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Dartford FC boss Tony Burman on the dramatic 3-2 win at Poole Town

By Steve Tervet

Tony Burman led the wild celebrations after Dartford scored a 96th-minute winner to snatch third place from Chelmsford on the final day of the season.

As the regular National League South season reached its climax, third-placed Chelmsford led 1-0 at Hungerford and looked certain to finish above the Darts - with the sides already guaranteed to face each other in the play-offs.

But knowing league position would determine who had home advantage in the second leg next Sunday, a Hungerford equaliser in the 82nd minute opened the door for Dartford.

Dartford manager Tony Burman Picture: Andy Payton
Dartford manager Tony Burman Picture: Andy Payton

Burman's side were 2-1 down to Poole as the game entered stoppage-time but Tom Murphy scored to bring the two rivals level on points as things stood.

And when Lee Noble prodded home a dramatic winner in the dying seconds, it was enough to move Dartford above Chelmsford in the final table.

"We knew what was going on over at Hungerford," Burman said. "We were 2-1 down at half-time and I was really disappointed with that simply because it was two set-pieces we conceded from.

"In the second half we created quite a few chances and their goalkeeper pulled off so many good saves that I thought it wasn’t going to be our day.

"We made a few changes, which we wanted to do anyway if we could, and we kept going forward and had so many corners and then we got the goal which made it 2-2.

"We then knew it was 1-1 over at Hungerford. We were shouting out ‘it’s 1-1, let’s go for it’.

"We knew we were in injury time but their goalkeeper was wasting a lot of time which backfired on Poole.

"We thought it’d be nice to get something and then, all of a sudden, after missing and having so many chances saved, Nobes popped up and popped one in and all hell let loose.

"We knew on the bench that it was 1-1 and it just went crazy.

"I let myself go a little bit. The players came over near enough to the bench and everyone was just relieved.

"If you’d seen me, you’d have seen how much it means to all us, the way we reacted.

"It still gives me a great deal of enjoyment. If I wasn’t enjoying it, I wouldn’t be here.

"I’m really looking forward to the play-off games now."

The first leg takes place at Chelmsford's Melbourne Stadium on Wednesday (7.45pm).

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