Even at this early stage it’s looking like quite a big game as Braintree Town – lifted by a fantastic first game comeback – as they play host to one of the favourites for promotion, Dartford.
Tony Burman knows his Darts team will have to play at their maximum to take anything from Cressing Road. They’ll certainly need to be better than they were against Hungerford on Saturday when they drew 0-0.
But what a start it was for new manager Bradley Quinton. 2-0 down and then 3-2 up, they beat Eastbourne in his first game in charge.
Burman said: “I’m pleased with the result to a certain extent. We haven’t lost the game and we’ve kept a clean sheet on the positive side but from some of our set pieces, we’ve got clear headers to hit the target and we’ve put the ball over. That’s from various people. On the day, it was probably a fair result.”
St Albans City, managed by ex Arsenal star Ian Allinson, also won by the same scoreline away from home and tonight they play well-tipped Wealdstone who won 2-1 at home to Concord on Saturday.
Hemel Hempstead take their fine first day form to the Essex club side and they know the fact Rangers lost at the Stones won’t help their cause.
Tudors manager Dean Brennan said: “Saturday’s 3-0 win over Whitehawk was a strong performance, you see teams slip up all the time on the first day of the season.
“Concord is a really difficult ground to go to, they make it hard for you to go and play but we’re not lacking in belief.”
Poole Town’s late show at Weston sets them up perfectly for a meeting of the first day winners – buoyant Bognor Regis make the short trip after they got the better of Bath City 3-2 thanks to Ollie Pearce’s stunning winner.
Bath themselves need to repair that damaged and the last thing they need is a fierce local derby game.
Chippenham Town arrive at Twerton Park with nothing to lose according to manager Mark Collier.
Chelmsford were impressive on the first day of the season as Rod Stringer’s much-changed team got the better of Gloucester City thanks to two goals from the excellent Kudus Oyenuga.
The Clarets start as favourites to beat Welling United at Park View Road but Stringer the manager said: “Welling will really test us, it’s a difficult ground to go to.”
Hampton and Richmond Borough have ambitions of promotion again and on the first day of the season they were gritty over at East Thurrock. A 1-1 was good reward but Alan Dowson will demand three points tonight when they welcome Oxford City.
Havant & Waterlooville v Eastbourne Borough brings together two sides who will want to be in the shake up when it matters.
But having thrown away a 2-0 lead to lose at home to Braintree, the Sports players will know they have some making up to do. Whitehawk, meanwhile, host East Thurrock United.
Fixtures in full:
Bath City v Chippenham Town
Braintree T v Dartford
Concord Rangers v Hemel Hempstead
Hampton & Richmond v Oxford City
Havant & Waterlooville v Eastbourne Borough
Poole Town v Bognor Regis
St Albans City v Wealdstone
Welling United v Chelmsford City
Whitehawk v East Thurrock United
PHOTO BY ED BOYDEN