Staines Town 2-1 Dartford

STAINES Town have scored four goals against Darts in two games and three of them have been goal line decisions.

In 1997 the two sides met in the FA Cup and both Staines' goals were of the "was it over the line" variety.

With twenty minutes to go, a corner from the right for Staines was swung over and Lee Kersey headed goalwards.

Dartford headed it clear and play continued, but judging the whereabouts of the ball in these circumstances is difficult.

The linesman was totally satisfied all of the ball was over the line when it was headed clear and waved his flag accordingly.

Post-match video evidence is immaterial.

Overall, Staines showed why they are well-placed in the table, but for 52 minutes they were losing to a determined Dartford side.

In fact, Darts had chances to add to the score and, had they done so, who knows?

The game started on an excellent surface under a gloomy sky and a sinister wind which aided nobody.

Each side had the upper hand in turns and both had a player laid low for lengthy treatment, so no real pattern emerged.

Having dealt comfortably with the home side's Newton-prompted gambits, Darts gradually gained control with Haworth pulling the defence open for Butterworth, Day and Noble to exploit.

After a couple of near misses from free-kicks, Darts took the lead on 27 minutes. Steve Butterworth won possession 35 yards out, raced past his marker and fired an angled drive home past a flat-footed Wells in the Staines goal.

Staines did have their moments but failed to create any thing of substance.

They obviously decided they couldn't deal with Haworth, so concentrated on crowding out Butterworth, Day and Noble.

This ploy was successful and they gradually took control and kept Darts under pressure.

Darts were very positive at the back and cleared their lines well under pressure.

To be fair, Staines had their fair share of ill-fortune including a couple of woodwork hits and a period when they had four attempts on goal scrambled clear.

Then came the "over the line" incident which obviously buoyed the hosts up and Elliott Onochie gave them the lead on 78 minutes with a header which dumbfounded Kessell.

Darts responded with a double substitution as Cass replaced Dafter and Hayes came on for Butterworth.

Facing a left-footed right winger was confusing for Staines and they spent the final minutes, when not time-wasting, keeping Darts out.

During this spell the rejuvenated Osborne fired in a shot which beat the diving Wells and his left hand post and Hayes hit a backs-to-the-goal shot which was marginally off target.

Dartford: Kessell, Osborne, Ketchell , Coyle, Guest, Dafter (Cass 80), Butterworth (Hayes 80), White, Haworth, Day, Noble. Subs not used: Norman, Flanagan.