Dartford 3 Ebbsfleet United 1
Darts' Tom Champion, left, and
Fleet's Neil Barrett duel. Picture: Andy Payton
Dartford came from behind to win 3-1 against Ebbsfleet in the
first Boxing Day meeting of the two local rivals in 23 years.
After bossing much of the first half Liam Enver-Marum gave Fleet
the lead after the break, but a brace from Harry Crawford and a
fine strike by skipper Elliot Bradbrook ensured the points for Tony
Paul Lorraine saw a goal-bound shot blocked on the line by Tom
Bonner as Fleet had the better of the opening
exchanges in their first game in nearly three weeks. Despite the
hosts coming back into the contest, Nathan Elder went close to an
opener before half-time with a header which glanced wide.
However just three minutes after the interval Enver-Marum
latched on to a long ball forward and sent in a low strike from an
angle which slipped past Darts keeper Marcus Bettinelli to put
Bettinelli saved a diving header from Elder soon after as Fleet
sought a second, but the hosts got back on track when Bonner played
in Crawford just four minutes after they fell behind and the
forward rounded Preston Edwards before slotting home.
The goal knocked Fleet's confidence and boosted the Darts as
Jacob Erskine sent two good chances wide of Edwards' goal before
Lorraine clipped the outside of the post with a header at the other
Crawford turned the game around with his second goal on 68
minutes, Lee Burns jinking down the right before pulling back for
Crawford to drill home from 12 yards, and the clincher arrived 10
minutes from time when Bradbrook was given time and space to
unleash a thunderous drive into the top corner from 20 yards.
Although Fleet's Tom Phipp did see a late drive from the edge of
the box parried away by Bettinelli, Dartford stopped a run of four
The two sides will lock horns again on New Year's Day at
Stonebridge Road. Before that, though, Fleet visit Luton
on Saturday and Dartford host Cambridge United.