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Dartford FC face crucial games against St Albans City, Chelmsford City and Concord Rangers

By Steve Tervet

Jamie Coyle believes Dartford’s next three games could make or break their play-off hopes.

Darts host St Albans on Saturday with just a point separating the two sides who sit ninth and eighth in National League South.

Then comes a trip to third-placed Chelmsford next weekend before Darts host another of their promotion rivals, Concord, on January 26.

Joint-managers Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle are preparing for the visit of St Albans on Saturday Picture: Alan Langley
Joint-managers Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle are preparing for the visit of St Albans on Saturday Picture: Alan Langley

“It’s a huge month for us,” said joint-manager Coyle.

“We’ve got three really tough games coming up against teams that are all above us this month.

“Not having Lee Noble in the team for two more games (through suspension) is going to be huge because he’s been one of our most consistent players.

“It was always going to be difficult and we’ve had to play Ben Greenhalgh out of position in centre midfield.

“We’ve got a real tough month that will mould our season. I really think at the end of this month it will give us a reflection of where we can potentially go so we need to make sure we have a positive result on Saturday.”

Dartford, on a three-match unbeaten run, were watched by 1,725 in their last game at Princes Park, the New Year’s Day victory over Welling.

Coyle said: “We’re really going to need the fans again.

“There have been some frustrating performances at home this year, although our record is fairly good.

“Our last home game was the best I’ve seen the fans, they really got behind the boys and led us from behind the goal.

“We need that but I understand the fans also need positive performances on the pitch to get them motivated and get behind the boys.

“They are massively important. They always have been huge for their club in previous years and we need them again on Saturday if we’re going to get a positive result.”

Charlie Sheringham missed the 1-1 draw at Wealdstone on Saturday, so will the striker be back against St Albans?

“We’re not sure,” admitted Coyle. “He failed a fitness test on Saturday and didn’t train on Monday.

“He’s got a tight hamstring after the previous game so we’re going to have to reassess.

“We’re hoping he can get through a whole training session on Thursday and be back in the running to be in the squad on Saturday.”

In the absence of Noble, new signing Billy Crook could make his debut against St Albans this weekend.

The 28-year-old midfielder was in the Braintree side which beat Darts 1-0 in the National League South play-off semi-final in May.

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