BOTH clubs came into Saturday's clash with losing records and a gap of three points separating them.

In the end it was only Darts' superior goal difference which kept them above their opponents in the table, as Thurrock closed the points gap with victory.

Thurrock had replaced departing manager Greg Lincoln with Grant Gordon, whose first action was to make a couple of signings.

Darts, in the meantime, welcomed back perky midfielder Lee Noble after completing a loan spell and he replaced Danny Harris, who was still not completely free from injury.

This game was, in essence, of the typical bog-standard cellar-dweller variety.

The main action in the first half involved Ron Swain, a mobile tree-trunk of a centre half who was all over Carl Rook like a cheap suit.

In their first clash, Rookie received lengthy treatment from physio Dave Phillips but scant protection from the referee.

On the bright side there were flashes of invention from Noble and a couple of breaks from George Purcell, who produced one save from the visiting goalkeeper.

The second half continued in much the same manner as the opening 45 minutes.

Charlie Sheringham replaced Rook on the hour, posing somewhat different problems for Swain.

Eight minutes later ex-Dart Matt Bodkin found space to slot home past Andrew Young for the game's only goal.

Darts' best spell coincided with the arrival of Adam Burchell who replaced a rather quiet Ryan Hayes and the rest of the game saw the hosts striving for an equaliser which never came.

This Saturday sees Darts visit Ashford Town (Middx) in the FA Trophy.

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Dartford: Young, Burgess, Bonner, Bruce, Goodacr, Noble, Hayes (Burchell 71), White, Rook (Sheringham 60), Purcell, Bradbrook. Subs not used: Beales, J Burman, Whitehouse. Att: 1,020.