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Dartford FC travel to Welling United on Boxing Day

By Steve Tervet

Dartford’s big guns are set to return against local rivals Welling on Boxing Day.

Elliot Bradbrook could start in midfield after sitting out Saturday’s win over Hungerford.

Charlie Sheringham returns to the squad and Ryan Hayes will also be considered for a place on the wing.

Elliot Bradbrook could return for Dartford against Welling Picture: Sean Aidan
Elliot Bradbrook could return for Dartford against Welling Picture: Sean Aidan

Joint-boss Adam Flanagan said: “There’s no game like a derby. They’re the best ones and it means a lot to the fans.

“The players will need to show that emotion.

“We’ve got players in our team who have played in those derby games for some time and they know what it means. They’re telling the new lads who have come to the club.

“Some of them are still establishing themselves here but wherever they go in football, they need to understand that derby games are more than just football.

“It’s bragging rights in your local area for a period of time, it’s the game your fans look for every year. They need to understand what it means.

“When we talk about pride and passion and what games mean, they don’t come bigger than Elliot.

“He’s not been at training recently and we thought Wynter and Noble were starting to get a good partnership that we didn’t want to break.

“We’ve got four games in 10 days and he won’t be able to feature in all of those so we’re mindful of picking the right games for him and coming into the Welling game we want players who know what that game’s all about. In the sense, Elliot fits the criteria.”

There is more than local pride on the line at Park View Road with Darts just one point behind their neighbours in the National League South play-offs.

Flanagan said: “Jamie (Coyle) and I know what it means, having played in those fixtures.

“We’re looking forward to those games because we haven’t shown our true potential yet this season and Welling have done really well so it’ll be good to test ourselves against a team that have been higher in the league this year.

“I think they’ll be really entertaining games. Welling lost (twice) and then drew so if they want to maintain where they are, they’ll want to turn us over and at home they’ve been strong.

“But our away performances of late have been very good so we’ll go there in form as well.”

Kick-off on Boxing Day is at 1pm and Dartford then visit East Thurrock on Saturday before hosting Welling in the return fixture on New Year’s Day (3pm).

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