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Basingstoke Town 0 Dartford 1

By Alex Hoad

Lee Noble

Dartford produced a resilient display to secure a 1-0 win at in-form Basingstoke in the first leg of the Blue Square Bet South promotion play-off semi-final on Wednesday night.

Darts began brightly at the Camrose and bossed the opening half-hour. James Rogers had an early effort tipped over by Stoke keeper Ashley Bayes and Danny Harris drew another save soon after before nodding another chance just wide.

Louis Wells kept the deadlock intact at the other end as the hosts rallied but Darts grabbed the all-important goal in first-half stoppage time when Lee Noble (pictured) beat Bayes with a fine finish to the delight of several hundred Darts fans in the crowd of almost 1,700, despite protests from the Hampshire side for a handball in the build-up.

After the break the hosts piled on the pressure, winning a succession of corners, but Wells kept them at bay with several key saves while the Darts defence also performed heroics to ensure they had an advantage to take back to Princes Park on Sunday.

The prospect of an all-Kent play-off final looms large after Welling United, who finished third in the table, one place behind the Darts, won 2-1 at Sutton United on Wednesday night.

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