Comeback Clarets victorious in Kent once again
Taylor Miles scored directly from a corner in the 94th minute to complete a miraculous comeback to win 2-1 at Dartford.
Ryan Hayes put the hosts ahead midway through the first half as he rounded off a mazy run with a cool finish into the top corner.
But it was the Clarets who took the bragging rights as substitute Kudus Oyenuga netted from the penalty spot before Miles’ corner flew in at the far post.
The first half began in entertaining fashion as either side tested each other’s goalkeepers. Hayes drilled a low shot wide before Miles curled a freekick against the crossbar, with the deflected shot bobbling wide of the post.
Sloppy defending from the hosts allowed Shaun Batt to drive forward but his attack was ended by a last-ditch tackle from Bonner, leaving shot-stopper Deren Ibrahim incredibly frustrated at his side’s defensive antics.
Clever movement from Bagasan Graham allowed him to find Jonathan Giles on 17 minutes. The clever midfielder touched the ball inside before striking low towards the bottom corner, no-one was able to get a finishing touch though as the shot bobbled agonisingly wide.
Danny Mills came close to netting the opener when he managed to squeeze past Craig Braham Barrett. The Darts’ on-loan striker then poked the ball past on-coming goalkeeper Jake Jessup, but Elliot Omozusi arrived to clear the ball from the goal-line.
Anthony Church and Elliot Bradbrook entered Whistler Jack Packman’s book for their part in an altercation, with both midfielder’s receiving yellow cards on the half-hour mark.
City came close to netting when Batt’s blocked shot fell to Davies, the Clarets player then saw his low shot turned over the bar by Tom Bonner for a Chelmsford corner.
But from Chelmsford’s attacking position the Darts scored. City’s corner was cleared away by the hosts to Hayes. The Darts winger ran the length of the pitch, weaving past several Chelmsford defenders who fell over in the muddy conditions of the Princes Park pitch, before cutting inside and curling a shot beyond Jessup into the top left corner.
City almost found an immediate leveller. Batt and Graham both struck well placed efforts towards goal, but they were cleared away. Church was then found unmarked at the far post by Miles, however his header was down into the ground and wide.
Dartford came close to doubling their lead right before the interval. Ronnie Vint’s instinctive volley from Church’s defensive header left the crossbar shaking as City came close to conceding a second.
The second half began in identical fashion to the first; Braham Barrett provided creativity down the left wing but no-one could convert his pull-back, Duane Ofori-Acheampong’s deep cross to Mills was then headed onto the roof of the net soon after.
After 53 minutes Chelmsford made their first substitution, making a like-for-like change as Graham came off for Daniel Green.
A lucky deflection off Michael Spillane allowed Ofori-Acheampong to wheel away but he wasted his chance by shooting well over the bar.
The Clarets continued to make changes as time edged on. The visitors’ second change saw Christopher Dickson come on for Scott Davies, with City searching for an equaliser.
Chelmsford twice had claims for a penalty turned down, but they remained the most likely to equalise. Batt was pulled back by Vint as he charged into the area then Braham Barrett was slammed to the ground as he weaved between Harris and Mark Onyemah.
The introduction of Dickson saw City revitalised as the experienced striker applied further pressure. After cleverly beating the offside trap, Dickson’s pull back to Batt was volleyed marginally wide. Soon afterwards the City front-man cut inside from the edge-of-the-box and forced Ibrahim into a low save.
City boss Rod Stringer made his final change with 27 minutes left, swapping Kudus Oyenuga for Batt. All the throws of the dice had been made. It was now a matter of time before Chelmsford scored.
Soon after coming on Oyenuga was slotted through-on-goal but his decision to cut-inside cost him as his final shot was blocked.
But with six minutes left Mr Packman was left pointing at the penalty spot, City had the perfect chance to steal a point at the death. And it was the substitute Oyenuga – who was hacked down in the build-up to the penalty – who stepped up to fire past Ibrahim and level the scores.
With the scores level it seemed almost certain that the two sides would settle for a point. But the drama was not over.
As the scoreboard ticked onto the fourth minute of added time, City were awarded a corner. Up stepped Taylor Miles. It seemed like it took an age, but the midfielder’s corner flew into the area, it curled towards the goal and then it fell into the top corner as the Chelmsford fans erupted into noise.
Having been behind 1-0 behind, City had miraculously come from behind to win 2-1 and extend Dartford’s 18-year hoodoo of being unable to beat the Clarets at Princes Park.
1. Deren Ibrahim
2. Danny Harris
3. Mark Onyemah
4. Tom Bonner
5. Ronnie Vint
6. Nathan Collier
7. Ryan Hayes
8. Elliot Bradbrook ©
9. Duane Ofori-Acheampong
10. Danny Mills
11. Lee Noble
12. Alfie Pavey (78' on for Duane Ofori-Acheampong)
14. Tom Murphy
15. Lyle Della-Verde
16. Andy Pugh
18. Alex Brown
1. Jake Jessup
2. Cameron James
3. Craig Braham Barrett
4. Taylor Miles
5. Michael Spillane
6. Elliot Omozusi
7. Jonathan Giles
8. Anthony Church ©
9. Shaun Batt
10. Scott Davies
11. Bagasan Graham
12. Christopher Dickson (58' on for Scott Davies)
14. Mark Haines
15. Matthew Johnson
16. Daniel Green (53' on for Bagasan Graham)
18. Kudus Oyenuga (73' on for Shaun Batt)
Dartford: Ryan Hayes (33').
Chelmsford City: Kudus Oyenuga (86', pen), Taylor Miles (90+4').
Dartford: Elliot Bradbrook (30'), Ryan Hayes (85').
Chelmsford City: Shaun Batt (21'), Anthony Church (30'), Craig Braham-Barrett (55').
Chelmsford City: None.
Match Officials: Jack Packman, assisted by Craig Green and Simon Finnigan.
Half Time Score: Dartford 1-0 Chelmsford City
Full Time Score: Dartford 1-2 Chelmsford City