A VICTORY at Bishop’s Stortford on Saturday was good enough to lift Dartford out of the drop zone.

The 1-0 scoreline was more than flattering to the hosts and right from the off, Stortford were on the back foot with Jon Main and Lee Noble causing them trouble down the flanks.

Immediately the home side put two or three defenders on to Noble and, on ten minutes, Michael Bakare was yellow carded for a body-check on Noble which appeared to come out of the NHL handbook and required lengthy treatment.

Not that the mercurial Dart was fazed.

A bandaged forehead and a determination to take all-comers on epitomised Darts' rekindled spirits.

Certainly the crowd winced every time he headed the ball fearlessly or darted past three tight markers to set the visitors on the way.

The hosts had their moments with a raid along the right and a cross shot which skidded narrowly past the far post.

The final third of the first half saw Dartford lay siege to the Stortford goal but it was 0-0 at the break.

On the restart, a Danny Harris break down the left drew out the home keeper, who appeared to bring the Dart down. Instead Harris was yellow-carded for diving.

Just as it appeared that it was just one of those days, a three-man move opened up the home defence for the umpteenth time but on this occasion, Charlie Sheringham provided the coup de grace.

Immediately afterwards a rare Stortford foray up the left ended in a corner and the resultant kick was clawed away from under his bar by Andrew Young.

There was a last-minute scare when the home side were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area in front of goal. However, the opportunity was wasted.

It is understood that Gateshead had two observers at this game ahead of this weekend’s FA Trophy tie. Doubtless an anti-Noble strategy will be devised. It won't be needed unfortunately as Lee misses this game due to suspension.

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Dartford: Young, Burgess, Bonner, Bruce, Goodacre, Champion, Noble, Harris, Sheringham (Jones 89), Main (Rook 84), and Bradbrook. Subs not used: Hayes, White, Ibrahim. Att: 627.