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Gateshead 2-0 Dartford
4:03pm Tuesday 11th September 2012 in Sport
DARTFORD are midway through a tough fortnight of Conference fixtures.
The consensus of opinion was a point from both the Newport County and Gateshead fixtures would be very nice indeed.
As it turned out, Darts beat County but lost 2-0 at the Heed, gaining three points from the two games.
The effort put in at Princes Park plus the long trek north on Friday night probably took its toll on the team at the Gateshead match, as Darts lacked that little sparkle which has been a part of their matches so far this term.
In the first half as Gateshead soon took control of the game with their impressive midfield dictating the pattern of the game.
Although they had plenty of the ball and oozed confidence, they gave the impression they would win the game in an unhurried fashion.
Symptomatic of this was Gateshead’s outstanding ball-boy set-up — necessary as the playing surface was surrounded by an international standard athletics track.
The time saved in ball retrieval however was lost as the home long-ball specialist was never in a hurry to take his throws.
For most of the first half Darts coped comfortably enough and, although the home side’s corner count mounted their threat was comfortably repelled until shortly before half-time.
England C squad member Josh Gillies set Ryan Donaldson free down the left.
His cross was turned past Marcus Bettinelli by Micky Cummins to put the Heed 1-0 up at the break.
The game was over as a contest on the hour when Gillies got on the end of a cross from defender Carl Mangay.
Darts almost pulled a goal back when Ryan Hayes crossed from the right but Jacob Erskine’s downward header bounced over home keeper Adam Bartlett and also the crossbar.
Dartford are back in action at home to Hereford United on Saturday, before travelling to Wrexham on September 22.
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