Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]
Princes Park, Dartford
Monday 16th July 2007, k.o. 7.48pm
DARTFORD V SPURS XI
(All Yellow) (All White)
Tony Kessell 1 Tommy Forecast
Tommy Osborne(C) 2 Phil Ifil(C)
Steve Norman 3 Charlie Daniels
Jamie Coyle 4 Jake Livermore
John Guest 5 Leigh Mills
Alex O’Brian 6 Troy Archibald-Henville
Ryan Hayes 7 Jacques Maghoma
Jay May 8 Jamie O’Hara
Brendan Cass 9 Lee Barnard
Eddie McClements10 Adel Taarabt
Mark Green 11 Andy Barcham
Brad Potter 12 Cian Hughton
James Tedder 13 Butcher
Youles 14 Chris Riley
(9)80Mins. (11) 46 Mins.
Lawrence 15 David Hutton
Obamwonyi 16 Daniel Hutchins
Milton 17 Takura Mtandari
May 68 Taarabt 10
McClements 82 Mills 17
Barcham 33, 41
Referee:- Ian Crouch
Assistants:- Ian Fissenden, Steve Rowden
It was a warm dry evening for this opening match for Clive Allen’s side which consisted mainly of reserves, some of whom had already appeared at Stevenage and St. Patrick’s.
Spurs lined up with Mills and Archibald-Henville at the back with Ifil at right back and Daniels at left back. Livermore anchored the midfield with O’Hara and Taarabt providing the creative play along with Maghoma who was more to the right. Barnard was up front with Barcham who drifted to the left.
Spurs kicked off attacking the goal to the left, but it was the home side who had the first chance when May’s header was tipped over by Forecast in the third minute. This was followed a minute later with Spurs' first chance from a free kick by O’Hara and then a drive from Taarabt. The opening goal came soon after when Ifil carried the ball down the right channel before squaring it for Taarabt to hit in his stride from 25yds.
Strong running by both O’Hara and Taarabt had the Darts defence continually back peddling as they found it difficult to get in a challenge. Taarabt was dazzling the crowd with his footwork (hardly any step-overs) and O’Hara with clever passes had the home side pinned in their own half for long periods.
The second goal came from a corner from the left by Taarabt which Mills met at the near post guiding it down and under Kessell. Barnard got goal side, but his cross shot from a tight angle passed just wide. We then had a brief spell of Dartford pressure starting with Hayes getting down the right only for his effort to hit the cross-bar and May’s header was tipped over by Forecast. From the corner Hayes' shot was deflected to Cass and cleared off the line. This woke up the home fans who created a good atmosphere for the rest of the game.
Good build up by Taarabt and O’Hara ended with a deep cross from the left which found Barnard at the far post who headed over Kessell for 3-0. Five minutes later and it was O’Hara dancing to the line on the right pulling the ball back for Livermore to drive the ball low into the net from near the penalty spot. May then hit the post before Daniels got to the line and crossed hard and low for Barcham to slide it in from two yards. Kessell saved again from O’Hara and Taarabt hit the bar before Barcham curled the ball around the keeper from 20 yards having been found by another astute pass from O’Hara. O’Hara tried his luck again with an effort from the centre circle which bounced back off the crossbar for Barnard to run onto, but Kessell saved his shot.
Clive made three changes at the interval with Hutton replacing Barnard up front, Hughton replacing Archibald-Henville and Riley in place of Barcham. Both Barnard and Barcham had knocks during the half. This meant a re-jigging of the players with Ifil moving into the middle alongside Mills allowing Riley to go to right back. Daniels moved into midfield to allow Hughton to play at left back.
Dartford made two changes themselves with Kessell being given a rest with Tedder wearing a changed strip with the number 1 on it going into goal. It took a little time for the players to settle before Tedder had to make saves from O’Hara and Hutton with O’Hara hitting the bar again.
Forecast had to save from Cass at the other end before the home side scored. McClements' cross was half blocked, but spun up and over the defence for May to run in on his own to head over Forecast. Straight away Spurs went down the other end with Taarabt laying the ball wide to Livermore, who got to the line and pulled the ball back for Daniels to drive into the corner. O’Hara then had another shot saved. Minutes later Jamie was again denied by not one post but two as the ball hit the far post ran along the goal line to hit the other post and came out – it just was not going to be his night.
Dartford got a second when Ifil failed to clear Osborne’s square ball allowing it to run to McClements who slotted it under Forecast. With less than ten minutes left the Dartford manager sent on the rest of his subs for the chance to play against a top side.
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