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Dartford 1-4 Forest Green Rovers
DARTFORD’S FA Cup record in recent years was not improved as they come out second best to Forest Green Rovers in Tuesday night’s fourth qualifying road replay at Princes Park.
The Gloucestershire full-timers are a talented outfit which, for some reason, seems to delight in committed and aggressive play and, sadly, Darts were drawn into their unnecessary trap.
Darts’ cause was not helped by match officials who lost control of affairs early on.
Those two factors spoilt an otherwise tense replay in which Dartford had the edge for around an hour.
Dartford attacked the Academy End as per usual but it was Rovers who had the first chance of the evening on three minutes but they failed to make the most of it.
On Saturday Jacob Erskine had a torrid time up front on his own but on Tuesday he had support from Harry Crawford, who opened the scoring for Dartford in the 27th minute.
Richard Rose took a throw out left, the ball was returned to him and he found Crawford, who hit home firmly from inside the visiting area.
The lead lasted for a couple of minutes before Rovers had the ball in the net, only for the referee to chalk it off, awarding a free-kick instead.
Undeterred, Yan Klukowski scored direct from that award.
By now the referee was clocking up the yellow cards and by half-time four Dartford midfielders were on yellows.
This meant, of course, they had to be careful not to transgress from then on.
The game really opened up in the second half and Dartford took control for a longish spell and they had three shots blocked following a 55th minute corner.
Substitutes came and went in pursuit of the go-ahead goal and it was Rovers who struck next.
Sadly Darts contributed to their downfall.
Ring-rusty Louis Wells had a hand in goals two and three from Klukowski and Matt Taylor due entirely to his long lay-off, which dulled his reflexes in goalmouth situations.
Goal number four came in the third minute of time added on from former Ebbsfleet player Magno Vieira.
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Dartford: Wells, Bonner, Arber, Rose, Collier (Hayes 61), Bonner, Bradbrook, Rogers (Noble 74), Crawford, Erskine (Harris 69). Subs not used: Green, Wallis, Monger, Sutton. Att: 804