By Matt Badcock
TONY BURMAN is expecting a tricky assignment at Needham Market in the FA Cup third round qualifying.
The National League South table-toppers have been drawn away at the Bostik Premier club after beating Barking 3-1 on Saturday thanks to captain Elliot Bradbrook’s hat-trick.
Burman’s Darts have reached the first round proper in three out of the last four seasons. Two years ago they reached the second round and played Bradford City away before being knocked out last year by Sutton United, who went on to beat Leeds United and play Arsenal.
Burman knows tough away draws are all part of the journey to the first round and he expects no different in Suffolk.
“We had three difficult draws away from home last year,” Burman said. “We played Chelmsford, Slough and Tonbridge and managed to get through them and into the first round. They were tough draws.
“It’s the FA Cup, we both want to progress. Sometimes it can be easier playing away from home, in a funny way. The home team have got to come at you. So it’s an interesting draw but we look forward to going there. Hopefully we can do well and progress.
“It’s a one-off game. League positions don’t really matter and you hope you get it right. Barking came here on Saturday and played ever so well. They didn’t quite get it right in the final third and we took advantage of that and won the game. But I have to say, Barking played very well on the day.”
In 2010, Dartford forced a first round replay with League side Port Vale after a 1-1 draw at their Princes Park home.
And the long-serving boss knows the riches that could be on offer if they manage to do well in this year’s competition.
“The player, supporters, the club always want to do well in the FA Cup,” Burman said. “The finances are always important so it’s important to keep in it for as long as you can.
“Everyone enjoys the limelight the further you go. Everyone knows in each round there are clubs progressing people didn’t expect to. With that comes the limelight and people finding out about your particular club.
“It will happen again this year – clubs in it now will be making headlines the further they go on.”