Dowson stays calm - 18/08/23

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Dowson stays calm - 18/08/23

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There’s no panic at Dartford yet, insists boss Alan Dowson.

Having finished second in National League South and lost out in their play-off Semi-Final last season, Darts will hope to be vying for promotion again this time.

But they’re winless after three games, having been pegged back at home to Hampton & Richmond on Tuesday after frontman Harvey Bradbury’s header while winger Brandon Barzey was dismissed late on.

Dowson is remaining level-headed, though, despite early-season criticism he and his players have been given on fans’ forums.

Dartford were also winless throughout their pre-season. They had started with two league triumphs last year but had just nine points from their first seven fixtures.

“There’s 43 games to go so I’m as calm as you like,” said the experienced Geordie, who denied Saturday’s home game against Farnborough is now a must-win match.

“I really am.

“I’m not getting paid to take pressure, I’m getting paid to try and manage a football club. That stuff doesn’t bother me.

“I don’t read them [fans’ forums] - I do get told about them - but I just think some of them are idiots. They’re slagging the team off after three games.

“We came second here last year and we’ve got a top-12 budget.

“But that’s just some of them, the majority of them are as good as gold.”

One of several crosses by defender Tommy Block led to Bradbury’s goal against Hampton and Dowson felt he was a stand-out performer, alongside recently-signed Oxford United loanee defender James Golding.

“Tommy and the centre-half were excellent,” he noted. “We’ll take a lot of positives from that.

“It’s just disappointing we conceded so late again.

“We’ve got to do something with the strikeforce. We are having chances and, with the chances we missed on Tuesday, it’s not right to be honest.

“It should have been ‘game over’ - but it wasn’t.

“But I will take the positives that we’re getting there.”

Dowson admitted perhaps the toll of trying to get their first three points on the board contributed to missed second-half chances to double their advantage before Borough levelled through experienced defender Dean Inman.

“Good point,” he said. “If we scored and went 2-0 up, then it’s ‘game over’ completely.

“I thought we were miles on top, second half. But we just have got to move forward now.”

And once that first league victory is on the board, that may help spread more confidence through the team and their creative players in particular.

Dowson said: “We’ve got to be clinical.

“We do a lot of defensive work but we’ve got to do some attacking work. We’ve put some good balls in areas and we have got to finish those chances.”

Dartford will attempt to add to their two-point tally from their first three games when they host Farnborough, who have made a slightly better start than them.

They are two points better off than Dowson’s outfit after winning 2-1 against Hemel on Tuesday to move to four points.

Ex-Dartford frontman Alfie Pavey bagged their first.

Dowson said: “It’ll be another tough game.

“We just need to finish our chances and keep a clean sheet.”

Barzey will be available as his suspension will not start until the following week.
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