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Dartford FC captain Tom Bonner eyeing a late title charge

By Steve Tervet

Tom Bonner believes Dartford can still win the National League South title.

Darts are 13 points behind leaders Torquay in seventh place but they’re five games unbeaten and have only lost one in 10 since Boxing Day.

Most of those games have been against sides above them so on paper, Dartford’s run-in looks easier.

Dartford captain Tom Bonner Picture: Andy Payton
Dartford captain Tom Bonner Picture: Andy Payton

Club captain Bonner can feel momentum building and insists automatic promotion is not out of the question.

He said: “We’re notorious slow starters at Dartford, but we hit form at the right time.

“I’m not saying we’re going to win 11 games in a row like we did last year but there’s no better time to hit form.

“If you look at last year, we were top of the league all year but we fell short so I’d take being a bit behind the pack and really attacking the play-offs – if we don’t go on to win the league.

“I’m not ruling out Dartford winning the title at all. If we play like we did on Saturday and people are coming through the gates, I think we’ve got a real chance to keep this run going right through to the end of the season.”

Bonner, who won promotion from this league with Dartford seven years ago, has got the same buzz again.

He said: “The teams we’ve beaten recently were all above us, so it goes to show we can beat anyone.

“We’ve always had the belief. I was just crying out for a bit of patience from the fans because there is a transition and I don’t think we were ever bad for long periods. I knew it would click.

“Tony Burman was (manager) here for 13 years and when you’ve been here for that long, there’s a DNA at the club.

“The new managers tried to change a few things, they wanted to have a little bit more quality on the ball and that’s not going to happen overnight.

“We’ve gone back to basics a little bit but they’re only going to get better, not just this season but next season and the one after. Dartford are only going one place and that’s up.

“Last year was difficult, losing (the title) by three goals. Normally when you’re in the play-offs you’re buzzing, in a good vein of form and looking forward to it but last year it was so disappointing.

“The play-offs suit people who are coming in late.

“When you finish second or third you get a week’s break and you can lose momentum but if we do make the play-offs, we’ve got the squad to go all the way.”

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