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Home Dartford News Article
A string of fine saves from keeper Marcus Bettenelli earned Dartford a point at home to in-form Cambridge in Blue Square Bet Premier on Saturday.
The Darts were under pressure for long periods of the game, particularly in the second half, but the on-loan Fulham keeper meant they picked up a point to finish the calendar year seventh in the table.
The strong wind and driving rain meant conditions were never easy and both teams struggled for fluency early on.
Dartford took the lead on 23 minutes when a Lee Noble corner was not cleared and when Tom Bonner returned it across goal, Harry Crawford netted his 13th goal of the season with a perfectly-placed finish.
The goal ignited the visitors into action and they nearly levelled six minutes before the break but Bettenelli got down quickly to produce a stunning save to deny Sam Smith's low drive before the loose ball was cleared to safety.
Smith then failed to pick out a team-mate having burst into the penalty area, only for Cambridge to level the scores on the stroke of half-time. Presented with a free-kick 20 yards from goal, former Ebbsfleet forward Michael Gash opted for a low drive through a sea of players and the ball deceived Bettenelli and found the far corner.
After the break, former Welling striker Andy Pugh - playing wide in midfield - skipped past two challenges before his centre was handled, but Gash sent this free-kick harmlessly over the bar.
Bettenelli came into his own late on, denying Gash's 20-yard strike and then completing a double stop in stoppage time to keep out the forward.
Dartford's best effort came from a free-kick but Mark Arber couldn't keep his header on target with keeper Jonathon Hedge flapping at thin air.
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