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Dartford 3 Concord Rangers 1 match report: Samir Carruthers, Pierre Fonkeu and an own goal put Dartford top of National League South

Samir Carruthers led Dartford to the top of National League South with another fine display at Princes Park on Saturday.

It’s now eight home league wins in a row for Carruthers, deservedly named man-of-the-match after opening the scoring in what was a comfortable victory in the end for Alan Dowson’s men.

Dartford manager Alan Dowson. Picture: Keith Gillard
Dartford manager Alan Dowson. Picture: Keith Gillard

Dartford dominated a stop-start first half that saw both physios in regular action. It needed a smart stop at his near post from Concord keeper Mitch Beeney to deny Davide Rodari a fifth-minute opener.

Carruthers volleyed wide and Connor Essam shot straight at the keeper as Dartford started to create openings.

The opener came on 27 minutes when Rodari picked out Carruthers and he took his time before placing a right-foot finish wide of Beeney from just inside the area.

Carruthers exchanged passes with Rodari on the edge of the area on the stroke of half-time but sent his shot straight at Beeney.

Concord hardly had an attack, let alone an effort at goal, until deep into stoppage time. In the fourth minute of stoppages, Ben Williamson’s hooked effort skimmed the crossbar.

Then referee Steven Hughes spotted a handball in the area and Mo Bettamer stepped up to slam home an equaliser in the seventh minute of added time.

It gave Concord renewed vigour at the start of the second half but Dartford restored their advantage on 54 minutes. The ball was played into the edge of the area and worked to Pierre Fonkeu, who shot home from 20 yards on the turn.

Between Dartford’s direct approach play, Carruthers’ skill again stood out. At the back, skipper Tom Bonner was his commanding best alongside Essam, who was faultless apart from one miskick clearance in the second half.

Carruthers’ 30-yard free-kick clipped the defensive wall before Essam nodded wide from the resulting corner before the game was up for Concord with 13 minutes left.

Christmas is still a month away but Concord skipper Aron Pollock handed out an early present, gifting Dartford a third goal by putting the ball in his own net when there appeared no danger.

Dartford: Mair, Wynter, Carruthers (Coulson 87mins), Essam, Bonner, Murtagh, Rodari (Allen 79mins), Statham, Fonkeu, Sheringham (Wall 81mins), Odaudu. Subs not used: Young, Campbell.

Concord: Beeney, Popo, Ramsay, Pollock, Beckett, Blackman, Blanchfield (Modeste 19mins), Williamson (Akanbi 81mins), Bettamer, Kyei, Wallace (Hernandez 63mins). Subs not used: Theobalds, Search.

Referee: Steven Hughes.

Attendance: 1,009.

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