Archives for : Events

St Albans City v Dartford

Dartford look a strong bet to secure a playoff spot and hope to increase their chances and winning streak this weekend against St Albans City.

On current form Dartford have a great opportunity to make it three victories in a row and record a seventh away game without defeat. The Darts should approach the fixture with confidence after scoring nine in their last two outings. On Tuesday night, a 4-0 victory over basement boys Margate was secured when Elliot Bradbrook scored twice taking his tally to 20 for the campaign, Luke Wanadio and loanee Alfie Pavey added to the scoreline. Bradbrook, who scored a stunning volley in the 5-3 triumph versus Truro City scored the goal of the night with another long range effort.

Before Tuesday’s win Tony Burman managed to sign Brighton and Hove Albion goalkeeper Billy Collings on loan. The debutante kept a clean sheet in the absence of Gibraltar international Deren Ibrahim. Andy Pugh picked up an injury against the Gate and was replaced with Dartford’s other loan signing Pavey.

The Darts will be keen to erase the memory of last season’s disappointing 4-0 final day defeat at Clarence Park. Chasing an unlikely playoff place, Dartford capitulated to finish the campaign in eighth place. Earlier this term, Dartford failed to score again against the Saints in a 2-0 loss at Princes Park.

St Albans City began December in second place but have since claimed one win in their last 15 outings, losing their last six in the National South. The Hertfordshire club are now eleventh and desperate to halt their slide down the standings. Manager, Ian Allinson who guided the Saints to safety last term now faces a different challenge in renewing the early season promise.

Two particular defeats will come as a concern to the Saints, on the weekend they went down 4-0 to struggling Gosport Borough and before the 3-0 reverse to Ebbsfleet United, they lost 1-0 to relegation candidates Bishop’s Stortford. With no goals scored this month, the problem worsened when top striker Louie Theophanous moved to Dartford’s playoff rivals Chelmsford City, the forward scored 41 goals in his Saints career in 94 appearances. That leaves Merson, the current top scorer this term partnering veteran Jamie Cureton or Charlie Walker. From midfield, Shaun Lucien has scored seven times since his summer move from Weladstone, but the success rate in front of goal has dried up.

When Allinson signed Tom Gardiner from Dartford to boost the defence back in January, it looked like the Saints had made a statement of intent. However, form has turned and Gardiner who had played 76 matches for the Darts in his career has lost in a St Albans City shirt in nine of his 14 appearances so far. Tom Bender, another ex Dartford defender has been out of action this month after injuring shoulder at the end of February, the 24 year old scored at Princes Park earlier in the campaign in the Saints 2-0 win back in November, Merson scored the other.

To aid stopping the rot, St Albans City have made some on field changes by signing Solomon Sambou, Kieran Monlouis and Christopher Haigh from lower league clubs. It looks like mid-table this term for the Saints, a vast improvement on last campaign’s relegation battle but falling short of their early season promise.

Head to Head
St Albans City wins: 2 / Dartford wins: 6 / Draws: 4

Current League Form
St Albans City (LLLLLL)
Lost 0-4 v Gosport Borough (A)
Lost 0-3 v Ebbsfleet United (H)
Lost 0-1 v Bishop’s Stortford (A)
Lost 0-3 v Wealdstone (H)
Lost 2-3 v Truro City (A)
Lost 1-4 v Bath City (H)

Dartford (WWDWDD)
Won 4-0 v Margate (H)
Won 5-3 v Truro City (H)
Drew 1-1 v Concord Rangers (A)
Won 2-0 v Bath City (H)
Drew 0-0 v Welling United (A)
Drew 1-1 v Oxford City (A)

Previous Meetings
Dartford 0 St Albans City 2 (08/11/2016 – National South)
St Albans City 4 Dartford 0 (30/04/2016 – National South)
Dartford 2 St Albans City 0 (06/02/2016 – National South)
St Albans City 1 Dartford 2 (02/04/2011 – National South)
Dartford 2 St Albans City 2 (22/03/2011 – National South)
Dartford 1 St Albans City 1 (25/11/2008 – F.A Trophy – Lost 2-4 on penalties)

3 – the last three league victories have completed league doubles over Bath City, Truro City and Margate.

15 – the number of times Dartford have scored three or more goals in a game in all competitions. Ten of which have been in the National League and eight of those in 2017.

31 – Number of goals scored by Elliot Bradbrook and Luke Wanadio in all competitions this term, more than the combined number of goals scored by recognised strikers Andy Pugh, Duane Ofori-Acheampong, Ben Francis, Tom Murphy and Alfie Pavey (27 between them).

360 – St Albans City have gone over 360 minutes without scoring in the National South. The Saints worst run since August 2015.

On This Day
he Darts are unbeaten in their last five matches on 25 March with the most recent victory a year ago. Danny Harris scored early on, Keaton Wood put Dartford ahead again and Tom Bradbrook secured a 3-1 win at Princes Park. The previous two games on this day were home and away versus Corby Town. In 2006, the Darts drew 1-1 in the Southern Division One East and six years earlier won 1-0 in the southern section. Fareham Town were beaten 3-1 in 1998 and in 1995, Dartford were held at home to a goalless draw with Herne Bay in the Kent League.

Dartford v Margate

Dartford will be in search of three points against bottom of the table side Margate in the National South.

The Darts who are in a strong position to make the playoffs this season, host the Gate who have it all to do to escape relegation. Tony Burman’s side will enter the Kent derby off the back of an entertaining 5-3 victory over Truro City on the weekend, whilst Margate were beaten thanks to a former Dart.

On Saturday, Andy Pugh’s brace helped overcome the White Tigers, but it was the visitors who went in front. Andrew Neal took advantage of Deren Ibrahim’s mistake in the goalkeeper’s last game before joining up with the Gibraltar squad. Pugh equalised with his first of the afternoon made by the endeavour of Duane Ofori-Acheampong. Then Elliot Bradbrook volleyed in the goal of the game from 25 yards to give the Darts a 2-1 lead at half-time.

