By Ross Millen (@rossmillen)
Poole Town’s search for a first home league win of the season continues after league leaders Dartford ran out 1-0 winners on a hectic afternoon at the Black Gold Stadium.
Dartford took only 7 minutes to find the only goal of the match courtesy of a corner.
The ball was swung into the path of defender Richard Sho-Silva who headed the ball into the roof of the net.
The Dolphins responded almost immediately, with defender Corby Moore shooting just wide of the post from the edge of the box after nine minutes.
The visitors almost doubled their lead on 11 minutes after Danny Mills worked his way through the defence, only for the ball to be cleared off the line by Poole town captain Jamie Whisken.
Despite trailing at the interval, Poole looked to have had the better of the first half chances, with Steve Devlin coming closest with a long range shot which was tipped away by goalkeeper Ibrahim, minutes before half time.
The second was a dire performance from both sides with the only half-chances coming from set-pieces which on occasion, were swung in over the entirety of the defence and out for a goal kick.
However, in the 82nd minute the game became overshadowed with controversy.
Dartford striker Danny Mills made a good attempt to time-waste whilst the referee was dealing with a set piece.
Dolphins midfielder Marvin Brooks then appeared to push the keeper over in frustration.
Both teams were quick to surround each other as tempers boiled over and punches looked to have be thrown between multiple players, in a match which was turning rapidly unpleasant.
Referee Jacob Miles gave Brooks a red card, with the Dolphins goalkeeper also receiving a yellow card in a chaotic few minutes.
The disorder, however, seemed to spark the game to life with both teams then missing good opportunities, respectively to score.
There was six minutes of stoppage time announced due to the hold-ups which encouraged Poole to push for an equaliser.
However, calm was only restored for 10 minutes with the referee handing out a second red card, this time for Richard Gillespie for what looked like a high foot, just 14 minutes after coming off the bench.
This left the Dolphins to play out the remaining minutes of the game with only nine players.
Poole had two set pieces within the final two minutes of stoppage time with the goalkeeper, Nick Hutchings, making the journey up the pitch in a desperate bid to salvage a point.
But, Dartford quickly looked to take advantage with a counter attack and shot from halfway inside the Poole half towards an open net, narrowly missing the goal.
The full-time whistle blew, and ‘The Darts’ were lucky to have scraped a win.
Dartford now sit three points clear at the top of the table after Braintree Town lost while the result means that Poole Town remain in the relegation zone on 17 points.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Marvin Brooks (Poole Town)
Poole Town: Hutchings, Lindsay, Moore, Spetch, Whisken, Pettefer, Dickson, Devlin, Bentley, Brooks, Neale
Subs: Harfield, Rees, Balmer, Gillespie, Bedford
Dartford: Ibrahim, Brown, Onyemah, Vint, Sho-Silva, Dellaverde, Hayes, Bradbrook, Pavey, Mills, Murphy
Subs: Pugh, Mfula, Eweka, Cue, Gillies
Referee: Jason Milles