Seagulls Battle Against Physical Dartford
Tuesday night saw the First Team travel to Dartford for the rearranged League fixture. Scott Bartletts Seagulls made their way around the M25 and to the far side of London to face a physical Dartford team, only to see their valiant efforts cancelled out late on by a drilled effort from Alex Brown to deny Weston the points they arguably deserved.
Dartford started strongly, earning a succession of corners and free-kicks inside the opening ten minutes. Weston got a let-off however when Danny Harris played the ball out wide to Ryan Hayes and with Weston left-back Chris Barker backing off, Hayes curled into the far corner, however the goal was ruled out for Offside.
Weston were quick to attack though and Captain Ash Kington turned to find Dayle Grubb on the edge of the box from the halfway line. In typical Grubb fashion, he took the ball down before skinning his marker, Keaton Wood, and fizzing a low ball across the six-yard box with in-form forward Gethyn Hill waiting for the tap-in.
Weston continued to forge forward at every possible opportunity looking for a second. However, Dartford were all for putting up a fight and came close on a number of occasion’s, and had it not been for the calmness of Weston Number One, Luke Purnell along with the excellent defending of Aden Baldwin and Rollin Menayese in their Centre-Back positions.
Weston also found themselves close to scoring on more than one occasion, with Lloyd Humphries curling a shot wide with the outside of his boot before dragging a shot wide from the same area moments after. Brad Ash continued to put in a desired effort and closed everything down while chasing loose balls over the top, with Humphries proving a solid player in Midfield with some tough tackling and neat passing helping the team to maintain possession.
Weston went in at Half-Time 1-0 up and deservedly so based on the first half with the chances that were created and the solid defensive performance.
However, Dartford came out and looked to attack at the start of the Second Half with constant crosses into the box from their wide men, and taking the opportunity to shoot at any given moment when Weston stood off them or if any of the Dartford players got a glimpse of goal.
In the 58th minute, Winger Jamie Chamberlain raced onto a loose ball that was headed for a goal-kick , got to it and cleared it to off the side-line to give Dartford a throw-in, however left-back Tom Wynter seemed to knock Chamberlain, who was sent crashing into the advertising hoarding. With the referee keeping his hands in his pockets on this occasion, Dartford immediately went up and Wynter, found himself with time before drilling low past Purnell in goal.
It wasn’t long until Dartford put themselves in front, when a cross was sent in from the right and Striker Luke Wanadio headed back across at the back post for Danny Harris, who tapped home into an empty net before wheeling away to celebrate, as he had been celebrating the birth of his daughter four days earlier.
However, Weston weren’t a team to lie down and take defeat and with just under 20 minutes to go, they got a deserved equaliser. As he tiptoed his way into the box, Grubb was forced to turn outwards by three defenders and find Humphries 25 yards from goal. After getting the ball out of his feet after the first touch, Humphries let fly with his right foot and the ball looped in over the Dartford Keeper via a big deflection.
However, with seven minutes left, Dartford had the last laugh when heavy Dartford pressure saw a ball put into the box. Weston headed clear but the ball only fell as far as Alex Brown outside the area. With the ball dropping nicely for him, Brown struck it low on the half volley and out of Purnell’s reach into the far corner.
FT: Dartford 3-2 Weston (Wynter 58, Harris 66, Brown 83; Hill 11, Humphries 72)
Weston XI: Purnell, Pope (Reid 76), Barker, Humphries, Baldwin, Menayese, Chamberlain (Cane 58), Kington (C), Ash, Grubb, Hill (Lee 87).
Unused Substitutes: Anderson, Williams.
MOTM: Lloyd Humphries