Last night saw The Darts go in search of their first win of the 2016/17 Season at home to Gosport Borough.
The injury list had grown once again after the weekends match, seeing Andy Pugh unavailable for selection due to a groin strain, and new signing Duane Ofori-Acheampong was out for the second consecutive match with a hamstring injury.
Prior to kick off, Tony confirmed that Elliot Bradbrook was responding well to treatment and was expected to be back running by the end of the week; whilst Ronnie Vint was being rested as a precaution due to the head injury he sustained at the Whitehawk match the week before. Although Ronnie had also broken his wrist during that match, he will be available for selection at the weekend as he has now been fitted with a lightweight fibre cast for the next 4 weeks.
The match seemed to start well for The Darts, however a red card was shown to Tom Bonner on 9 minutes, forcing the management team to push Danny Harris to right back with Tom Gardiner slotting into central defence. Even with 10 men Dartford managed to have the best chance of the half, with Ellis Brown cutting in from the left hand side and shooting low, only to be denied by the post.
No other real threats from either team posed for a first half of end to end football, and at half time both teams had yet to find the net.
The second half started with both teams appearing far more lively than the first, but still none of the teams managed to convert their chances to take the lead.
Deren Ibrahim once again made some outstanding saves to deny Gosport any real chances of scoring, and Tony made two substitutions by bringing off Lee Noble and Ryan Hayes, and handing opportunities to Ben Francis and Richard Seixas.
Dartford held onto the game well, which ended in a 0-0 draw at the Princes Park Stadium.
Manager Tony Burman said ‘I thought the players were excellent last night after going down to 10 men after just 9 minutes. Once again I felt we were unlucky to not come in at half time 1-0 up. I dont think I can ever remember a start of the season with so many injuries and things not going our way. I feel we could easily have had more points to our total simply with the effort and the way we have played the first 4 games. We do need to get our first win but that will come. We have had 1 defeat in 4 and kept a clean sheet last night, and I felt the atmosphere and encouragement from the terraces was excellent.
Dartford: Ibrahim, Gardiner, Wood, Bonner, Wynter, Hayes, Noble, A.Brown, Wanadio, E.Brown, Harris Subs: Francis, Dembele, Seixas, Habte, Coxall.
Gosport: Rice, Cuthbertson, Bird, Carter, Poate, Pearce, Dawson, Harding, Flod, Bentley, Oastler Subs: Wright, Wilde, Bailey, Lanahan, Bufton
Dartford will now travel to Weston-Super-Mare on Saturday.