The Darts struggled to shake off Truro City and they levelled through Neal once more, it wasn’t long until Luke Wanadio put Dartford ahead in a hectic final 25 minutes of the match. Jamie Richards headed the White Tigers level at 3-3, however goals from Pugh and Tom Murphy sealed the three points for Dartford as they recorded five goals against Truro City for a second time this season.

Earlier in the league campaign, the Darts won 2-0 at Hartsdown Park but had to leave it relatively late to secure the three points. Two goals in the closing quarter of an hour gave Dartford victory, the first scored by Andy Pugh from close range. The win was almost guaranteed once Bradbrook netted from the penalty spot two minutes from time.

Dartford drew 1-1 with Margate last time at Princes Park after falling behind to a Freddie Ladapo goal, the striker went on to move to Premier League side Crystal Palace and is now on loan at Shrewsbury Town. Elliot Bradbrook scored the equaliser after good work from Ryan Hayes.

Tony Burman’s side have fell off the pace of the top two over recent weeks, unable to convert draws into victories. The Darts can take heart in their excellent form against other Kent sides, over ninety minutes, this term having recorded six wins and three draws from ten matches played. Against Margate they are unbeaten in their last three meetings securing two victories and a draw.

The last twelve months have been dreadful for the Gate, the coastal club were on the fringes of the playoff places towards the end of February last year. Nikki Bull looked to have found his feet then ten consecutive losses saw Margate slide down the National South. Surviving on the final day of the season, by a goal, off field problems have spilled over into this campaign.

The Gate’s win over Gosport Borough just over a week ago, was their first in 20 matches and Ira Jackson’s double strike were Margate’s first goals in 10 games. Now Steve Watts is in charge and he had guided his team to a draw in the game preceding the victory, against Concord Rangers, which had ended an incredible 18 game losing streak. On the weekend the Gate fell to a 3-2 defeat versus Hemel Hempstead Town with Charlie Sheringham scoring twice for the Tudors.

Michael Thalassitis has rejoined the club from Welling United. The striker had left Hartsdown Park in November for Hemel Hempstead Town, when Margate were forced to slash their wage bil,l and after a short spell at Park View Road is now back at the coastal side.

At the beginning of the month, Watt used his contacts at former club Maidstone United to attract defender Ben Swift to the squad. Up front Pape Gueye also comes in on loan for a month from National League side Sutton United.

The Darts in third place are eleven points clear of sixth place and hope to edge closer to a playoff spot, whilst Margate are thirteen points adrift from safety.

Head to Head
Dartford wins: 46 / Margate wins: 42 / Draws: 29

Current League Form
Dartford (WDWDDL)
Won 5-3 v Truro City (H)
Drew 1-1 v Concord Rangers (A)
Won 2-0 v Bath City (H)
Drew 0-0 v Welling United (A)
Drew 1-1 v Oxford City (A)
Lost 0-1 v Chelmsford City (H)

Margate (DLWWLW)
Lost 2-3 v Hemel Hempstead Town (A)
Won 2-0 v Gosport Borough (H)
Drew 0-0 v Concord Rangers (A)
Lost 2-3 v Chelmsford City (H)
Lost 0-2 v Whitehawk (H)
Lost 0-1 v East Thurrock United (A)

Previous Meetings
Margate 0 Dartford 2 (13/09/2016 – National South)
Dartford 1 Margate 1 (28/12/2015 – National South)
Margate 0 Dartford 2 (29/08/2015 – National South)
Dartford 0 Margate 1 (23/03/2010 – Isthmian Premier League)
Margate 0 Dartford 4 (18/08/2009 – Isthmian Premier League)
Margate 2 Dartford 2 (07/03/2009 – Isthmian Premier League)

The last time a home side won this fixture in 2008 when the Darts progressed in the Isthmian League Cup with a 3-2 victory.

In a league meeting, the last home by either club in this fixture was in 1997, Dartford recorded a 1-0 win in the Southern League Southern Division.

On This Day
Dartford have just won once in their last nine games on 21 March and that was 25 years ago. The Darts beat Moor Green 3-1 in the Southern Premier League. Since then the Darts have tasted three defeats in a row and celebrated just one goal, against Folkestone Invicta in a 4-1 loss 17 years ago. AFC Hornchurch in 2009’s Isthmian Premier League meeting and Southport in 2015’s National League fixture both won 2-0 against Dartford.

Dartford v Truro City

Dartford will hope to win a second home game in a row to keep the playoff chasing pack at bay, when they host Truro City.

With just one win in five league matches, the gap on the Darts’ third place spot is closing. Completing a double over Truro City will help alleviate some pressure going into the final run in. If the previous fixture between the two clubs is anything to go by, then Dartford should be in for a good afternoon.

Having never beaten the White Tigers at Treyew Road, Dartford took the long trip to Cornwall and came home with all three points. The Darts dominated the affair in their best away performance of this campaign running out 5-0 winners.

Keaton Wood settled any nerves as early as the fourth minute and from then on the goals kept coming. Andy Pugh nodded in a second and Duane Ofori-Acheampong netted a rebound to make it 3-0 at half-time. In the second half, Ofori-Acheampong scored again and Alex Brown wrapped up victory. Prior the win at Truro City, the Darts had drawn 1-1 against the White Tigers on the final game of the 2011/12 promotion campaign and lost miserably 3-0 last term.

Last weekend, Ryan Hayes hit the headlines with his 100th goal for the club. The winger opened the scoring against Concord Rangers. It wasn’t enough as a late penalty scored by Beachboys top scorer Steve Cawley meant a third draw in the last four games for the Darts.

