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Dartford striker Andy Pugh - just back from a broken leg - is their only fit forward

By Craig Tucker

Dartford are down to one fit forward on the eve of the new season.

Andy Pugh, himself just back from a year out with a broken leg, is their only available striker for the National League South opener at Wealdstone on Saturday.

That's after Darren McQueen dislocated his shoulder in the 4-3 friendly win at Leatherhead at the weekend.

Dartford striker Andy Pugh Picture: Andy Payton
Dartford striker Andy Pugh Picture: Andy Payton

He joins Alex Flisher (also dislocated shoulder) and Charlie Sheringham (thigh) on the sidelines, meaning it could be all down to Pugh unless Darts can add to the squad.

McQueen's injury is the latest blow after Sam Blackman broke his leg in last Tuesday's friendly against Bromley, with the midfielder out until Christmas at the earliest following his operation.

They have strengthened midfield by signing Amos Nasha and Cameron Brodie but could do with more options in attack.

Joint-boss Jamie Coyle said: "As we speak, we have Andy Pugh as our only fit forward.

"When I say fit, he hasn't played a full game yet because we're trying to increase his minutes since his leg break.

"So, in terms of Saturday, we're a little concerned.

"We've lost some influential players and we're down to the bare bones.

"We've got eight games in August and it's really important we get a positive return to put us in a good position in October, when all our players will hopefully be back, outside of Sam Blackman."

Darren McQueen has dislocated his shoulder Picture: Andy Jones
Darren McQueen has dislocated his shoulder Picture: Andy Jones

Opening-day opponents Wealdstone are expected to go well under new manager Dean Brennan.

They've strengthened, with Maidstone player-of-the-year Michael Phillips their latest recruit in midfield.

Coyle said: "They've signed some very good players, they have a large squad to call upon and it's going to be a tough game.

"They were very good against us early last year - I think we lost 3-0 that day.

"Dean's gone in there as manager, the players will be eager to impress in his first game but you look at the league this year and there are no easy games.

"Even though we're struggling with numbers, we'll go there with confidence and be as positive as we possibly can.”

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