (Huke 46mins), Winfield (Lorraine 46mins), Greenidge (Pooley 46mins), Deering (Long 46mins), Lewis (Holmes 29mins), Bubb (McMahon 46mins), Kissock (Griffiths 46mins), Cook (McQueen 46mins).

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