Meanwhile, Truro City hosted Wealdstone and found themselves a goal down until Jamie Richards scored just before the interval. The Stones grabbed a winner ten minutes from time to condemn the White Tigers to their second consecutive loss. Defeat left the Cornwall club eight points clear of the relegation zone with manager Lee HOdges asking his players to ‘put their bodies on the line’ over the remaining fixtures.

Hodges has also tapped into the loan market for two defenders. Trying to shore up the back, Ben Gerring comes in from Torquay United, having had two spells with Truro City before. Alex Hartridge has signed from Exeter City after the 18-year-old has emerged for the Grecians academy. Earlier in the month, Cody Cooke returned to action after a hernia problem ruled him out since September. Whilst last month, crowd favourite Stewart Yetton returned to the club on loan from Weymouth until the end of the season.

Head to Head
Dartford wins: 1 / Truro City wins: 3 / Draws: 1

Current League Form
Dartford (WDDLWW)
Drew 1-1 v Concord Rangers (A)
Won 2-0 v Bath City (H)
Drew 0-0 v Welling United (A)
Drew 1-1 v Oxford City (A)
Lost 0-1 v Chelmsford City (H)
Won 4-0 v Gosport Borough (A)

Truro City (DLWWLW)
Lost 1-2 v Wealdstone (H)
Lost 0-2 v Eastbourne Borough (A)
Won 3-2 v St Albans City (H)
Won 2-0 v Gosport Borough (H)
Lost 1-2 v Concord Rangers (H)
Lost 0-4 v Bath City City (A)

Previous Meetings
Truro City 0 Dartford 5 (08/10/2016 – National South)
Truro City 3 Dartford 0 (05/04/2016 – National South)
Dartford 1 Truro City 0 (19/09/2015 – National South)
Truro City 1 Dartford 1 (28/04/2012 – National South)
Dartford 1 Truro City 2 (22/10/2011 – National South)

Ryan Hayes is the second player to notch his 100th career goal for the club this season. Elliot Bradbrook also scored his 100th earlier in the campaign.

Hayes is currently sixth in the all time goalscorers chart for the Darts, behind Tony Burman (159 goals), John Ripley (136), John Mitchell (121), Elliot Bradbrook and Tommy Huckstepp (111).

On This Day
On the way to the Isthmian Premier League title seven years ago, Elliot Brabrook scored twice and Allan Tait once in a 3-1 away win at Horsham. Four years earlier, the Darts came out of the wrong side in a close encounter with Wingate and Finchley, the Southern League Division One East fixture ended 3-2 to the Blues. Dartford suffered a heavy home defeat in 2003 when they lost 4-1 to Salisbury City, but won 1-0 in 1998 against Tonbridge Angels.

Concord Rangers v Dartford

Dartford make the short journey to Essex on the weekend to face a few former players at Concord Rangers.

Managed by Adam Flanagan, Dartford’s Isthmian Premier League title-winning captain, Concord Rangers visited Princes Park back in September propping up the league table at the time. On the stroke of half time Duane Ofori-Acheampong volleyed in his first goal for the Darts in his ninth appearance for the club. The striker was involved in the second just before the hour mark setting up Danny Harris. Dartford had to hold on though when Jay Dowie scored a consolation five minutes from time.

Last term, the Darts had to produce a comeback full of character to overcome the Beachboys. Lewis Taafe opened the scoring for the hosts after just two minutes and doubled the lead on the hour. Andy Pugh’s deflected shot pulled a goal back and with five minutes to go he grabbed the equaliser. In the final minute Tom Bradbrook netted the winner as Dartford won 3-2 from two goals down.

Whatever the result, Dartford will remain third after the weekend but will hope to close the six point gap on rivals Ebbsfleet United in second. The five point advantage over fourth place Chelmsford City gives the Darts some stability for the time being. Unbeaten in their last three matches, Tony Burman has strengthened his strike force by signing Alfie Pavey on loan from Millwall. The 21-year-old has had previous spells on loan with Barnet, Aldershot Town, Bromley and Hampton and Richmond.

Concord Rangers may be in the lower half of the National South yet they have an eight point cushion on Gosport Borough, who occupy the final relegation spot. The Beachboys took a while to warm up this campaign going nine games without a win. The season began to take off after a 5-1 away win at Margate and decent form leading up to the New Year moved them out of the relegation places. Since then the Beachboys’ inconsistencies reflect their position in the National South.

It was just over a year ago when former Dartford midfielder James White scored a stunning decisive goal to give the Beachboys victory at Princes Park, their only ever win versus Dartford. White is still integral to the Concord Rangers team and made 112 appearances for the Darts.

In between the sticks Bailey Vose has made 14 appearances this season for Concord Rangers to add to the three starts he had for Dartford in November. Vose’s short spell included a home defeat to St Albans City and a clean sheet against Hemel Hempstead Town, as well as a Kent Senior Cup win over Cray Wanderers. The 18-year-old goalkeeper is on loan from Championship side Brighton and Hove Albion.

Jordan Chiedozie had a brief spell with Dartford on loan from Cambridge United in 2015 where he scored twice in four games. He returned to the Beachboys this term having previously been part of their 2014/15 squad.

