Dartford v Torquay United

Dartford will host former Football League side Torquay United for the first time this weekend and will be hoping to cause an upset.

The Darts have started their campaign with matches against Wrexham, Woking and Kidderminster Harriers picking up one point in the process. The tough opening continues with the Gulls followed by an away trip to Barnet. Torquay United on the other hand, visited Gateshead, hosted Welling United before facing Southport and have managed three points more than the Darts.


Burman feels a win is round the corner

Last weekend a second defeat of the season left Dartford still searching for their first victory. Kidderminster Harriers looked competent and comfortable taking the lead just before half time through Kyle Storer. Despite another loss, Tony Burman feels his side deserve more than the points tally they have, he told “We could be sitting here at the end of the first week and we could have had six points without any doubt, but unfortunately it was not to be”, he added: “I do not think we are doing a lot wrong, but hopefully the breaks will come our way and we will get our first win over the weekend”.

Burman has been pleased with performances and the squad as a whole looks much improved compared to a year ago. During the summer Burman already planned to rotate his players having signed enough to provide competition in midfield and up front. With Nathan Collier and Lee Burns also available their versatility adds extra cover on the park. Tom Bradbrook has started his second spell with the club by picking up the PureDFC man of the match vote on the first day of the season. Andy Pugh and Elliot Bradbrook have been recognised amongst the supporters and Peter Sweeney’s first start was promising at Woking. Meanwhile, striker Harry Crawford and winger Ryan Hayes have yet to start which shows the depth within the squad this term.

Whilst Dartford’s opponents have a wealth of Football League experience, Dartford have spent more full season’s in the Conference Premier, now totalling five compared to Torquay United’s two. The Darts will want to make the most of their reprieve whilst their visitors are chasing a return to League Two.

It took the Gulls two attempts last time they played Conference Premier football having finished third in 2007/08 then fourth the next year. A playoff semi final defeat to rivals Exeter City was forgotten the following season when they won the playoff final versus Cambridge United. The Gulls also lost the F.A Trophy final to Dartford’s local rivals Ebbsfleet United, during their last stint at this level.

The Devonshire club have had an average start tasting a 3-1 defeat on the opening day at Gateshead, a 3-0 win at home to Welling United followed by a 0-0 draw versus Southport. Chris Hargreaves is the man in charge at Plainmoor where he spent three years making over 100 appearances for the club. His squad looks fairly new with many faces moving in and out of the Devonshire club. Louis Briscoe, Luke Young, Ryan Bowman, Angus MacDonald have all featured in the opening fixtures with Toby Ajala mainly appearing as a substitute.

Bowman has played against Dartford before whilst at Hereford United two season’s ago and in the same campaign Louis Briscoe faced the Darts in Mansfield Town colours. At the back Angus MacDonald formerly of Salisbury City has represented England at under 16 and under 19 level and the England C team.

Team News

Lee Burns will be out of action this weekend after picking up a rib injured when he collided with goalkeeper Jason Brown. Defender Ronnie Vint has signed for Southern Counties East League side Cray Valley Paper Mills and Kaka Dembele moves to Leatherhead of the Isthmian Premier League. Both players have signed on dual registration meaning they are still available for selection.

Ryan Bowman will be missing for the visitors when he was red carded on Saturday. With 20 minutes gone in the match against Southport, Bowman head butted Scott Kay. The decision wasn’t questioned by boss Chris Hargreaves who said the referee had no option but to send his player off.


dartford v torquay

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