Dartford manager Alan Dowson praised the character of his players after they won a seven-goal thriller at Worthing on Tuesday night.
Without suspended duo Harvey Bradbury and Joash Nembhard, the Darts dug deep and recovered from conceding early on and then letting a 3-1 lead slip to score the winner with seven minutes left.
“The work-rate and the character was really pleasing,” beamed Dowson. “Before we went 1-0 down, Luke Coulson had a one-on-one you’d expect him to finish and he didn’t. A few minutes later, we’re 1-0 down.
“Our character to come back from that was very good to then go in 3-1 up at half-time.
“Worthing are not a bad side, though, and they got back in it with a worldie goal, then a sloppy goal made it 3-3. So, for us to go again and go 4-3 up shows a lot of character.
“We’ve lost seven games, all by one goal, and we’ve never been far away in any game. We’ve got to turn the screw a little bit and hopefully the Worthing win will help us push on. We should have had a couple of penalties as well at the end.”
With personnel missing through injury and recent decisions going against his players, Dowson took advantage of Saturday’s postponed trip to Truro.
He wants to create a siege mentality among his squad, and admitted: “The whole session on Saturday was about that. You’ve probably hit the nail on the head.
“It wasn’t about how we trained, it was the meeting we had. We said it seems almost everyone or everything is against us at the minute.
“We weren’t expected to go to Worthing and win, we’re not expected to beat Maidstone in the FA Trophy this weekend, and people think we’ll just be steady all season.
“I’ve got things wrong this year, listen, I’m the first one to admit that I haven’t got it perfect at this minute. People are telling me we’re not as good as last year but we haven’t finished the season yet!
“We’re talking about it in November, so let’s judge it in May. If people say it in May, I’ll accept it. Let’s just see where we are and I’ll know if I’ve got it right or wrong.
“Everybody is saying it’s been an awful season, but it’s not a bad season, it’s been a bad time or a bad couple of weeks.
“We played some good football at Worthing, we passed it well and Archie Woods and Luke Allen were our two best players for me.
“Yes, maybe we’ve had a couple of bad games, but let’s see how ‘bad’ the season is at the end of it.
“You can’t judge us yet, we haven’t been top two or three like we were for most of last season but we might just go one better this season than we did last year. We’re starting to get going now and we’ve got to believe that.”
After losing a home derby to Welling in the FA Cup, it’s another derby for the Darts this Saturday as they entertain Maidstone in the FA Trophy Second Round.
“We watched them on Saturday,” added Dowson. “They’re a good side, and apart from that game they’ve been on a good run.
“We don’t want to lose it as we lost in the first game of the FA Cup and we know how important the local derbies are to the fans. If we can win that one then we’ll be in a good place.”