Head to Head
Concord Rangers wins: 1 / Dartford wins: 3 / Draws: 0

Current League Form
Concord Rangers (DLWWLW)
Drew 0-0 v Margate (H)
Lost 3-4 v Chelmsford City (A)
Won 2-1 v Truro City (A)
Won 3-1 v Eastbourne Borough (H)
Lost 0-4 v Ebbsfleet United (A)
Won 3-2 v St Albans City (A)

Dartford (WDDLWW)
Won 2-0 v Bath City (H)
Drew 0-0 v Welling United (A)
Drew 1-1 v Oxford City (A)
Lost 0-1 v Chelmsford City (H)
Won 4-0 v Gosport Borough (A)
Won 3-1 v Whitehawk (H)

Previous Meetings
Dartford 2 Concord Rangers 1 (24/09/2016 – National South)
Dartford 1 Concord Rangers 2 (27/02/2016 – National South)
Concord Rangers 2 Dartford 3 (18/08/2015 – National South)
Concord Rangers 1 Dartford 3 (27/01/2009 – Isthmian League Cup)

1 – Dartford have conceded once in the last 360 minutes away from home, keeping three clean sheets in thbeir last four outings

2 – A second clean sheet in a row last weekend was the first time Dartford achieved this feat since November

4 – Concord Rangers are unbeaten in their last four home games

5 – The Darts have not lost on their travels since New Years Day spanning five matches

15 – In previous meetings, both sides have scored in every fixture with Dartford netting nine to the Beachboys’ six

293 – Concord Rangers have the second lowest average attendance in the National League, one ahead of Oxford City

On This Day
Steve Robinson was the hero in 1989 when he scored the only goal of the game against Altrincham in the F.A Trophy quarter-final. Dartford’s record appearance maker helped Peter Taylor’s side to a run which ended in the last four against Macclesfield Town. The last away match for the Darts on 11 March was 37 years ago in 1980. A trip South to Hastings United ended in a 2-1 Southern League Cup semi-final first leg loss. The Darts away goal made sure of a narrow 3-2 aggregate victory to reach the final, where Graham Carr’s side fell short to Kidderminster Harriers in the final.

Dartford v Bath City

Dartford aim to create some breathing space in the playoff race, when they host Bath City in the National South this weekend.

Earlier in the season Dartford left it late to beat the Romans in a match with plenty of opportunities for both sides. However, it was Luke Wanadio who made the most of his chance by bending in the winner with six minutes remaining.

The corresponding fixture last term also ended in a Dartford win, this time it was more comfortable. The Darts on an unbeaten run of ten at the time climbed into the playoffs with a 4-1 triumph. Andy Pugh scored two excellent first half goals, Ryan Hayes made it three by half time and Callum McNaughton netted his first for the club.

Over the last three games Dartford have slipped off the pace at the top of the National South. Starting a point behind leaders Ebbsfleet United and Maidenhead United, the Darts were beaten 1-0 at home to Chelmsford City before conceding a last minute equaliser at Oxford City. Ryan Hayes opened the scoring on Saturday netting his 99th goal for the club in the 1-1 draw with the Nomads. After those two matches, the Darts dropped seven points behind the front runners, the pack now hunting Dartford down for a playoff spot now includes Poole Town, Chelmsford City and Hungerford Town.

On Tuesday night, Tony Burman’s side made the short trip to local rivals Welling United. In a first half of few clear cut chances neither team could break the deadlock. Hayes was replaced in the second half by the returning Lee Noble and Ben Francis, recalled to the squad was on the bench for the second consecutive game and was brought on. Still neither side could find the back of the net in a 0-0 draw, leaving Dartford trailing by six points from the top two with eleven games remaining.

Opponents, Bath City lost 1-0 to league leaders Ebbsfleet United last weekend, which halted a run of 14 consecutive games in which the Romans had scored in the National South. The sequence stretched back to October, when the Fleet kept a clean sheet on that day too. A unbeaten run spanning nine matches finished when a solitary mistake was enough for Ebbsfleet United to punish the hosts, condemning them to their first league defeat in 2017, Bradley Bubb headed the winner just after the interval.

Currently in the top ten, Bath City have an outside chance of reaching the playoffs, if they can return to the form which served them well before Saturday’s loss. Up front, Bath City have a trio of attacking players available in Nick McCootie, Marvin Morgan and Andy Watkins. Between them they have scored 25 league goals, just over half of the Romans total.

Bath City have a steady away record, but where they lack goals on their travels they have been tight at the back. Twenty goals scored on the road, the Romans have conceded just eighteen times, only five sides have a better away defence. Yet to beat a team from the National South’s top seven, Bath City have also picked up no points against those in the current top four, but each defeat has only been by a single goal.

Head to Head
Dartford wins: 28 / Bath City wins: 40 / Draws: 19

Current League Form
Dartford (DDLWWW)
Drew 0-0 v Welling United (A)
Drew 1-1 v Oxford City (A)
Lost 0-1 v Chelmsford City (H)
Won 4-0 v Gosport Borough (A)
Won 3-1 v Whitehawk (H)
Won 4-0 v Wealdstone (A)

Bath City (DWLWWW)
Lost 0-1 v Ebbsfleet United (H)
Won 4-1 v St Albans City (A)
Drew 1-1 v Oxford City (A)
Won 4-0 v Truro City (H)
Won 2-0 v Margate (H)
Won 2-0 v Bishop’s Stortford (H)

Last Six Meetings
Bath City 0 Dartford 1 (22/10/2016 – National South)
Dartford 4 Bath City 1 (16/01/2016 – National South)
Bath City 0 Dartford 0 (05/09/2015 – National South)
Dartford 0 Bath City 1 (07/04/1990 – Southern Premier League)
Bath City 0 Dartford 0 (09/09/1989 – Southern Premier League)
Dartford 1 Bath City 0 (28/01/1989 – Southern Premier League)

Dartford’s 1-0 win in October against Bath City was the first time the Darts recorded back to back victories against the Romans since 1971/72.

The Darts have lost just once in their last six meetings with Bath City. Prior this current run, Bath City went 15 matches unbeaten against Dartford between 1977 and 1989.

In the previous six meetings between the two sides Dartford have kept four clean sheets.

