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Home arrow Conference Premier & South arrow Wealdstone 1-0 Dartford - Wealdstone wanted it more than us, admits Tony Burman
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Wealdstone 1-0 Dartford - Wealdstone wanted it more than us, admits Tony Burman PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 21 February 2012
The FA Carlsberg Trophy Third Round Replay
Tuesday 21st February 2012
Stephen McCartney reports from Grosvenor Vale

DARTFORD manager Tony Burman could not hide his bitter disappointment after his side were dumped out of The FA Carlsberg Trophy by nine-man Wealdstone.

Wealdstone, who went into this game sitting in ninth-place in the Ryman Premier League, will travel to Blue Square Bet (Conference) Premier side Cambridge United in the quarter-finals on Saturday, after Dartford failed to turn up.

Dartford twice threw away leads in the 2-2 draw at Princes Park seven days ago, but Wealdstone deservedly booked their place in the last eight when winger Lee Chappell was left in acres of space inside the Dartford box to fire Wealdstone’s 27th minute winner.

Referee Robert Whitton issued three red cards in a crazy ten minute spell, sending off Wealdstone’s Princes Park hero, Chris O’Leary, for retaliating following James Rogers’ challenge, who was booked.  Rogers, however, collected a straight red card within a minute for a lunge on Wealdstone striker Peter Dean, before the Stones were reduced to nine-men when Connor Smith saw red for a challenge on Lee Noble.

Tonight’s defeat was the first time that Dartford have suffered back-to-back defeats this season and Burman was clearly hurting with the manner of his side’s sorry exit.

“It’s a competition we wanted to stay in,” said Burman after his side’s sixth FA Carlsberg Trophy tie of the season.

“I don’t think we would’ve have a better chance of reaching the last eight than what we had with the tie at home and tonight and the way things panned out it’s gone terribly wrong!

“I’m just gutted.  I must admit I’m gutted.  We’re not going to have a better opportunity to get into the last eight!”

Wealdstone, who were playing in their ninth FA Carlsberg Trophy tie of the season, and on an impressive run of one defeat in their last nineteen games, hit Dartford with a high tempo game and they won their individual battles all over the pitch and Dartford were not given time to impose their usual style of football.

Wealdstone created their first chance inside the opening four minutes when Dean broke free down the right and put in a precise cross into the penalty area, but 31-goal striker Richard Jolly swept a right-footed shot over from ten-yards.

Dartford gifted the prolific 28-year-old striker a second chance as the third-placed Blue Square Bet (Conference) South side went to sleep from Chappell’s throw towards the by-line.

Dartford keeper Louis Wells came off his line but failed to gather the ball and allowed Jolly to roll a shot from an acute angle agonisingly along the goal-line.

Dartford, however, weathered the early storm and their first chance came from a set-piece in the 21st minute.

Left-back Adam Green curled a left-footed free-kick towards the far post and central defender Tom Bonner glanced his header wide from six-yards.

But Dartford defenders Lee Burns and Bonner switched off at a critical moment in the game as Wealdstone scored what turned out to be the winner to the delight of the home fans who offered their heroes passionate support from the terraces.

Wealdstone winger Kurtney Brooks played the ball in from the right and Jolly swept the ball across the face of the penalty area to an unmarked Chappell, who took a touch and fired a shot across the diving Wells to find the bottom far corner from sixteen-yards.

Burman said: “It doesn’t matter what league you play, if you give that much space, he might do that.  He’s a decent player.  We haven’t defended that quite well before that anyway.”

Dartford almost snatched an equaliser four minutes before the break when Burns played a square pass from the right to pick out midfield play-maker Jon Wallis, whose low right-footed drive from 30-yards fizzed just past the foot of the near post.

Within the opening seven minutes of the second half, Dartford were awarded a free-kick some 35-yards from goal and Wallis touched the ball slightly forward for Green to lash a left-footed drive wide.

Wealdstone, who dominated Dartford for a full-hour, had to change their tactics when they had two players red-carded.

Rogers foul on O’Leary – who scored an excellent bullet header to force tonight’s replay seven days ago – sparked a nineteen-man melee, and O’Leary retaliated at Rogers and was shown a red card by the Essex based referee, who showed Rogers a yellow card.

However, within a minute Rogers was shown a straight red-card for his lunge on Dean down the right hand side of the pitch.

When asked about the red-card incidents, Burman replied, “They’ve had a player sent-off. We’ve then, I think the referee, to be honest with you, has evened it up in all honesty.”

Burman added: “To be honest I didn’t see what their number eight (O’Leary) done so I don’t know why he went off.  I thought the sending-off of Rogers was a poor decision, although straight after the yellow card you shouldn’t be getting a (red) card and I thought the second (Wealdstone) player was a red-card.

“It was difficult and when they go down to nine men, you’re looking to get the ball wide, get some crosses in or some decent crosses in and it wasn’t to be.

