Get involved: Send pictures, video, news and views - text NEWS SHOPPER to 80360 or email us
Dartford 1-2 Nuneaton
DARTFORD suffered a fifth defeat of the season when they were beaten at Princes Park by Nuneaton on Saturday.
Tony Burman’s side were tipped to finish 22nd this term by a national newspaper expert, a prediction he made based on the dreaded second season syndrome.
On the evidence from Saturday’s performance, it looks as though any stake money will be safe in the bookie’s satchel.
A dull, overcast sky welcomed both sides onto the park and all seemed well as Darts won the toss and elected to defend the Car Park End.
Whatever Burman’s plans had been were torn to shreds inside the first 10 minutes as Nuneaton set about establishing control with a stylish swagger and before the home support could work up a chant, the game was over.
The visitors scored from two dead-balls.
On four minutes a right-sided corner was partially cleared and Louis Moult headed past Alan Julian for the opener.
Before the dust had even settled, a Nuneaton player was adjudged to have been fouled in a 50-50 challenge 25 yards from the Dartford goal.
Up strode Moult, who rocketed the free-kick home to virtually pocket the points with less than 10 minutes played.
When your luck is in, you get the breaks.
The visitors, backed by a noticeably vocal support, got theirs.
Nuneaton are a mobile, neat-passing outfit and as good as anybody seen at Princes Park this term.
Lincoln City were good for half an hour and Nuneaton for a lot less, but it was enough.
Darts were the same at Tamworth, so perhaps it’s the best way to play away in the Conference.
Gradually Dartford began to get to grips with the opposition and claw their way back into the game.
Everybody chipped in with contributions but Danny Harris in particular was popping up left, right and centre to keep the visiting defence on their toes.
Just when it looked like Nuneaton were invulnerable, Darts won a corner on the right.
Ryan Hayes chipped it to the near post where visiting keeper James Belshaw fumbled and dropped the ball.
With his back to goal, Elliot Bradbrook hooked a shot home to put the hosts right back in it with still more than an hour on the clock.
Earlier on Darts’ passing out of defence had been somewhat ragged, but as the game progressed it improved noticeably.
However, clubs are savvy in this league and skilled at killing off games.
In this respect, despite excruciating pressure from the hosts, Nuneaton held on as a second-place team should do.
Darts could do with a big, bustling front runner, but then so could most clubs.
Next up is tomorrow night’s trip to Luton to meet up with John Still and Terry Harris.
Follow us on Twitter @NewsShopperSprt
Dartford: Julian, Burns, Clark, Collier, Fry (Ubemere 88), Hayes, Noble, Bradbrook, Harris Woodyard (Prior 54), Burchall (Sterling 83). Subs not used: Rogers, Monger. Att: 1,155.
Comments are closed on this article.