On This Day
Dartford last tasted victory on 4 March in 1989 when they travelled to Gosport Borough in the Southern Premier League and won 2-1. The last home win came 37 years ago, Graham Carr’s Darts beat Waterlooville 2-1 at Watling Street. The long wait for another triumph has seen Dartford draw 1-1 with Chelmsford City in 1991 and Tunbridge Wells in 1995 (Kent League Cup semi-final first leg). The Darts are now on a run of three straight defeats by Eastbourne Borough in 2003 and Enfield Town in 2006, both 1-0 losses and three years ago a 3-0 Kent Senior Cup exit to Dover Athletic.

Oxford City v Dartford

Dartford lost ground on the league leaders this week and will be looking to make it back up at Oxford City on Saturday

The Darts beat the Nomads in October with a brilliantly taken goal by Andy Pugh. The Dartford striker raced on to a flick on to delicately lob the ball over the Oxford City goalkeeper. Last term the away fixture saw the Darts suffer their only ever loss to Oxford City. Pugh was the goalscorer again when he broke the deadlock against a high flying Oxford City side, the score remained 1-0 at half time. The match turned around though when the Nomads made some changes to come back to win 2-1.

Last weekend, Tony Burman’s side were just a point behind league leaders Ebbsfleet United and second place Maidenhead United a week ago. A home defeat to playoff contenders Chelmsford City coupled with victories for the top two left the Darts further behind. Burman had to add academy players Richard Seixas and Shai Thorley-Porter to the bench with the youngsters featuring later on in the game, Michael Habte, another academy player was also named amongst the bench.

The squad has been left thin on the ground of late with the knee injury to Duane Ofori-Acheampong, Lee Noble coming back to fitness and Kaka Dembele going out on loan to Leatherhead. After midweek fixtures, Dartford are now seven points behind new leaders Maidenhead United and trail rivals Ebbsfleet United by five.

Oxford City are now led by Mark Jones who took charge just two months ago from Justin Merritt. The Nomads were six points above the drop in seventeenth and have since risen three places with a greater cushion of nine points on the teams in the relegation zone. Jones has changed supporting staff and signed centre back Jean Niate. Loan players from Oxford United have returned and others such as goalkeeper Tyrell Belford have left with Shaun McAuley and Tom Winters going out on loan.

Shipping players out has made way for new signings Kaiman Anderson, Wilson Carvalho and Ezra Forde. Already Jones admits he is building with one eye on next season but his priority is to keep the Nomads in the National South.

Last weekend, a 1-0 victory means Oxford City are now unbeaten in their last three league games. Lee Henderson scored the all important goal in a game that saw veteran Jefferson Louis return to the starting line up. The previous two games before beating Hemel Hempstead Town ended in 1-1 draws with Bath City and Wealdstone respectively.

Head to Head
Oxford City wins: 1 / Dartford wins: 2 / Draws: 2

Current League Form
Oxford City (WDDLDL)
Won 1-0 v Hemel Hempstead Town (H)
Drew 1-1 v Bath City (H)
Drew 1-1 v Wealdstone (A)
Lost 0-4 v Welling United (A)
Drew 3-3 v Concord Rangers (A)
Lost 2-3 v Truro City (A)

Dartford (LWWWWW)
Lost 0-1 v Chelmsford City
Won 4-0 v Gosport Borough (A)
Won 3-1 v Whitehawk (H)
Won 4-0 Wealdstone (A)
Won 3-2 v Eastbourne Borough (A)
Won 3-2 v Weston-super-Mare (H)

Previous Six Meetings
Dartford 1 Oxford City 0 (29/10/2016 – National South)
Dartford 2 Oxford City 1 (23/04/2016 – National South)
Oxford City 2 Dartford 1 (15/09/2015 – National South)
Oxford City 2 Dartford 4 (04/11/2008 – F.A Trophy)
Dartford 3 Oxford City 3 (01/11/2008 – F.A Trophy)

Dartford v Chelmsford City

Dartford have turned from playoff to title contenders in recent weeks and their next test is at home to Chelmsford City.

It will be the fourth time the two sides meet this season having played in both the F.A Cup and F.A Trophy. So far the away team has edged out with one win a piece in the cups and a draw in the National South back in August. The Darts drew 1-1 in Essex six months ago with Luke Wanadio’s header cancelling out by Shaun Jeffers’ leveller.

Dartford returned to the Melbourne Community Stadium a month later in an interesting and tense F.A Cup tie. Racing into a three goal lead by half time, courtesy of an own goal and an Elliot Bradbrook brace, the Darts were up against the conditions in the second half when they conceded twice. The Clarets did get revenge in the F.A Trophy though in their last visit to Princes Park, Chris Dickson’s winner sent the Essex club through.

Chelmsford City boss, Rod Stringer claimed that 1-0 victory was a statement for other teams in the playoffs. However, since then the Clarets have dropped out of the top five and currently sit four points adrift. Their F.A Trophy run, which ended against Tranmere Rovers, means Stringer’s side do have games in hand on those above.

On the other hand, Dartford are the form team of the division and have pulled away from the Clarets. A run of six consecutive wins has closed the gap at the top leaving the Darts third and a point behind rivals Ebbsfleet United. Since New Years Day, Tony Burman’s side have made up 14 points on Maidenhead United who were strolling at the top at the turn of the year. Dartford are now ten points better off than Stringer’s team and are contenders for the National South title at this stage.

Over the last six league matches goals have come from all over the park, Dartford have netted an impressive 23 with 11 different goalscorers, taking their goal difference from the seventh best to the third. The goals continued on the weekend with a 4-0 away triumph at Gosport Borough. Andy Pugh scored a tap in within five minutes, his fourth league goal in as many games. Luke Wanadio deservedly got on the scoresheet with a well placed finish, Keaton Wood’s stunning strike made it three and Kaka Dembele nodded in the fourth. Alex Brown and Duane Ofori-Acheampong returned to the squad and were named on the bench and Burman gave academy midfielder Richard Seixas some more game time.

