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Dartford hold Eastleigh to goal less draw


Blue Square Bet South

Report by Ray Murphy

Eastleigh kept the same starting eleven that had secured all three points in their fixture at Bishop's Stortford three days earlier. Warren Goodhind returned to duties on the bench at the expense of Neil Sharp. Eastleigh were well worth their point taken and arguably edged to take all three as they slipped a place in the league table with fellow rivals Woking winning on the same evening.

The first chance of note came on ten minutes for Eastleigh. Ian Herring's long throw into the area saw Tom Jordan help on but Jamie Slabber was unable to direct his header on goal.

Both sides tried to create openings but often the approach work was not complemented by the end product. Slabber saw an effort beat the goalkeeper Andrew Young and rebound off the inside of the post but the striker was also adjudged to have been offside whilst the home side often relied on the left foot of right midfielder Ryan Hayes, whose constant supply of excellent deliveries from dead ball situations kept Jason Matthews on his toes.

Dartford, who were always trying to create an opening, saw their best effort early on on twenty-six minutes when James White had a long-range effort saved by Matthews. Two minutes later after some neat play in the build up it took some quick feet by Slabber to produce himself an opening but Young saved his shot.

The closest to any first half goal was with two minutes to go to the interval. Richard Graham's corner was met by the head of Jordan and the ball thundered off the bar.

Dartford opened the second half in a determined mood and almost took the lead within the opening twenty seconds. Hayes' cross skimmed across the face of the six-yard box with Elliot Bradbrook just unable to add the final touch.

Slabber saw another long range shot just wide of the target on forty-seven minutes then seven minutes later after Mark Nwokeji had been upended on the edge of the area, Brett Poate's curling free kick was clawed away from the top corner by Young.

On seventy-three minutes Chris Holland met Tony Taggart’s corner but Young was again equal to the header. A minute later Herring's long throw saw Jordan’s back header on goal again claimed by Young. Dartford mounted a quick counter attack and Bradbrook's block tackle on Ross Bottomley saw the ball fall kindly for the Dartford skipper but his shot was not good enough to beat Matthews.

This brief little flurry of play ended with another Holland header from a Richard Graham free kick wide of the target. In the closing minutes Jordan’s header from a Luke Byles free kick was just wide whilst Matthews produced another stop again to deny a header from Bradbrook.
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