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Dartford 0 Eastbourne Borough 2 match report: Darts’ winless run sits at 10 National League South games as former Cray Wanderers forward Yahya Bamba gets both goals at Princes Park

Dartford’s National League South relegation problems worsened with a defeat at home to fellow strugglers Eastbourne Borough on Easter Monday.

Forward Yahya Bamba got a goal in either half for the visitors to leave Darts boss Ady Pennock still without a victory since he took charge, as it ended 2-0 to Borough.

Dartford manager Ady Pennock - remains without a win in charge of the club after going down 2-0 at home to Eastbourne Borough on Easter Monday. Picture: Steve Terrell
Dartford manager Ady Pennock - remains without a win in charge of the club after going down 2-0 at home to Eastbourne Borough on Easter Monday. Picture: Steve Terrell

Dartford also have returned to the relegation zone and their miserable winless run has extended to 10 games.

The hosts had started brightly and enjoyed the first two opportunities in quick succession in the seventh minute at Princes Park in front of a crowd of 1,305.

Eastbourne keeper Harrison Foulkes was quickly out to prevent Brandon Barzey getting on the end of Tommy Block’s through ball and, moments later, Foulkes denied the same player with his feet.

But the Darts were forced into an early substitution. That saw Maxwell Statham replace full-back Block, who had gone down injured.

Eastbourne then went ahead with 17 minutes played as they capitalised on a costly error by goalkeeper Rhys Byrne.

He failed to gather a high right-wing cross under pressure and that left Bamba, with Isthmian Premier Cray Wanderers earlier in the season, with a simple finish at the back post.

There was no one at the far post to reach a Luke Coulson left-wing delivery on the half-hour mark after a good bit of trickery from the Darts captain.

Two minutes later, Dartford’s Jordan Greenidge sprung the offside flag and poked past the on-rushing Foulkes, only for the ball to slide wide of the right-hand post before the striker could catch up with it.

Greenidge again went close when he nodded Coulson’s corner straight at Foulkes.

An incredible passage of play saw big chances squandered at both ends just before half-time.

Byrne flapped at Sam Beard’s corner, only to - somehow - see the ball trickle across the face of goal on the slippy surface and out for another corner, before Alfie Bendle shot against Byrne’s right-hand post.

Foulkes tipped wide Paul Rooney’s long-range shot at the other end, although Barzey hobbled off before that corner could be taken. Olly Box was introduced in his place and made a positive impact.

Seven minutes into the second period, the home side were again saved by the right-hand post. Finn Ballard-McBride stabbing a left-wing cross goal-bound.

Dartford made the bold move to make a third switch soon after, Alex Wall coming on for Greenidge.

The visiting contingent were adamant the ball had gone out of play on the left-hand side shortly before the hour. But nothing was given, as Foulkes was again called into action again by Coulson.

Midway through the half, Borough doubled their lead in controversial fashion. There appeared more than a hint of handball as Bamba got the better of Rooney to break through, but nothing was given and Bamba fired in his second of the afternoon.

As the Darts desperately looked for a route back into the contest, Box sent a 74th-minute shot miles over.

The same player curled another effort against the crossbar with nine minutes to go while home penalty protests were dismissed, the foul being given the other way instead.

Harrison Sodje watched his effort deflect narrowly wide in the final minute of normal time but Dartford couldn’t find a way through.

Home manager Pennock made three changes from the team beaten 4-1 at promotion-chasing Chelmsford on Easter Friday.

Block, Luke Allen and 20-year-old Leyton Orient loanee defender Sodje came in for Taylor Mahoney, Statham and Box. The latter pair began on the substitutes’ bench, but were called upon in the first period.

On-loan defender Moussa Diarra, with the Darts under then-boss Alan Dowson earlier in the campaign, started for the visitors.

Dartford visit another relegation-threatened side, Havant & Waterlooville, this Saturday and only have four league fixtures left to save their season.

Dartford: Byrne, Nelson, Nembhard, Rooney, Block (Statham 11mins), Wynter, Sodje, Barzey (Box 43mins), Allen, Coulson, Greenidge (Wall 54mins). Subs not used: Smith, Shomotun.

Eastbourne Borough: Foulkes, Barry, Clarke, Bendle, Carter (Quick 64mins), Ballard-McBride, Beard, Diarra, Green (Lidgendza 90mins), Sesay, Bamba (Sheriff 76mins). Subs not used: Hutchinson, Vigar.

Referee: Steven Hughes.

Attendance: 1,305.

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