After a thrilling encounter with Wealdstone in the previous round, the Hillians took on Dartford to try and book a place in the first round proper of the Emirates FA Cup. It was Dartford who hit the ground running, with Alfie Pavey reacting first to a loose ball. The Hillians reacted well, with Hakeem Adelakun driving the midfield forward, and striker Lee Harding causing problems for the Dartford back four. Dartford continued to press for a second, with some good opportunities from wingers Haynes and Pugh. Some resolute Hillians defending from Elphick and Richmond late in the first half meant that the Hillians went into the break only one down, definitely not out of the game. The Hillians were much the better side in the second half, with a lot of possession in the final third. Perhaps the best chance of the half fell to Aussie Matt Nezval, who was inches from reaching Diau’s flick on, what would’ve been a certain goal. Dartford stood firm and showed their class and quality, as the game petered out. Max Huxter kept the score at 1-0 late in the game with some quality saves, but it was Dartford who progressed to the First Round proper. A great cup tie, and an agonising one for the Hillians.
More reaction to follow….