Dartford 2-1 St Albans City Match Report

Dartford cemented their spot at the top of the National League South with a 2-1 win against St Albans City at Princes Park.

Level on points going into the game, Dartford moved two three points clear of their rivals, largely helped by Elliot Bradbrook’s early first half header.

Charlie Walker briefly stored parity between the sides going into the break before a deflected cross from Lyle Della-Verde found its way into the net with Albans’ Tom Bender getting the final touch.

The Darts got off to the perfect start, taking the lead after just six minutes.

A long throw in the box was well met by the skipper who guided the ball into the top corner, out of the reach of a diving Dean Snedker.

Bradbrook could have doubled his tally for the day shortly after. A well worked-move between Andy Pugh and Alfie Pavey engineered space for Bradbrook on the edge of the box but the skipper could only fire over.

The Darts were made to rue that mistake. The warning signs first emerged when a lofted ball from Noble was controlled on the chest by Pinney before the striker unleashed a ferocious volley that struck the side netting.

Albans didn’t have to wait too long after that to draw level. Lucien was beginning to cause problems on the right and won the Saints a corner.

From it, Noble drilled the ball in low into the path of an on-rushing Walker who curled the ball first time into the far corner.

Bradbrook then had a golden opportunity to instantly put the home side back in front. A long free kick was squared into the path of the captain who couldn’t keep his header down and his effort rebounded agonisingly off the bar to bring to an end a frantic last ten minutes of the half.

Whilst the Darts could have considered themselves unfortunate to go into the break level, fortunate was certainly on their side in the second half.

With 60 minutes on the clock, short free kick is played out wide to Della-Verde who looked to whip a cross into the box but he effort was diverted into the top corner from the outstretched leg of a diving Bonner.

Dartford then had Deren Ibrahim to thank for preserving their lead. Merson threaded a brilliant through ball to split the Darts back line to Walker but one-on-one Ibrahim stayed strong and blocked the strike.

Ibrahim was then alert to thwart Walker again, getting down low to palm a header around the corner.

The Darts held on to secure a valuable six-pointer, two points clear of Hemel Hempstead in second.

Man of the Match: Sho-Silva

Attendance: 1070

DARTFORD FC TEAM: Ibrahim, Harris, Onyemah, Vint, Sho-Silva, Brown, Noble, Bradbrook (C), Pavey, Pugh, Della-Verde

DARTFORD FC SUBS: Murphy, Hayes, Mfula, Ofori-Acheampong, Bonner

ST ALBANS TEAM: Snedker, Herd, Eadie, Noble (C), Pinney, Bender, Lucien, Sambou, Kiangebeni, Joseph, Murrell-Williamson

ST ALBANS SUBS: Merson, Walker, Moore-Azule, Monlouis, Banton