Yeovil Town extended their lead at the top of National League South with a 2-2 draw at Dartford.

Or, alternatively, Yeovil Town missed the chance to go even further ahead at the top of National League South as they dropped two points at Dartford.

The laws of two things being able to be true at the same time came pass the Glovers took an early lead through a Rhys Murphy penalty, only to be pegged back soon after by the home side who added a good second after some sloppy defending.

It was left to Jordan Young to fire home an equaliser after good play from substitute Frank Nouble on 78 minutes, and the visitors left with a share of the points.

Here’s how Coatesie saw it from the away end in Kent….

First half

Three minutes in and a ball over the top saw Rhys Murphy beat the offside trap but pulled his shot past the far post with just the keeper to beat. A big chance and one you would have bet on Murphy to finish.

Four minutes later, a ball threaded through to Sonny Blu Lo-Everton who flicked it sideways to Jordan Young whose shot was blocked on the line by the giant frame of Moussa Diarra. The pace of the visitors’ start was causing all kinds of problems.

But it took until the tenth minute for a breakthrough to come. Another Yeovil attack saw Matt Worthington went down under pressure inside the box and the referee pointed to the spot. MURPHY stepped up to make no mistake.

There was a strong wing blowing behind the visitors throughout the first half, which was definitely assisting the attack.

But on 17 minutes, a mistake in midfield saw Dartford gifted possession and break away with Luke Allen clipping a beautiful ball to the back post and on loan Bromley striker George ALEXANDER was on hand to head past Joe Day at the far post.

From the restart, Charlie Cooper came within in a whisker as he used the wind to his advantage and tried to chip Sandford who was off his line. The ball ricocheted off the woodwork, the keeper and went out for a corner.

A breakaway after 24 minutes put Michael Smith one-on-one with the keeper but his effort was blocked and a minute later a curling effort from the impressive Sonny Cox was turned aside by the fingertips of Sandford. The keeper is having a great game.

Young had a 35th minute shot just over the  Dartford crossbar before four minutes later a free-kick from the winger had crossbar shaking.

Then, with three minutes or normal time remaining, a great move started by Cox saw the on loan Exeter City man fire in a shot was stopped by Sandford who was having a great game. From the block, the ball broke to Worthington who pulled his shot wide.

The sides went in level at the interval but it will have been Mark Cooper who would have been the more disappointed with Yeovil having had all the chances……except the one Dartford scored, of course!

Half time: Dartford 1 Yeovil Town 1

Second half

It was the home side who started the second half in the ascendancy. Goal-scorer Alexander was denied by a superb interception from Morgan Williams before at the other end Young’s free-kick on 52 minutes went straight in to the wall.

Just after the hour mark, a ball over the top from Alexander set Luke Coulson free but Joe Day was there to claim it and Young tumbled inside the box but the useless referee was unmoved.

There were chances at either end and moments later a Young run ended with a foul on the edge of the box and Cooper’s free-kick just missed the incoming Williams at the back post.

On 64 minutes, Jake Hyde and Frank Nouble replaced Murphy and Cox with Nouble taking up Cox’s position out wide and Hyde replacing Murphy through the centre. Get Frank through the middle, surely,

There was always the nagging doubt that missed chances (more in the first half than the second) would come back to haunt us, and on 70 minutes Dartford took the lead. On loan Charlton Athletic midfielder Richard CHIN stole the ball off a Yeovil defender and bent a super shot past Day from the edge of the box. A good finish, but more sloppy play cost us.

The deficit seemed to stop Yeovil from doing the thing which had made them look at their most threatening. A lot of balls in the air – against a giant centre half like Diarra – rather than keeping it on the ground made things look scrappy.

With 17 minutes left, Nouble fed Hyde but the striker’s header was off target before more great play from the impressive Chin was not matched  by a finish which would have given him his second of the match.

And, in the 77th minute, a bit of play on the floor led to an equaliser. Nouble’s powerful run down the left and the ball broke to YOUNG who slammed a ball in.

Will Dawes had a shot straight at Sandford with ten minutes remaining, and in injury time the giant frame of Diarra almost bundled home a corner. There may have been a block in there from Wannell.

With three of five minutes added on played, Young was replaced  by Jordan Maguire-Drew, but there was to be no late winner and Yeovil were left to rue missing good early chances.

Full time: Dartford 2 Yeovil Town 2

Match Details

Venue: Princes Park
Date: Saturday 9th December – 3pm kick-off

Competition: National League South

Pitch: Soft but held up surprisingly well considering the rain it had endured
Conditions:  Dry and cold after 12 hours of non-stop rain with a strong wind behind Yeovil in the first half

Attendance: 1,072

Scorers: Rhys Murphy pen 10 (1-0), George Alexander 16 (1-1), Richard Chin 69 (1-2), Jordan Young 78 (2-2)

Dartford: Moussa Diarra 20, Jordan Wynter 63, Luke Allen 88
Yeovil Town:

Referee: Charles Martland

Yeovil Town (4-3-3)

Substitutes: Jake Hyde (for Rhys Murphy, 64), Frank Nouble (for Sonny Cox, 64), Jordan Maguire-Drew (for Jordan Young, 90+3), Josh Owers (not used), Duncan Idehen (not used).

Dartford: Ryan Sandford, Moussa Diarra, Jordan Wynter, Max Statham, Luke Allen, Sam Odaudu, Luke Coulson, Richard Chin, George Alexander, Joash Nembhard, Tyrell Miller-Rodney (for Paul Rooney, 65). Substitutes (not used): Baris Altintop, Alex Wall,  Lewis Manor, Archie Woods.

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Derek Hamilton
7 months ago

Like to see Jake Hyde start on Saturday