29 April 2012

Stoppage time equaliser denies City final win

By Rhod Mitchell, West Briton.  Images Steve Rogers.

Truro City 1 Dartford 1
City were denied a winning end to their first season of Blue Square South football when the Kent side scored a stoppage time equaliser.

Early action in the first half
Barry Hayles looked to have given City all three points when he came off the bench to put the home side ahead two minutes from time.

But with virtually the last kick of the game Dartford substitute Tony Garrod gave Jacob Erskine the chance to make up for some bad earlier misses with a thumping finish past a helpless Tom Sandercombe in the home goal.
Gritts started up front with Andy Watkins

However, City still ended the season a creditable 14th in the table - a great achievement considering all their off the field distractions.

City went into the game knowing they were safe from relegation after last week's draw at champions Woking, while runners-up Dartford are the promotion play-offs this week against Basingstoke.
Barry's late goal was not enough to win the game

The visitors fielded virtually a full strength side for the game and on the overall balance of play should really have taken all three points.

But City also played their part in an entertaining game watched by a crowd of 751, which was boosted by a sizeable contingent of Dartford fans.
Broady captained the team

In the first half Martin Gritton had a shot deflected just wide while Andy Watkins shot over following a good turn.
Scotty's normal style

But it was the visitors who had the better openings with Tim Sandercombe making some outstanding saves, while Erskine blazed over two great openings at the end of the half.

The start of the second half followed a similar pattern with Danny Harris and Adam Green off target when well placed, but it was Erskine who missed the best chance of the game blasting the ball over an open goal.
Baz McConnell turns a Dartford defender with ease

Watkins did force a fine save out of Louis Wells in the Dartford goal, but the game looked to be heading for a 0-0 draw when Hayles pounced on mistake by the Dartford defence to finish well after 87 minutes.
Isaac Vassell makes an impressive start

However, City could not hold on to their lead and in the third minute of stoppage time Erskine's good finish levelled the scores and denied City reaching 50 points for the season.
Arran climbs high

City: Sandercombe; McConnell, Pugh, Adams, Walker; Vassell (Afful 75), Cooke, Broad (capt) (Ash 75), Kelly; Watkins, Gritton (Hayles 66).
Yellow cards: Pugh, Broad.

Dartford: Wells; Burns, Bonner, Wilkinson, Green; Noble, Champion (Garrod 75), Bradbrook (capt), Rogers (Graham 60); Harris (Haynes 68), Erskine. Subs not used: Goo *****, Pallen.
Yellow card: Wilkinson.
Goals: Hayles (87) 1-0, Erskine 90 + 3 ) 1-1.
Referee: John Busby (Oxford).
Crowd: 751.

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