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Dartford manager Steve King says National League South clash with Hampton & Richmond will be hardest game of his tenure so far

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The visit of Hampton & Richmond represents Dartford’s biggest challenge since Steve King took over in October.

King has masterminded Darts’ revival and they broke into the top six of National League South for the first time last weekend before dropping to seventh after Dorking beat Hungerford on Tuesday.

Dartford boss Steve King Picture: Keith Gillard
Dartford boss Steve King Picture: Keith Gillard

They can strengthen their play-off credentials against Hampton at Princes Park on Saturday – but King has warned it will not be easy.

“It’s going to be the toughest game we’ve played so far,” said the Darts boss.

“They’ve been on a great run of form as well in recent weeks. Hampton are seven points behind us with two games in hand so that gap could be 10 or four after Saturday – it’s what they call a six-pointer.”

While Darts scored five goals at Chippenham last weekend, Hampton were thrashing bottom side Hungerford 7-1.

It all points to a goal fest when they meet this weekend – and King sees no reason to disagree.

“I can’t see why not,” he noted. “We’ve scored the most goals in the league in the last 10 games, and Hampton are not far behind.

“The turnaround is quite frightening for us. The front two, Darren McQueen and Elliott Romain, are the top scorers in the division now.

“When we came in they had three and five respectively, now they’ve got 14 and 15, which is quite remarkable.”

Dartford will hope that left-back Craig Braham-Barrett recovers from a hamstring injury but QPR loan signing Amrit Bansal-McNulty serves a one-game ban after his red card for two bookings at Chippenham.

King, who was also sent off for his protests, added: “It’s annoying because we can’t appeal it.

"It was shocking because the foul was on us and to add insult to injury the referee gave him a second yellow card.”

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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