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Macclesfield 2-0 Dartford
DARTFORD’S baptism of fire in the Conference continued on Saturday as they went down to their third straight defeat, a 2-0 loss at Macclesfield Town.
The Darts lined up with on-loan Fulham keeper Marcus Bettinelli starting in place of Louis Wells, who is out for at least four weeks through injury.
With the slope in their favour in the first half, the Silkmen came to Dartford mainly through Ryan Jackson.
But their telling ball was more often than not wayward, giving Darts plenty of possession.
On another day Darts could have been clear of the hosts in the opening 10 minutes.
First Jacob Erskine out-muscled his marker but his effort was held by Lance Croinin.
Then Harry Crawford twice got round the left, cut inside, but his curler went outside Cronin's left post.
It was an encouraging start for Darts until cruel fate took a hand.
With 11 minutes to go before the break, Macclesfield were awarded a free-kick out wide on the right.
Darts' wall was lined up well but Charlie Henry's free-kick took a wicked curl off Tom Champion's head to beat the defence and put the home side 1-0 at the interval.
Macclesfield had the better of the second half until the introduction of Ryan Hayes gave Dartford more variety.
There was the chance that a touch of flair could get Darts back on turn until the decisive second goal arrived in the 89th minute as Mark Arber was adjudged to have handled in the box, with Henry making no mistake from the penalty spot.
In Tuesday night’s controversial 1-0 reverse at Woking, there was enough video evidence to show the referee was right to wave play on on the edge of Dartford's penalty area with eight minutes left to play.
The evidence also confirms the assistant referee was incorrect in insisting his view on the evidence was correct.
On Saturday at Macclesfield the assistant referee got it technically right in that a Dartford elbow did indeed make contact with the ball just inside their own penalty area.
How far away from the hand has an elbow got to be not to be considered a hand?
Two suspect interpretations have probably robbed Dartford of two deserved away points.
Yes, you do create your own luck but you do it yourself, not aided by neutrals.
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Dartford: Bettenelli, Rose, Bonner, Arber, Green, Champiojn, Burns (Hayes 69), Crawford, Bradbrook, Rogers (Wallis 76), Erskine (Harris 62). Subs not used: Collier, Sutton. Att: 1420.