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Dartford manager Steve King reacts to the 1-1 draw with Dulwich Hamlet in National League South

Manager Steve King questioned Dartford’s ‘game intelligence’ after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Dulwich on Saturday.

The Darts could have easily taken all three points but their final ball into the box never arrived in the first half and then lacked quality in the second half.

Dartford manager Steve King. Picture: Chris Davey
Dartford manager Steve King. Picture: Chris Davey

King was disappointed his team failed to take maximum points and also felt his team should have crossed the ball more often.

“We got in great areas,” said the Dartford manager. “Kalvin Kalala caused them all sort of problems but the end product (wasn’t there). Jake Robinson got across the front post with the volley that was saved but other than that (we didn’t create enough) first half.

“Sometimes it is game intelligence. If I put a ball in early and the defenders are all facing the wrong way, with the wind and rain they might make mistakes and we get an own goal.

“I told them at half-time (to cross the ball more) but 30 seconds into the second half we were crossing from 40 yards out. Cross it but get further up the pitch.

“I would like to see how many crosses we put in but we needed to mix them up, front post, back post, hang it up, drill it. Too many times they were poor crosses.”

It was a game King felt his team did enough to win in the second half.

But chances came and went with Ade Azeez, Jake Robinson and Connor Essam all going close to scoring.

“We deserved to win the game hands down,” claimed King. “We battered them second half and how we haven’t scored (more) with the chances we had.

“Connor Essam has to score, he had two bites of the cherry.

“No-one can deny what we did second half. If you were looking at possession stats it was 70-30 and they were going to hit us on the counter.”

The game’s controversial moment saw Dulwich substitute Reise Allassani have a penalty appeal turned down just seconds before Darts went up the other end and equalised through Jake Robinson.

“It was a dive,” added the Dartford boss. “For me it’s a yellow card and Junior Kadi, their assistant, hit the nail on the head – if it’s not a penalty you’ve got to book him and I totally agree. For me he has waited for the contact and gone over too easily, simple as that.”

King revealed that the game was nearly postponed just before kick-off with referee Ben Atkinson concerned about the amount of surface water following a heavy downpour after the end of the warm-up.

“The referee was close to calling the game off,” said King. “He started five minutes late to give us a chance to get the surface water off.

“When we started it was still pouring down and I thought the game was going to be (abandoned). He played on and I thought it was a good game, end to end and entertaining. I felt we were going to nick the winner.

“It’s easy for me to sit in a dugout and say this or that but it was hard for them out there in those conditions, it was tough.”

King heaped praise on keeper Dan Wilks after his late save ensured Dartford took a point from the game.

Wilks was wrong-footed as Giovanni McGregor’s left-foot shot took a deflection but somehow he managed to claw it behind for a corner.

“It was an unbelievable save, he saw it late and it took a deflection,” enthused King. “It’s an incredible save, I said in the dressing room after the game what a save it was and everyone clapped him.

“It was world class, the player shifted it one way and then the other before he got the shot off.”

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