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Chippenham Town 1 Dartford 2 match report

By Steve Tervet

Goalkeeper Deren Ibrahim was Dartford's unlikely goal hero at Chippenham Town on Saturday.

Ibrahim scored from inside his own half to clinch a win which moved the Darts level on points with their Wiltshire hosts in National League South.

The visitors showed real heart to record their first league victory on the road since the opening day of the season.

Ronnie Vint congratulates Deren Ibrahim on his winning goal Picture: Richard Chappell
Ronnie Vint congratulates Deren Ibrahim on his winning goal Picture: Richard Chappell

Dartford, having been dumped out of the FA Cup by Oxford City seven days earlier, made four changes to their starting XI. Ronnie Vint and Tom Murphy were both recalled as joint-bosses Jamie Coyle and Adam Flanagan picked a side full of experience and Kenneth Yao and Jamie Philpot also came in with Chez Isaac and Andre Coker dropping to the bench.

Mark Onyemah wasn't involved, having injured his knee at training on Thursday, while veteran striker Andy Sandell returned for Chippenham having completed a loan spell at Melksham Town.

Dartford played down the slope in the first half with a strong wind blowing straight across the pitch.

Jamie Philpot's shot sneaks inside the post Picture: Richard Chappell
Jamie Philpot's shot sneaks inside the post Picture: Richard Chappell

Conditions made free-flowing football difficult and Charlie Sheringham sent a tame effort across the face of goal before heading well wide from Ben Greenhalgh's free-kick.

Sandell's return lasted just 14 minutes before he went off injured but gradually the home side began to get a foothold in the game.

Josh Smile spread play right to George Rigg and when the full-back was allowed time and space to get a cross in, Ibrahim had to scramble his delivery behind.

A scrappy first half was illuminated by a moment of quality for Dartford's opener in the 23rd minute. Chippenham failed to clear Greenhalgh's corner from the left and when Vint kept the ball alive, Philpot turned on a sixpence and hooked the ball inside the near post with his left foot.

Jordan Wynter (4) can't stop Nat Jarvis equalising Picture: Richard Chappell
Jordan Wynter (4) can't stop Nat Jarvis equalising Picture: Richard Chappell

Dartford looked comfortable for a while, with Chippenham limited to efforts from long distance and set-pieces which came to nothing.

But with a minute left in the first half, their good work was undone when Yan Klukowski's low cross from the right was touched home to Nat Jarvis, the home side's most dangerous player.

Elliot Bradbrook latched onto Jordan Wynter's long throw soon after the restart and planted a shot wide from the edge of the box.

But the home side, now running down the slope, started to apply some pressure on the Dartford backline. Ibrahim touched a flashing cross against the bar and the follow-up shot was blocked behind at the near post.

Dartford celebrate at Chippenham Picture: Richard Chappell
Dartford celebrate at Chippenham Picture: Richard Chappell

Dartford retook the lead just before the hour and to say the goal came out of the blue would be an understatement.

Ibrahim launched a free-kick from midway inside his own half which caught on the breeze and floated all the way over his opposite number, Brad House, in the Chippenham goal. It was a carbon copy of the goal Ibrahim scored against Hungerford just over two years ago and he wheeled away in amazement, chased by his team-mates.

The goal stunned Chippenham, who took a while to regain their composure, and Dartford now looked resolute in defence. Tom Bonner lunged to cut out Rigg's cross at the near post before Wynter won a good tussle with Klukowski as he burst forward.

There was plenty of defending to be done in the closing stages, both from open play and set pieces, as the home side threw men forward in pursuit of a second equaliser.

But it was almost 3-1 at the other end when Lee Noble's free-kick dropped for Sheringham, who forced two good blocks from the men in blue.

Dartford were good value for their win on a day when they provided exactly the response their managers had demanded.

Chippenham: House, Rigg, Jones (Beeden 79mins), W Edwards, Jarvis, Sandell (Smith 14mins), Gunner, Parselle, Chambers, Smile, Klukowski (J Edwards 76mins). Subs not used: Horgan, Ferguson.

Dartford: Ibrahim, Wynter, Vint, Bonner, Yao, Murphy (Isaac 80mins), Noble, Bradbrook, Greenhalgh, Philpot (Sam-Yorke 88mins), Sheringham. Subs not used: Oyenuga, Fulton, Coker.

Attendance: 565.

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