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Dartford 0 Poole 1 match report

By Matthew Panting

Below-par Dartford's National League South title hopes suffered a double blow on Saturday.

The Darts put in a dreadful display at Princes Park to lose to relegation-threatened Poole.

While rivals Havant took over at the top, courtesy of victory at Oxford City. They now lead Darts by one point and have two games in hand.

Dartford's Danny Mills runs at Corby Moore of Poole. Picture: Andy Payton
Dartford's Danny Mills runs at Corby Moore of Poole. Picture: Andy Payton

Darts boss Tony Burman again fielded Danny Mills down the left wing with Andy Pugh playing in a withdrawn role behind leading scorer Alfie Pavey.

Neither side showed much quality in the opening half, although the two best chances went to Poole.

On 28 minutes, Warren Bentley found space in the penalty area but keeper Herbert Schotterl, having appeared to be out of position initially, saved with his legs.

Poole should have been ahead six minutes before the break but Richard Gillespie, having cut in from the right wing, sent his shot against the crossbar from the edge of the penalty area.

Both teams showed more quality after the break.

Four minutes into the second half, Poole had claims for a penalty turned down by ref Rob Whitton after Bentley went down in the box, although striker James Constable twice missed his kick in front of goal in the same attack.

Danny Harris plays the ball forward for Dartford. Picture: Andy Payton
Danny Harris plays the ball forward for Dartford. Picture: Andy Payton

Within two minutes Poole were nearly ahead again. Steve Devlin's miss-hit cross came back off the bar and Gillespie's follow-up was cleared off the line by Tom Bonner.

Dartford had their first effort on goal in the 53rd minute. Two Poole defenders got themselves into a tangle to let in Pavey but his snapshot was turned behind for a corner by keeper Nick Hutchings.

Poole finally made the breakthrough just after the hour mark. A rash challenge by Mark Onyemah earned him a yellow card and gave the visitors a free-kick on the edge of the area.

Devlin's delivery was deflected in the penalty area and it fell perfectly for captain Jamie Whisken to drill home.

Devlin then fired over for the visitors after a poor first touch on the edge of the box.

Harris and Pugh added to Dartford's efforts on goal but they never looked like getting an equaliser.

Darts nearly salvaged a point when susbtitute Tom Muprhy's far-post header was deflected behind for a corner but it was hard to argue that Poole deserved anything less than three points.

Dartford: Schotterl, Harris, Onyemah, Bonner, Collier, Brown (Noble 67mins), Hayes, Bradbrook, Pavey (Murphy 81mins), Pugh (Ofori-Acheampong 77mins), Mills. Subs not used: Vint, Ibrahim.

Poole: Hutchings, Moore, Smeeton, Spetch, Whisken, Pettefer, Gillespie (Neale 78mins), Devlin, Constable, Brooks, Bentley. Subs not used: Rees, Balmer, Otudeko, Aihevba.

Attendance: 928.

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