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Dartford manager Steve King on 1-0 defeat to St Albans City in National League South

Dartford manager Steve King was left to reflect on missed opportunities after they were caught by what he described as a sucker-punch on Tuesday night.

The Darts lost 1-0 to St Albans, missing a string of good chances and Charlie Sheringham seeing his penalty saved as they suffered their second home reverse in National League South.

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

“We missed loads of chances, three in the first half, bread and butter chances for me that we should be scoring all day long,” stated King.

“They had a couple of chances, obviously, Craig King made a good save at the end of the first half. The second half we dominated and they had one shot on goal in the 90th minute which went in.

“We missed a penalty, I think it was a soft penalty but we should have got one before when Jacob was pulled back so I suppose you can say it evens itself out.

“Charlie has to do better with the penalty for me, it was a great height for the goalkeeper where he’s put that.

“You can see their intention, they took the centre-forward off and went 4-5-1 in the end and then he’s pulled out a shot from nowhere. He did nothing all game but I said before the game that he does that, (Shaun Jeffers) scores goals at this level.

“From his point of view it was a worldie, and you could see what it meant to them by the way they celebrated, it was like they’d won the World Cup.”

King will look at the goal on video before deciding whether keeper Craig King could have done better.

But, either way, it was an opportunistic strike from Shaun Jeffers, who also hit the bar for St Albans in the second half.

“I wanted to look at it before I spoke to you,” said King. “It looked like it was in the centre of the goal and he got his hands to it so whether he could have touched it over, I don’t know.

“It looks more theatrical because it has hit the bar and bounced down. It was going to take (something special) to win the game.”

Dartford had enough openings in the game but King was left frustrated by both their finishing and some of the crossing into the box.

“Jack Barham had a great header from Gavin McCallum’s cross and we had enough chances to win the game,” he said.

“Gavin did well but he got into some fantastic areas but most of his crosses were poor. He had the run of the left-hand side, put 10 crosses in, three good ones and seven bad ones.

“For me, it’s not good enough. He did alright defensively as well but he is more a winger so I expect quality from him.

“I was disappointed with the end product from a lot of the boys, Jazzi on the right-hand side as well.

“It’s disappointing because for me it was a smash and grab in my opinion. But if we don’t take our chances then we don’t deserve to win the game. It’s as simple as that.”

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