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Dartford 1 Dulwich Hamlet 0 match report: Darren McQueen scores 14th goal of the season

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Dartford got back to winning ways thanks to Darren McQueen’s first-half strike against Dulwich on Saturday.

Play-off hopefuls Darts kept the pressure on the teams above them in National League South, although they probably should have won by a greater margin.

Dartford's Billy Crook in the thick of the action against Dulwich. Picture: Sean Aidan FM27600950
Dartford's Billy Crook in the thick of the action against Dulwich. Picture: Sean Aidan FM27600950

Dartford made one change from the team beaten 1-0 at Slough last weekend. Craig Braham-Barrett comes in at left-back, with Nick Arnold dropping out and Sanchez Ming reverting to his more accustomed right-back slot.

It was an end-to-end start with chances for both sides. An outstretched Dulwich leg denied Josh Hill a second-minute lead for the hosts before Darts keeper produced a fine save to keep out Nyren Clunis’ far-post effort at the other end.

Visiting keeper Charlie Grainger was the busier, though, tipping over Tyrique Hyde’s header as Dartford broke with purpose before an outstanding save prevented the hosts going ahead on 15 minutes.

There appeared only one outcome as Elliot Romain met Luke Wanadio’s pacey cross, but Grainger somehow turned his header aside for a corner at full stretch.

With 20 minutes gone, Dartford were indebted to an excellent last-ditch tackle from Braham-Barrett to prevent Clunis a clear sight of goal, the Dulwich man breaking from inside his own half and going past Tom Bonner with ease on the counter.

The breakthrough came on 23 minutes when Romain’s flick-on found McQueen, who beat the offside trap and then emphatically finished beyond Grainger for his 14th of the campaign.

Dulwich captain David Ijaha escaped with a yellow card for a late foul on Braham-Barrett just before the half-hour from referee Andrew Humphries.

Darts felt it could have easily been red, and there was no love lost between the two players who were team-mates at Welling last season.

Hyde and Wanadio both sent efforts wide of the target as Darts dominated before half-time.

Dartford continued on the front foot after the break, their attacking play slicing Dulwich apart at times.

McQueen and Romain combined to send Hyde through but he prodded his shot wide of the upright, then Grainger saved with his legs to deny Romain.

Dulwich introduced former Dartford loan striker Danny Mills with 20 minutes left and although they put bodies forward late on, they failed to create a clear-cut attempt on goal in the closing stages.

Dartford: Sesay, Ming, Braham-Barrett, Crook (Noble 90mins), Hill, Bonner, Hyde, Berkeley-Agyepong, Romain, McQueen (Nash 76mins), Wanadio (Marsh-Brown 74mins). Subs not used: Arnold, Vint.

Dulwich: Grainger, Chapman, Barnes, Ijaha, Debrah, Smith, Clunis (Hunte 88mins), Vose, Mullings (Mills 69mins), Kearney (Ainsworth 46mins), Monakana. Subs not used: Connors, McCoy.

Attendance: 1,501.

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