5:00pm Wednesday 28th March 2012
By Samuel Lo-Pon
DARTFORD received a much-needed boost by sealing a memorable win against Charlton Athletic last night.
The victory secured a place for the Darts in the Kent Cup final and they will face Ryman League Division One South Hythe in the final.
More importantly, it got Dartford back to winning ways after the disappointing loss to Dorchester Town on Saturday, their first defeat in eight league fixtures after an impressive run of six wins out of seven.
Princes Park coach Paul Sawyer has welcomed the win in the cup last night but was quick to emphasise promotion from the Conference South remains the number one priority.
He said: “Last night was a boost.
“It was nice to get last Saturday out of our system and get back to winning ways.
“It gave us an opportunity to bounce back from Saturday’s defeat and get it out of our system.
“Maidenhead is obviously a big game for us coming up this weekend and we will approach it like we do any other game.”
But although Sawyer is adamant the league is the most important target, he admits the chance to bring silverware and an 11th Kent Cup back to Princes Park is one Dartford will not pass up.
He said: “I know some people possibly do not take this competition too seriously but we are looking to win it.
“It is a trophy we won last year, so were keen to retain it.”
As well as the positive result against the Addicks, the game allowed the management team to rotate the squad and give some of the first team players a rest ahead of the run-in.
“The tournament gives us an opportunity to give everyone a game, especially players that have not played recently,” explained Sawyer.
“It gave us a chance to rest some first team players.
“There were one or two knocks that we had to be careful about but we want to get everyone involved anyway.”
Sawyer also confirmed Dartford have signed Tony Stokes from Concord Rangers and Sam Higgins from East Thurrock United on dual registration terms.
He explained: “They are not with us at the moment.
“If it comes to the end of the season and we were in the play-offs, we can then call upon them.”
With seven games remaining, and Woking eight points clear but having played a game more, Sawyer feels Darts cannot afford to worry about what the leaders do between now and the end of the season.
He added: “What happens elsewhere is out of our control.
“We’ve got to look after ourselves first and if we pick up the three points, it is all well and good.
“Hopefully things may give somewhere else but if we do not do our bit, it is pointless.”
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