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Dartford manager Steve King looks ahead to FA Cup fourth qualifying round tie at AFC Sudbury


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Dartford manager Steve King wants to achieve one of his personal goals this weekend.

The Darts boss is keen to get the club into the first round of the FA Cup for the first time under his tenure.

Dartford manager Steve King. Picture: Chris Davey (51857817)
Dartford manager Steve King. Picture: Chris Davey (51857817)

King’s first game in charge of the Darts in 2019 was a fourth qualifying round home defeat to Kingstonian. Isthmian North AFC Sudbury stand between Dartford and a place in the competition proper for the first time since 2017 this Saturday.

“We just want to go and give everything again, it’s going to be a tough test in a different way,” said King.

“When the chances come, which they will come, then we need to be clinical. If we’re clinical then we get into the hat for the next round.

“For the club it is good, I like to try and achieve that at every club I manage as a minimum. It will be nice to get there, I came in two years ago and (this round) was my first game when we played Kingstonian - we’ve come a long way since then.

“If we can get Dartford into the first round it’s another box ticked. I’ve got my own targets in my brain when I join a football club and they’re being met at the moment.”

AFC Sudbury, who play two levels below Dartford, have won four games to reach this stage and have only reached the first round once before, losing 6-1 at Darlington in 2000. It’s their first time in the fourth qualifying round since 2006.

They’re fifth in the table with four wins from six games and needed penalties to knock Cray Valley out of the FA Trophy last weekend following a goalless draw.

With National League teams entering at this stage of the competition, King admitted that the draw could have been a lot worse but is taking nothing for granted.

“Apart from it being at home, you couldn’t have wished (for a better draw),” he said.

“We’re playing a team two levels below us. They’ve got nothing to lose and we’ve got everything to lose. Would we have wanted to go to a Notts County-type away? No. Would we have picked Sudbury out of those two choices? Of course.

“But I will give them the utmost respect because I’ve been on the other end of beating Premier League or Championship sides when you’ve got no right to beat them.

“They can beat us, there are fine lines between each level from Isthmian North to National South, in a one-off match anyone can beat anyone as proven in the previous round when Marske won 4-0 at Chester.”

Darts welcome back skipper Tom Bonner (groin) and midfielder Keiran Murtagh (concussion) after both missed the Hungerford win

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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