FOR the first time this season, Darts moved into that little shaded area in the league table which was such familiar territory last season.

In fact, Saturday’s 2-0 win over Billericay Town was more comfortable than the scoreline might suggest. There were plusses and minuses on the day. To the credit side of the ledger, Brendon Cass scored a goal the like of which only he can, while on the downside, Darts lost both Danny Dafter and Ryan Hayes to injury.

Darts’ first goal typified the side’s resolve. Chasing, or rather hobbling after, a loose ball way out on the right wing midway through the second half, Hayes completed his mission but was then confronted by a marker. Plainly in agony, he successfully cut back and inside and put in a killingly accurate left foot cross for Cass who comprehensively descended on the ball to beat old friend Tony Tucker and give Darts the lead.

The game was put beyond the visitors nine minutes later when Rob Haworth headed a cross from way out onto the Billericay crossbar with Tucker well beaten. The ball came back out as far as the marauding John Guest, who headed home past Tucker.

For the rest of the game, the 1,092 crowd was treated to the well-conducted intricate quadrille which is Dartford’s defence, with its slick changes of position and duties which could have been devised by a Straus. Behind this engaging machine, Andrew Young was bothered about as often as he had thumbs on one hand. There were moments when the first-time inter-passing from the back and through midfield had to be seen to be believed.

For a brief flurry just after the break, Billericay had Darts at sixes and sevens but that soon passed. The industrious Dafter was laid low in the first half, got stretchered off and was replaced by the mercurial Lee Noble. The same transport was on hand when Hayes was replaced by James White.

Dartford: Young, Coyle, Gross, Flanagan, Guest, Osborne, Hayes (White 71), Day, Cass (Eferakorho 89), Haworth, Dafter (Noble 31). Subs nor used: Holding, Ibrahim. Att: 1,092.