FOOTBALL: Dartmouth extend unbeaten league run

By Kyle Tagg   |   Group Sports Editor   |
Wednesday 27th October 2021 3:23 pm
@kyletagg
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A DRAW was a fair result as far as Dartmouth joint manager Gary Lobb was concerned after his side shared four goals with Elburton Villa last night.

The hosts fell behind twice during an end-to-end first half at Longcross before eventually going in at the interval with the score at 2-2 – which is how it stayed.

The visitors showed their intent early on when Jack Carter’s shot struck the crossbar with three minutes gone.

And just five minutes later they made the most of their quick start when full-back Tom Trace found the back of the net with a first time strike from the edge of the box.

Elburton keeper Jack Dixon had to be alert so save at the feet of Javan Wright but there was nothing he could do to stop Dartmouth’s equaliser on 17 minutes – Toby Down heading in from a deep free-kick.

The Down family nearly had more reason to celebrate moments later when dad Ian rattled the crossbar with a dipping effort from all of 40 yards.

Wright saw shouts for a penalty waved away and it was the travelling side who would restore their lead midway through the half.

Skipper Lewis Edwards got on the end of a tidy move in the Dartmouth box to calmly fire past Paul Thompson and make it 2-1.

The lively Brannon Roberts saw two opportunities to give Elburton a two-goal cushion fall by the wayside before the Darts got back on level terms once more.

Dan Griffiths’ pinpoint cross from deep found Liam Northcott completely unmarked at the far post, who duly fired past Dixon.

Both sides traded half-chances in an altogether slower second half, and a couple of decent opportunities went begging at both ends as the game reached the latter stages.

Villa’s Ryan Smith saw a 70th-minute effort saved shortly before sending a great chance in front of goal over Thompson’s crossbar.

And a Dartmouth goalmouth scramble 10 minutes from time was as close as the hosts got to a winner – with Down junior eventually firing wide.

After winning 3-2 away at Torridgeside on Saturday, Lobb believed that both teams could be happy with a point well-earned.

‘I think there were chances at both ends, and in the second half both sides failed to take the ones they created,’ he said.

‘It was there for either side to win but neither side ultimately went ahead and did that. There were lots of half chances created so I’m satisfied that we didn’t lose the game, while being slightly disappointed we didn’t convert one of our opportunities.’

Goals from Saul Vanes, Robbie Chalk and Scott McRoy saw the Darts claim three points on Saturday, having travelled to Torridgeside with a bare 11 due to injuries and suspensions.

‘The win at Torridgeside with a bare 11 and players playing out of position was a great one,’ explained Lobb. ‘Tonight we were a bit more blessed with players – and quality ones at that.

‘It’s difficult to fit those players in when they are only helping you out every so often. Every team in the league does it and we’re no different.

‘We had Javan Wright up front who’s a quality player, but if we don’t find him with the quality balls that he needs and is used to then it’s very difficult for him.’

Dartmouth haven’t lost a game in the Peninsula Premier East since September 11 – a run of eight league matches without defeat which has seen them rise to eighth.

‘That gives us something else to play for, too – not just the points, but a record that we’re very proud to have,’ Lobb revealed.

‘Last year there was a stat put up about teams with long unbeaten home records and we were one of them. If we can do that again this year I’ll be very happy.’

This Saturday, Dartmouth are set to travel away to 10th-placed Torrington (3pm).

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