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Barnet 1-0 Dartford
DARTFORD took another stride towards regaining their form with a pulsating late rally at Barnet’s impressive £30 million Hive Stadium.
The set-up at Barnet is geared for the Football League, with visitor segregation and high-profile stewarding.
Dartford were certainly more positive than of late and, like in the successful past, defended further up the park, thus squeezing Barnet onto the back-foot,
Included in the Bees’ line-up was former highly-talented Dutch international Edgar Davids, trying his luck as a left-back.
It was more like chancing his arm and it was saddening to see a once formidable talent so diminished he picked a yellow card in each half for rather petulant offences, leaving the hosts a man short for the final seven minutes.
Noticeable in the early stages was the effort and skill of Danny Harris, as well as the defence-stretching runs from Adam Birchall.
In fact, Darts created the first chance of the game when Elliot Bradbrook was just off target after dispossessing a Barnet defender.
Dave Martin also kept the Bees under pressure with a trio of well-placed free-kicks.
Not too much had been seen of the home side until on the half-hour Keanu Marsh-Brown found space out wide on the right and crossed for Jon Nurse to glance a header past the Darts keeper.
Despite being on a losing run, this time Dartford did not wilt.
Instead they exerted more pressure in the second half, so much so Davids collected his second yellow card for a petulant foul late in the game, bringing his red card count to three for the season to date.
Dartford really turned the screw and Barnet were relieved to concede corners by the hatful, doing anything just to keep the visitors at bay.
The rather portly stand-side linesman didn’t help.
Often behind the play, he even decided a Lee Noble cross had gone out for a goal-kick when clearly it hadn’t.
The fact Barnet’s directors admitted Darts played a lot better than in the recent Princes Park encounter, although welcome, was of scant consolation as the losing run extended to seven Conference matches.
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Dartford: Smith, Stirling, Clark, Essam, Burns, Martin (Collier 77) Stephenson, Bradbrook, Noble, Harris (Dembele 88), Birchall. Subs not used: Julian, Cornhill, Woodyard. Att: 1,461.
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