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Dartford 1 Hungerford Town 0 match report: Ade Azeez scores his 11th goal of the season

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Unbeaten Dartford moved five points clear at the top of National League South on Saturday.

They were made to work hard for the three points against a combative Hungerford outfit but Ade Azeez turned in the winner just past the hour mark.

Ade Azeez took his tally for the season to 11 on Saturday. Picture: Keith Gillard
Ade Azeez took his tally for the season to 11 on Saturday. Picture: Keith Gillard

The first half finished goalless but there was no shortage of action. Dartford didn't reach the levels that had seen them win six of their first seven league games but they did create enough chances to be ahead.

Danny Leonard's left-foot shot went over, as did George Porter's header from a deep Jordan Wynter cross.

Hungerford's best chance came on 18 minutes when Jack Jebb lost the ball for Darts, Matt Partridge fed Rhys Tyler but his right-foot shot went well over the bar.

Visiting keeper Luke Cairney didn't endear himself to the home fans as he looked to waste time from as early as the first 10 minutes. But he was the reason why Darts failed to find a breakthrough, with two excellent stops in as many minutes to deny Josh Hill.

Jebb's 34th-minute free-kick was met by Hill, who was denied by Cairney's point-blank save, then the keeper produced a one-handed stop to his left to keep out Hill's header from a Jebb corner.

Porter picked out Cairney again before the half ended with referee Alex Blake finally getting out his yellow cards. Kyle Bailey went into the book for a foul on Porter and was lucky not to get another caution moments later for a foul on Noor Husin which was strangely not given.

Luke Allen then went into the book amid plenty of whistles from the referee, who seemingly wanted to call over a Hungerford player but then got on with the game instead having consulted his assistant.

The officials didn't seem to regain control early in the second half but the dynamic of the game, thankfully for them, changed when Darts took the lead on 62 minutes.

A quick break from a Hungerford corner saw Leonard lead a two-on-two charge, eventually pulling the ball back for Azeez to slot into the bottom corner.

Leonard's trickery set up Husin to cross into the danger area three minutes later but Allen headed against the bar.

Azeez volleyed over and substitute Emmanuel Sonupe was only denied by a stunning Cairney save before Deshane Dalling missed his kick when a second seemed certain for the hosts.

Hungerford rallied in five minutes of stoppage time but they never deserved anything against a Dartford team who made it seven wins in eight league games.

Dartford: Wilks, Wynter, Meade, Husin, Hill, Essam, Leonard, Jebb (Sonupe 74mins), Porter (Roberts 63mins), Allen, Azeez (Dalling 84mins) Subs not used: Kedman, Wanadio.

Hungerford: Cairney, McGrory (Kyei 72mins), Angell (Jones 76mins), Partridge, Emmerson, Rusby, Seager, Flood, Smith, Tyler (Wanjau-Smith 67mins), Bailey. Subs not used: Bentley, Mbonkwi.

Referee: Alex Blake.

Attendance: 1,305.

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