Eastbourne Borough v Dartford

Dartford start their F.A Trophy campaign on Saturday with a trip to Eastbourne Borough in the third qualifying round.

Last season Tony Burman led his squad to the last sixteen which included a shock victory against Conference Premier champions Crawley Town. The proud run came to an end after five matches when The Darts embarked on a long journey to Gateshead, losing 3-0.

Burman spoke to PURE DFC and set out his target in this years competition, he said: “We want to stay in the cup competitions for as long as we can. I said in the F.A Cup that I didn’t want replays and I meant that. We know it’s a tough game again but we got to go there and try to win the game. We’ll go there and do our bit”.

Adam Green opens his account for The Darts

The Darts have already beat the Sussex club in the second match of this season at Princes Park. Fine link up play by Elliot Bradbrook and Charlie Sheringham released Richard Graham on the left. Graham crossed deep and Bradbrook’s header across goal was calmly volleyed into the net by Charlie Sheringham on nineteen minutes. The Darts were two to the good on the hour when another Graham cross was met by Adam Green’s head at the far post, his first goal for the club. The Sports pulled a goal back three minutes into stoppage time when a looping header to the back post was bundled over the line by Ethan Strevett.

Dartford enter the F.A Trophy tie unbeaten in four matches, three of those were on the road. On Saturday, The Darts drew their second successive league game after leading Eastleigh by two goals. Adam Green scored for a second week in a row, this time from the penalty spot and the lead was increased by Jon Wallis. The home side were reduced to ten men but fought back to earn a point with goals from Danny Smith and Tom Jordan.

Burman was pleased with the first forty minutes against Eastleigh and feels his side should have come away with three points, he said: “Before the game if we would have got a point than you are thinking it’s a good point with eleven against eleven. They have gone down to ten men and we were two nil up as well and that is disappointing”.

Following Saturday’s draw Tony Burman has tweaked his squad with young prospect Jack Pallen switching to VCD Athletic on loan. Pallen has scored five times for Dartford in thirteen appearances which has included only five starts. The loan spell will be an excellent opportunity for Pallen to gain extra minutes on the pitch.

Striker Tony Garrod signs from Farnborough

With one player temporarily leaving the squad another player arrives. Tony Garrod has joined The Darts after just four months with Farnborough. The 20 year old striker was signed by the Hampshire club from Southampton in the summer. In September, Garrod scored a hat trick against Tonbridge Angels in a 5-1 victory.

Eastbourne Borough are going through a barren spell of late recording their last league victory at the beginning of October. Since their 3-0 win against Eastleigh they have picked up two points from fifteen. During that time The Sports found themselves on the back of a cup upset losing to East Thurrock United in the F.A Cup fourth qualifying round.

The Sussex club also reached the last sixteen last season which was the furthest in their history. Eastbourne were defeated by Guiseley in a replay which was the fourth time they had made it to the third round of the competition.

The Darts may be reacquainted with Carl Rook who joined The Sports in the summer. Rook made 27 competitive starts and 24 substitute appearances for Dartford scoring eight times in total.

New signing Tony Garrod will hope to make his Dartford début on Saturday whilst captain Bradbrook will be suspended for picking up five cautions this season.

Current Form (league)

Last five Eastbourne Borough matches at home Last five Dartford matches away
Lost 0-2 v Basingstoke Town Drew 2-2 v Eastleigh
Lost 1-2 v Tonbridge Angels Won 2-1 v Salisbury City
Won 3-0 v Eastleigh Won 3-0 v Thurrock
Won 3-2 v Boreham Wood Lost 1-3 v Boreham Wood
Won 2-1 v Havant and Waterlooville Won 2-1 v Farnborough

F.A Trophy Performances

Season Eastbourne Borough Dartford
2010/2011 3rd Round Proper: Guiseley 3rd Round Proper: Gateshead
2009/2010 2nd Round Proper: Cambridge United 3rd Qualifying Round: Dover Athletic
2008/2009 1st Round Proper: Swindon Supermarine 3rd Qualifying Round: St Albans City
2007/2008 3rd Qualifying Round: King’s Lynn 1st Qualifying Round: AFC Hornchurch
2006/2007 2nd Round Proper: Northwich Victoria 2nd Qualifying Round: Evesham United
2005/2006 3rd Qualifying Round: Thurrock 3rd Qualifying Round: AFC Wimbledon
2004/2005 3rd Round Proper: Gravesend and Northfleet 1st Round Proper: Redbridge
2003/2004 1st Round Proper: Welling United 1st Round Proper: Ashford Town (Middlesex)
2002/2003 3rd Round Proper: Farnborough Town Preliminary Round: Salisbury City
2001/2002 3rd Round Proper: Dagenham and Redbridge 1st Round Proper: Braintree Town

Did you know…

It has been nine years since Dartford played at Eastbourne Borough. On 20 August 2002 The Darts were beaten 4-0 in the Southern League East.

Eastbourne Borough have failed to score a goal in the last 239 minutes of football.

Dartford have not lost a game this season when they have opened the scoring.

Dartford and Eastbourne Borough have never drawn against each other. Don’t start now because Tony Burman doesn’t want a replay!




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