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Dartford FC chairman Dave Skinner reacts to drawing League 1 side Bradford City away in the FA Cup second round

By Steve Tervet

Being drawn away to Bradford City in the FA Cup second round put a smile on chairman Dave Skinner's face.

Most people at the club - including manager Tony Burman - wanted a home tie, but Mr Skinner can see positives from the long trip to Yorkshire.

Bradford are the second-best supported club in League 1 behind Sheffield United, pulling in average crowds of more than 13,000 this season. Dartford will receive 50% of the net gate receipts for the tie, to be played over the weekend of December 6.

Mr Skinner said: "I’m reasonably pleased. Obviously we’d love to have had a home draw but if you don’t get a home draw, the next best thing is an away draw against a big side – and that’s what we’ve got.

Dartford chairman Dave Skinner Picture: Andy Payton
Dartford chairman Dave Skinner Picture: Andy Payton

"The good thing is that we go there without any sort of pressure on us. We‘ll go there and do what we can and at least we’ve got the windfall of hopefully a decent half of the gate."

The Bradford gate receipts will be added to those from Dartford's games against Burgess Hill and Bromley. They've already banked £30,500 for getting this far in the competition.

Mr Skinner said: "That’s basically the difference between making a loss and breaking even at the end of the season. It’s that important.

"It goes back into the whole budget. The playing budget is part of the whole budget and literally, we raise enough money to run the whole budget. If there’s a little bit left over, then Tony will get the benefit from it."

Lee Burns and Danny Harris celebrate Dartford's FA Cup win at Bromley Picture: Andy Payton
Lee Burns and Danny Harris celebrate Dartford's FA Cup win at Bromley Picture: Andy Payton

Dartford are now on their best FA Cup run since the 1984-85 season, when they held Bournemouth to a 1-1 draw at Watling Street before losing 4-1 in the replay.

Mr Skinner said: "Back in the eighties, we were part of the old club. We were just supporters on the terrace but now this is our club and it’s the best we’ve ever done as - if you like - the reformed club.

"I was in the supermarket the other day and a woman said ‘well done for Saturday’ and that’s the sort of reaction you get, from people who would never normally mention Dartford.

"The higher the profile, the more, hopefully, people will come along and watch."

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