Chelmsford City have playoff aspirations of their own and were in with a shout of the title race up until mid October. The Essex club went seven games without a win, drawing six of them. The Clarets have since got back to winning ways, with defeat at Ebbsfleet United an exception, yet on the weekend they shared the points with St Albans City to drop two in a frustrating afternoon. Stringer noted his attack wasn’t clinical enough, a problem he’s noticed with frequency this campaign.

Jeffers who equalised in the reverse fixture back in August is Chelmsford City’s top marksman this term with 15 goals. He can look forward to forming a partnership with new signing Liam Enver-Marum, the former Ebbsfleet United and Maidstone United striker. The 29 year old made a late appearance on Saturday replacing Jeffers. Three former Darts are also in the squad, winger Luke Daley, full back Josh Hill, who only signed last month and Max Cornhill.

Head to Head
Dartford wins: 36 / Chelmsford City wins: 51 / Draws: 90

Current League Form
Dartford (WWWWWW)
Won 4-0 v Gosport Borough (A)
Won 3-1 v Whitehawk (H)
Won 4-0 v Wealdstone (A)
Won 3-2 v Eastbourne Borough (A)
Won 3-2 v Weston-super-Mare (H)
Won 6-1 v East Thurrock United (H)

Chelmsford City (DWLWWW)
Drew 1-1 v St Albans City (H)
Won 2-0 v Truro City (H)
Lost 0-2 v Ebbsfleet United (A)
Won 1-0 v Whitehawk (H)
Won 3-1 v Bishop’s Stortford (A)
Won 4-0 v Bishop’s Stortford (H)

Previous Meetings
Dartford 0 Chelmsford City 1 (14/01/2017) – F.A Trophy
Chelmsford City 2 Dartford 3 (17/09/2016) – F.A Cup
Chelmsford City 1 Dartford 1 (13/08/2016)
Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 1 (02/01/2016)
Chelmsford City 0 Dartford 1 (26/12/2015)
Dartford 0 Chelmsford City 0 (07/04/2012)

Dartford have not hosted and beaten Chelmsford City in 17 years. A run of four defeats and two draws means the 3-0 win in 2000 was the last time the Darts achieved a home victory over the Essex club.

Since the home win in 2000, Dartford have only recorded one other league triumph against the Clarets, the 1-0 win at the Melbourne Community Stadium on Boxing Day two years ago.

The Darts are unbeaten in their last five league matches against Chelmsford City, winning one and drawing four. The last two league meetings have ended 1-1.

Very few goals decide this fixture, Dartford have failed to score more than once and Chelmsford City more than twice since the Southern League Southern Division match in 2000.

Andy Pugh seems to warm up in January and February. Last season he also scored in four consecutive league games between 26 January and 23 February, he netted five times

On This Day
Dartford’s highlight of the 2013/14 season came on 18 February when the Darts swept aside Woking. The 5-1 victory temporarily glossed over relegation fears when braces from Alex Wall and Max Cornhill was added to by Lee Noble. The win was exactly two years to the day since the Cards beat the Darts 1-0 in the National South to dent Dartford’s title ambitions, the Darts did eventually go up in the playoffs that season. Defeats to Horsham (2-3 in 2009), Berkhamsted Town (1-3 in 2006) and Fisher Athletic (1-3 in 2003) all came after 1995’s entertaining 5-3 triumph over Furness in the Kent League.

Gosport Borough v Dartford

Dartford look for their sixth consecutive league win to continue their challenge at the top of the table, when they visit struggling Gosport Borough this weekend.

The Darts moved within four points of league leaders Maidenhead United last weekend and kept in touch with rivals Ebbsfleet United, by beating relegation battlers Whitehawk. Yet again, Dartford managed to spread out the goals amongst the starting eleven with Ryan Hayes, Tom Murphy and Andy Pugh helping to secure a 3-1 victory and Dartford’s ninth home win in the league in their last ten.

Since the New Year’s Day defeat to Ebbsfleet United, Tony Burman’s side has responded excellently with four consecutive league wins to keep up the pressure on the top two. Burman is pleased with the club’s turnaround this season, speaking at a fans forum on Monday he attributed the success to the squad’s character, he said: “I haven’t changed what I do each season, but without a doubt those players have a great bond. That has been better as the results have been good. We’ve been through the mill for a few years and when we’re all getting on it’s good. I feel we’ve got our mojo back, on the terraces and in the changing rooms. The response from everyone has been positive”.

Earlier in the season when Dartford faced Gosport Borough they were up against the odds despite home advantage. With the only two recognised strikers out in Andy Pugh and Duane Ofori-Acheampong, captain Elliot Bradbrook injured and Ronnie Vint sidelined, Tony Burman’s squad was dwindling in numbers. The cause was not helped when after nine minutes Tom Bonner was sent off, but in another example of team spirit shining through the Darts claimed a 0-0 draw.

Last term, Dartford put in one of their best performances of the campaign in their visit to Privett Park. Almost a year ago, the Darts came from behind to win 3-1. Dan Wooden gave Boro a first half lead when his deflected shot beat Deren Ibrahim. The second half was a different story, Elliot Bradbrook scrambled home an equaliser and added a second by taking the ball round Nathan Ashmore in the Gosport Borough goal. Andy Pugh capped off a fine display with a third from a tight angle to secure the points.

Borough have had a torrid time of late losing six straight National South games dragging them into the relegation battle. Manager, Alex Pike felt he could see ‘green shoots of recovery’ and when they picked up a point on Tuesday night he may be right. Three new signings featured in the 2-2 draw with playoff hopefuls Hampton and Richmond, which saw Tony Lee score twice. Goalkeeper, Mark Childes and Jack Masterton are two new faces from Eastleigh whilst defensive midfielder Ed Sanders signed from Bognor Regis Town.

