Dartford 1 Cambridge United 1
A string of fine saves from keeper Marcus Bettenelli earned
Dartford a point at home to in-form Cambridge in Blue Square Bet
Premier on Saturday.
The Darts were under pressure for long periods of the game,
particularly in the second half, but the on-loan Fulham keeper
meant they picked up a point to finish the calendar year seventh in
The strong wind and driving rain meant conditions were never
easy and both teams struggled for fluency early on.
Dartford took the lead on 23 minutes when a Lee Noble corner was
not cleared and when Tom Bonner returned it across goal, Harry
Crawford netted his 13th goal of the season with a perfectly-placed
The goal ignited the visitors into action and they nearly
levelled six minutes before the break but Bettenelli got down
quickly to produce a stunning save to deny Sam Smith's low drive
before the loose ball was cleared to safety.
Smith then failed to pick out a team-mate having burst into the
penalty area, only for Cambridge to level the scores on the stroke
of half-time. Presented with a free-kick 20 yards from goal, former
Ebbsfleet forward Michael Gash opted for a low drive through a sea
of players and the ball deceived Bettenelli and found the far
After the break, former Welling striker Andy Pugh - playing wide
in midfield - skipped past two challenges before his centre was
handled, but Gash sent this free-kick harmlessly over the bar.
Bettenelli came into his own late on, denying Gash's 20-yard
strike and then completing a double stop in stoppage time to keep
out the forward.
Dartford's best effort came from a free-kick but Mark Arber
couldn't keep his header on target with keeper Jonathon Hedge
flapping at thin air.
Pictures: Top - Dartford go on the attack
against Cambridge and, above right, celebrate Harry Crawford's
goal. By Steve Crispe.