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Dartford manager Steve King not taking FA Cup opponents Hythe lightly in second qualifying round tie


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Steve King will be aiming for his first FA Cup win as Dartford manager this weekend.

The Darts have lost both FA Cup matches since King has been at the helm, a 1-0 loss to Slough last season followed up a home exit against Kingstonian just days after King took over at Princes Park in October 2019.

Jack Jebb's free-kick hits the post during Dartford's draw with Tonbridge last weekend. Picture: David Couldridge
Jack Jebb's free-kick hits the post during Dartford's draw with Tonbridge last weekend. Picture: David Couldridge

He’ll be hoping it’s a case of third time lucky against Isthmian South East Hythe in the second qualifying round this Saturday but will not underestimate the task ahead against Steve Watt’s men.

“It’s a good draw but we’ll always respect the opposition,” said Dartford boss King.

“I watched them on Tuesday against Sittingbourne, for me they’ve got an experienced manager who knows the levels.

“They’ve got a good team for the level they’re at and four of their players used to be at Dartford. It’s going to be a tough game, we have to break teams down.

“It’s a winnable draw but it’s also a tough draw because they’ve got nothing to lose.

“It’s a one-off game, they’re under no pressure. We need to be on our game, if not then we could lose the game.”

King will take the competition seriously and while he may still make changes given the 20-man squad at his disposal, Dartford will be keen to stay in the competition for as long as possible.

With a potential Kent Senior Cup final against either Whitstable or Gillingham still to be played from the 2019/20 season, King believes cup success can work alongside a tough league programme.

“I always take the FA Cup seriously,” he stated. “I love the competition, I’ve done ever so well in it over the years with different clubs.

“Financially it’s a good thing and the kudos it’s a good thing, we’ll be taking it seriously.

“It’s second priority. We’ve got a Kent Cup final coming up soon as well hopefully and we want to win everything we play in. It’s second to everything that’s happening in the league.”

Dartford’s last home win in the FA Cup was at this stage in the 2017/18 season, 3-1 against Barking - a season that saw them knocked out in the first round by Swindon at Princes Park.

Striker Jake Robinson is expected to return after missing the Tonbridge draw last Saturday with a heel problem but George Porter (Achilles) may miss out.

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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