DARTFORD assistant manager Paul Sawyer has described the next two matches as massive as the Princes Park outfit try to pick up vital points in their quest for a play-off place.

Improved performances for the Darts in the second half against Harlow and Saturday's match with Tonbridge have filled Sawyer with confidence for the remaining six league fixtures.

He said: “I thought it was a really good Kent derby, a good atmosphere, decent crowd and if I'm honest, I thought Tonbridge dominated the first half.

“Coming in at 2-1 down, it probably could have been worse.

“Obviously we had a penalty at 1-1, which could have changed the game if it had gone in.

“In the second half the game turned around. We got an early equaliser and from that stage onwards it was all us and if anybody was going to win it was us.

“We came away a little disappointed we didn't get the three points, but it was a great advert for this level of football.”

With Jay May back up front, alongside new-boy Bradley Woods-Garness, Dartford look more of a force going forward than of late and Sawyer seems pleased with their progress.

He said: “You could see when Jay came on for Rob last week that straight away they seem to complement each other.

“Jay holds it up well and wins his fair share of headers and Brad seems to be reading Jay's game very well.

“He gives us a bit of pace in the channels up front and is playing off Jay really well.”

With Rob Haworth shaking off his recent injury, the club’s management could well have a bit of a headache picking a starting front two for Saturday’s game at Sutton.

However, for Sawyer it is a welcome dilemma.

He explained: “It gives us good options with Craig Carley as well.

“He's been playing wide but can play up front as well, so it is nice to have four strikers to choose from.

“When Brendon Cass comes back from loan, that gives us a fifth striker for the last few games, giving us plenty of choice.”

Sawyer will no doubt be pleased with such a range of striking options with a play-off place still a possibility.

He added: “To be honest with you, there are so many teams involved, including games tonight which can affect our position.

“Although the results above us have probably gone in our favour, the teams below us have obviously closed the gap.

“This isn't a bad thing because there are a lot of teams involved and they've got to play each other in the run-in.

“All we can really do is concentrate on our own performances and we need to start picking up some wins, otherwise we won't make the play-offs.

“We feel we've turned the corner over the last couple of games. The confidence is there and the belief is there but we do need to start picking up three points rather than draws.”

And that starts at Sutton on Saturday, where the Darts will be desperate to pick up a victory against their play-off rivals.

“The next two games are massive games for us,” said Sawyer.

“We’ve got Sutton and then Wealdstone, who are both above us, so we need to take good points out of those two games.”

One boost for Dartford is the possible return of Ryan Hayes, with the talismanic winger finally fit again after a long layoff.

However, the assistant boss isn't sure if Hayes will go straight back into the starting line-up.

With Lee Noble and James White both injured and Jamie Day suspended, the Darts will no doubt be glad to have their most influential player available again as the push for that elusive play-off place hots up.

Sawyer said: “He’s training tonight and again on Thursday.

“If he gets through that without a reaction, he should be in contention for Saturday and we have to decide if we throw him straight back in or use him from the bench, but he will definitely be available for selection.”