Published: 21:45, 12 August 2019
| Updated: 10:12, 13 August 2019
Dartford left Chelmsford empty-handed in National League South on Monday night despite a promising first-half display.
The Darts should have been ahead at the break but they were made to pay for missing their chances in the second half.
To make matter worse, Dartford played the last 18 minutes with 10 men after Jordan Wynter was sent-off for a reckless challenge.
Jamar Loza could have easily given Chelmsford a second-minute lead but he blazed high and wide when sent clean through.
It underlined the threat the home team possessed but it was Dartford's pace in attack which really stood out in the opening half.
Combined with the power and strength of Adam Cunnington, the willing movement of Norman Wabo has given Darts an extra dimension this season.
The pair combined well, none more so than on the stroke of half-time when they exchanged passes to split the Chelmsford defence wide apart. Wabo burst through but his low shot was kept out by the legs of keeper Carl Pentney.
It was harsh on Dartford not to lead at half-time. They created the best chances, enjoyed the greater possession and looked more assured on the ball.
The pace of Loza apart, Chelmsford were predictable enough, a couple of long-range attempts warming the hands of Darts keeper Mark Smith.
Luke Warner-Eley, Luke Wanadio and Josh Hill all had good openings but could not find the breakthrough. The latter, in particular, should have done better from a far-post corner.
It was a different story after the break, however. If you don't take your chances against sides like Chelmsford then they often come good before the game is up.
They were sent out early by Chelmsford boss Rod Stringer - and his half-time team talk clearly had the desired effect.
It took only seven minutes of the second half for the hosts to take the lead. Jonny Giles' right-wing corner was headed clear only as far as Chris Whelpdale, who drilled home through a crowded six-yard box.
Dartford's task was not helped in the 72nd minute when Wynter went flying into a challenge with substitute Alex Osborn and was rightly shown the red card by referee Callum Walchester.
Chelmsford immediately exposed the right-back area and doubled their lead within three minutes, Osborn crossing for Sam Higgins to head home.
The icing on the cake arrived nine minutes from time, Giles cutting in from the right before delivering an unstoppable finish from the edge of the box to make it 3-0.
To make matter worse, Hill turned Higgins' cross into his own net two minutes into stoppage time.
Chelmsford: Pentney, Omozusi, Spillane, Cascaval, Wraight (Shaw 33mins), Whelpdale (Osborn 70mins), Church, Muldoon, Giles, Higgins, Loza (Fennel 84mins). Subs not used: Jeffers, Isaac.
Dartford: Smith, Wynter, Hill, Bonner, Warner-Eley, Greenhalgh, Nasha, Brodie, Wanadio (Hayes 70mins), Cunnington (Sheringham 78mins), Wabo (Pugh 70mins). Subs not used: Vint, Flisher.
More by this authorMatthew Panting