Last weekend, Gosport Borough may have lost 2-0 to league leaders Maidenhead United, but conceding two was a vast improvement on the three games prior, when they shipped in 16. Poor form has left Borough two points ahead of the bottom three with the worst defensive record in the division.

Signs of a potential difficult campaign came over the festive period when Chris Flood and Warren Bentley, their summer signings to replace the departed prolific striker Justin Bennett, left with numerous other players. The club were forced to make a statement after the 7-0 loss to Poole Town, in which the Borough had just 12 players available. Since then, a transfer embargo has been lifted and Pike has managed to rebuild a squad. With plenty going on off the field, Gosport Borough are trying to do everything on the pitch to stay in the National South.

Head to Head
Gosport Borough wins: 5 / Dartford wins: 10 / Draws: 4

Current League Form
Gosport Borough (DLLLLL)
Drew 2-2 v Hampton and Richmond Borough (A)
Lost 0-2 v Maidenhead United (H)
Lost 1-5 v East Thurrock United (H)
Lost 1-4 v Hungerford Town (H)
Lost 0-7 v Poole Town (A)
Lost 0-2 v Poole Town (H)

Dartford (WWWWWL)
Won 3-1 v Whitehawk (H)
Won 4-0 Wealdstone (A)
Won 3-2 v Eastbourne Borough (A)
Won 3-2 v Weston-super-Mare (H)
Won 6-1 v East Thurrock United (H)
Lost 0-1 v Ebbsfleet United (A)

Previous Six Meetings
Dartford 0 Gosport Borough 0 (16/08/2016 – National South)
Gosport Borough 1 Dartford 3 (23/02/2016 – National South)
Dartford 2 Gosport Borough 3 (22/08/2015 – National South)
Gosport Borough 0 Dartford 1 (24/10/1989 – Southern Premier)
Dartford 5 Gosport Borough 1 (22/08/1989 – Southern Premier)
Dartford 4 Gosport Borough 2 (04/04/1989 – Southern Premier)

Gosport Borough have conceded 67 times this season at an average of 2.48 per game. Only the bottom two sides, Margate and Bishops Stortford have a worse goal difference.

Dartford have won 6 of the last 8 in this fixture, including the last three visits to Gosport. The Boro last beat the Darts on home soil in 1988.

The 0-0 draw earlier in the season was the first blank Dartford recorded against Boro since the 1-0 loss in 1988.

In each of the last five league matches Dartford have recorded different goalscorers. In that time the Darts have scored a total of 19 goals at almost four a game.

On This Day
For the first time since reforming Dartford play on 11 February. The last time the Darts played on this day was in 1989 when they breezed past Waterlooville 4-1, away from home in the Southern Premier League. Five years before, they travelled to Witney Town and won 1-0 and in 1967 defeated Wisbech Town 3-0 in the Southern League First Division. The last defeat in 1961 was also an away fixture, Tunbridge Wells United knocked the Darts out of the Kent Senior Cup with a 2-0 victory.

Dartford v Whitehawk

Dartford’s promotion push continues at home in the National South when they host relegation threatened Whitehawk.

The Darts know a fifth consecutive league victory will continue to apply pressure on the top two. Meanwhile, Whitehawk are desperate to halt a run of five defeats in a row.

Last weekend, Dartford recorded their first win over Wealdstone in 26 years scoring four goals without reply. Once more, the scoresheet showed a variety of players finding the net starting with Luke Wandio’s second in his last two appearances. Ryan Hayes put the Darts two up as he edges closer to his 100th goal for the club and Elliot Bradbrook made it three before half time. Andy Pugh scored on the hour to also score in his second game running.

With Tom Bonner missing and Lee Noble injured, Dartford recorded another impressive result. Duane Ofori-Acheampong returned to the bench coming on as a substitute. The Darts have now scored 16 goals in their last four league games and in each of those fixtures different goalscorers found the net.

The Darts will hope to reverse the result back in August when Whitehawk ran out 1-0 winners. A fourth minute penalty by Ahmed Abdulla settled the match, Keaton Wood was sent off just before half time. Last season at Princes Park, despite Pugh’s double the Hawks won 4-2, the Sussex club also beat Dartford 2-1 in the F.A Trophy.

This campaign, the Hawks are a long way off from the form they showed in the tail end of last season. Reaching the playoffs last term and almost earning a third round F.A Cup tie with Everton before then, Whitehawk are trying to avoid dropping out of the National South.

Stability will be welcomed by the Sussex club with so many managerial changes since September. Pablo Asensio was the first to go and in came Richard Hill, who left in November. Alan Payne and Ben Strevens took joint charge until December when Strevens returned to Eastleigh. Up stepped defender Paul Reid until last weekend when he stepped down again following the 2-0 defeat to Weston-super-Mare, leaving Payne at the helm. Currently in a poor spell, the Hawks have lost five league games in a row and also went out of the F.A Trophy to Dulwich Hamlet of the Isthmian Premier League. Recent results has meant another change took place when Andy Woodman was appointed the new boss.

Danny Mills continues to be their top man in front of goal but Whitehawk now have experience too. Former Charlton Athletic striker Kevin Lisbie is part of the squad and Brian Howard, the former Barnsley midfielder who netted a winner against Liverpool in the F.A Cup. Former Dart, Marvin Hamilton is regularly making the starting eleven as is Micheal West, formerly of local rivals Ebbsfleet United.

