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Dartford manager Steve King reacts to 1-0 National League South win over Ebbsfleet United


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Dartford boss Steve King felt it was a case of roles reversed after their derby success over Ebbsfleet on Tuesday night.

Jake Robinson’s first-half goal saw the Darts avenge their narrow loss in the reverse fixture - and King drew parallels between both National League South games.

Dartford's Danny Leonard looks to get beyond Ebbsfleet's Joe Martin. Picture: Dave Budden
Dartford's Danny Leonard looks to get beyond Ebbsfleet's Joe Martin. Picture: Dave Budden

“I’m very pleased to get three points,” King stated. “When we go back to the game previously against them we had the four best chances and should have scored but we didn’t. They had good possession, and scored in the 87th minute which was a dagger to the heart.

“Tuesday night was a little bit of a reverse on that. They’re a really good side and they missed three or four really good chances so the gods were shining on us.

“We’ve had a couple of draws recently where I think the performances weren’t the greatest but we still deserved to win those games.

“But I saw us run really hard against Ebbsfleet. When you’ve got a team that move the ball like them and take risks at the back, you’ve got to be super fit. Fitness-wise, we competed really well and our shape was good as well.”

Dartford could have easily been 2-0 ahead inside the first half-hour had Robinson converted a simple chance in front of goal.

But his miss was matched by some equally wasteful finishing from the visitors after the break, with Lee Martin and substitute Dominic Poleon missing some guilt-edged openings.

On Robinson’s miss, King noted: “I personally think at that point it is probably game over because whenever I’ve gone 2-0 up here we’ve never lost the game.

“I think we worked our socks off, Kory Roberts has come in and shown his quality with his positioning and the way he tackles, he was man-of-the-match quite rightly.

“Danny Leonard was very dangerous, they kept fouling him and we had to take him off at the end with a dead leg.

“We threw our bodies on the line and defended really well and I thought for the goal it was an unbelievable cross by Kai Innocent and Jake got on the end of it - that’s 12 in 12 for him now.”

Nearly 2,500 fans watched the game at Princes Park, creating an excellent derby atmosphere.

King certainly enjoyed the victory with his supporters as they maintained their unbeaten home record.

“It was a fantastic atmosphere,” King added. “I always go and clap the fans after a game but I think it was the first time I’ve really got involved.

“That’s what it’s about, if they can show us that then they can have a little jig at the end as well!

“The crowd were fantastic, I always thought it would be over 2,000. It was a good atmosphere and we got the three points, but I haven’t got rose-tinted glasses and I know they missed a number of chances.”

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