Tooting & Mitcham 0-2 Dartford

DARTFORD paraded two debutants at Imperial Fields while recording their fourth away win in six attempts this season.

The newcomers had mixed introductions.

Left back Danny Barber was stretchered off after five minutes with knee ligament damage to be replaced by Ray Powell, while striker Cody McDonald scored Darts’ first of the afternoon just before the interval.

Beneath sullen autumnal cloud and a bothersome wind, Darts firstly coped with the enforced re-shuffle and then gradually got into their rhythm.

All elements of the team were in no-error mode with the defence easily coping with anything the Terrors could throw at them which, as the game wore on, was less and less.

In front of the Darts back four the midfield buzzed more and more purposely, releasing a steady stream of defence-testing passes, while the new pairing of Rob Haworth and McDonald dove-tailed to perfection.

The whole performance was an embellishment of the one at Billericay and augers well for the future.

For a team lying third in the table, the Terrors held little terror for Dartford, relying almost exclusively on a diet of “knock over the top and chase” football.

As a consequence, the home side’s raids foundered on Darts’ immaculate defensive wall.

The wind was taken from Tooting’s sails shortly before the break when goalkeeper Dave King made a hash of his clearance, allowing McDonald to waltz round Dean Hamlin and shoot at goal.

King parried the shot, but was beaten by McDonald’s follow-up effort.

It was more of the same all the way through the second half and with 15 minutes to go, the game was put beyond Tooting when the scintillating Jamie Day set Lee Noble free with a cheeky back-heel.

The latter fed Haworth, who netted from close in. A couple of late substitutions allowed the crowd to enjoy a cameo performance by Steve Butterworth and the appearance of Brendon Cass allowed Haworth to come off to an ecstatic burst of applause.

Dartford: Young, Osborne, Barber (Powell 5), Coyle, Guest, Dafter, White, McDonald (Butterworth 84), Haworth (Cass 88) Noble. Subs not used: Hayes, Barnes. Att: 586.