Head to Head
Dartford wins: 2 / Whitehawk wins: 3 / Draws: 0

Current League Form
Dartford (WWWWLWL)
Won 4-0 v Wealdstone (A)
Won 3-2 v Eastbourne Borough (A)
Won 3-2 v Weston-super-Mare (H)
Won 6-1 v East Thurrock United (H)
Lost 0-1 v Ebbsfleet United (A)
Won 2-1 v Ebbsfleet United (H)
Lost 0-5 v Maidenhead United (A)

Whitehawk (LLLLLD)
Lost 0-2 v Weston-super-Mare (H)
Lost 1-3 v Hungerford Town (A)
Lost 0-1 v Chelmsford City (A)
Lost 2-4 v Eastbourne Borough (A)
Lost 0-2 v Bath City (H)
Drew 4-4 v Gosport Borough (H)

Previous Meetings
Whitehawk 1 Dartford 0 (10/08/2016 – National South)
Dartford 2 Whitehawk 4 (12/03/2016 – National South)
Whitehawk 0 Dartford 1 (19/12/2015 – National South)
Whitehawk 2 Dartford 1 (28/11/2015 – F.A Trophy)
Dartford 5 Whitehawk 2 (04/09/1982 – F.A Cup)

On This Day
It’s been 14 years since Dartford last played on 4 February in the Southern League Division One East, the Darts lost 1-0 away to Tonbridge Angels. In 1995, the only other time Dartford played on this day since reforming, the Darts beat Canterbury City 2-0 in the Kent League.

Wealdstone v Dartford

The Darts aim to keep the pressure on the top two this weekend when they visit Wealdstone in the National South.

In recent times, Dartford have found the Stones a thorn in their side last recording a win against their opponents in 1991, and have to go back a further two years for the last away triumph. On the opening day of this season, the Darts came extremely close but were denied victory conceding a last minute goal.

The 2-2 draw back in August was an entertaining affair with Elliot Bradbrook scoring on the stroke of half time. Elliot Benyon levelled for the Stones early in the second half, but the Darts regained the from Ryan Hayes’ penalty eight minutes from time. Just as it looked like Dartford had earned three points Eddie Oshodi headed an injury time equaliser.

In the league, Dartford have bounced back from their heavy defeat against Maidenhead United with three consecutive victories. Even better, in those games the Darts have scored 12 times with ten different goalscorers. In that time, Duane Ofori-Acheampong, Alex Brown and Andy Pugh have all missed games for various reasons, Brown will be the only one of the trio to definitely miss out this weekend because of his suspension. Lee Noble who scored against Eastbourne Borough on Tuesday night, picked up a knock and could be ruled out.

After back to back 3-2 victories, the latest in foggy conditions at Eastbourne Borough, the Darts remain third in the league standings. Tony Burman again highlighted the belief in the squad to catch rivals Ebbsfleet United and league leaders Maidenhead United. He told “If people don’t want to take us seriously, then that’s fine,” he added: “But we’ve been in a really good run of form since September.The players are believing in what we tell them. There’s a feelgood factor around the place at the moment”.

Wealdstone’s last three league games have come against the top two and their win over Maidenhead United on Boxing Day helped out the Darts. However, the Stones lost the reverse fixture in the New Year and recently lost to Ebbsfleet United. In between the league fixtures, the Middlesex club have enjoyed a run to the F.A Trophy’s last 16 where they face Brackley Town next weekend.

The Stones are sitting comfortably in mid-table and owe a lot to experienced striker Elliot Benyon, who has scored 15 of the club’s 34 goals this term. However, Benyon has picked up a shoulder injury which could see him sidelined on the weekend.

Dartford’s last visit to Vale Stadium ended in a 2-1 defeat. Goals either side of half time by Tom Hamblin and Shaun Lucien made the afternoon difficult for Burman’s side. Tom Bradbrook headed a consolation in off the crossbar with fifteen minutes remaining.

Head to Head
Wealdstone wins: 13 / Dartford wins: 11/ Draws: 11

Current League Form
Wealdstone (LLWDWL)
Lost 2-4 v Ebbsfleet United (H)
Lost 0-2 v Maidenhead United (A)
Won 2-1 v Maidenhead United (H)
Drew 1-1 v Poole Town (A)
Won 1-0 v East Thurrock United (H)
Lost 0-2 v Hungerford Town (A)

Dartford (WWWLWL)
Won 3-2 v Eastbourne Borough (A)
Won 3-2 v Weston-super-Mare (H)
Won 6-1 v East Thurrock United (H)
Lost 0-1 v Ebbsfleet United (A)
Won 2-1 v Ebbsfleet United (H)
Lost 0-5 v Maidenhead United (A)

Previous Six Meetings
Dartford 2 Wealdstone 2 (06/08/2016 – National South)
Dartford 2 Wealdstone 2 (26/01/2016 – National South)
Dartford 1 Wealdstone 2 (03/10/2015 – National South)
Wealdstone 1 Dartford 0 (21/02/2012 – F.A Trophy replay)
Wealdstone 2 Dartford 2 (03/04/2012 – F.A Trophy)
Dartford 1 Wealdstone 1 (20/04/2010 – Isthmian Premier)

Dartford have not beaten Wealdstone on their own patch in the last seven attempts, drawing four.

The Stones have gone nine games unbeaten against the Darts with three wins and six draws.

The Darts have won just one in the last 13 against the Middlesex club

Dartford’s last victory over Wealdstone in 1991, was the last time more than two goals were scored by one of the teams in this fixture

On This Day
Ryan Hayes celebrated his 300th appearance for the Darts in style. The midfielder was involved in Dartford’s 6-0 thrashing of Thurrock. Elliot Bradbrook scored a brace and Danny Harris, James Rogers, Lee Burns and Tony Garrod netted the others. The Darts are unbeaten in six matches on the 28 January stretching back almost 40 years. In 2006, Barton Rovers were defeated 2-1 in the Southern League Division One East and in 1995 Greenwich Borough were beaten 3-0 in the Kent League. A Southern League Cup draw with Dover Athletic was recorded in 1992 and three years earlier Bath City visited Watling Street and lost 1-0, with future Southampton full back Jason Dodd in their starting eleven.