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Dartford 1 Havant 0 match report

By Matthew Panting

Dartford defeated title rivals Havant in National League South on Saturday.

A second-minute goal from Tom Murphy proved decisive for Dartford.

Havant enjoyed plenty of possession but only forced Darts keeper Deren Ibrahim into action once during the 90 minutes.

Dartford celebrate Tom Murphy's second-minute goal against Havant. Picture: Andy Payton
Dartford celebrate Tom Murphy's second-minute goal against Havant. Picture: Andy Payton

Darts boss Tony Burman put 18-goal leading scorer Alfie Pavey back in the starting line-up for the first time since the start of December with Danny Mills dropping to the bench.

The hosts got off to a dream start, going ahead inside two minutes. Elliot Bradbrook's ball forward was nodded down by Pavey for Murphy, who brilliantly fired home beyond Ryan Young at the keeper's near post.

Neither side then forced the keeper into action for the rest of the first half. Havant enjoyed plenty of possession but their ball into the box lacked any quality.

Rory Williams seemed their best attacking threat down the left wing but Irabhim had nothing to do, despite Havant winning five corners.

Pavey headed wide a Ryan Hayes cross early in the second half but it was Havant who again enjoyed the majority of possession.

At times, they were wasteful but it also needed a smart save by keeper Ibrahim to push out Bradley Tarbuck's dangerous low cross while Jordan Rose fired wide at the far post.

Dartford's Ryan Hayes on the ball against Havant. Picture: Andy Payton
Dartford's Ryan Hayes on the ball against Havant. Picture: Andy Payton

Havant finally created some openings late on. On 70 minutes, Williams' cross was headed high and wide at the far post by Jason Prior.

Their best opening came with seven minutes left. Rose's far post header was beaten away by Ibrahim, Mark Onyemah blocked the follow-up and Prior's volley went into the ground and over the bar.

Darts survived more than four minutes of stoppage time, their excellent defensive display reflected by a fine effort at left-back from Mark Onyemah while captain Bradbrook was once again inspirational. They remain two points clear at the top of the table.

Dartford: Ibrahim, Harris, Onyemah, Bonner, Vint, Collier, Hayes, Bradbrook, Pavey (Noble 79mins) Pugh (Mills 66mins), Murphy (Della-Verde 85mins). Subs not used: Ofori-Acheampong, Sho-Silva.

Havant: Young, Williams, Stock (Hayter 78mins), Woodford, Harris, Fogden, Prior, Tarbuck, Carter (Lewis 65mins), Robinson (Tubbs 60mins), Rose. Subs not used: Walker-Harris, Molyneaux.

Attendance: 1,276.

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