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Dartford 2 Hungerford Town 0 match report

Dartford found an unlikely goalscoring hero against Hungerford Town on Saturday.

Goalkeeper Deren Ibrahim scored with a free-kick from inside his own half with time running out at Princes Park.

Alex Brown netted a late second as the Darts made it back-to-back wins in National League South.

Danny Harris takes on Hungerford's Luke Williams Picture: Andy Payton
Danny Harris takes on Hungerford's Luke Williams Picture: Andy Payton

Dartford were boosted by the return to fitness of club captain Elliot Bradbrook and striker Andy Pugh, who were both named on the bench.

Bradbrook made the squad for the first time since damaging ankle ligaments on the opening day of the season, while this was Pugh's first involvement since pulling up with a groin problem at Chelmsford two weeks earlier.

Tom Bonner missed the game through suspension but Keaton Wood returned from a ban of his own to partner Tom Gardiner in central defence, with Danny Harris continuing at right-back.

One of three changes for Hungerford saw 35-year-old Jon Boardman drafted into defence, while Harry Goodger - who used to play for Norton Sports in the Kent League - was among the substitutes.

Duane Ofori-Acheampong, leading the line for Dartford, quickly became embroiled in a physical duel with Boardman and had an early shot blocked.

Alex Brown forced a good low save from George Legg in the Hungerford goal after Luke Wanadio had cut in from the left and laid the ball neatly into his path.

Hungerford, who looked nervy in the opening exchanges, grew into the game and only a fine sliding challenge by Tom Gardiner prevented Nicholas Bignall latching onto Stefan Brown's through-ball.

Bignall missed a great chance to open the scoring, lazily side-footing a volley past the post from a right-wing cross after finding himself unmarked.

Dartford started to give the ball away cheaply and fingers were pointed in the home defence after James Rusby was allowed to volley over from the next Hungerford cross.

Burman's side finished the half strongly, however. Legg saved well from Hayes and Lee Noble before the Darts did have the ball in the net a minute before half-time.

Ryan Hayes on the ball for Dartford against Hungerford Picture: Andy Payton
Ryan Hayes on the ball for Dartford against Hungerford Picture: Andy Payton

Ofori-Acheampong, chopped down two yards outside the area, stabbed the ball past Legg when Hayes' free-kick deflected into his path - only to see the flag raised for offside.

Dartford pinned their visitors back at the start of the second half.

Wanadio picked out Hayes with a good cross from the left and the winger's header was blocked behind for a corner.

At the other end, Rusby volleyed well over from Boardman's cross when the Darts failed to clear a corner.

But the pressure was mounting and Hungerford had to deal with a series of crosses into their penalty area. One dropped for Alex Brown and his volley was well blocked.

Hungerford fired a couple of warning shots across the Dartford bows, Williams shooting over at the end of a counter-attack and Garyn Preen setting up Mike Jones for a shot which Tom Gardiner kept out of the far corner.

The home side went close when Wood's header from a Wanadio free-kick was scrambled off the line but with the scoresheet still blank, Burman sent on both Pugh and Bradbrook for the closing stages.

And after Wanadio had forced a good near-post save from Legg, the Town stopper was embarrassed by Ibrahim's punt which made it 1-0.

Alex Brown made sure with an excellent finish two minutes from time, controlling Wanadio's low ball from the left and picking out the bottom corner.

Pugh almost added a third goal in stoppage-time, turning inside and stinging Legg's palms with a low drive as shell-shocked Hungerford finished on the back foot.

Dartford: Ibrahim, Harris, Wynter, Wood, Gardiner, A Brown, Hayes (Pugh 69mins), Noble (Bradbrook 74mins), Ofori-Acheampong (Francis 89mins), E Brown, Wanadio. Subs not used: Dembele, Seixas.

Hungerford: Legg, Tyler, John, Jones, Boardman (Goodger 81mins), Rusby (Rees 78mins), Clark, Herring, S Brown, Bignall (Preen 61mins), Williams. Subs not used: Jarvis, Day.

Attendance: 813.

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