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Dowson: ‘You’re not going to win when conceding three goals’
Dowson: ‘You’re not going to win when conceding three goals’

Two teams who are having difficult times in the league met in a pulsating F.A. Cup tie at Princes Park with Welling United claiming the bragging rights at Dartford.

Coming into the game, both teams have been struggling since the August Bank Holiday weekend. Dartford had lost all three of their games and scored just once. However, it was defensive failings that caused Dartford Manager Alan Dowson his biggest concern in this match.

“You’re not going to win when conceding three goals.” he complained. “Their midfielder (Antony Papadopoulos) scored a hat-trick and if our defence is not looking great on the day you’re not going to win games. Simple.”

He knew what to expect from Welling and set up accordingly. Dowson said “We played a three man midfield to try and stop that happening because I think a four-four-two, we might get run a bit, but it didn’t stop it happening. Defensively, what are we doing? You’re not going to win games (when conceding three times). I thought their number twenty-two (Tristan Abrahams) was excellent. He caused a lot of problems but defensively, as a group, we weren’t very good today.

“You can play well, you can play badly. We had a chance of a penalty claim, we had one cleared off the line maybe but if they scored three and a midfield player scored all three, you’ve got a bit of a problem.”

When Lewis Manor scored his second to put Dartford two-one up, Dowson sensed that the momentum was in his team’s favour. “I thought that we were going to win the game three-one but football is a game of ifs and buts.”

Any suggestion that he was under pressure were soon put to bed. “I’ve just lost four on the spin so it’s not very good for me but we’ll crack on, we’ll move forward, and when we can get our best team out it will help. I’m a bit devastated actually. I don’t know how I can be under pressure. Last season we finish second from top, lose five players, sign a new team so I don’t feel I’m under pressure. If anyone else wants to put us under pressure it’s up to them.”

Injuries haven’t helped and Dowson continued “I don’t know what teams in our league can manage with eight injuries. If you have four injuries it’s hard but if you have eight injuries, it’s a lot of injuries to have. Once everybody’s fit there’s no excuses.”

Some good news for Dowson is that a number of missing players are due to return. “Blocky “Tommy Block” will definitely be back next week.” he confirmed. “Maxwell (Statham) should be as well. (Brandon) Barzey today showed a bit. He should be okay. Wally (Alex Wall) had his first minutes of the season, Luke Allen should be fit next week, I believe, so we’ve got a chance of getting some players back on the pitch.”