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Dartford FC boss Tony Burman on the National League South play-off race

By Steve Tervet

Amid a rather messy play-off race in National League South, Dartford manager Tony Burman is keeping things simple.

Victory over Hampton & Richmond at Princes Park on Easter Monday would take the Darts to 78 points and guarantee a top-five finish.

They may, however, have done enough already. Poole and Hungerford - the teams sitting fifth and sixth respectively - have both been told they cannot take part in the play-offs due to ground grading issues.

Dartford boss Tony Burman Picture Andy Payton

Dartford boss Tony Burman Picture: Andy Payton

Both clubs have appealed but if the ruling stands, seventh-placed Hampton may take the final spot in the semi-finals. They are 12 points behind Dartford and, with only three matches left, can't overtake them, but Burman won't sleep easy until his side are mathematically across the line whatever the permutations.

"We can’t get involved in that," he said. "All I want to do is be in the play-offs by right.

"I’m not interested what position I’m in, I just want to get in there and achieve something.

"We’ve lost to a team (Hungerford, on Good Friday) who can catch us. They’ve got to go on a great run but they could possibly do that."

Hampton thumped the Darts 4-1 back in August and have scored 11 goals in their last three away games.

Burman said: "Hampton are one of the best teams we’ve played against this season. They absolutely tore us apart at their place, so Monday’s game is going to be difficult.

"We’ve got to get back to winning ways. We’ve managed to do that at home, we’ve managed to bounce back from an upset and hopefully we can still continue to do that."

Friday's defeat at Hungerford means Dartford are winless in their last six games on the road - a run stretching back to February.

But Burman said: "It doesn’t concern me because I know we can do better.

"At this moment, what’s concerning me is that we need to get three more points from three games. If we do that, we’ll be in the play-offs.

"It’s something we must concentrate on."

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