OVER the years Staines Town have had the Indian sign over Dartford, but last night at Wheatsheaf Park the home side were swept aside by Tony Burman’s team as if the hosts were an irritant fly.

Not that a side which secured away victories at Woking and Chelmsford should be – nor were - taken lightly by Dartford, and their counter-attacking strategy had to be monitored at all times.

The Wheatsheaf surface had taken persistent rain comfortably and held up over the entire match.

Darts had a couple of efforts early on but Staines coped well enough.

Then, just around the quarter-hour mark, a right-wing cross was headed past Louis Wells by Ali Chaaban to give Staines the lead.

The current Dartford team take such reverses in their stride and just went about their business as normal and, shortly before the interval, got the goal their screw-turning pressure demanded when ever-present Tom Bonner equalised in a crowded goalmouth.

Thereafter there could be only one winner and it wasn't going to be the home side.

The second half started well for Dartford and on-loan Gillingham player Conner Essam headed a free-kick past home keeper Rhys Evans for his maiden goal.

It was fitting departure present which must have pleased his watching manager, ex-Dartford legend Andy Hessenthaler.

By now the travelling choir was going through its repertoire including, in the final minutes, the Fire Drill song as home fans filed out of the ground.

Two-one became 3-1 and 4-1 with goals from dynamo Danny Harris, who hit home a low cross past Evans and, the coup-de-grace from Adam Green.

Darts now hold second spot and still have the odd game in hand.

Up until recently it's been all over bar the shouting for Woking, but the large operatic soprano has yet to bring down the curtain.

Many is the slip twixt cup and lip.

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Dartford: Wells, Jones, Green, Bonner, Essam, Wallis, Burns (Hayes 88), Rogers, Erskine (Garrod 76), Bradbrook, Harris (Graham 89). Subs not used Pallen, Ibrahim. Att: 378.