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FA Cup: Dartford FC boss Tony Burman says supporters are crucial in Swindon Town tie

By Steve Tervet

Manager Tony Burman wants Princes Park rocking when Dartford aim to pull off their biggest FA Cup shock for almost 50 years on Sunday.

Darts take on Swindon Town looking to beat Football League opposition for the first time since 1968 when they knocked out Aldershot at the same stage.

A crowd in excess of 3,000 will pack the terraces for the first-round tie and Burman has called for the home supporters to raise the roof.

Tony Burman wants the Dartford fans to be loud on Sunday Picture: Martin Apps
Tony Burman wants the Dartford fans to be loud on Sunday Picture: Martin Apps

He said: “They have a major role to play. Swindon have 800 tickets and we’re being told they will sell them so they’re not coming here to be quiet.

“It’s very important our fans get as loud as they can and get behind the guys.

“The supporters are close to the pitch here and when there’s a big crowd here, it’s a great atmosphere.

“I want it to be hostile in our favour and in the right spirit.

“It’s up to us to make it a day to remember. These games don’t come around too often and we go into the game in the right frame of mind with our recent results.

“But we’re up against a good team, we know that, and they’re in good form themselves.”

Dartford go into the game top of National League South but 44 places below Swindon, who are fifth in League 2. However, the visitors’ recent record in the FA Cup is dreadful – they haven’t won a game for almost six years.

Burman said: “We’ve got to put the pressure onto Swindon. It would be fantastic if we can pull it off.

Action from Dartford's 2-1 win over St Albans Picture: Tony Jones
Action from Dartford's 2-1 win over St Albans Picture: Tony Jones

“There’s always a couple of non-league clubs who take the competition by storm and you’re always hoping it could be your club. It may be time, who knows, for us to have a turn.”

Burman has difficult decisions to make in defence, with Tom Bonner fit again and Keaton Wood available after a ban.

Dartford’s appeal against the red card Andy Pugh received at Bath last Tuesday was rejected so the striker is suspended and Burman admits Duane Ofori-Acheampong (knee) isn’t ready to start a game yet.

But he said: “We’ve got a good group of players who stick together and know what’s required of them. You can have all the good players that money can buy but if they’re not together, it’s a waste of time.

“They’ve got to grab the opportunity with both hands and enjoy it, give it their all but respect we’re playing against a very good side.

“Swindon aren’t coming here to get a draw, they’ll be coming here to go through to the next round, but we’ll make it as uncomfortable as we can.”

Sunday's match is all-ticket with kick-off at 2pm.

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