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Match report: Dartford 1 Chelmsford 0

By Luke Cawdell

A touchline scuffle led to managers from both teams being sent off in Dartford’s victory over Chelmsford.

Dartford joint-manager Adam Flanagan and Chelmsford counterpart Rod Stringer were both dismissed during a first half altercation.

The Darts dominated the second half and got a deserved goal through Elliot Bradbrook.

Elliot Bradbrook scored the winner for Dartford. Picture: Andy Payton
Elliot Bradbrook scored the winner for Dartford. Picture: Andy Payton

There was just one change to Dartford’s starting XI, following a 2-1 win over Bath at the weekend, as former Chelmsford striker Kudus Oyenuga missed out, replaced in the side by Delano Sam-Yorke.

The visitors, who had won on each of their previous four visits to Princes Park, came close to making an early breakthrough when Michael Spillane managed to thread a ball through to Rhys Murphy, with the aid of a deflection, but the Chelmsford striker was dispossessed from a super Mark Onyemah challenge.

Murphy fired another good chance over as the visitors had the edge early on.

Dartford were struggling to find a way through but the game swung in their favour following a fracas on the sidelines. Murphy was chasing a ball towards the dugouts and when Darts boss Flanagan attempted to stop the ball, he took the Chelmsford man out, prompting a free-for-all between players and coaching staff.

Chelmsford manager Rod Stringer and Flanagan went head to head and referee Dean Hulme took the decision to send both men off.

The match was niggly on the field too, with Callum Driver poleaxed by Thomas Wraight’s stray arm.

As the half wore on, Dartford began to get closer, with Elliot Bradbrook trying his luck from distance and Ronnie Vint heading an effort over. At the other end Scott Fenwick stung the hands of home keeper Deren Ibrahim.

The interval came with neither keeper having been overly troubled.

Philpot came close to an opener six minutes after the restart, looping a cross/shot at goal that hit the far post and dropped to the keeper, who managed to keep the ball out. The Darts bossed the early minutes of the second half and Philpot put another good chance wide.

Philpot had the ball in the net just past the hour mark, after collecting Lee Noble’s ball over the top, but the linesman had his flag raised for offside.

A great ball from Ben Greenhalgh picked out Delano Sam-Yorke but his subsequent shot was saved by keeper Ross Worner. Moments later the Darts had a deserved lead.

It was Bradbrook who put the Darts infront with a looping header from Greenhalgh’s corner on 77 minutes.

Home keeper Deren Ibrahim had a quiet half but needed to show strong hands to keep out Scott Fenwick’s powerful late effort. A glancing header from Mark Haines almost levelled the scores in the final minute.

Dartford: Ibrahim, Driver, Onyemah, Vint, Bonner, Greenhalgh (Murphy 90mins), Isaac (Roast 85mins), Bradbrook, Noble, Philpot (Ighorae 68mins), Sam-Yorke. Subs not used: Mensah, Cue.

Chelmsford: Worner, Young (Barnum-Bobb 62mins), Wraight, Omozusi, Spillane (Haines 71mins), Anderson, Church, Nasha (Miles 68mins), Reason, Fenwick, Murphy. Subs not used: Porter, Foy.

Attendance: 1,220

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