“We’ve gone out through a goal in the first half.  Again, that shouldn’t be, but we should’ve ended up taking the game when they’ve gone down to nine men.  I know we’ve got ten. We should’ve taken the game.”

Wealdstone’s desire to win every ball was evident throughout this giant-killing act and almost at the half-way point of the second half, they turned defence into a swift attack.

Dartford were awarded a free-kick 25-yards from goal and Wallis touched the ball short to Green, whose attempted back-heal to Noble was intercepted by a sliding tackle by Scott McCubbin, which released Jolly straight down the middle of the pitch.  Jolly spread the ball out wide to Dean, whose right-footed shot was pushed around the near post by Wells.

Wealdstone peppered a couple of chances towards the Dartford goal.  Dean whipped in an excellent cross towards the near post and Jolly cracked a right-footed volley, which whistled just past the top of the right post and Chappell’s left-footed drive from 25-yards deflected just over Wells’ crossbar.

But Wealdstone were reduced to nine-men in the 71st minute when Smith was red-carded for a high challenge on Noble.

Wealdstone were forced to switch their formation to a negative 4-3-1 and Dartford threw bodies forward in a desperate attempt to get back into the game.

Wealdstone’s last chance fell to Jolly, who was released through on goal by Brooks’ raking pass, but after cutting onto his left foot, the striker shot across the Dartford keeper and wide of the far post.

Dartford threw the kitchen sink at Wealdstone, whose defence were simply excellent.

The Kent side should have equalised in the 77th minute when Wallis swung in a corner from the left and found Bonner at the far post but his downward header from six-yards was pushed over by Wealdstone keeper Jonathan North.

Substitute winger, Ryan Hayes then floated in one of many crossed during his cameo spell and picked out Danny Harris, whose weak shot rolled into North’s gloves, before substitute striker Tony Garrod headed wide of the near post after Wallis floated the ball into the Wealdstone penalty box.

But Dartford’s best chance of the game fell in the final four minutes when Harris’ short pass played Burns in behind the Wealdstone defence and the versatile player dragged his shot agonisingly wide of the far post.

Wealdstone keeper North caught Burns’ header from close range, which was the last kick of the game and the final whistle brought a pitch invasion from jubilant Wealdstone supporters as their side fully deserved to book their place in the quarter-finals.

A cheesed-off Burman was trying to come to terms with Dartford’s shattered Wembley dream.

“When you come to places like this you know you’re going to have a battle and a bit of heart out there and I didn’t really think we had that first half,” admitted Burman.

“It didn’t really happen too much in the second half to be fair.”

Burman admitted his players will reflect on tonight with regret on what should have been had they turned up and played the normal Dartford way.

He said: “I’m disappointed because they’ll not realise it tonight, in a couple of years’ time (they’ll reflect on) an opportunity to get into the last eight.  We haven’t and we’ve missed that opportunity.

“I think Wealdstone wanted it more than us!  It’s not about skill or it’s not about what they’ve done.  I think they wanted it more than us!

“We’ve had enough corners in the first half and our players haven’t got across it to say I want to be the one who wants to put the ball in the back of the net. It ain’t gone in.  We haven’t had the killer instinct.  They wanted it more than us and it told.

“I don’t think we deserved too much out of the game.”

Burman and his three coaches quietly discussed what went wrong outside the dressing rooms at the end of a depressing night.

“I must admit at this moment in time I’ve got to be careful what I say,” added Burman.  “We’ve got a lot of the season left for us to.  I’m very disappointed that we haven’t taken the opportunity to get into the last eight.”

Wealdstone: Jonathan North, Scott McCubbin, Alan Massey, Wes Parker, Sean Cronin, Connor Smith, Kurtney Brooks, Chris O’Leary, Peter Dean (James Hammond 74), Richard Jolly (Scott Fitzgerald 85), Lee Chappell (David Hicks 90).
Subs: Tommy Hoban, Tautis Poniskaitis

Goal:  Lee Chappell 27

Booked: Wes Parker 57

Sent Off: Chris O’Leary 61, Connor Smith 71

Dartford: Louis Wells, Lee Burns, Adam Green, Tom Bonner, Paul Goodacre (Tony Garrod 83), Tom Champion, Lee Noble, Jon Wallis, Jacob Erskine (Ryan Hayes 73), James Rogers, Danny Harris.
Subs: Richard Graham, Matt Jones, Deren Ibrahim

Booked: Jon Wallis 40, Jacob Erskine 48, James Rogers 62

Sent Off: James Rogers 63

Attendance: 670
Referee: Mr Robert Whitton (Braintree, Essex)
Assistants: Mr Jonathan Pickford (Leigh-on-Sea, Essex) & Mr Stuart Pawley (Cambridge)
Fourth Official:  Mr John Steel (Cambridge)
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 22 February 2012 )
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