Dartford’s Emphatic Win Gives Gosport Borough Hope
This week in the Vanarama National League South, a big win from Dartford over Truro City 5-3 gave struggling Gosport Borough hope as they ran out 4-0 winners of St Albans City.
Despite the score line, it was Truro who took the lead over Dartford though an own goal from the hosts. Dartford equalised on the half hour mark when Andy Pugh headed home from a great attacking move from the hosts. Dartford took the lead when Bradbrook cut inside and unleashed a thunderous left footed strike from 20 yards out. Truro hit the post themselves on the stroke half-time and were unlucky to go in behind. It was a very open second-half, with both teams having opportunities to score. It was Truro who found the important next goal; some poor defending from Dartford allowed Neal an easy finish to make it 2-2. The scores were only level for two minutes thanks to a good strike from Wanadio. With twelve minutes to go, Truro must have thought they were heading for a point as they levelled once again. A spill from their goalkeeper allowed Andy Pugh to find a 4th for Dartford with four minutes to go. Dartford were effective on the counter, clearing a Truro shot off the line before racing up the pitch to win the game through Tom Murphy to make it 5-3. This result saw Elliot Bradbrook become the hosts 4th highest scorer in their history with 112 goals.
This result gave hope to relegation threatened Gosport Borough, who thanks to their 4-0 win over St Albans City have closed the gap to five points on Truro. It was Gosport’s first league win in four months (17 matches) and was their first clean sheet since September. Gosport were ahead within three minutes when Tom Bird’s cross from the left was nodded home by Tony Lee. Lee was involved in the build-up of the second goal too, driving forward from midfield to set up Joe Lea who beat two defenders to slot the ball passed the keeper. Lee was able to find a third and Ollie Bailey rounded off the afternoon beating two defenders to the ball- making it 4-0.
However, Gosport fans joys would have been reduced by Whitehawk’s 1-0 at home over Bishop’s Stortford. A penalty from Gen Southam was enough to separate the two sides.
Margate now look all but doomed thanks to a 3-2 away defeat to Hemel Hempstead. Hemel were ahead with two minutes when Jake Robinson was ruled on-side to sidestep the keeper and finish from a few yards out. Charlie Sheringham made it 2-0 when Greenhalgh unselfishly squared him the ball on 13 minutes. Margate were able to pull one back through Moore-Azille who headed home from a floating cross. Hempstead’s two goal advantage was restored on 63 minutes as the Margate keeper rushed out but failed to beat Sherringham for pace- slotting home with an easy finish. Margate did themselves proud and kept the pressure up on the home side, Famino was found unmarked inside the box to rifle home. Even though the referee awarded seven minutes of added time, it was not enough for Margate who looked set to play their football in the Ryman Premier League next season.
The weekend was also a positive one for the league leaders Maidenhead United, who’s 3-0 win over Welling United leaves them above Ebbsfleet United by one point. All the action came in the first-half and began on 24 minutes when Dean Inman headed home from a Dave Tarpey cross. Tarpey, predictably, was on the score sheet himself on 28 minutes, scoring his 36th of the season. Inside injury time of the first half, James Mulley volleyed home from a headed clearance to seal the points for Maidenhead.
The final result of note was an entertaining 3-3 draw between Poole Town and Hampton & Richmond Borough. Not even a minute into the match, the hosts found themselves in the lead through Baggie, slotting home from the edge of the box. The home side doubled their lead on 36 minutes through Luke Roberts. Hampton pulled one back on 67 minutes when Casey’s cross from the left was diverted by Kiernan passed Hutchins in goal. Hampton completed their comeback with 15 minutes to go as Culley prodded home a loose ball from six yards out. Hampton then took the lead four minutes later through Brendan Kiernan, but this was son cancelled out by Marvin Brooks to leave the sides with a point apiece.