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Dartford manager Alan Dowson vows to work hard on defensive shortcomings after mistakes cost his side three points in opening National League South clash against Bath City

Dartford manager Alan Dowson is working hard to make sure their defensive problems don’t undermine his new-look squad.

The Darts showed plenty of attacking quality in Saturday’s 3-3 draw at home to Bath in National League South.

Alan Dowson’s side let 2-0 and 3-2 leads slip against Bath. Picture: Keith Gillard
Alan Dowson’s side let 2-0 and 3-2 leads slip against Bath. Picture: Keith Gillard

But they were denied three points on the opening day of the new season after letting a 2-0 lead slip and then conceding an equaliser to their 10-man visitors deep into stoppage time.

“Looking at the game overall I thought we were good so I’m not knocking the performance at all,” said Dowson.

“We looked exciting going forward and in the first half we were excellent. But defensive frailties did us at the end. We were 2-0 up and in control but games are going to go on forever now.

“Yes, I was massively disappointed but I’ve moved on now. I was annoyed all day Sunday and it ruined my weekend but we do need to sort our defending out.

“We had a chat with them on Tuesday. One was a mistake by the left-back, one was the centre-half and goalkeeper, and the third one was a charity effort.

“We’ll be working hard on the training ground to get it together. We were doing well in the first half but we need to get it back on track.”

It’s not something new for Dowson to contend with during his tenure with Dartford.

They conceded some soft goals in the second half of last season, and were culpable again during pre-season as a number of new faces bedded into the squad.

“It happened a lot last season, we were conceding two or three goals quite a few times and after Christmas we would have been 14th in the league,” added Dowson.

“Adjustments had to be made and attacking-wise and in midfield I think we’ve improved on last year. We’ve just got to make sure we do the same with our defending.

“We passed the ball well, the way the lads played and how we looked dangerous was excellent. But if we’re going to throw away goals then it doesn’t matter how well we’ve done.

“Our defensive record wasn’t bad last season but it wasn’t great. I want to change it but I haven’t so far, although I know I will and I’m working hard to do that.

“I was at a League 1 club on Monday looking for a defensive player, we had a game behind closed doors on Tuesday and I was at a game that night as well.”

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