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Dartford 1 - Millwall 4

Princes Park, Dartford

29th July 2009 19:45

Attendance: 4,022

Dartford v Wall report

A sell out crowd at Princes Park, saw Millwall sweep aside their hosts by 4 goals to 1 last night.

Millwall manager Kenny Jackett made wholesale changes from the team which beat Stevenage on Saturday but still had eight first team players in the starting line up and another nine on the bench,
with 16 year old Chris Hegarty lining up in the centre of defence along with trialist Jack Smith and Birmingham City teenage trialist Jordan Anderson on the bench.

Dartford manager Tony Burman handed their captains armband to right back Billy Burgess, an ardent Millwall supporter.

Kick off was delayed by 15 minutes to give the 4,022 fans with tickets a chance to cram into the ground.

The Lions opened the scoring after nine minutes, a slick passing move involving Jason Price and Lewis Grabban resulted in fans` favourite Neil Harris beating Andrew Young in the Dartford goal, with a fine, low, first time finish.

Millwall continued to press forward and create the better opportunities, with Hegarty, Harris and Barron all going close.

Dartford's first real chance came on 29 minutes with a 25 yard shot which flashed wide of John Sullivan's post.

Millwall's neat interplay always made a second goal look likely, and It came on 64 minutes when Ashley Grimes` low centre from the right was touched on by Harris, whose first time touch took the ball past Young and the ball bounced off the foot of the post and Jason Price scored the first of his two close-range goals.

Within second's The Lions had added a third with the best goal of the night when Danny Senda almost broke the back of the net with a thunderous strike which crashed into the roof of the net, after Grimes` slick pass.

Dartford's keeper prevented Price adding a fourth before half-time after the striker had been put through by Hegarty.

But 5 minutes after the restart Price got his second and Millwall's fourth when a mistake in the Dartford defence let in Grimes who's shot rebounded off the post and Price was on hand to steer the ball past Young from close in.

Former Dartford winger Dave Martin was introduced in place of Scott Barron on 53 minutes to warm applause from the Princes Park crowd as Millwall switched to a back three, giving the wide man a free role.

The chances continued to stack up for Jackett's men with Harris, Grabban and Ali Fuseini all having efforts on goal, before Dartford got a goal back on 72 minutes when Hegarty was harshly adjudged by referee Ian Cooper to have brought down substitute striker Adam Burchell in the area.
Ryan Hayes stepped up and sent Sullivan the wrong way from the resulting spot kick.

Sullivan then saved well with his legs to stop The Dart's adding to their goal then Grimes and Price both went close to restoring Millwall's 4 goal lead before Jackett made 5 substitutions with 10 minutes left.

Chris Hackett was denied a goal on 90 minutes with a fierce drive well held by the keeper before providing an injury-time delivery that fellow sub Gary Alexander headed on to Steve Morison, but his header flashed over with the last chance of the game.

A good solid work out for Kenny Jackett team who maintained their 100% record in pre-season fixtures and a good chance for Lions fans to see where the reserves will be playing their home matches next season.

Dartford: Young (Ibrahim, 79mins), Burgess, Gross, Flanagan (Beales, 52mins), Coyle, White (Burchell, 61mins), Hayes (Eferakorho, 81mins), Day, Haworth (Drafter, 84mins), Burns, Bradbrook. Subs not used: Beales, Guest.
Scorer: Hayes (73mins, pen)

Sullivan, Senda, Hegarty, Smith, Barron (Martin, 53mins), Grabban (Hackett, 81mins), Laird (Bolder, 81mins), Fusein (Abdou, 81mins)i, Grimes, Price (Morison, 81mins), Harris (Alexander, 81mins). Subs not used: Forde, Dunne, Frampton. Anderson.
Scorers: Harris (9mins), Price (34, 50mins), Senda (35mins)

Ref: Ian Cooper

Dartford Quotes:

Dartford boss Tony Burman told "Millwall were the best side that I`ve seen, without a doubt," he said. "The first half they were fantastic, their movement and the way they passed the ball, that`s why these games are good for us, because we`re chasing around.
"But Millwall were excellent and we're just delighted that they`ve come here and brought all their first team squad and it`s given us a good test for our players to get our fitness levels up."

Burman hopes Millwall supporters will return to Princes Park, not only to watch their reserve side this season, but the Darts too.

"I didn`t realise there were that many Millwall fans around the Dartford area," he said. "But fair play to them, they`ve come along, with the Dartford supporters, and I hope they`ve enjoyed the game.

Speaking of the size of the crowd A delighted co-chairman Dave Skinner said before the game, "Very surprised, considering we`ve probably sold 2,000 tickets in the last four days."
He added: "We were expecting between 2,000-2,500 with the way the ticket sales had been going, but it`s been absolutely manic in the last four days, over the weekend and yesterday."

Millwall Quotes:

Millwall winger Dave Martin, was pleased with the reception that he got from the Princes Park faithful.

"It`s good to come back here," he told after his team-mates convincing display. "Especially when the crowds are going to be like that every time!

"I had some good times here with the lads. Dartford`s a great club to play for. I think you can see that with the facilities, the fans and that and it`s always good to come back here and play."

With the Darts tipped by bookmakers to be favourites to clinch the Ryman Premier League title next April, Martin replied, "I followed them last year and they came close, finished just below the play-off`s.

"Obviously that was their first year in the division and they came strong. I think next year they`ve got a good chance. They look like they`re building a good team now.

"Tony Burman`s got a few good players down here so hopefully they`ve got a good chance of doing it this year."

Martin was quick to praise the Dartford boss for giving him the chance to fulfil his lifelong dream of becoming a professional footballer.

"It`s unbelievable," said Martin. "You set out to do it all your life to become a professional footballer as a youngster. To accomplish it is one of the best things that you can do.

The journalist

Writer: cros Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday July 29 2009

Time: 8:04AM


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