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Dartford 5-1 Alfreton Town
DARTFORD continued the good form which has produced nine points from the last three league games with an emphatic demolition of Alfreton Twon on Saturday.
The nature of the victory was a confidence booster ahead of the visit of table-topping Newport County on Tuesday and the long trek to fourth-placed Gateshead on Saturday.
Alfreton manager Micky Law thought Dartford’s back four were impressive, marshalled by a Beckenbauer-like performance from Mark Arber, but also that his second half substitutions put the hosts under pressure.
By contrast Alfreton's back four looked the part – a back four built like a back four but woefully lacking in mobility.
Certainly the visitors had plenty of possession (70 percent to 30 percent) and they looked good from the sidelines. But they were faced with a confident Darts rearguard.
At the other end Jacob Erskine continued where he left off in the 2-1 win at Cambridge and refused to be outmuscled by Alfreton.
The understanding between Erskine and Harry Crawford is becoming truly instinctive.
Dartford took the lead after just eleven minutes when a long pass from the back bypassed Darren Keeping and reached Crawford, who hit home just inside the near post from the edge of the area.
Twenty five minutes were to elapse before Erskine out-battled his marker, drove into the area and picked his spot to make it 2-0.
Effectively the contest was over on the stroke of half-time when captain marvel Elliot Bradbrook power-headed home from a Ryan Hayes corner.
At the start of the second half Law made a double substitution in the hope of reducing the deficit.
But the tactic was nullified when Crawford added the finishing touch to a Hayes free-kick, which the visiting defence failed to clear.
Alfreton substitute Nathan Arnold squared a pass into Darts’ area for daniel Meadows to net a consolation goal from 20 yards.
Dartford’s pride may have been briefly hurt but Crawford consigned that to posterity by hitting his hat-trick goal past Jon Stewart. Crawford now be becomes Dartford's second Non-League Paper XI representative in successive weeks.
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Dartford: Bettinelli: Rose, Champion, Arber, Bonner: Hayes, (Collier 69), Bradbrook (Wallis 75), Burns, Rogers: Erskine (Noble 75), Crawford. Subs not used: Porter, Sutton. Att: 1,145.