Dartmouth let two points slip against Kingsteignton
SDFL Premier Division
Kingsteignton Athletic 2,
Dartmouth AFC 2
Dartmouth returned to the field for the first time since Christmas and were frustrated to leave Kingsteignton with a solitary point in an entertaining 2-2 league draw.
With a few key players out, Gary Lobb and Chick were forced into a couple of changes and introduced Richard Yeo and David Gilham into the starting line-up, and 16-year-old Dartmouth youth team player Liam Wadeson was named as a substitute after signing for the senior team recently.
The visitors settled the quicker of the two sides with much of the early pressing, and after Liam McAuley worked some space in the box he would have been disappointed to see his shot sliced wide.
Jordan Frost at the heart of the Dartmouth defence ensured the home side were limited to a few half chances, and with Danny Anisas Mena and Yeo at full back dealing with the pacey home wingers, the inevitable opening goal of the game arrived for Dartmouth after 15 minutes. Josh Webber on the left side of midfield worked the ball through to Karl Baker, who finished with great composure across the 'keeper and into the far corner of the net.
Kingsteignton began to impose themselves on the game shortly after the visitors took the lead, and Ryan Walton was called into action to gather a long-range effort. On the half-hour mark Baker did well to dispossess his opponent in his own half, before threading a perfectly weighted ball forward for Webber to collect. He was taken out in the penalty area by the Kingsteignton goalkeeper. Up stepped McAuley, who sent the 'keeper the wrong way to double his side's lead.
Shortly before half-time the hosts were back in the game: the Kingsteignton defender rose highest to head home from a free kick after the visitors gave away a sloppy foul in the bottom corner of the pitch. Although Dartmouth hadn't played for a few weeks, at times they got the ball down and played some good football on a boggy surface; indeed, they were unlucky not to extend their lead after the interval when Freddie Smith volleyed just wide from distance.
Mark Forrester and Baker combined well on the edge of the box, but some courageous defending from the home side prevented the Darts from having a shot on goal. With only one goal between them, Kingsteignton began to grow in confidence. They could sense the frustration within the Dartmouth side, and with only a few minutes remaining a goalmouth scramble resulted in the ball landing in the back of the Dartmouth net to give the home side their equaliser.
The hosts nearly grabbed the winning goal with seconds remaining, but after Walton was chipped from distance Kurtley Hassall was there to expertly clear the ball off the line.
The final whistle sounded and Dartmouth walked away knowing they had dropped two vital points in their quest for promotion.
Next week they turn their attention turn to the league cup, travelling to Waldon Athletic for a 2pm kick-off.
Dartmouth Reserves, meanwhile, won 3-0 at Longcross against Harbertonford Reserves in Division Three – a Rhys Morrallee double and a single from Simon Holmes were enough to claim an excellent three points.
The club would like to thank Kevin John from the Ship in Dock for supplying the post-match food. Tomorrow they host South Brent Reserves in the league cup, with a 2pm kick-off.
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