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Dartford manager Steve King reacts to 3-1 win over Eastbourne Borough in National League South

Dartford boss Steve King was left frustrated by his team - despite making it four wins out of four.

Darts lead the way in National League South but had a second-half scare against Eastbourne in Monday's 3-1 lead.

Dartford manager Steve King. Picture: Keith Gillard (50727761)
Dartford manager Steve King. Picture: Keith Gillard (50727761)

The hosts were brilliant in the first half but lost their way after the break, and it left a sour taste for King despite still picking up the three points.

"I struggle to accept that kind of performance," said King. "I don't go home happy, I go home frustrated.

"I'll go home and won't be buzzy Steve, I'll be a little bit down. It's stupid isn't it, but that's my make-up. I don't like faking a win, we deserved to win - don't get me wrong - but that 20-25 minute spell they had annoys me.

"The first half performance we played like Brazil, the second half we played like rag-arse rovers. It was chalk and cheese."

Dartford really turned on the style in the first half, hitting the woodwork twice and leading 2-0 as the visitors had no answer to their brilliant one-touch moves.

But the tone for the second half was set inside 10 seconds when poor defending gifted Eastbourne a way back into the contest.

"I felt we were unbelievable in the first half," stated King. "I thought we were another level and we showed that but you've got to kill teams off.

"They've got a really good front three who are a handful but they weren't in the game first half and the way we were moving the ball about was that good. We could have been 5-0 up and that's not an exaggeration.

"We gave them a crumb and they smelt blood - any team at this level will smell blood and have a go. They dominated us for 20 minutes when we were running and playing off the cuff.

"You can't go from eight or nine out of 10 and go to a three, you can't. You have to drop to a five or six and be professional enough to see the game out.

"Some of the football in the first half was sublime. the build-up to the penalty was ridiculous football.

"It's not attitude, they're all lovely guys. I just think it was complacency maybe. Noor was like a Rolls Royce in the first half and then disappeared second half.

"The game went scrappy, we didn't impose ourselves and they pushed us back. There was panic within the group and I haven't seen that yet, it was the first time.

"We got three points but the standards I set are that high that we can't play like that first half and then like that second half."

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