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Dartford FC manager Tony Burman pleased with the work-rate his players showed in 1-1 draw with Gateshead

By Steve Tervet
Dartford manager Tony Burman Picture: Keith Gillard
Dartford manager Tony Burman Picture: Keith Gillard

Dartford manager Tony Burman saw positives in Tuesday's 1-1 draw with Gateshead at Princes Park.

With just five games left, the Darts are 10 points from safety in the Vanarama Conference and staring relegation in the face.

But after their poor showing against Altrincham on Saturday, when Burman said he was let down by his players in a 2-1 defeat, Dartford showed more fight against the Tynesiders.

Burman said: "The pitch was very hard and the wind was dreadful so it wasn’t going to be a spectacle for the supporters. But to get a response from Saturday’s performance is a positive. We’d like to have the three points but we haven’t lost the game.

"We tried to do some things which hopefully helped the crowd to get behind them. I felt it was better than Saturday. On Saturday, I don’t think we gave a performance on the field to lift the crowd enough for them to get excited. It’s strange but it’s fact.

"We’ve played very well away from home, especially in the last few weeks. The players are playing with a little bit more confidence away from home than they are at home.

"There’s just an atmosphere and we’ve got to get over that.

"We’ve tried to take the mathematics away from the players and just tell them to express themselves, try to be confident, try to lift the crowd, try to make something happen.

"I didn’t think they did that on Saturday but they tried on Tuesday night in awful conditions and we got something from the game.

"Too many of them on Saturday weren’t up for the game. You can’t put your finger on it, you wonder why it happens but we got a response. It was a battle and there was a lot of work-rate.

"The play was dictated, in my opinion, by the conditions, but it was better (than Saturday). They worked hard and they tried to get something from the game.

"At any other time, a draw against Gateshead would be a decent result but it’s not what we wanted. We wanted three points."

The highlight of the night from a Dartford perspective was Jordan Chiedozie's excellent individual goal which opened the scoring. The on-loan Cambridge United striker, who made his debut against Altrincham, had a terrific game and was rightly named man-of-the-match.

Burman said: "He was very lively on Saturday. He’s only just come in and you can see that he’s a player with confidence, which is great and I think it’s what we needed.

"He got a great goal through a little bit of determination and battling.

"I’m pleased for him because he’s on loan to us but there’s Cambridge probably here looking at him and there’s probably other people looking at him as well.

"Fair play to him. I’m pleased with what he’s given us over the two games."

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