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FA Cup: Ebbsfleet host Doncaster while Swindon come to Dartford

By Steve Tervet

Ebbsfleet will be hoping to hit the national headlines on Saturday afternoon when they host Doncaster Rovers of League 1 before attention turns to Dartford on Sunday.

The Darts’ first round clash with League 2 Swindon Town has been moved for TV coverage and they, like Fleet, will be hoping to cause an upset.

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

Ebbsfleet haven’t reached this stage since being taken over in 2013 and manager Daryl McMahon says it’s an occasion their loyal supporters deserve.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said. “It’s for the fans and I’m sure it will be sold out and they’ll make a lot of noise and get behind the boys and back us as the underdogs to try to get into the second round.

“Hopefully, we do the fans proud and put on a good performance for them. If we could go and get a result against Doncaster, it would be unbelievable for everyone at the club.”

Ebbsfleet manager Daryl McMahon Picture Andy Payton

Ebbsfleet manager Daryl McMahon Picture: Andy Payton

Owner Dr Abdulla Al-Humaidi is flying in from Kuwait to watch the game on a day when the club’s new main stand will be fully open for the first time.

Fleet expect a crowd in excess of 3,000 as do Dartford, who kick off at 2pm against Swindon.

Ebbsfleet are hoping to knock Doncaster out of the FA Cup Picture Andy Payton

Ebbsfleet are hoping to knock Doncaster out of the FA Cup Picture: Andy Payton

Tony Burman’s side are top of National League South and their FA Cup journey started back in September.

They’ve come through three rounds and banked £24,500 in prize money so far but it’s potential glory, not cash, which has got co-chairman Steve Irving excited.

“It’s a massive day,” he said. “The ambition is for us to beat a League club for the first time in nearly 50 years.

“We’re top of the league, playing pretty good football, with a sound defence and scoring plenty.

“It’s great for the profile of the club. It showcases us well and with Swindon not at the top of their game, with a relegation last year, and us hopefully heading the other way, there might not be a two division gap on the day.”

Both games are all-ticket with fans segregated.

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