DARTFORD continue to hold the Indian sign over Kingstonian as they strolled to a comfortable win over their Ryman Premier hosts in the first round of the FA Trophy on Saturday.

In any football game it is a must you take advantage of any chances which come your way, particularly if you may be deemed the underdogs in a cup-tie.

Also, you cannot afford stupidity.

Kingstonian suffered from both traits at home to Dartford in this season’s competition.

Early in the game Charlton loanee Semi Ajayi was deemed to have felled Matt Pattison in the Darts’ penalty area.

Andre McCollin’s nervous attempt from the spot was comfortably saved low down to his right by Marcus Bettinelli and Kingstonian’s big chance went begging.

Work rate may be denigrated by the purists but, at pitch level, it counts for a lot.

Just before the half hour Simon Huckle was red carded for an outrageous tackle on Elliot Bradbrook.


The overall pattern of the game had already been set by a confident Darts side oozing class.

Ryan Hayes was out right, Danny Harris on the left, Lee Noble and Elliot Bradbrook pulled the midfield strings, all backed up with runs from deep by and Richard Rose.

It was a Bradbrok pass to Harris which led to the only goal of the first half when Harris’ cross was turned past home keeper Rob Tolfrey by Jacob Erskine in the 21st minute.

Dartford kept up their incessant pressure on the home side and were still working at full throttle when the half-time whistle was sounded.

Just a goal down at the break, Kingstonian knew they were still in the tie.

Wade Small latched onto a neat flick on just after the restart but his shot from 12 yards was not good enough to trouble Bettinelli.

Kingstonian’s fate was sealed shortly afterwards when Bradbrook headed home Darts’ second on 51 minutes.

The home side made a double substation but Harris made up for an earlier miss by rifling in an angled drive 12 minutes later.

With just 14 minutes left, substitute Nathan Collier added Dartford’s fourth and final goal from edge of the area.

Dartford will host Merthyr Town or Tonbridge Angels in the next round of the competition.

Cup duty for Dartford continues on Tuesday night with a Kent Senior Cup clash at Margate, with the winners one step away from meeting Ebbsfleet at home in the semi-final.

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Dartford: Bettenelli, Burns, Ajayi, Champion (Wallis 71), Rose, Hayes, Bonner, Noble, Bradbrook, Harris, Erskine (Collier 67). Subs not used: Wells, Rogers, Green. Att: 508.