Alfreton Town’s long trip to Kent left everyone disappointed, with a facile performance littered with defensive errors.
Even with Adam Quinn partnering Darren Kempson at the heart of the Red’s defence, and the return of popular keeper Jon Stewart on loan from Burnley, Alfreton were unable to stem the tide as Dartford swept them aside with a five-
Harry Crawford led the way for the Darts with a hat trick that began in the 11th minute after Kempson’s slip allowed him free access down the left to beat Stewart at his near post.
His second goal came three minutes after the interval when he was left with enough time and space to loop a header over Stewart from a Ryan Hayes cross.
Crawford completed his treble eight minutes from time despite a point-blank save by Stewart from his initial shot after Kempson failed to clear.
Other goals for Dartford were scored by Elliot Bradbrook in first half added time with a simple header from a Hayes corner, while eight minutes earlier Hayes’ long ball out of defence had sent Jacob Erskine on a clear run before shrugging off Quinn’s challenge to slot past Stewart.
Danny Meadows scored Alfreton’s consolation goal in the 80th minute with the Reds already trailing 4-0.
Meadows initiated the move by sending sub Nathan Arnold down the right before scoring from 16 yards off the foot of the post.
Alfreton had their moments- Ben Tomlinson’s header looked certain to go in from Simon Russell’s free-kick but Richard Rose managed to hack the ball off the line.
Two minutes before the interval Lee Burns headed off the line as Dan Bradley almost succeeded in reaching a return pass from Josh Law.
Then in the 72nd minute Quinn’s header out of defence sent Arnold clear to guide the ball around Dartford keeper Marcus Bettinelli, only for Mark Arber to clear off the line.
Other chances that came the Red’s way were Russell’s effort from 18 yards from a long Leigh Franks throw that went close after just 100 seconds had elapsed.
Then a long central run by Bradley in the 21st minute culminated in a low drive from 25 yards that was only just off target.
In the 41st minute Bettinelli held Russell’s free-kick at the back post as Quinn homed in, Meadows’ wasted a good chance on 51 minutes after cutting in from the right and 16 minutes after that Ashley Worsfold saw his low shot held from an Anton Brown throw.
Despite having so many chances Alfreton really were outplayed on the day and could not complain about the eventual outcome.
DARTFORD: Bettinelli; Rose, Champion, Bonner, Hayes (Collier 69), Erskine (Noble 75), Bradbrook (Wallis 75), Rogers, Arber, Burns, Crawford.
Others subs: Porter, Sutton.
ALFRETON: Stewart; Law, Quinn, Kempson, Brown, Franks, Taylor (Meadows 47), Bradley, Russell, Clayton (Worsfold 61), Tomlinson (Arnold 61).
Other subs: Franklin, Barnes.
Referee: Mr Richard Martin (Bristol)
Goals: Crawford (11th 1-0; Erskine 37th 2-0; Bradbrook 45+1 3-0; Crawford 48th 4-0; Meadows 80th 4-1; Crawford 82nd 5-1.
Bookings: Dartford: None. Alfreton: Kempson (17th) Foul on Rogers.
Man of the Match: Leigh Franks (Made valiant attempt to hold things together)
Next Game: Tomorrow (Tuesday 4th) v Lincoln City (Away) BSBP (k.o. 7.45pm).