Thursday 01st September 2005

Dorking deserved their win, admits Burman


Sunday 28th
August 2005
FA Cup 
Preliminary Round
Stephen McCartney reports from 
Stonebridge Road
Dartford 1 Eddie McClements 45
Dorking 2 Lee Smith 40 (pen)
Craig Duffell 90


Dartford were dumped out of the FA Cup for the second year running by Dorking at Stonebridge Road today, writes Stephen McCartney.

The Darts went into the game having won all four of their opening Southern League Division One East games but were knocked out by an injury time fluke from substitute Craig Duffell.

Maybe the Darts players had lost concentration when referee Ian Wright - no, not that one! - fell on his backside requesting treatment for an injury.  Play was held up for about a minute before disaster struck.

Lee Smith, who worked tirelessly throughout, chased a through ball down the left hand side and cut the ball back to Duffell.  His cross-come-shot sailed over backpedaling Dartford goalkeeper Kevin Hudson and found the top far corner to sink Dartford's hearts.

Having stopped my watch due to the referee's injury, the time of the goal was 15 seconds inside stoppage time.  There was no way back.

In a poor first half the Kent side should have taken an eleventh minute lead when Dave Martin dragged a shot wide of the far post after good build up play from Eddie McClements and Ryan Hayes' left-footed cross from the flank.

The Ryman League second division side created a couple of chances on the half-hour mark when Smith's 16-yard snap shot and Kevin Terry's long range effort flew over.

But when referee Mr Wright pointed to the spot after Darts' central defender Richard Avery pushed Andy Willis from behind, they found themselves a goal down five minutes before the break.

Smith clinically despatched the penalty, firing inside the bottom right hand corner to stun the home faithful in the 281 sun soaked crowd.

But after Hayes and Martin swapped flanks, the Darts' equalised inside first half stoppage time.

Martin played a through ball, which sliced through two central defenders for McClements, and with only the goalkeeper to beat, he kept his composure to slot home inside the foot of the left upright.

Robbie Williams' "Let me entertain you" blasted out from the speakers as the players retreated to the dressing rooms.  We hoped for some entertainment as before the penalty incident the entertainment value was, sadly, non existent.

But it was Dorking that started the second half with a couple of chances.  Hudson stood tall at his near post to prevent Duffell scoring after he gambled on a mistake made by full-back Dan Westerman.

Dartford, however, were desperately unlucky with 21 minutes left when McClements brought the ball under control following Martin's cross, but his drive from just outside the box cannoned off the crossbar.

It was now time for the visitors to go angonsingly close when Duffell's overhead kick was touched onto the far post by Hudson and from the follow up Smith's shot from an acute angle struck the bar.

But when Duffell found the top far corner from his speculative cross-come-shot late on it will be Dorking that will "entertain" either Sidley United or Kentish Observer League side Deal Town (who drew 1-1 today at Hailsham Town) on the 10th September in the first qualifying round.

In an EXCLUSIVE interview with Darts' boss Tony Burman admitted Dorking deserved their win.

He said: "It wasn't what we wanted obviously, we wanted to go into the next round.  

"We knew Dorking were going to come here and play their hearts out and to be fair I thought they did and deserved their victory."

Burman, however, didn't blame his goalkeeper Kevin Hudson for Dorking's late winner.

"Kevin's been superb for us in all the games, everyone's said that.  It's a hopeful ball into the box.  I think he's just got caught out over his head.  

"However, we shouldn't have been in that position in the first place.

"That's exactly what happens in the FA Cup in the last five minutes.  They've got a result, give them credit, they fought very well and they're going into the next round and we're not."

Whilst the players in the visitors dressing room were jubilant, Burman revealed his players were downbeat at the final whistle.

"They're obviously disappointed," he said.  "They know they haven't performed that well today and yes, we've got an important game (at home to Waltham Forest) on Tuesday night.

"I'll be pleased when the midweek games stop really so we can have a little bit of a breather - but nevertheless we have to get on with it and carry on with the work we've started."

But having said that, if Burman's men beat the East Londoners and win at league leaders Boreham Wood on Saturday, this time next week they could be sitting at the top of the league.

Burman, however, plays down his side's chances of doing that, adding: "Football's a cruel game and we could lose the next two games.

"We've had two good weeks and if we don't get things right, we could have a bad week. 

"I am making no predictions.  The most important thing for us is that we get something from Tuesday's game."

But the Darts' could be sitting at the top of the league by the time their star striker, Tostao Kwashi returns from his trip to Vietnam.

"Tostao text me on Thursday and said he's just applying for the Visa and hopefully he'll be back at the end of next week," revealed the Darts' boss.

"I need to sit down with him and see what the situation is with his fitness."

Dartford: Kevin Hudson, Dan Westerman, Tommy Osborne (Capt), Anthony Henry, Richard Avery, Craig Maguire (Dominic Elmes 74), Ryan Briggs, Dave Martin (Steve O'Keeffe 83), Jim Carter (Ian Pulman 74), Eddie McClements, Ryan Hayes.  Subs: Brad Potter, Matthew Jones-Butler

Dorking: Stuart Baverstock, Joe Brandon, Steve Coyle, Kevin Burgess, Adam Broomhead (Capt), Nick De-Long, Kevin Terry (Kieron Phillpot 35), Tommy Ellis, Lee Smith, Andy Willis (Craig Duffell HT), Ricki Lunn (Dean Milton 76).  Subs: John Mills, Mick Daniels

Attendance: 281
Referee: Ian Wright (Romford)
Assistants: Alan Goddard (Dagenham) & Tony Goddard (Dagenham)