Dart A produced one of the performances of their season so far as they defied the odds to beat PGSOB despite only having 10 players available. It could have been worse – Iain Gibson
was pencilled in to umpire, which would have left Dart with only nine, but PG’s extra man was a recently qualified umpire anxious to get some games under his belt, so he agreed to whistle on Iain’s behalf.
PG’s started strongly, trying to make the extra man count, and unusual mistakes by both Matt Quartley
and Jimbo Shepherd gifted them two chances in the first 10 minutes that were well dealt with by Joss Farr
. After the second wake-up call, Dart broke quickly through Dom Lyons, who crossed for Matt Pearce (slightly injured and unable to travel with the firsts) who smartly slapped the ball into the roof of PG’s net.
With the confidence that a goal brings, Dart pressed forward, Ed Roberts and Tom Noble in particular making good progress down the flanks. Within 5 minutes of the opening goal, Dart won a short corner; although the routine went wrong, Iain Gibson
recovered it to allow Matt Quartley
time to flick the ball over the prostrate keeper and past Chudleigh old boy Martin ‘Stumpy’ Freeman who was guarding the post. Within two minutes it was three as Dom Lyons crashed a shot past the keeper after being allowed too much time to dribble into the D.
PG’s struggled to cope with the pace of Dart’s younger side, and the odd counter attack was calmly snuffed out by Shepherd, Quartley and James Goodwin. Although an injury to Iain Gibson
restricted his role to hobbling around in the opponents’ 25, it was hard to tell which side was short of players, and a fourth duly came just before half time, as once again Lyons was allowed to dribble into the D, pulling the ball back to Matt Pearce for another clinical finish.
PG’s started the second half with intent, and created real pressure with a series of short corners, but were unable to make anything count. When Dart finally got a chance to clear the ball, three passes later Lyons was slotting it home for his second. The real highlight though was yet to come, young Ed Roberts showing excellent composure in front of goal to notch his first ever score for the club, followed just 90 seconds later by an almost carbon copy for his second. There was still time for Nate Christian-John to cap a fine afternoon’s efforts with another goal after a quick break, and finally for Matt Pearce to get his hat-trick, following up Lyons’ shot after another aborted short corner routine.
All in all, the score probably flattered Dart, but it was an excellent performance and result from a short handed team that played to their strengths against a very capable opposition, defending resolutely and clinically taking chances when they came. The result leaves Dart 4th in the table, just 2 points off a promotion spot – a pretty good place to be after some under-par performances in the first few weeks had left them floundering at the bottom before the recent run of 5 wins on the trot.