Whitehawk returned to National League South action after their midweek FA Cup Replay defeat against Dagenham and Redbridge with a disappointing 1-0 defeat at home to play-off chasing Dartford.
The Hawks started the brightest, with early chances coming for Arnaud Mendy and Danny Stevens. However, the Darts soon came into the game and took control of proceedings, forcing home ‘keeper Craig Ross into a trio of saves in quick succession.
Despite that, Ross could do nothing to stop the breakthrough by Dartford, which came in the 34th minute courtesy of Andy Pugh who fired home through a crowded penalty area.
From then onwards, Dartford controlled the rest of the game against a tired Whitehawk side, not allowing The Hawks to get much of a look-in within the game. Dartford had several chances to seal a win midway through the second half, the best of which coming through a great run by Darts’ captain Elliot Bradbrook, though instead of continuing towards goal himself, he passed to Andy Pugh who was in an offside position.
Trailing 1-0 and looking to get back into the match, things got worse for The Hawks as 55th minute substitute Jake Robinson was sent off after eight minutes from time for a second bookable offence.
Overall, a defensively solid performance by Dartford saw them move into play-off contention, just 2 points off 6th place with two games in hand over a Whitehawk side who have won just 2 of their last 8 league games since defeating St Albans 6-0 on 3rd October.
Hawks: Ross, Sessegnon, Braham-Barrett, Ijaha, Gotta, Rose, Deering, Torres ©, Mendy (Robinson 55), Mills, Stevens (Neilson 72) – Subs: Robinson, Arnold, Neilson, Moreno, Ngamvoulou
Darts: Ibrahim, Burns, Onyemah, Vint, McNaughton, Adams, Noble, Bradbrook ©, Pugh (Sykes 88), Wynter, Harris – Subs: Sykes, Francis, Gardiner, Hayes, Golding
Entertainment Rating: 2/5; Star Man: Craig Ross (Whitehawk); Attendance: 347
Referee: Samuel Allison
Goals: Pugh 34’
Photos by David Hunt
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