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FA Cup: Dartford FC co-chairman Steve Irving believes they can reach the third round

By Steve Tervet

Co-chairman Steve Irving is daring to dream of the FA Cup third round ahead of Dartford’s showdown with Swindon.

The club haven’t got that far in the post-war era, but if good things come to those who wait, Darts could be due an extended run in the competition.

Mr Irving said: “I wasn’t supporting the club in 1968 when we beat Aldershot so I want us to beat a League side because it’s never happened in my time.

Dartford face Swindon in the FA Cup first round on Sunday Picture Andy Payton

Dartford face Swindon in the FA Cup first round on Sunday Picture: Andy Payton

“As a supporter, it’s very exciting getting to the first round but my ambition now is to beat a League side and to get to the third round of the cup for the first time since January 1936.

“It’s Swindon’s game to lose. They’ve got to be at the top of their game if they’re going to make a difference in terms of their league status, which of course they should – they’re two divisions above us.

“But on the day, when you’re a progressive side, challenging for the championship, there shouldn’t be anybody that would give you any worries.”

The game has been switched from Saturday to feature on the BBC’s Final Score programme with live coverage of eight different ties.

Dartford’s cup run has earned them £24,500 in prize money so far and they’ll get another £12,500 for being part of the TV show.

Mr Irving said: “It’s great to have the cameras there. We’re pleased there’s recognition that it’s a potential shock.

“We’re a club that doesn’t have any major backers so any cash like this that comes along really makes a difference.

“It’s very important to us, the financial side of things, but it’s also about a great day.”

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