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Dartford FC boss Tony Burman felt his side gifted Gosport Borough victory in Vanarama National League South

By Steve Tervet

Dartford boss Tony Burman was left to rue errors at both ends of the field after his team's 3-2 home defeat to Gosport Borough on Saturday.

Sloppy defending at the end of the first period handed Gosport a penalty kick, which Justin Bennett scored, before a kamikaze Callum McNaughton backpass gifted Bennett a second goal after the break.

McNaughton had been similarly at fault for one of Concord's goals against Dartford in midweek, after Ronnie Vint's poor touch had set the Beachboys up for their opener.

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

Darts turned that match around to win 3-2 but they couldn't pull Saturday's game from the fire.

Burman said: "It’s something that’s got to be stamped out. The players know that and I hope they learn because you just can’t give goals away like we have done in the last two games.

"The back-four are young and they’re going to make mistakes. You have to live with that.

"You hope they don’t but they’ve got to get that consistency - and they will do. It takes time but they will do."

Dartford should have been in front long before Gosport's opportunity from the spot but good chances went begging at the other end.

Ryan Hayes, George Sykes and Tom Bradbrook should all have done better when they found themselves in advantageous positions.

Burman said: "In the last third, some of our play should have been a bit more intelligent than it was. The players are better than that but our touch, when it was played up to people, could have been better.

George Sykes in the Gosport penalty area on his full Dartford debut Picture: Andy Payton
George Sykes in the Gosport penalty area on his full Dartford debut Picture: Andy Payton

"If we’d scored in the first half, who knows what might have happened? On another day, if we’d taken the lead, if would have given us the adrenaline in such horrendous conditions, heat-wise.

"The heat was horrendous for both sides and I knew the team that scored the first goal, it would get the adrenaline pumping for them and it would give them a lift.

"We didn’t get that lift and we conceded a penalty before half-time, which gave the Gosport players a lift. They didn’t cause us that many problems but it’s a sucker-punch when you don’t put the ball in the back of the net."

Missed opportunities so often come back to haunt teams and Burman was always wary of that.

"We’re experienced enough to know that can happen," he said "We had the majority of the play in the first half and we needed to come in 0-0. If we’d taken the lead, I think it would have been a different game with the energy back into the side.

"But it wasn’t to be and we’ve given the game away, I think, rather than losing it to the better side."

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