Friday 02nd September 2005

Burman pleased with Dartford's start

Dartford face a tough game tomorrow with a trip to Southern League Division One East leaders Boreham Wood, writes Stephen McCartney.

On the player front Tommy Olson will be available after missing the last two games whilst winger Dave Martin is almost certainly ruled out having picked up an injury during their 2-1 defeat to Dorking in the FA Cup preliminary round last Sunday.

Zimbabwean star Tostao Kwashi, however, has still not returned to this country although he is expected home from his escapades in Vietnam within two weeks.

Newcomers, Tom McGovern (a 20-year-old left-back signed from Nationwide Conference outfit Dagenham & Redbridge) and Ian Craig (an 18-year-old midfielder signed from Queen's Park Rangers) are both expected to keep their places.

After their trip to Meadow Park tomorrow, the Darts will not have a fixture until Saturday, 17th September, when they travel to Kettering to tackle Corby Town.

It is, however, possible that Kwashi will be back and his International clearance would have been granted.

Darts boss Tony Burman told www.dartfordfc.co.uk that he was pleased with the support his side got from their fans during their 1-1 draw with Waltham Forest at Stonebridge Road in midweek.

"After the disappointed of the FA Cup defeat against Dorking my main concern for Tuesday was to get some positive reaction from the players and the supporters as I did not want to go into tomorrow's game on the back of a bad performance and a defeat," he said.

"The support was excellent on Tuesday especially in the last fifteen or twenty minutes when we were under a lot of pressure from a very good side who wanted to play football.

"We shared the points with our opponents but the game was a credit to the league we are playing in.

"I have stated at home we want all three points so yes, I do think we have dropped two points especially when in every game we have played so far we have created a chance to kill off the game.

"The Waltham Forest number two caused us more problems in the second half then the first and on his debut Lee Craig handled the situation well.

"But I think he tired a little in the second half and I had to change things.

"We have players who like to go forward at every opportunity but this has to be more controlled especially in the last fifteen minutes of a game and you are one goal up.

"I think our back four were excellent against a good attacking side with a lot of pace.

"I want them and all the team to have an "over my dead body" attitude when we are defending.

"Most of Kevin (Hudson's) saves were shots from outside the box so good defending meant they did not get behind our back four so his angles must have been right to pull of some great saves and this may have been helped by John Macray, the man coaching him before games.

"I think the system is working at the moment but it will take time to put all my points over to the players but I can tell you they are willing to learn and I want to coach them good habits, which never let them down.

"Nobody can deny we have had a good start to our season and in my opinion deserve to be where we are.  There's definitely room for improvement but the season is not a sprint its a marathon and these things take time."

But the Kent side face their toughest test of the season to date - but Burman insists he wants something from the game.

"Tomorrow we play the team at the top of the league with a 100% record.  Credit to them and their start to the season but we know its going to be a tough game away from home.  But I hope we get something from the game."

On the injury front Darren Penfold, Gary Carter, Craig Dennis, Ted Ansell are all long-term injuries.

And with Dave Martin doubtful and Kwashi still abroad, Burnham added: "Blimey, with all these players unavailable we have had a good start to the season and with all these players available and fit and added to the present squad, in my opinion we will have a very good squad in depth."

Terry Ratchford, however, is thinking about joining Kentish Observer League side Whitstable Town to try and speed up his fitness.  However, he has not had any other injury other than his original illness.

Meanwhile, the reserves commence their Kentish Observer League programme with a trip to Bromley.  The game will be played at Oxford Road, Sidcup, kicking off at 1pm.

Then next Tuesday, 6th September, they tackle Thamesmead Town in the battle between landlords and tenants, and kick off at Bayliss Avenue is 7:45pm.

And on Sunday its the start of the Kent Youth League season and Dartford's four youth sides are all in action.

Their under 18's travel to Sevenoaks Town to commence their defence of their central division title.  Kick off at Greatness Park is 11am.

The under 16's are at home to Milton Athletic, the under 14's travel to Cray Wanderers and the under 13's entertain Tonbridge Angels.  These three matches kick off at 2pm.

Boreham Wood v Dartford
Southern League Division One East
Saturday 3rd September 2005
Kick Off 1:00pm