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Home Dartford News Article
Tony Burman praised the character of his players after they bounced back from a thrashing at Mansfield to win Wednesday’s FA Trophy quarter-final replay against Halifax.
The Darts won 3-2 at Princes Park to book their place in the last-four. Grimsby Town now stand between them and Wembley, with the first-leg of the semi-final to be played at Blundell Park next weekend.
Saturday’s 5-0 reverse at Field Mill was Dartford’s heaviest defeat of the season. Once again, the Darts conceded early against Halifax but this time they bounced back with three second-half goals to keep their Trophy run going.
Darts boss Burman (pictured) said: "All credit to my players. We were on the end of a 5-0 beating on Saturday and we had a few words on Monday night at training. I felt that we responded well.
"We played against a very good side in Halifax. I think people may not have realised what a good result it was up there (1-1) because they absolutely came at us.
"They got a great start and that gave them a lift. As the game went on, we played some decent football and we had chances. We should have converted those chances but it wasn’t to be and that’s how football goes sometimes."
Dartford trailed to Dan Gardner’s goal at the interval but Lee Noble and Elliot Bradbrook struck after the break to put them 2-1 in front.
Ryan Hayes scored a third but Gardner’s second goal gave Halifax hope and Bradbrook’s late penalty miss ensured Burman, and the home crowd, had to endure a nail-biting climax.
He said: "Coming in 1-0 at half-time, we told the players they had to be patient, they couldn’t go gung-ho and leave holes at the back.
"I thought it was a controlled performance and when we got the third goal, you think the game’s over. Fair play to Halifax, they still came at us in the last 10 minutes.
"There’s an easy way and there’s a Dartford way. Their fella had a great strike in the 89th minute, then we‘ve got a penalty and Elliot decided to hit the bar."
Dartford have two Blue Square Bet Premier fixtures to negotiate before they head to Grimsby for the semi-final first leg on February 16.
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