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Post by TonyDart »

Match Report – DARTFORD DEV 3 BALDON SPORTS 2 - S.E. Counties Women’s Football League, Premier Division. Sunday 26th February 2023; Weather: Dry with a stiff cold breeze
Manager: Rhys Terry
Assts coach: Dan Edwards
Dartford team: Stevie-Marie Reece, Tilly Rowsell, Chloe Hall, Annie White, Lauren Bullen, Alex Fagan,
Emily Woodhouse, Aimee Ascott, Georgia Culpitt, Sabine Ghag, Alex Foulds.
Subs: Amy Brooks, Beatrice Ogundele, Brittani Rumble, Robyn Smitherman (all used)
Lizzie Nugent not used as she was carrying an injury.
Goalscorers: Sabine, Georgia and o.g. (with a good claim for being Bea’s goal)


To win championships sometimes a result has to be carved out by a battle-hardy team that has a never-give-up attitude and this can certainly be said of Sunday’s performance. After Baldon had forced an equaliser late in the game it appeared likely that the points would be shared. But Darts had other ideas.

This was a match full of incidents where the Darts suffered a couple of very unfortunate injuries.

Stevie dislocated her shoulder and was replaced in goal at half time by Annie White and then in the second half Sabine Ghag was involved in a clash of heads and suffered concussion and couldn’t participate any further in the game and was replaced by Beatrice Ogundele.

Sabine had been chasing everything in sight, many on a seemingly lost cause but then, that’s the point of chasing down everything – to harass the defenders into making mistakes.

Inside two minutes Sabine had a one-on-one situation with the goalie from which the keeper pulled off a good blocking save, the rebound falling to Georgia who fired in sharply but hit a defender and went out for a corner.

In the 12th minute Emily Woodhouse played a nice ball down the right for Sabine who got a good cross into the penalty area which fell nicely to Georgia Culpitt via a deflection who planted it firmly past the keeper for 1-0.

Three minutes later an attack by Baldon on the left was finished off with a well-taken goal which was fired across the goal into the far corner bringing the scores level at 1-1.

On 22 minutes there started a long sequence of events that eventually led to Darts re-taking the lead.

A good passage of play from Dartford enabled them to make steady progress from defence to attack using the passing game. Although the play was interspersed with a couple of throw-ins it began with an important interception at the back by Lauren Bullen. Alex Foulds received the ball and she played it across the pitch to Aimee Ascott. Aimee in turn fed it back to Chloe Hall who played a neat ball up to Georgia. She played it off her knee to Emily who won another throw in, this time by the left corner flag.

Aimee’s throw-in found Georgia who trapped the ball neatly before passing to Alex Fagan who played an accurate ball into the area for Sabine, who at the second bite of the cherry, forced the ball past the keeper to give Darts the lead again, 2-1. This was a good team move with patience as well as tenacity and Baldon only got a couple of touches, each time to put the ball out of play.

Chloe made an important headed clearance at the near post direct from a corner, that may well have crept in and Annie White picked up the clearance passed inside to Emily Woodhouse who found Alex Foulds. She played a delightful ball forward for Sabine, but with all Sab’s will in the world couldn’t quite keep it in play with the ball just running away from her.

Baldon’s best player on view was without doubt the quick and tricky Number 7, Tamyah Lorraine who needed the attention of Annie, Chloe and Alex Fagan to keep her from causing too much damage.

On 42 minutes a fierce long range free-kick from outside the penalty area was excellently stopped by Stevie who got her fingertips to the ball and pushed it away to the right of goal and then flung herself onto the ball to claim possession. Unfortunately for Stevie she suffered a painful injury during this incident which later was confirmed to be a dislocated shoulder.

The first half came to a close with Dartford in front by 2-1 and both teams, to their credit, had played some good football

H-T 2-1

After an entertaining first 45 minutes the second half turned out to be a hard-fought affair, with both sides unable to create many clear-cut chances. Passes from both sides went astray all too often and play became ragged for a while.

After just three minutes though, Sabine came very close to increasing Darts scoreline after a defensive mix-up allowed her to steal in and almost get a toe to it but couldn’t quite convert the chance into a goal

Annie White had taken over in goal and she had to be alert to a dangerous breakaway a minute later and had to rush out to intercept a long through-ball before successfully clearing.

On 50 minutes a nasty clash of heads involving Sabine saw her come off the worst and after a few minutes of on-field attention she retired to the side-lines to aid her recovery. Beatrice came on and carried on the style of play that Sabine had been doing, that is, chasing everything possible.

During a ten-to-fifteen-minute period there was very little incident and each side appeared to nullify the other out and there were no telling through-balls for their strikers to latch on to.

On 74 minutes Bordon had a free kick a few yards out of the area. It was hit with tremendous pace and accuracy but Annie was as steady as a rock and got her whole body behind the save with her excellent positioning.

With ten or so minutes remaining, Baldon came into the ascendancy and in the 82nd minute scored an equaliser and minutes later, their No 7 was well-placed outside the area to score but on this occasion, fired well over the bar.

Brittani, Amy and Robyn all came on over the course of the second half and the team managed to raise their game for a final last five-minute push for a winner.

In the 87th minutes Alex played a long ball to Georgia who delivered a great ball into the box that had the goalie and defender at odds with each other and with Beatrice breathing down their necks the defender turned it into her own net for 3-2. Bea could have a great claim for getting a touch to the ball and claiming the goal as hers!

A minute later, a good delivery from Georgia to Aimee got the ball to Beatrice but her first touch was a bit too heavy, but with the ball still in play, Aimee connected but struck a defender, and with the goalie scrambling and not able to secure the ball Aimee had a third attempt but this also got blocked by desperate defending.

The final whistle came and Darts had seen off Baldon’s challenge and secured the three points, and with both Sittingbourne and XL losing their league fixtures, this saw Dartford Development climb five points clear with two games in hand on both second and third placed teams.

Things are looking good. Keep it up Girls!

Report by Tony Brown