Dartford manager Gary Julian was left rueing his side's missed chances as they lost 2-0 to local rivals Gravesend and Northfleet in the North Kent Challenge Cup at Stonebridge Road in what was their final pre-season game ahead of this Saturday's Dr Martens Eastern Division League kick-off.

The Darts were hoping to get off to winning ways after a 3-0 reverse against Grays Athletic the week before.

This time round, they were guilty of some poor finishing.

Dartford manager Gary Julian said: “We started very well with some good moves in our forward play.

“In the first 20 minutes, I thought we were the better side, but we have got to start taking our chances.

“In the second half, we created the chances, but didn't take them. We should have had a penalty of our own, but the ref did not give it.

“We will be working on finishing in training this week.”

Dartford started off shakily and after nine minutes Paul Booth opened the scoring for the Fleet by slotting the ball home from close range after his initial shot was saved by Tony Kessell.

Dartford got more into the game after this point and on a few occasions were denied by a mixture of some good defending and some poor finishing.

Gravesend should have ended the first half on a high note after Dean Frost handled on the line and was subsequently substituted.

Jimmy Jackson stepped up to take the resulting penalty, but it was pushed away superbly by Kessell.

Julian added: “It was a clear penalty and the referee showed good common sense not to send Frost off. The ref suggested I substitute him, which I did. You don't often see that.

“It was a good save by Kessell and he made another one just after that. It was a sloppy penalty to give away at near end though.

At half-time, Dartford made a few changes, including bringing on Steve Williams and started off brightly, with some good movement from Roy Godden and Adam Morrish.

Gravesend did have a few good chances, but there were no real clear -ut ones until the 78th minute, when Danny Evans brought down a Gravesend player in the penalty area and Che Stadhart netted from the