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Manager Alan Dowson praises Dartford board after successive National League South wins kick-start their season

Boss Alan Dowson has praised the support he has received from Dartford’s board - after enjoying a recent walk in the Lake District with co-chairman Steve Irving.

Darts had been winless in National League South this season from four fixtures prior to their Bank Holiday weekend double-header, but they earned a much-needed two victories in three days.

Lewis Manor – was on target in Monday’s 2-0 home win over Dover in National League South. Picture: Keith Gillard
Lewis Manor – was on target in Monday’s 2-0 home win over Dover in National League South. Picture: Keith Gillard

A last-minute Harvey Bradbury header saw them defeat newly-promoted Aveley 1-0 last Saturday while, two days later, Oxford United loanee defender James Golding and forward Lewis Manor netted in a 2-0 success over Dover. Midfielder Luke Coulson also missed a second-half penalty.

Concern had been growing among Dartford fans with their early-season form disappointing after a winless pre-season.

Now, though, they have shot up to 11th and are only a point outside the play-off places.

Dowson said: “The chairmen have been good, to be honest. I’ve got to praise the board.

“Sometimes, you go against the board and want more money off them. But I cannot fault these lot.

“We’ve been having a difficult time this season. When you’re not winning games, that’s when you find out a lot about people. It’s been good.

“There was panic around the club about not winning games. I had a walk up in the Lake District with the chairman.

“Unfortunately, he has never brought a drink in his life so that was down to me! But it’s nice to get away from the football ground, talking about the future of the club. It’s nice doing something away from the club.

“After we conceded the last-minute penalty [in a 1-1 home draw with Farnborough], I was gutted. I wanted to take on the world. But he said: ‘There’s no problem at all’.

“I know I’m an experienced manager - but it’s still nice to hear those things. I cannot praise him and Tony Burman [former manager and director of football] enough, to be honest.

“Hopefully, we can crack on now.”

Manor’s effort was his first for Darts after Bradbury claimed his second of the campaign in dramatic fashion. But Dowson believes there is more to come from them.

He said: “We like to get boys in the box. It’s just about getting the right service into them.

“We’re settling in still, I’m not daft. I do think there’s a bit more to do.

“With the chances we’re creating, we have got to score more.

“But it’s been good to get a couple of clean sheets.”

Golding, 19, continues to impress at Dartford. He helped them keep successive clean sheets and netted their first against Dover in front of a crowd of 1,203 at Princes Park.

Dowson noted: “He has been outstanding, he’s our player-of-the-season at the minute.

“The back four were conceding a lot of goals in pre-season. But he’s come in and been first class.”

There’s a tricky away clash for Darts this Saturday at sixth-placed Taunton, who are already on a four-game unbeaten run.

“We have got a tough game against Taunton,” said Dowson, whose team are at home to Slough on Tuesday.

“It’s always difficult there and they have made a good start.

“They have a 100% home record this season.”

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