Published: 00:00, 09 November 2016
Dartford manager Tony Burman felt his players paid the price for taking their eye off the ball against St Albans on Tuesday night.
The Darts won their previous five National League South matches but lost 2-0 at Princes Park – their first home league defeat of the season.
“Our defending in the first half wasn’t what we should be doing, and have been doing,” said Burman.
“Players have forgotten even in the last two games what we’ve been doing in the previous 10 that has got us results.
“We lost a little bit of concentration in the last 15 minutes (of the first half). We played reasonably well in the first 30 minutes and they looked dangerous on the break.
“When we play at home it’s up to us to stamp our authority on the game but you have to do that and still be organised. We were playing with six-up and not taking any consideration for when the ball broke down and St Albans took advantage of that.”
Burman was disappointed by his side’s defending on both goals – especially giving away what he felt were cheap free-kicks.
“We gave away two silly free-kicks and they punished us with their set plays,” he added.
“The delivery on the first goal was excellent and the guy (Merson) is not the biggest but he can get up well and can head the ball. Our problem was the lead up to the foul, we had opportunities to clear the ball and we tried to play out. That led to someone diving in and giving away a cheap free-kick.
“The second goal, 30 seconds before half-time, we should have had a foul prior to the free-kick on Luke. But that doesn’t mean to say that because we haven’t got the free-kick that we should go and foul someone out of frustration because that’s what it was.”
Only 652 braved the cold weather at Princes Park and it was an understandably low-key atmosphere in comparison to Saturday’s FA Cup first round tie with Sutton.
Burman added: “It was a different atmosphere to what it was on Saturday, it was very flat. But we have to make the crowd get behind us to a certain extent.
“Having said that, we could have won the game. Not keeping our discipline and concentration is one of the reasons we’ve lost.
“I thought we played some decent football, it wasn’t poor in that respect. But we wasn’t ruthless enough in their box and they defended reasonably well. In the second half, anything we hit was being blocked and went out for a corner.”