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Dartford manager Steve King says his in-form side must not let their standards drop ahead of home match against Oxford City

Manager Steve King has warned his Dartford team they cannot allow their standards to drop if they are to beat Oxford City.

Darts, top of the National League South form guide, have won five of their last six league fixtures and sit in seventh.

Dartford boss Steve King. Picture: Keith Gillard
Dartford boss Steve King. Picture: Keith Gillard

But this weekend’s visitors to Princes Park are in decent form, too, and claimed a 3-2 success over leaders Wealdstone on Saturday.

“They are in great form at the moment,” said King. “They have taken nine points from 12 and they have just beaten Wealdstone, who are top of the league.

“So we will need to be in good form to get anything.

“They have a bit of pace in their side in wide areas and some quality up front.

“One of their centre-forwards (Elliot Benyon) used to play for me (at Whitehawk), as well.”

Having impressed coming off the bench in wins against Tonbridge and Welling over the festive period, midfielder Luke Wanadio started in Dartford’s hard-fought 3-2 victory at Dorking last weekend.

King said: “It’s not just about the 11, it’s about the 16 or the 17.

“If people make a difference, then they will get an opportunity. Luke had done well in the two previous games, coming on and setting up Charlie Sheringham’s goal (against Tonbridge) and winning the penalty (against Welling).

“If we can get Luke to replicate the kind of form he showed a couple of years ago, we will have a real player on our hands.”

At Meadowbank, a Darren McQueen penalty and Elliott Romain’s second-half strike put the Darts in control before Wanderers responded through Jimmy Muitt and former Ebbsfleet man Luke Moore.

But McQueen, once again, stepped up to score from the spot in the closing stages to earn Dartford the points.

King, who also included another new signing in defender Nick Arnold, said: “We more than deserved the win. We were 2-0 up and could have gone 3-0 up.

"There was a foul at the back post on Josh (Hill) for their first goal.

“Then it became a bit end-to-end. They got their second goal when their player scored from 30 yards but we got a penalty at the end.”

Jordan Wynter got injured in the warm-up and faces a spell on the sidelines, while Norman Wabo has gone on a one-month loan to Cheshunt and Ryan Hayes has signed for Sevenoaks on a dual-registration basis.

But King has denied Dartford legend Hayes has played his last game for the club.

“It is just a dual-registration (move) so he can get games and then be part of our run-in,” he said.

“He wanted to go out, so I agreed.”

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