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Dartford manager Tony Burman on reaching the National League South play-offs

By Matthew Panting

Dartford manager Tony Burman rates reaching the National League South play-offs as one of his best achievements at the club.

Darts will play Chelmsford in a two-legged semi-final after a 3-1 home win over Hampton on Monday.

“It’s on merit which is what I wanted to do,” said Burman. “I’m delighted for all the players.

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Dartford celebrate Elliot Bradbrook's opener against Hampton. Picture Matthew Walker

Dartford celebrate Elliot Bradbrook's opener against Hampton. Picture: Matthew Walker

“They’ve done well over the course of the season and deserve to be in the play-offs as far as I’m concerned.

“If I’m honest with you, to get into the play-offs is probably one of the best things me and my coaching staff have done since we’ve been here.

“There’s been a lot of tough times this season and we’ve done it with 16 or 17 players. I’ve only signed one player really, I know I’ve had a couple on loan, but we signed Tom Murphy just after Christmas time. It’s one of the best achievements I’ve had.”

 

Dartford always seemed to have too much for a Hampton side, missing several regulars due to injury.

It wasn’t the most flowing of performances from the Darts but for Burman it was all about the result.

“We were in control but a little bit sloppy at the start of the second half,” he said.

“You can go on complaining about things but at this time of year you just want to get the result and win the games.

Dartford's Danny Harris in action against Hampton on Monday. Picture Matthew Walker

Dartford's Danny Harris in action against Hampton on Monday. Picture: Matthew Walker

“We had a bit of good fortune where they missed a penalty although the players are saying they didn’t think it was one. I was pleased with the attitude, especially after losing on Friday.

“The pitch (at Hungerford) dictated my team selection and the way we played. It didn’t go our way. The pitch was bordering on dangerous and that can’t be. That’s not sour grapes, that’s how it was.

“I said at training that I’d probably change the team over the two games. I realised how Hungerford played, I didn’t realise how bad the pitch was, but we needed to play our strongest side in strength-wise.

“I feel sorry for Tom Murphy and Alfie Pavey who worked their socks off on Friday and I’ve left them out, not through what they done.”

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