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Dartford manager Steve King says two-week break in National League South has 'done nothing'

Dartford boss Steve King says the two-week suspension in National League South and North has changed nothing.

The Darts returned to action with a 2-2 derby draw at home to Welling on Saturday.

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

It was their first match since mid-January after the National League paused step 2 football for a fortnight in a bid to turn proposed government loans into grants.

But the end result has been a loss of momentum for teams like Dartford, who were playing regularly prior to the shutdown.

“It’s done nothing, there’s still people saying don’t play and they’ve done the same thing and let us play,” said King.

“I don’t know what the outcome is going to be. Quite clearly you can see the North wanting to shut down and the South wanting to carry on, that’s how I’m viewing it.

“Speaking to managers and people in our division, I’d say a good 15 want to carry on. The North it looks like no-one wants to carry on, there’s a few in the top five that want to, but they’ve got another decision to make. Do they shut the North and South down? Do they carry on with the National?

“It’s something that we can’t control. I think there’s another twist and turn to come. You’ve only got to look at the fixtures on Saturday, all the northern teams pulled out and there were only one or two games in the end. There were five in the south that played.

“There might be another scenario coming but we’ll wait and see on that one.”

Asked if he had any sympathy with his players given the stop-start season after their standards slipped against Welling, King was unequivocal in his response.

“No, 100 per cent not,” stated the Dartford boss. “If you’d have seen them against Southend on Tuesday night, and Southend had six first-teamers playing, and their bench was first-team players and we won 5-1, we were so good.

“We dropped those levels, and if you drop those levels the fine margin in this league between top and bottom is (small). You get moments in games where you have to win the game, we go on and win that game normally.

“I’ve got no sympathy for them. They’re paid to play football, they’ve got to keep going and keep themselves fit but they did look tired.

“We’ve got the best home record in the league, believe it or not. It’s 21 points which is two points a game at home.

“But that performance is not good enough, it’s not a championship-winning performance for me – no chance.”

Dartford return to action at home to Eastbourne on Tuesday night.

Jordan Wynter (knee ligaments) is out for two to three months while midfielder Noor Husin (ankle ligaments) is sidelined for two to three weeks.

King added: “It’s a tough game. Eastbourne beat Hungerford, they’ve beaten us before and are a good side.

“They are having a good season, are top six already and are doing ever so well.”

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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