STMI Preview: Can Imps Blunt Darts To Go Top Of The Premier?
Early days indeed but a first away win of the season at Dartford FC, who finished eighth last term, could see the Imps leapfrog Cambridge United and Barnet FC to top the Premier League. Excuse the omission of Skrill, who kept the 20 grand a club share-out safe, but that has a ring to it and we Imps have to enjoy the good times while we can. But let us not get too ahead of ourselves, hope you did not have too hard a week, time to kick back crack open a beer and look twowards the weekends contest between the Darts and the Imps with a head to head and form of the foe.
Thank-you for reading by Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
Saturday 31st August K.O 15:00 pm
|Away Fans Pricing||Adults £15||Cons £8
||U12 £3||Car Park End terrace 700|
Concessions apply to Over 65′s & U18′s
|Position 2012/13||8th in BSP|
|STMI Forecast||Pushing For Play-offs|
The big question is will Tony Burman tinker with a winning side that ended a three match run of defeats with an impressive win at the Lambs who are throwing the green stuff (not mint sauce I hasten to add) around this season. Harris, who normally plays on the left wing, replaced no 9 Prior up top and scored along with no nonsense defender Clark, to end a depressing sequence where the Darts had failed to score in their previous three outings. Birchall, back on loan this season, is also off the mark and needs to be watched. It could well be the Burman decides to fight fire with fire by putting all three up front with a changed trio in midfield, perhaps Cornhill may get an overdue nod with Noble and Bradbrook? Cornhill was a good player at Chelmsford before his move.
Clever Burman is blowing smoke up the Imps bottoms but he knows this will be a tough ask if 4-4-2 faces 4-2-3-1 with the midfield pulled in more directions than a kleptomaniac in the Royal Mint. Captain Bradbrook and Woodyard are a creative, courageous and combative unit in the middle but Nolan and Fofana are a duo they will find it hard against, especially as the probing runs of our advanced trio of midfielders will also require their attention – or they risk the triplets and Thommo four on four. Well five, the capture of keeper Julian from Newport looks to be a good one.
The defence is a good one too. Clarke has adjusted to the step up from Chelmsford and is beginning to form a good understanding with Mitchel-King. Fry, who arrived from Concorde Rangers also looked solid at left back in the last game, after replacing Sterling. Burns is a good solid right back but you would have to fancy Dixon against him if he plays and of course Newton and his neutron bombs. If Yussuf is back for tomorrow he and Fry will have a time too. This suggests Dixon will start on the bench as Fairhurst (fit as a fiddle) Rowe and Sheridan will be vying for a place in a starting line up that may be allowed to roam freer than last week.
Sterling from Cray Wanderers and Noble, the two wideboys will cause us problems down the flanks with Birchall a proper centre-forward from Gillingham. Burman also brought in Prior from Wimbledon who was dropped last week, so let us hope he does not return and finally find his form against us. The thing with Burman is his eye for talent, matched by the ability to motivate his players to fulfil their abilities. He and Simmo are very similar in that respect, thus we should not rule out a real ding dong affair down at Princes Park. If we get the first goal we will go on and win it but if the Darts do they will be flying and some big budget teams found out just how hard they are to contain last season. Eighth in the Conference is no mean feat.
Likely Team & Scheme
20 Burns 5 Clark 14 Mitchel-King 19 Fry
8 Noble 10 Bradbrook (C) 30 Woodyard 4 Sterling
11 Harris 16 Birchall
The Table 30/8/13
|5||FC Halifax Town||5||3||1||1||9||9||0||10|
The Summer Plans
Tony Burman conjured 8th in the Darts first season in the former BSP, but it was no fluke, for he is one of the shrewdest coaches in the Skrill Premier. He has a great eye for talent, some good contacts in the right places and, is most certainly the man for the job at a club on the rise. The facilities would not be out of place in the Football League and nor would the manager, if the Darts can just get out of the hardest Divisions to be promoted from in world football. Eighth last year could well turn into a play-off tilt if the inspirational manager can just get his newish side to click, having hired in better on paper than those heroes who have left. Toms, Bonner and Champion, have defected to Cambridge with Mark Arber also released.
Old mate Martin Allen at Gillingham has finally agreed to send Adam Birchall back, this time until January that is. If he can put two years of injury behind him he will plunder beside Prior who comes in from Wimbledon. One of Burman’s diamonds in the rough could have been Lewis Smith from Hornchurch who scored 12 in a poor and relegated side. However having agreed to sign he then opted to emigrate for his banking career but could well be back a month or so before Christmas. Keeper Alan Julian, a capture from Newport, is the big name in the defensive changes, but Clark, Sterling and Fry all looked too good at their previous non-league roles. Clark and Cornhill were key men at local rivals Chelmsford and are certainly good enough for our level and beyond.
|20th May||Kenny Clark||Chelmsford||Def||Free|
|20th May||Max Cornhill||Chelmsford||Mid||Free|
|21st May||Alan Julian||Newport||Keeper||Free|
|7th June||Tyrone Sterling||Cray Wand||Def||Free|
|18th June||Matt Fry||Concord R||Def||Free|
|24th June||Lewis Smith||Hornchurch||For||Free|
|15th July||Jason Prior||Wimbledon||For||Free|
|8th July||Lewis Smith||emigrated||For||Free|
|Released||Tom Champion||Cambridge Utd||Mid||Free|
|Released||Tom Bonner||Cambridge Utd||Def||Free|
|Released||Mark Arber||No club||Def||Free|
Keepers – 1 Alan Julian, 23 Deren Ibrahim, 24 Stevie Sutton, Defenders – 20 Lee Burns,25 Jay Porter, Zach Eisa, Kenny Clark, Tyrone Sterling, Matt Fry, Midfield – 7 Ryan Hayes, 10 Elliot Bradbrook (Captain), 13 James Rogers, 14 Lee Noble, 15 Nathan Collier, 26 George Monger, Max Cornhill, Forwards – 9 Adam Birchall 11 Danny Harris, Jason Pryor,