Dartford 1 Stockport County 1
By Steve Tervet
Dartford came from behind to claim a point
from a hard-fought clash with Stockport County at Princes Park on
The visitors dominated the first half and took
an early lead through Mark Cullen, but a Danny Harris equaliser was
the least the Darts deserved for their second-half endeavours.
Dartford boss Tony Burman
(pictured) named the same side which drew 2-2 at Southport on
Saturday. Mark Arber, still shaking off a recent illness, was again
named among the substitutes and Tom Champion partnered Tom Bonner
in central defence.
After a quiet start, the hosts went close when
Lee Burns delivered an inviting cross which James Rogers headed
wide at the far post.
But it was Stockport who opened the scoring on
11 minutes. Adnan Cirak unloaded with a shot which goalkeeper
Marcus Bettinelli shovelled back into the six-yard box, gifting
Cullen an opportunity which he gobbled up from close range.
Bettinelli then had another shaky moment,
dropping a deep cross at the feet of Cirak, who lacked composure as
he blazed a wild shot over the bar.
Stockport arrived in north Kent on the back of
three straight home defeats and perilously close to the Blue Square
Bet Premier drop zone but they played with a confidence which
belied their league position. Jon Nolan headed over from a Cullen
cross and Cirak forced Bettinelli to hold his long-range shot as
County continued to force the issue.
The Darts keeper then pushed a Danny Whitehead
shot round the base of the post. Dartford did come to life as
half-time approached but Rogers and Hayes were both off-target with
efforts from inside the box.
After the break, the home side showed greater
urgency and Hayes unloaded with a half-volley which fizzed just
past the angle of post and bar.
Burman made a double substitution midway
through the second-half and one of the players introduced,
Gillingham loanee Jack Evans, made a real difference with some
deadly set-piece deliveries.
The home side looked the more likely scorers
and sure enough, they equalised with 20 minutes remaining. After an
almighty scramble inside the box, Harris got his foot to the ball
and forced it over the line.
Suddenly, the home fans could sense a winner
and Crawford rolled a shot just wide of the far post before another
substitute, Nathan Collier, whipped an effort across goal and
There was to be no late drama, though, with
County surviving a series of late Dartford corners to ensure the
spoils were shared.
Dartford: Bettinelli, Burns,
Bonner, Champion, Green, Hayes, Wallis (Evans 64mins), Bradbrook,
Rogers (Erskine 64mins), Harris (Collier 79mins), Crawford. Subs
not used: Arber, Sutton. Attendance: 757.