Darts urged to keep it clean - 17/08/23

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Park Life
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Darts urged to keep it clean - 17/08/23

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https://www.kentonline.co.uk/dartford/s ... an-291854/

Alan Dowson concedes Dartford will have to find a way to keep clean sheets if they’re going to be successful this season.

Darts have made a slow start this term in National League South and are winless after three league games.

They responded from their 1-0 weekend loss at Weymouth with a 1-1 draw at home to Hampton & Richmond on Tuesday but were pegged back late on.

It could have been worse but young on-loan Accrington Stanley goalkeeper Jack McIntyre, at fault for the goal at Weymouth, made an excellent last-gasp save to preserve a point.

Dartford manager Dowson said: “We’ll be all right this year but we’re never going to win anything, just like last year, if we don’t keep clean sheets.

“We had a massive problem last year and it’s happened all pre-season. Our centre-half from Oxford, [James Golding], I thought he was our best player.

“Defensively, we did OK, the keeper did OK as well, but we’ve got to try and keep a clean sheet.

“If we don’t get them, we’ll just stick where we are in the table and not get any higher, in my opinion, and we’re not going to achieve anything.”

Dartford have only kept three shut-outs since March, the most recent of which came away to Hampton at the end of last season.

Dowson was dealt a defensive blow in midweek with Sam Odaudu hobbling off injured before half-time.

But, with Maxwell Statham close to fitness, Dowson thinks he could be a potential replacement while Baris Altintop returned to his starting line-up against Hampton.

“It’s a little bit of a hamstring [problem],” he said of Odaudu’s knock.

“Baris came in and did all right, didn’t he?

“If Statham gets a couple of training sessions under his belt, we obviously have a replacement to go in there, so it shouldn’t be a problem.”
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