Ramsgate 0-1 Dartford

DARTFORD ended 2008 with three straight away wins as they claimed eighth spot in the Ryman Premier Division table.

A returning Adam Flanagan, in for Danny Baigent, was the only starting change as Darts took the field on a cold, clear night.

Slipping into the now-familiar 3-5-2 formation, Darts were in no-nonsense mood right from the off and although Ramsgate shaded possession, it was because they were allowed to rather than something they claimed by right.

The as-ever vociferous travelling Darts’ choir appreciated what was going on and gave non-stop encouragement to the players’ efforts.

As the half went on, the Rams posed less and less of a threat on a bumpy surface and Darts made more and more progress and deservedly took the lead a couple of minutes before the interval when they were awarded a free-kick just outside the Rams’ penalty area.

Darts conjured up a double bluff, with Lee Noble orchestrating proceedings and the referee getting the wall back the required yardage.

When all was set, up stepped Jamie Day who curved the kick around the wall and past Jamie Turner in the home goal.

It was more of the same after the interval except there appeared to be an invisible wall stopping Darts getting any length on clearances.

It only mattered once when Tommy Osborne was well-placed to clear off the line, the only time Andrew Young was troubled.

At the other end Ryan Hayes jinked his way past his marker, cut along the byline and aimed a shot at the far post which, although beating Turner, also beat the far post.

Similarly Cody McDonald had a couple of efforts from inside the area which were placed wide of Turner but were carried away by bumps. They went in on Saturday but not Tuesday.

Finally, a mini-master class from Rob Haworth on how to conjure free-kicks from back-to-the-goal situations by the corner flag helped to run off the four minutes added on by the referee.

Dartford: Young, Eferakorho, Osborne, Flanagan, Guest, Holding, Hayes (Dafter 78), Day, Haworth, McDonald, Noble. Subs not used: Cass, Butterworth, Baigent, Ibrahim. Att: 412.