Dartford trip continues Sutton United’s romance with the FA Cup as they look to emulate heroes of 1989

Paul Doswell is intent on making more FA Cup memories on Saturday as Sutton United travel to Dartford in the first round.

Non-league United famously knocked out top tier side Coventry City in the third round of the competition in 1989 with Tony Raines and Matthew Hanlan cementing their names in FA Cup folklore.

The class of 2016-17 will hope to recreate some of that but they come up against tough opposition in Dartford, who, despite being a league below United, come into the game on the back of nine straight wins.

A bumper crowd is expected at Princes Park and Doswell is hopeful the club’s away support can spur them on as they bid to be in the second round draw on Monday evening.

Doswell said: “I love the FA Cup and I think it’s going to be a great game for the club at Dartford.

“I believe there’s going to be more than 2,000 people there and we’re going to be taking two coaches with us, as well as all the fans that usually travel as well.

“It’s going to be one of those special days and it is massive for both clubs. It’s massive for us and it gives us that chance of getting into the second round draw and we all want the big one and a home draw on TV.

“It’s a different scenario for us all this week with a bit more nerves especially for myself, chairman Bruce Elliott and the board.

“We’re really looking forward to it and hopefully we’ll be in the hat for the next round.”

Sutton will be without the services of Dean Beckwith after the centre-back was sent off during last Saturday’s 2-2 draw at York.

Despite the experienced defender missing the game through suspension, Doswell has plenty of options and has been given a timely boost with the return of Simon Downer.

Doswell added: “Dean will be suspended for the game but Simon will be back and we’ve also got the option of playing Nicky Bailey at the back as well.

“We’ll have a look at it throughout the week but we’ve got a fit squad. Dan Spence won’t quite be ready for the tie but Simon certainly is.

“Nick’s played in that position for Middlesbrough as well before in the Championship, so it’s not a bad replacement if needed.”

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