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Dartford 2 Eastbourne Borough 1 match report

Dartford's win over Eastbourne Borough was marred by allegations of racist abuse on the terraces.

The match was in added time when a comment from a home fan sparked ugly scenes.

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

Play was held up for almost 10 minutes, with the visitors threatening to walk off before order was restored after conversations between the managers and match officials.

Dartford came from a goal down to move into the National South play-off places.

They trailed to a scruffy opener from Leone Gravata but Samir Carruthers levelled and Luke Allen scored a second-half winner.

Charlie Sheringham was rewarded with a start after his goal and assist as a second-half substitute in the win over Hampton.

That was the only change made by Alan Dowson as Darts went for a third successive National South win.

There was little to get the crowd going from either side in a quiet opening at Princes Park.

The most noise came by way of a lively exchange between the dugouts after Boro were awarded a free-kick leading to their 14th-minute opener.

Darts were adamant Maxwell Statham won the ball but referee Daniel Lamport felt otherwise, booking the defender.

James Hammond’s free-kick from near the left touchline evaded the home defence and was met by Gravata at the back post.

Eastbourne livened up after the goal, playing a couple of dangerous balls into the box, while Darts struggled to get going, despite the enthusiastic running of academy youngster Marvin Herschel down the right.

Allen fired out of the ground and Sheringham nodded wide before the equaliser on 30 minutes.

Midfielder vAllen clipped the ball into the box from Statham’s throw, Sheringham’s flick-on found Carruthers and he worked space for a low shot that beat Lee Worgan.

The visitors should have gone back in front in added time when Gravata found himself in on goal but Joe Young made a key block, with the half-time whistle blown seconds later.

Carruthers tested Worgan from distance 10 minutes into the second half, the veteran keeper’s handling exemplary.

Neither side really took the game by the scruff of the neck although Darts began to look the more likely winners as the half wore on, certainly showing more intent.

Their efforts paid off when Allen put them in front in the 68th minute.

Everything about the goal was good, the combination play of Carruthers and Kristian Campbell out wide to tee up Allen, and the first-time strike from the edge of the box.

Eastbourne put some pressure on in the closing stages, with their bench furious after Lamport turned down penalty appeals following keeper Young’s coming-together with Kai Innocent-Woolard.

Boro boss Danny Bloor abandoned his first-name charm offensive to let the referee and linesman Michael Hayden known exactly what he thought.

Dartford: Young, Wynter, Campbell, Carruthers (Fonkeu 80mins), Essam, Bonner, Allen, Statham, Smith (Murtagh 61mins), Sheringham, Herschel (Rodari 83mins). Subs not used: Wall, Jinadu.

Eastbourne: Worgan, Innocent-Woolard, Barry, Dickenson, Perez, Hammond, Remy, Vaughan, Gravata, Scarlett (Mbonkwi 73mins), Hutchinson (Luer 64mins). Subs not used: Ball, Pinto, Holter.

Referee: Daniel Lamport.

Attendance: 816.

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