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Cambridge United 1-2 Dartford
DARTFORD made it back-to-back victories in the Conference on Bank Holiday Monday with a memorable victory at Cambridge United.
Tony Burman’s side had got off the mark 48 hours earlier with a 1-0 Princes Park success over Kidderminster.
But Monday 27 August 2012 was the date upon which the DFC Family stood up and was not found wanting.
The Darts have arrived at step one in English non-league football thanks to the work and planning put into the club by three groups – the administration, the team/management branch and the supporters.
The contributions of those groups has put Dartford Football Club where it is today in a period of less than two decades.
Burman and his coaching team got the tactics spot on and the team responded with a faultless display which allowed the classy Cambridge United few clear chances on goal.
When they did find their way into scoring positions, they found keeper Marcus Bettinelli at his confident best.
At the other end Jacob Erskine ploughed his lone furrow with great determination and was almost rewarded with the goal of the season just before the interval.
Ryan Hayes set Lee Burns free up the right and the latter's cross was met by Jacob's scissor kick, which just cleared the United bar with Craig Ross flat-footed.
At half-time it still 0-0 against a Cambridge side whose main fault was, possibly, playing an extra pass in their intricate moves.
Could Darts capitalise and get their noses in front?
Three minutes into the second half, the question was answered.
Attacking the stand housing the 292 vociferous away supporters, Danny Harris from out wide on the left threaded a low cross through a crowded United goalmouth and inside the far post to make it 1-0 to Darts.
Using the full width of the widest pitch outside Port Vale, Cambridge United tried all the tricks in their varied bag and were rewarded with the inevitable penalty when Sam Smith fell over a prostrate Dartford leg.
James Jennings did the necessary from 12 yards to restore parity by firing past Bettinelli.
But a deflected Nathan Collier goal in the 88th minute proved to be the decisive moment in the game as Dartford signalled their arrival in the big time.
The final memory was of Harry Crawford ghosting his way past two defenders to take the points back to Princes Park.
At the final whistle the 292 Darts' supporters, who outsang the home support throughout, erupted in appreciation of the way the Burman plan worked.
In the space of around fifty hours Darts have climbed up nine places in the table and approach the visit of Alfreton on Saturday in fine fettle.
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Dartford: Bettinelli, Rose, Champion, Bonner, Arber, Hayes (Collier 69), Wallis (Noble 82), Bradbrook, Harris, Erskine (Crawford 88). Subs not used: Rogers, Sutton. Att: 2,691.