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Dartford 2-0 Macclesfield Town
AS their recent FA Cup win over Championship leaders Cardiff confirms, Macclesfield Town are one of the best sides in the Non-League game.
It was at the end of the first week of the season Darts travelled to Macclesfield Town to lose their third game in eight days.
Marcus Bettinelli made his debut in that game and was beaten by a deflected free-kick and a penalty.
Last night at Princes Park he turned in his customary immaculate performance, as normal matched by the whole team.
On a bitingly cold evening the game was played out on an immaculate surface, allowing Macclesfield to play an excellent passing game with Dartford matching them player for player for the full 90 minutes.
In the opening minute Darts forced a corner on the right which the visitors cleared to create a counter attack.
Goaded on by the excellent Kieran Murtagh, the Silkmen broke away and a Charlie Henry cross tested Bettinelli.
Amari Morgan-Smith then hit a 25-yard effort wide but Darts were first on the scoresheet when loanee Dominic Green tested Lance Cronin.
The former Ebbsfleet keeper’s clearance found Jon Wallis just inside the visitors’ half who, spotting Cronin out of his goal, hit an audacious lob over the visiting custodian to put Darts in front on 15 minutes.
Thereafter it was attack and counter with defences getting the better of the exchanges.
Harry Crawford in particular was having a torrid time with his marker all over him like a cheap suit.
Macclesfield upped their game after the interval and forced two early corners, which Bettinelli handled easily.
As the match wore on Darts became more composed and kept possession better with measured passing and imaginative running off the ball.
However, the game was finally settled in Dartford's favour when Danny Harris set up fellow substitute Lee Noble, who clipped in the all important goal within seconds of his arrival on the pitch.
Now it’s off to Hereford for the first of six successive away day Saturdays.
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Dartford: Bettinelli, Burns, Champion, Arber, Rose, Hayes (Noble 81), Wallis, Bonner, Green, Collier (Harris 64), Crawford (Erskine 85) . Subs not used: Wells, Rogers. Att: 821.
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