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Dartford 1 Swindon Town 5 match report

By Steve Tervet

Dartford's FA Cup run was comprehensively ended by League 2 Swindon on Sunday afternoon.

The match had been moved for TV coverage, with broadcasters obviously thinking there was potential for an upset, but in truth the National League South leaders were second best in all departments.

Swindon were 3-0 up by half-time and scored two more goals at the start of the second period before Richard Sho-Silva registered a consolation for the Darts.

Ellio Bradbrook and Alfie Pavey challenge for the ball against Swindon Picture: Andy Jones
Ellio Bradbrook and Alfie Pavey challenge for the ball against Swindon Picture: Andy Jones

Dartford came into the game without striker Andy Pugh, suspended for the red card he was shown in the win at Bath, although manager Tony Burman's biggest selection dilemna came at the other end of the pitch.

It was fit-again Tom Bonner who got the nod ahead of Ronnie Vint at centre-half while Danny Harris kept his place at right-back, with Keaton Wood on the bench.

Centre-forward Duane Ofori-Acheampong wasn't involved as he continues his rehabilitation after knee surgery in the summer.

Former Folkestone striker Harry Smith led the line for Swindon, having joined them on a season-long loan from Millwall. The visitors, who arrived fifth in League 2, brought in Timi Elsnik and Paul Mullin for John Goddard and Keshi Anderson.

Dartford started well enough and crosses from Lyle Della-Verde and Ryan Hayes gave the visiting defenders cause for concern but Swindon soon took control.

Ollie Lancashire powered a header wide from a corner before the opening goal arrived from 12 minutes. Deren Ibrahim parried Amine Linganzi's cross but was powerless to stop Elsnik's follow-up flying into the roof of the net.

Alex Brown on the ball for Dartford Picture: Andy Jones
Alex Brown on the ball for Dartford Picture: Andy Jones

Mullin curled a shot over and Donal McDermott tested Ibrahim before Swindon made it 2-0 in the 23rd minute. McDermott slipped the ball to Smith and his first-time strike from the 18-yard line whistled into the top corner.

The 800 travelling supporters were chanting "easy, easy" just three minutes later when Elsnik got up well to head home a cross from former Portsmouth and West Ham man Matty Taylor.

Swindon looked like they were going to score every time they went forward. McDermott's shot deflected behind for a corner, from which Matty Preston headed just wide.

The Darts had a better spell just before half-time.

Alex Brown fired wastefully wide after Hayes' cross had dropped at his feet, then Reice Charles-Cook produced a wonderful flying save to keep Elliot Bradbrook's header out of the top corner.

The keeper got nowhere near Lee Noble's well-hit volley from 30 yards but, fortunately for the visitors, the ball fizzed just past the angle of post and bar.

Tom Bonner jumps with Ollie Lancashire for a header Picture: Andy Jones
Tom Bonner jumps with Ollie Lancashire for a header Picture: Andy Jones

Dartford needed a goal early in the second half but instead, they conceded two.

Less than 60 seconds after the restart, Linganzi thumped a volley into the corner and Swindon then made it 5-0 when Mullin slid in to convert substitute John Goddard's low centre.

That double-strike knocked the stuffing out of not just the Dartford players but the bumper home crowd, who had been so noisy at the start of the game.

It became like a training match for Swindon after that and Goddard looped a shot just wide of the far post after swapping passes with Ben Purkiss.

Ibrahim got down well to keep out Smith's header as the game petered out, before Bradbrook turned and rolled a shot straight into Charles-Cook's gloves.

Bradbrook and Wood both saw efforts from distance clear the crossbar although Dartford did pull a goal back eight minutes from time. Tom Murphy's shot came back off the post and there was Sho-Silva to smash home the rebound.

Richard Sho-Silva scores for Dartford Picture: Andy Jones
Richard Sho-Silva scores for Dartford Picture: Andy Jones

Dartford: Ibrahim, Harris, Sho-Silva, Bonner, Onyemah, Hayes (Mfula 66mins), Noble, Brown (Wood 66mins), Bradbrook, Della-Verde (Murphy 54mins), Pavey. Subs not used Vint, Coxall, Fulton, Ahwieh.

Swindon: Charles-Cook, Purkiss, Lancashire, Preston, Taylor, Dunne, Linganzi, Elsnik (Goddard 38mins), Mullin (Woolery 54mins), McDermott (Gordon 73mins), Smith. Subs not used: Henry, Robertson, Iandola, Knoyle.

Attendance: 2,705.

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