Adrian Swan

Crockenhill Youth 0 v 5 Dartford Whites Youth
0-1 Herschel (22), 0-2 Whittington (25), 0-3 Ellis (63), 0-4 Watson (74),
0-5 Powel (70) (pen).

Dartford Whites continued their perfect start to the season when winning their sixth successive league game against a battling Crockenhill side.

On a heavy uneven surface Dartford dominated the game for long periods.

They had an early chance on 5 minutes when the lively Max Carey sent over a right wing cross that fell to Daniel Watson at the far post but his low shot was saved by Nathan Snelgrove diving forward to gather.

Minutes later another Carey cross found the run to the near post of Rio Dharmi whose powerful first time volley was well saved by Snelgrove as the ball crashed into his chest. After these chances the visitors forced a succession of corners that the Crockenhill defence did well to repel.

On 18 minutes brave keeping by Snelgrove prevented a certain goal when Watson’s flighted free kick was nodded down by Tommy Whittington for Frankie Hughes, who had his close range shot on the turn well blocked by the Crockenhill custodian.

Shortly afterwards the visitors hit the woodwork when Whittington’s curling free kick from the edge of the box deflected off the top of the home defensive wall sending the ball looping high to the right of the stretching Snelgrove onto the bar and out to safety.

However on 22 minutes Dartford made the breakthrough when Watson’s free kick from wide right was not cleared with Marvin Herschel reacting quickest to toe poke the loose ball home from close range.

A few minutes later Dartford doubled their lead after Carey’s low driven shot from wide right had beaten Snelgrove to his right but was blocked on the line by Phil Domaradzki , Whittington seized on the rebound firing it home high to the left of Snelgrove.

The home side then went close to pulling a goal back when Daniel O’Neill launched a 40 yard free kick into the Dartford box which Mason Tarrant back headed narrowly over.

Dartford’s Carey then made space well in the box before hitting a low shot that flashed across the face of goal and clipped Snelgrove’s right hand post before flying out. Just after the half hour mark another Whittington free kick caused problems for the home defence with the ball falling to Brandon Davey whose fierce shot was well saved by Snelgrove low to his right.

On 37 minutes Whittington’s right wing corner found the run of Hughes to the near post but his towering header flew over.

The last chance of the first half saw Davey make space well some 25 yards from goal and hit a low shot that Snelgrove saved moving to his left.

The second half continued with the visitors on the offensive. On 48 minutes they went close to making it three when Billy Sheppard’s left wing cross was punched out by Snelgrove to Watson’s whose low shot beat the home keeper to his right but was hacked away off the line to safety by O’Neill.

On 54 minutes the home side went close to reducing the deficit when O’Neill’s excellent deep left wing cross found Rhys Draper racing in at the far post but he could only direct his first time volley into the side netting.

Dartford then went close to extending their lead when Sheppard’s through ball put Herschel in on goal but with only Snelgrove to beat he steered his shot narrowly wide.

However the visitors did make it three on 63 minutes when Carey’s deep left wing cross flew over the stretching Snelgrove and found Kieran Ellis at the far post for a close range tap in.

Watson’s right wing cross then found Dharmi but his hooked volley flew over before the impressive Whittington hit a 25 yard shot that Snelgrove saved well low to right for a corner. A sweeping Dartford move on 74 minutes saw them then make it four when Ellis’s cross field pass found the run of Watson into the box and he took a touch before slotting home low to the right of the exposed Snelgrove.

The busy Snelgrove then made his only mistake of the game when his attempted clearance fell straight to Whittington some 40 yards from goal and although his lobbed shot flew over the out of position keeper it drifted just wide of the goal.

On 80 minutes it was five when a cross to the edge of the box was nodded into the area by Sheppard finding Hughes, whose header was blocked by the body of Snelgrove but the loose ball fell to Dharmi who scored from close range.

The last chance of the game also fell to the visitors when Ellis’s right wing cross found Dharmi whose low shot on the turn brought another good save out of Snelgrove.

There were a number of good performances from the visitors but centre back Joshua Wigmore caught the eye with his composure on the ball as did midfielder Whitington with his tireless running and tackling and good ball distribution.