Published: 05:00, 19 December 2021
Dartford boss Steve King says they’re taking every precaution possible to keep their squad safe.
Many games across the country were postponed at the weekend due to Covid outbreaks but Darts are testing their players regularly in a bid to avoid it spreading through their squad.
They were missing seven players in Saturday’s FA Trophy win at Cray Wanderers – some due to Covid but others due to injury – but those who were involved had to test negative on the morning of the game.
“We tested all this week and we tested on Saturday morning so if anyone tested positive before the game they weren’t playing,” said King. “We’ve done the right thing.
“No-one has asked us to do that – the league haven’t asked, the FA haven’t asked to test. We’re taking it upon ourselves to do it because we don’t want it going around.
“We tested Thursday night and Saturday morning. Full-time clubs test every day, we test every time we’re in. They wait in their cars, we go to the car, test them and see the result. If it’s positive they go home, if not they train. We had no cases at training but a couple did (test positive) when they were at home.”
The missing faces meant Ronnie Vint was the only recognised centre-back in the Dartford team at Cray, although it’s not a totally new position for right-back Jordan Wynter, who has played there previously.
“Jordan Wynter was fantastic at centre-half and I felt he deserved to keep a clean sheet, he was outstanding,” said King, who saw his side score three goals in six minutes midway through the first half to effectively settle the contest.
“First half was very good and certain individuals were very good. Second half I was a little bit disappointed but I knew what was coming, I’ve watched them a few times so I knew what to expect. I got what I expected. I said if they get one back they’ll smell blood and come for us again but they got that goal late.”
It was a tale of two strikers for Dartford. The predatory Jake Robinson marked his return from a week out with a foot injury by bagging a brace while substitute Dan Roberts’ search for a goal continued after he missed two late chances.
King noted: “We’ve missed that sort of forward. Jake normally only needs a chance or two and it’s in the back of the net. He scored two from four chances in the game and we’ve missed that.
“He missed the first one, the keeper saved, then he scored, tucked the penalty away and could have had a hat-trick. He got a kick in the second half and we don’t need to flog him.
“We thought it was right to go with some legs up front and for me it was the right decision as Dan Roberts should score twice. He is low on confidence, I think if he gets a goal he’ll be alright again as he’s getting in there and creating the chances.”