Dartford 0-2 Dover

A SEASON'S best crowd witnessed a pulsating encounter between two Kentish rivals and it was visiting Dover who went home with all three points.

Dover had the edge throughout and it took Darts a while to come to grips with the all-action visitors, who clearly demonstrated their 4-0 opening day win over Harrow Borough was no flash in the pan.

Tony Burman drafted in Richard Ketchell for Steve Norman, while Alex O'Brien and Ryan Hayes exchanged bench and starting places.

For most of the first half it was high-speed, end-to-end stuff with Dover showing a little extra professional touch in 50-50 situations.

Chances were few and far between but in the 15 minutes before the break, Darts did start to show flashes of the psychic one-touch, high-speed, short-passing game which emerged during the pre-season build-up.

Dover became stretched at the back in this spell and Darts should have scored from a couple of chances created.

In particular, a surging Lee Noble run was thwarted by Whitehouse in the Dover goal.

The latter looked decidedly shaky under pressure and was relieved when Nic Barnes headed over the bar.

Minutes before the interval, Darts scythed through Dover's rearguard in a move which included a fortuitous rebound, but the finish lacked conviction and the moment was lost.

Dover went in front five minutes into the second half when Jon Wallis picked his spot from 25 yards out to drill a shot past umpteen bodies and just inside Kessell's left post.

With their noses in front, Dover took control and Moore unleashed a shot which Kessell turned aside for a corner.

Only a goal down, Darts were always in with a shout and almost equalised when a great run from Butterworth ended with a cross which was marginally mistimed by the diving Howarth.

Noble was irrepressible throughout and caused Dover no end of problems, receiving some rough treatment for his pains.

Dover wrapped up the points four minutes from time when Collin carved his way through and allowed Sam Moore to apply the killer blow.

Overall Darts may have been beaten by a good side, but the performance was light years from that of the previous Saturday at Hendon.

Dartford: Kessell, Coyle, Ketchell (Howarth 79), Flanagan, Guest, Powell (Butterworth 70), Hayes, Barnes, Cass, Dafter, Noble. Subs not used: Osborne, O'Brien, White. Att:1,781.