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Welling United manager Steve Lovell on 2-2 draw at Dartford in National League South

New Welling manager Steve Lovell felt it was a case of two points dropped at National League South leaders Dartford.

The Wings played their first game under the former Gillingham boss on Saturday but they had to settle for a point after letting a two-goal lead slip.

New Welling manager Steve Lovell. Picture: Ady Kerry
New Welling manager Steve Lovell. Picture: Ady Kerry

“I’m pleased in a way but disappointed not to get the win to be honest,” said Lovell.

“Dartford had a spell of about 20 minutes in the second half where they came on strong and they had to because they were 2-0 down.

“We couldn’t keep them out, they are a good side going forward and they caused us problems second half. But first half I thought we were in control, we played so well.

“I haven’t had a lot of time to work with the boys but the shape was brilliant and they gave everything that was asked of them. When we went 2-0 up, I still thought there was time for Dartford to do something, and they did.

“The fitness told. All of our boys haven’t played for four or five weeks, and I told. They gave everything and really worked hard, they were out on their feet at the end.”

Lovell fielded four new signings from the squad he inherited and he was happy that the work from the training ground in the past few weeks showed early signs of fruition.

“I was very pleased that we took to the shape well in the first half,” he added. “We were disciplined in our shape, and I said to them at half-time someone wouldn’t have known who was the top side and who was the bottom side.

“I was pleased at the end that we didn’t lose it, we didn’t deserve to lose because of the effort the boys put in.

“There were times on the ball that we could have used it a bit better but you know me, I’m always picky. That’s something we’ve got to strive for.

“Everyone put a shift in, there’s not one person I can say has let us down. It was two points lost, I’m disappointed not to have won the game but I’m pleased that we didn’t lose it.

“We did it the best we could. We tried to arrange a couple of friendlies but they were postponed not because of the virus but because of waterlogged pitches in the end.

“We’ll prepare for Tuesday and the rest of the season, and if that’s not the case then we’ll prepare for next season. It gives me a chance to evaluate the players.”

Lovell was never one to criticise officials when in charge of Gills, and he adopted a similar view when asked about the potential red card of Darts defender Connor Essam.

A late challenge on Anthony Cook just before half-time saw Essam escape a second yellow card and he was swiftly replaced at the break.

“It could have had a big say in what the rest of the game was going to be like,” said Lovell.

“Referees are under a lot of pressure anyway, he wasn’t going to change it so I don’t get involved. Other people get involved with referees but I don’t.

“I’m too old to realise that you’ll never overturn a referee decision unless you’ve got VAR. It’s a hard enough game for him to manage out there. Perhaps he could have been sent-off for a second bookable offence, but he didn’t think it was.”

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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