A LESSON IN CLINICAL FINISHING
Match report: Dartford FC Women 6 Dartford FC Women Development 0
Kent Women's Cup, quarter-finals played on Sunday 19th November 2023
At Princes Park Stadium. Kick-off 3pm
DFCW 1st team: Jade Charlton, Charlie Torry, Xayla-Rae Alberts, Bethany Powell, Chana Hinds,
Gabby Howell, Hannah Thomas, Emily Read, Emily Vaughan, Hannah Cleary, Emily Woodhouse
Subs (all used): Lizzie Adams, Shauni Griffiths, Jo Woodgates, Shannon Wason, Georgie Davis
Att 142 SI = 148
DFCW Development Team: Talisha Hickson, Naomi Nash, Tilly Rowsell, Ella Brian, Alicia Adams,
Amy Reader, Adele Pearce, Molly Smith, Ellie Hinkley, Chloe Brian, Emma Healy
Subs (all used): Annie White, Lizzie Nugent, Elise Killick, Georgia Culpitt, Abi Potter-Scarborough
1-0 11 mins, Emily Vaughan
2-0 17 mins, Emily Vaughan
3-0 21 mins, Hannah Cleary
4-0 33 mins, Hannah Thomas
5-0 48 mins, Emily Vaughan (hat-trick)
6-0 92 mins, Georgie Davis
With a corner within the first 25 seconds it was obvious the Darts wanted to get their noses in front as quickly as possible and not have a “psychological battle” on their plate with the upcoming FA Cup 2nd round away tie with Oxford United at the back of their minds.
The Women’s Development team held out for ten minutes before an excellent ball from debutant Xayla-Rae Alberts was played forward for Hannah Cleary to chase. She let the ball run almost to the bi-line before crossing for Emily Vaughan who gobbled up the easy chance. 1-0
Emily Vaughan turns as she scores one of her hat-trick goals
On 16 minutes we witnessed a brilliant tip-over save from Talisha Hickson, but there was nothing she could do to stop the second goal a minute later. Emily Vaughan claimed her second of the evening and this came once again from an excellent cross from Hannah.
On 21 minutes, the Dev’s defence was all at sixes and sevens as Hannah Cleary latched onto a loose ball and smashed it home for Darts’ 3rd goal.
Not being unkind to the Dev’s but after the third goal went in I wrote: “The young Dev’s defence has no backbone to it, no marshalling and seemingly without much of a system for dealing with the rampant Darts’ forwards.”
But hey! This is one of the best forward lines that Darts’ have ever had and Shauni was still on the bench at this stage!
A very young back four were unable to deal with the speed and accuracy of Darts’ passing and shooting, but of course this all goes down to the experiences one has to expect when young. But for me, young has to be blended carefully with players who have had a few years’ experience at this level. They can’t be expected to be ‘thrown to the lions’ like they were today and expect any other result than a sound beating.
This was certainly not a “weak” game, and any thoughts of letting the Dev’s have an easier time than they might were soon pushed aside.
Likewise, there were plenty of “full-on” tackles and players who were prepared to put their “bodies-on-the-line” for the Dev’s and for their own personal standing.
In the 33rd minute, Hannah Thomas and Emily Vaughan both went for the ball close on the goal-line and it was Hannah who got the touch-in for Darts’ fourth goal and her first goal for the club.
On 37 minutes the floodlights were switched as the murkiness of the day was rapidly closing in and the Dev’s did well to hold the fort – and the deficit at 0-4 - until half-time.
Dev’s got off to a good start and in the first minute Molly Smith found herself dead central outside the penalty area and put in a great strike for goal but was hit straight at Jade, who made no errors and collected the ball well.
A couple of minutes later there was a long kick out of defence for Chloe Brian to chase but her ankle was clipped (perhaps unintentionally!), but Chloe would have been away with no defenders facing her at that stage, so it was a rather unfortunate incident. From the resultant free-kick, Molly Smith had a go from long-range and Jade was pushed to the limits in saving a certain goal – it was creeping in under the bar - and Jade did exceptionally well to palm the ball two-handed over the bar. Unlucky for the Devs.
In the 48th minute Hannah Thomas got the ball to the feet of Hannah Cleary and worked her way into the box and there was Emily Vaughan to slot home and claim her hat-trick. 5-0
With substitute, Annie White now commanding the Dev’s back four they looked far more robust. At the other end, Chloe Brian worked her way nicely into a shooting position on the edge of the area but unfortunately didn’t get as clean a strike on the ball as she would've liked and Jade’s job was made easier by it.
Both teams made full use their substitutions and certainly once Shauni Griffith’s came on she opened up the Dev’s defence each time she was on the ball and had a good few shots at goal, one of which was magnificently saved by Talisha.
Shannon Wason teamed up well on the left with Georgie Davis and one pass in particular allowed Georgie to take the ball close in to the left of the goal and smash a shot against the post.
Then in the dying minutes the same two worked their magic again and from a half-clearance, Georgie thumped a long-range shot for a great goal which finished-off the scoring at 6-0.
A workmanlike but also skilful performance from the Darts killed off the Devs within the first half-an-hour and for the Dev’s it was always going to be an uphill struggle, but can justly be proud of what they achieved against a very in-form Dartford 1st team. The Devs played more together as a team in the second half and produced three good goal-scoring chances in an early spell after the break.
So, lots of credit to all the players who made this a good game to watch and certainly the managers in “both camps” had a good opportunity in seeing “the whole squad” in action in a competitive match and the fans for their part provided a good atmosphere. The pouring rain did its best to spoil the afternoon, late on, - but it didn’t succeed! Well done to everyone.
Report by Tony Brown
Photos by Taur Everard and Alex Barber (ABc Video)
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