Dartford manager Tony Burman was very happy after his side progressed to the first round of the FA Cup with a 3-1 victory over Burgess Hill Town at Princes Park on Saturday.

An early Harry Crawford brace put the hosts in charge, but the Ryman South leaders were back in the game midway through the first half after Darren Budd beat Jason Brown from 20 yards.

However, the pivotal moment came shortly before the interval.

Crawford had his shot handled off the line by centre-half Toby Pointing, who was duly sent off, and Elliot Bradbrook converted the subsequent penalty to leave Darts two goals and one man up.

Dartford were unable to make use of their numerical advantage in the second half with more goals, but by then the job was already done.

“I’m very pleased,” admitted Burman.

“Today was a potential banana skin for us against a side that haven’t lost all season and you have to respect that, whatever league they’re in.

“We’ve done the damage in the first half and not really punished them in the second.

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“The second half died a death really, but that’s credit to Burgess Hill.

“I thought we could have done better after half-time, we wanted to put them to the sword but it wasn’t to be and you’ve got to give them credit.”

Burman was particularly impressed with Harry Crawford, whose early brace gave Darts the initiative from the outset.

“Harry showed his strength for the first goal and took it really well”, the manager explained.

“He worked hard for us today and I want him to get better and better.

“I just wish he would have got that other goal.”

Burman acknowledged although Dartford’s ultimate aim is to remain in the Conference Premier, an FA Cup run would be a huge boost for the club.

He said: “You can’t put any targets in place for the FA Cup because it’s a strange competition with plenty of banana skins.

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“We’re just hoping for a home tie and to avoid the teams in our league.

“The accountants are always happy with a run in the cup and it definitely lifts the club.

“The most important thing for us, though, is to stay in the league.

“We’ve worked hard to get this club to where we are and it’s taken a while, I don’t want to go back down to those leagues.

“Staying in the division is the ultimate aim, but I wouldn’t mind it if we had a little enjoyment in the FA Cup on the way.”

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