Dartford 3-2 Margate

DARTFORD booked their place in the next stage of the League Cup with an entertaining Kent derby triumph over Margate.

On a clear freezing evening Darts used this second round tie to bench Tommy Osborne, Lee Noble and Danny Dafter and gave Steve Norman a useful run-out.

A mixture of cross-county rivalry and cup football saw a shadow-boxing start, with Darts asked to kick to the Academy End.

Margate took the lead after just seven minutes when Wayne Wilson’s free-kick was loopingly headed over Andrew Young by Jacob Erskine.

Darts almost levelled four minutes later when Jamie Coyle hit the bar from a tapped free-kick just inside the Margate half.

For the next half-hour it was turn and turn about before a swift two-man move saw Ryan Hayes lay off the ball for the in-rushing Sean Eferakorho to bury his maiden goal past Margate’s Pat Mullins and even things up.

The second half opened up with a flurry of Margate activity which soon petered out.

Darts then settled into the now familiar second half display which, in front of a sparse crowd, resembled a training session.

It was rather like a group of magicians practicing all their tricks for a forthcoming performance, all highly entertaining and Margate were quite mesmerised.

Darts’ go-ahead goal came on 62 minutes when Hayes, in tantalising mode, fired a free-kick from deep on the right and Rob Haworth nipped in front of his marker to head unerringly home.

Eleven minutes later, Hayes left a defender stranded as he cut inside and bombed in a left-foot screamer past Mullins.

Darts were really worth more than the three goals they did score and only the woodwork and a couple of offside decisions kept the score down.

A late goal from Erskine, who poked home from close range, made the final two minutes a bit hairy.

All in all, though, this was a good all-round work out.

Steve Norman had a useful hour of match practice Despite the two goals against the defence were solid, midfield was fine, Rob worked his socks off and Cody was quietly effective.

Finally, Millwall trainee Kiran Dingri had a useful 10 minutes work experience.

Dartford: Young, Eferakorho, Gross, McDevitt, Coyle, Norman (Noble 58), Hayes, White, Haworth, McDonald (Dingri 83), Butterworth. Subs not used: Osborne, Dafter, N White. Att: 306.