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Dartford manager Tony Burman on the 1-0 defeat to East Thurrock

By Matthew Panting

Dartford boss Tony Burman felt Monday’s defeat against East Thurrock was a game too far for his players.

The Darts lost their unbeaten record to East Thurrock, who bagged the points thanks to Sam Higgins’ first-half winner.

After seven games in a month, Burman’s side struggled on a hot afternoon at Princes Park.

Tom Bonner leaps into action against East Thurrock Picture: John Westhrop
Tom Bonner leaps into action against East Thurrock Picture: John Westhrop

“We’ve been doing some really good things in August and in the first half I can’t remember a chance we created,” said Burman.

“For me to say that about our side is not good.

“East Thurrock did a job on us. In this heat it is the same for both sides, but if you go a goal down it becomes a bit more difficult.

“We huffed and puffed in the second half and should have got back into it. Again it wasn’t through lack of effort.

“We were forced into playing too many long balls and we couldn’t get the tempo up to what I wanted it to be, probably because of the heat.

“It suited an away side, where they got people behind the ball and their front two chased everything.”

The Darts boss was also left reflecting whether he should have rested rookie striker Warren Mfula and handed Andy Pugh his first start of the season.

Andy Pugh gets in a tangle Picture: John Westhrop
Andy Pugh gets in a tangle Picture: John Westhrop

“Warren has done brilliantly for us (at Hemel) and it was probably a game too many (for him),” said Burman.

“In hindsight maybe he could have had a rest because he worked his socks off on Saturday but we had a winning team and I decided to go with what I did.”

Burman also felt that his team should have had a penalty in the second half against East Thurrock.

“If I’m honest there was a stonewall penalty where a fella has cleared it off the line with his hands,” added the Darts boss.

“The referee has decided he didn’t see or didn’t want to see it.

“One of his linesman must have seen it. I’ve seen it from the box and to me he put both hands up and it hit both hands to stop the ball going in the net.

“But at the same time from that position we should score.”

Alfie Pavey rues an opportunity missed Picture: John Westhrop
Alfie Pavey rues an opportunity missed Picture: John Westhrop

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