MATCH REPORT: Weston-super-Mare slip to 3-2 defeat at promotion-hopefuls Dartford
PUBLISHED: 11:56 18 January 2017 | UPDATED: 12:02 18 January 2017
Weston slipped to their first defeat in five matches as they were edged out 3-2 against promotion-chasing Dartford on Tuesday night.
The Seagulls took the lead through the in-form Gethyn Hill but Dartford – who now sit third in the National League South – fought back in the second half with finishes from Tom Wynter and Danny Harris, which put the Darts in the ascendency.
But Lloyd Humphries handed his newly-confident Weston side a lifeline as he equalised with 20 minutes remaining, only for the killer blow to arrive on 82 minutes.
A stunning goal from Alex Brown broke the Seagulls’ hearts after they had matched their hosts for most of the match.
Weston travelled to Dartford on the back of their best run of form under boss Scott Bartlett having won three and drawn one of their past four games and scoring nine goals in the process.
This good form looked set to continue after just 11 minutes when Dayle Grubb beat defender Keaton Wood to the ball and expertly crossed the ball to Hill, who made no mistake with his finish from close range.
The early opener gave the Seagulls an extra boost and they continued to create chances. But they were to just take the one-goal lead into the break and the Darts came out all guns blazing in the second half.
In truth, they could have levelled things up earlier than they did.
The home side finally equalised just before the hour mark when Wynter’s low but powerful shot beat Luke Purnell.
And eight minutes later, the Darts took the lead when Hayes’ deep cross was brilliantly headed back across goal by Luke Wanadio and Harris slotted home.
Weston continued to play the attacking football Bartlett has introduced since his arrival and their persistence looked to have secured them a point.
Humphries latched on to a loose ball and managed to squeeze his shot past goalkeeper Deren Ibrahim, with the help of a slight deflection.
But this thrilling encounter was not over and an excellent strike 20 yards from goal proved to be the winner for the home side and keeps their promotion hopes well and truly alive.
Weston remain in 16th place in the table – three points clear of the relegation zone.
The Seagulls return to action on Saturday at The Woodspring Stadium when they host Wealdstone. The Stones are comfortably in mid-table in 12th place and seven points ahead of the Seagulls.
Kick-off is at 3pm and for a full match report and live reaction from the head coach after the match, log onto www.westonmercury,co.uk/sport