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Dartford v Tamworth

 

Dartford return to Conference Premier action for the first time in 26 years on Saturday with a home fixture against Tamworth.

This weekends league opener will be the first time Princes Park has tasted top flight non league football after The Darts won promotion via the playoffs three months ago.

After a a promising pre season which included wins over West Ham United, Leyton Orient and Arsenal, Tony Burman will be hoping his side will make the most of the home advanatge and get off to a flying start.

Added to last seasons squad are former Dagenham and Redbridge defenders Mark Arber and Richard Rose. Both players have impressed in recent friendlies and will be in contention to make their débuts. Nathan Collier, who joined from Hampton and Richmond could also make his first appearance in a Dartford shirt.

Rose became the third signing of the summer and has gained experience at Gillingham and Hereford United before loan spells with Bristol Rovers and Longford Town. The 29 year old has featured at right back but is able to fill in across defence and midfield and made a handful of appearances with The Daggers last season.

At the last minute Harry Crawford has agreed to wear the number 21 shirt. The 20 year old striker has opted to move across the Thames after he was released by Southend United at the end of last season. Crawford has also spent a loan spell with Kent rivals Dover Athletic in 2010.

Saturday will be the first time the two sides have contested against each other in league or cup. Tamworth will visit Princes Park with seven years of Conference Premier experience, although this was interrupted by a two year stint in the Conference North. Since The Lambs have returned to the top they have safely finished below mid table on all three occasions.

Manager, Marcus Law has been mostly around the Northern League scene before a spell at Kettering Town. Now boss of Tamworth he has made a host of signings including former Premier League midfielder Lee Hendrie. The 35 year old earned one cap with England some 14 years ago as a substitute against the Czech Republic.

With the loss of last season’s top scorer Iyseden Christie, Law swooped to sign Adam Cunnington from Dagenham and Redbridge and winger Peter Till from Conference Premier champions Fleetwood Town.

The Lambs had a difficult ending to last season with just two wins in the final half of the campaign. However, Tamworth’s warm up for the season opener has included a victory over West Bromwich Albion, a draw against Crewe Alexandra and a defeat at home to Bristol Rovers.

Did you know…

On Saturday it will be 26 years, 4 months and 25 days since Dartford won their last Conference Premier fixture. Then known as the Alliance Premier League The Darts beat Barrow 3-2 at Watling Street.

Last Five Opening Day Results

The Darts

2011 Weston Super-Mare 0 Dartford 4 Conference South
2010 Dartford 2 Havant & Waterlooville 2 Conference South
2009 Dartford 3 Horsham 2 Isthmian Premier
2008 Hendon 3 Dartford 0 Isthmian Premier
2007 Dartford 2 Maldon Town 2 Isthmian Division One (N)

The Lambs

2011 Barrow 1 Tamworth 1 Conference Premier
2010 Tamworth 4 Eastbourne Borough 2 Conference Premier
2009 Stevenage 1 Tamworth 1 Conference Premier
2008 Droylsden 1 Tamworth 1 Conference North
2007 Tamworth 4 Burscough 2 Conference North

 

 

 

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