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Dartford 2 Macclesfield Town 1 match report

By Steve Tervet

Dartford came from behind to record a priceless win at home to Macclesfield on Saturday.

The home side, in desperate need of a win to keep their Skrill Premier survival hopes alive, went behind against the run of play to a brilliant Paul Turnbull strike.

But Danny Harris headed them level a minute into the second half and their relentless attacking pressure was finally rewarded when Max Cornhill volleyed home the winner nine minutes from time.

Max Cornhill Picture: Andy Payton
Max Cornhill Picture: Andy Payton

Dartford boss Tony Burman named an unchanged starting XI, with on-loan Margate goalkeeper Craig Holloway on the bench after signing in midweek.

The home side had the best of a slow-paced first half.

Jim Stevenson had two efforts blocked in quick succession and Macclesfield keeper Rhys Taylor then pulled off a fantastic save to tip Tyrone Sterling's shot onto the bar.

Dartford kept pressing and Stevenson had another shot saved, but both sides were guilty of misplacing passes in a game which had no real tempo.

The first chance of note for the Silkmen came when Jack Mackreth helped a cross into the box and Scott Boden sent a looping header over the bar.

Back came Dartford, with Stevenson trying his luck from distance again. Taylor clawed the ball out of the top corner to the frustration of the on-loan Luton midfielder.

Mat Mitchel-King, up from the back for a corner, saw his goalbound shot charged down and the follow-up was fired over by Darts skipper Elliot Bradbrook.

It was all Dartford. Alex Wall crossed low for Harris, who flicked the ball towards goal at the near post only to see Taylor push his improvised effort up onto the bar.

Macclesfield began to knock the ball about nicely towards the end of the first half without really troubling the home defence.

But then, out of nowhere, came a moment of brilliance. Macclesfield captain Turnbull unleashed a volley from 30 yards out and the ball seared over Alan Julian's head before nestling in the back of the net.

Dartford were shell-shocked but they could still have gone into half-time level. Lee Noble had a low shot held by Taylor at his near post, before Harris wastefully turned Stevenson's low cross wide from a central position.

Burman would have called on his players to respond at the start of the second half, and they did exactly that.

Less than 90 seconds had been played after the restart when Noble's right-wing corner was powered home by the head of Harris. Taylor got a hand to the ball but couldn't keep it out.

The Macclesfield reaction to conceding was positive. Boden played a neat ball into the feet of Danny Whitaker and he fired a snapshot just wide.

Wall smashed a shot well over for the Darts before Chris Holroyd did likewise at the other end.

The home crowd began to turn up the volume as the home side cranked up the pressure. Wall drilled in a cross from the right and Harris laid the ball into the path of Bradbrook, who shot wide.

Dartford kept pouring forward. Bradbrook headed Stevenson's teasing cross wide on the stretch and the impressive Stevenson fizzed a shot just past the angle of crossbar and post.

Ben Swallow, on for Lee Noble, almost made an instant impact when he drilled a shot just wide. Lee Burns' free-kick from deep then dropped kindly for Mitchel-King, who saw his first effort blocked and his second held by Taylor.

A goal was coming. And then it came.

Swallow swung over a free-kick from the Dartford right and Cornhill, stealing round the back, planted his volley into the net to send the home crowd wild.

It was almost 3-1 in the last minute when Taylor parried a Stevenson free-kick.

And the home fans, knowing the significance of this result, raised the roof when referee Dean Treleaven blew for time.

Dartford: Julian, Burns, Mitchel-King, McAuley, Sterling, Noble (Swallow 75mins), Stevenson, Cornhill, Bradbrook, Harris, Wall (Collier 86mins). Subs not used: Holloway, Woodyard, Suarez.

Macclesfield: Taylor, Pilkington, Martin, Williams, Andrew, Mackreth (Lewis 76mins), Turnbull, Whitaker, Gnahoua (Rowe 80mins), Holroyd, Boden. Subs not used: Branagan, Kay, Halls.

Attendance: 1,105.

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