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Wealdstone 1 Dartford 2: Ten-man Stones beaten by Darts

PUBLISHED: 09:00 18 February 2018

Wealdstone manager Bobby Wilkinson (pic: freddiepatmore.com)

Wealdstone manager Bobby Wilkinson (pic: freddiepatmore.com)

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Vanarama National League South: Wealdstone 1 Dartford 2

Ten-man Wealdstone fought valiantly throughout this match and almost pulled off a memorable victory against table topping Dartford, but just fell short in the final 10 minutes having been a man down since the 42nd minute when loanee winger Iffy Allen was controversially dismissed with a straight red card.

An even first half saw both sides with half chances to break the deadlock but the strong-running David Pratt for the home side and big Danny Mills for the Darts couldn’t convert. Dartford’s stand in keeper Berti Schotteri, a surprise inclusion, looked a little shaky early on and fumbled a strike from Pratt for a corner.

Stones new on- loan signing from Accrington Stanley, Reagan Ogle looked very assured at the back and mopped up Darts attacks down the right flank. In fact, Stones defence had looked very solid and composed for most of the contest.

But the game turned completely a few minutes before half time when Iffy Allen was adjudged to have used a two-footed challenge whilst prone on the ground, and, with the Dartford players arms raised and protesting as though their lives depended on it, was shown a straight red.

To Wealdstone’s real credit in the second half and roared on by the majority of the 1,002 crowd they rallied magnificently and took the game to their lofty opponents.

Dartford made changes, losing Duane Ofori- Acheampong to injury and Stones took advantage and increasingly pushed up, kicking towards the Stones crowd at the packed popular end

And that pressure finally told on 67 minutes. A superb cross on the right from the ever-willing runner Pratt was met perfectly by Dan Fitchett and the ball flew into the top corner for the lead.

Stones looked to be more than capable of holding out for the win but Darts plugged away and eventually grabbed the equaliser finally making the extra man tell. On 80 minutes Mills rose highest at the far post to net for his side and this galvanised the Darts as Stones started to understandably tire.

Stones were heart broken only two minutes later when from another set piece sub Alfie Pavey snatched what had seemed an unlikely winner.

Stones tried hard to get back on terms in the remaining few minutes, but they ran out of time and were left to reflect on a battling performance but no points.

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