Match Report - Sunday 20th November 2022 – Kent F.A. Women’s Plate, 2nd round - Dartford 4 Betteshanger Welfare 1
Weather: Fine for most of the match with downpours through the latter part of the match.
Dartford Manager: Rhys Terry, asst coach George Kingdon
Dartford team: Lauren Owen, Brittani Rumble, Chloe Hall, Annie White, Robyn Smitherman, Georgia Culpitt,
Emily Woodhouse, Sabine Ghag, Alex Foulds, Lizzie Nugent, Aimee Ascott
Subs: Kim Green, Natalie Summers. Amy Brooks , Tilly Rowsell, Lauren Bullen (all used)
Kicking away from the stadium end, Dartford got off to a commanding start winning three early corners and having one near miss, but the Betteshanger defence stood tall. Both of the visitor’s full-backs were very capable and often stopped Alex Foulds and Aimee Ascott from getting in their crosses.
The long diagonal passing game, that had served the Darts well in recent matches, proved all too often, to be slightly overhit and ran too fast off a greasy surface.
Alex was being well served by Georgia Culpitt down the left wing but although the crosses were good and true the Betteshanger defence were equal to everything that Darts’ threw at them and backed up by a very competent goalie who saved the visitors on several occasions early on.
On eight minutes a free-kick for an infringement on Alex was taken by Emily Woodhouse, half-way into Betteshanger’s half. It was an excellently placed kick and the goalie came out strongly. She only partially saved and the ball reached Aimee, but she was soon surrounded by defenders in numbered, and between them cleared their lines.
Betteshanger began to grow in confidence and had more of their share of the ball, but in a way, this opened up more opportunities for Alex and Aimee on the flanks and the game became more even, but open.
Darts played with a back three of Brittani, Chloe and Annie, with Georgia, on the left being able to play further forward, and this set-up, pretty much kept the visitor’s forwards under wraps and denied them any real chances, with Georgia able to add to the strength in midfield.
After a quarter-of-an-hour Darts had their best chance when a nice move involving Chloe, Annie, Aimee, Robyn and Emily finally reached Aimee on the right wing. She beat her ‘man’ and crossed into the penalty area and was met by Lizzie Nugent but her snap-shot was well saved by the goalie.
Immediately after that Lizzie signalled that the injury she was carrying was not improving and left the field, replaced by Tilly Rowsell.
Betteshanger were no push-overs and a fast break on the left found their No 12 with only Chloe standing in the way of a clear run-on-goal, but Chloe stood up well to her and defended the position superbly, in the end forcing the ball out for a throw.
On 20 minutes, some determined pressure from Betteshanger earned them three throw-ins on the trot but on the third occasion Darts finally got the ball away when Chloe robbed their ever-dangerous No 12 and cleared up-field.
Five minutes later Darts were awarded a free-kick, a yard or so outside the penalty area. Chloe had passed across to Brittani who played the ball up the line to Tilly who was fouled. Annie White took the kick and her shot at goal was well on target but the goalie saved at a comfortable height for her.
On 28 minutes, a throw-in from Brittani found Sabine and she played the ball onto Alex who latched on to the ball, but yet again the keeper was equal to the shot, diving to her right to deprive Alex a goal.
Alex and Aimee now found more room on the wings, and a move involving Emily to Robyn to Georgia and then to Annie, forced Betteshanger on to the defence. The nice passing play developed further when Annie passed the ball to Georgia. She found Aimee in the penalty area and a delightful flick on found Alex but she ran into two resolute defenders and her attempt on goal was blocked, then cleared.
It seemed that the more Darts gained control of midfield the stronger Betteshanger were at the back and for another period of time there were always two defenders close to Alex and Aimee stifling their movements.
But Alex pegged away and managed to get clear of her defenders on a couple of occasions and their goalie was forced to make a great save from close in.
On 29 minutes, disaster struck for the Darts. A defensive lapse occurred when a back pass to Lauren was played straight back, unfortunately into the path of a very alert striker who was able to fire it back at goal to open the scoring.
For the next fifteen or so minutes, play was as before, with Dartford controlling midfield with the odd breakaway against them, but with all the possession they had, they still couldn’t break down a resolute Bettteshanger defence.
That was certainly the case up to the 43rd minute when a corner from Emily, high into the area was headed goal-bound but was cleared off the line and scrambled away.
There was still time for one more effort on goal but a last-ditch clearance from the feet of Aimee in the area meant that Betteshanger held onto their slender one goal lead.
Darts came out for the second half very determined to claw back the deficit quickly and within the first four minutes had either missed or were denied by the keeper, four attempts at goal. Alex had a shot blocked and Sabine’s shot was kept out by a miracle save.
Kim Green and Natalie Summers had both came on for the second-half. They were playing in their first competitive games since bad injuries had side-lined them, from midway through last season, and they both made a good impact on Dartford’s game.
A neat through-ball from Georgia found Aimee, and the goalie pulled off another point-blank save, and in the next minute Georgia fired in a shot which the keeper, again saved.
Darts were now firing on all cylinders and at last, in the 56th minute, Darts equaliser came. Tilly’s trickery won a corner on the right and was taken by Emily who produced a beauty that fell awkwardly for the defence on the six-yard box and was only half-cleared. There, waiting on the edge of the penalty area, Chloe fired in a shot, which went low through a ruck of players into the righ- hand corner for the equaliser, 1-1.
Lauren Bullen replaced Sabine and soon after a long ball from Kim found Georgia whose shot ricocheted off a defender for a corner. Darts were now piling on the pressure and there were more close calls for the Betteshanger goal as Darts stamped their authority on the game. Any breaks for the visitors were in the main mopped up efficiently by Chloe and Annie holding the centre of the defence tight with no way through for the visitors.
In the 65th minute a throw-in from Kim was played into the penalty area and caused a big mix-up in their defence, and Aimee pounced to put the Darts in the lead for the first time, 2-1.
Aimee and Alex were producing some strong front running and the visitor’s defence became stretched and only last-ditch tackles denied Darts’ an increase in the score-line.
In the 70th minute, as large storm clouds began to build, Alex worked her way into the penalty area and made no mistake, finding a gap in the defence with a strong shot that left the goalie helpless, giving Darts a 3-1 lead
Three minutes later Amy Brooks came on, and in the next minute a free-kick from the half-way line by Annie, dropped nicely for Emily who struck it well, but it whizzed past the post. A minute later and Darts again, got the ball through the visitor’s defence with another through ball from Annie, but this time their goalie saved the day from an in-rushing Georgia.
In the 80th minute, a well-flighted free kick from Kim was delivered at just the right height for Aimee to head home for her second and Darts’ fourth.
Darts finished well on top, in fact for most of the second half the visitor’s offered little in the attacking department and although Darts finished with 4-1 victory, they could probably have doubled their score, such was Darts’ dominance in the second half. It must be said, however that if Betteshanger had got themselves into a two-goal lead, who knows what might have happened. During that first-half they matched the Darts in endeavour and were certainly not a poor side.
Overall, there was excellent distribution from defence to midfield to attack, and the strong running of the forwards meant that once Darts equalised, they gained strength and belief to win the tie with comparable ease.
Chloe Hall, so richly deserved her Player of the Match award, and so, onto the next round of the Kent Women’s Plate competition.
Report by Tony Brown
Photos by Taur Everard
Betteshanger KW Plate Home 4-1 - Match Report
1 post • Page 1 of 1
1 post • Page 1 of 1