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Dartford manager Steve King reacts to 2-1 National League South win over Chelmsford City

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Manager Steve King admitted he was left frustrated despite picking up a vital home win on Tuesday night.

Dartford beat Chelmsford 2-1 in National League South at Princes Park but were made to work hard for the points by a side that played with 10 men for nearly half the match.

Dartford manager Steve King. Picture: Barry Goodwin (55484221)
Dartford manager Steve King. Picture: Barry Goodwin (55484221)

“That’s as frustrated as I’ve been for a long time,” claimed King.

“We’re getting a mixed bag of performances at the moment, one minute unbelievable, the next minute not good enough, then all over the place. We should have seen the game out.

“We’re playing a young side with no expectations on them in Chelmsford, they’ve got some good young players and they made a real fist of it second half, even when they were down to 10 men, they still had a right go.

“They’re not playing for anything as in position-wise, there’s not pressure on them.

“We’re trying to cement our place in the play-offs and finish as high as we can in that situation. We’re being fed information of what is going on at other stadiums so it becomes a pressure cooker of an atmosphere.”

After playing over half the game at Chippenham last Saturday with 10 men, Dartford looked leggy in the second half against Chelmsford.

King admitted that might have taken its toll as he admitted he’d told his team that they were running on empty.

“There was a lot of nervous energy,” he added. “I’m not going to go into individuals now but if I look around the team, I could see it.

“In the dressing room after the game I said to four or five of them that they’d run out of gas and every single one of them said I was 100 per cent right.

“There’s people that have come into the side that haven’t been in there and we’re asking them to play fast football for 70, 80, 90 minutes. We’re playing four or five players that haven’t consistently played 90 minutes so I can see why it happened.”

On the red card for Chelmsford’s Eduino Vaz, King felt referee Steven Hughes made the right call.

“He had not alternative, the referee,” said King. “George Porter has got the other side of the player and he brought him down for a foul.

“His next two touches are going to be in the penalty area. He was the last man in their line of defence – there was no-one beyond him.”

And on yet another wonderful Jack Jebb free-kick, King noted: “That’s the difference when you’re playing against us and we get a free-kick in that area, there’s always a chance that Jack Jebb can put it in the top corner.

“He did it for me at Welling and he’s done it a number of times here, it’s another important goal. It was outstanding.”

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