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Dartford v Braintree Town

Dartford are determined to record their first win of the season this weekend when they host Braintree Town in the National South.

The Darts have got off to a disappointing start picking up two points in their opening five games and are currently second from bottom, their worst start to a league campaign in 41 years. After three matches Braintree Town were in a worse position with three straight defeats, however they visit Princes Park on the back of consecutive victories.

Last weekend, Dartford fell to a third consecutive away loss, their seventh in a row including the tail end of last term. Travelling to the Dorset coast to take on Southern Premier League South champions Weymouth, the Darts found themselves three goals down when Abdulai Baggie and Brett Williams’ brace put the hosts in command. Norman Wabo scored a consolation for the Darts and his first for the club since joining in the summer.

Lee Noble made his first appearance returning from injury and replaced the young Cameron Brodie. Luke Wanadio and Wabo were  replaced in the starting line up with Ryan Hayes and Andy Pugh. After suffering a dislocated shoulder in pre-season, Alex Flisher made his first appearance by coming off the bench, Luke Allen, Wanadio and Darren McQueen were out through injury. With Jordan Wynter suspended for the next three games, Ronnie Vint could make his first start this season against Braintree Town.

The central defender has had to show patience with Josh Hill partnering Tom Bonner the preferred pairing in the middle of defence. Joint manager, Adam Flanagan has praised the Vint and told www.kentonline.co.uk: “His attitude’s been great and he deserves an opportunity in the team now. He’ll be back in the team and hopefully his time on the sideline has made him hungry and motivated to want to come in and do really well”.

Flanagan also hinted that the Darts are likely to stick to formations they are familiar with, he added: “Playing a three at the back might be difficult because you’re looking at wing-backs and we’ve not got Jordan Wynter for three games so that might impact on that”, but he’s not ruled out a back three in the future, he continued: “It is something we might consider looking at but going into the games we’ve got coming up, you wouldn’t want to make huge formation changes. We’d rather stick to the formations we’ve played this year, which would be 4-4-2 or 4-3-3. We want Ron to come in and do well so to come into the team having waited patiently and then try to move formation, it might not play to his strengths”.

At least at home Dartford are unbeaten, however they are also searching for a first win repeating the home start of three years ago when they drew with Wealdstone then Gosport Borough. This time, the Darts drew 1-1 with St Albans City followed by the same score against Havant and Waterlooville.

Previous meetings give the Iron the upper-hand with Dartford last beating the Essex side seven years ago, the last victory at Princes Park came a year earlier. Just over a year ago, after the Darts narrowly missed out on the National South title on the final day of the season, the two sides met in a playoff semi-final.  Billy Crook, who signed for the Darts in January scored the winner to consign Dartford to another campaign in the National South, Braintree Town went on to win promotion. Crook was invited back to pre-season this summer and is currently playing for East Thurrock United.

In Tony Burman’s last season in charge both fixtures ended in a stalemate with the clash at Princes Park finishing 1-1. Andy Pugh opened the scoring after Tom Murphy’s good work on the wing, but Marcel Barrington equalised for the Iron in a game that saw Nathan Collier make his second debut for the Darts. The meeting at Cressing Road finished 2-2 after Dartford found themselves two down with goals from Karl Oliyide and Crook, but Murphy and Elliot Bradbrook struck in the second half.

During Dartford’s spell in the National League, the Iron became their nemesis as the Essex side recorded back to back doubles over the Darts. However, in Dartford’s first back in the top flight of non-league football they did pick up four points against their opponents including their last win against Braintree Town in 2012, goals scored by Tom Bonner and Jacob Erskine.

Braintree Town appointed Glen Driver as boss in the summer following relegation to the National South. The new manager has recruited young players including former Dart, Femi Akinwande. The striker had the opportunity in professional football with Colchester United making three appearances for the U’s. Akinwande has scored in his last two games, first in the 3-0 win at St Albans City and then in the 5-0 thrashing of Eastbourne Borough.

The Iron have scored eight times without reply in their previous two outings putting their three game losing streak well and truly behind them. In a slow start to their campaign, Driver’s side lost to Bath City, Billericay Town and Wealdstone before notching their maiden win at St Albans City and securing a comprehensive victory over Eastbourne Borough. Midfielder Adam Mills has netted three times so far and so has Tom Richardson, who signed in the summer from Isthmian Division One North side Aveley having scored 23 times last season.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 2 / Braintree Town wins: 6 / Draws: 2

Current League Form

Dartford (LLDDL) Braintree Town (WWLLL)
Weymouth A 1-3 Eastbourne Borough H 5-0
Chelmsford City A 1-4 St Albans City A 3-0
Havant and Waterlooville H 1-1 Wealdstone H 0-4
St Albans City H 1-1 Billericay Town H 2-3
Wealdstone A 0-4 Bath  City A 0-2

Last Six Meetings

06.05.2018 Dartford 0 Braintree Town 1
23.12.2017 Dartford 1 Braintree Town 1
08.08.2017 Braintree Town 2 Dartford 2
01.01.2015 Braintree Town 3 Dartford 0
26.12.2014 Dartford 0 Braintree Town 2
18.04.2014 Braintree Town 1 Dartford 0

Stats

Dartford have failed to score in six of their last eight meetings against Braintree Town.

Braintree Town are unbeaten in their last eight games versus the Darts.

The last time Dartford picked up two points from the opening five games was in 1978. They drew with Worcester City, lost to Weymouth, drew with Bath City then were beaten by AP Leamington and Yeovil Town in the Southern Premier League.

On This Day

Dartford’s last game on 24 August was against Braintree Town six years ago. The Iron won 2-0 with goals from Alan Massey and Liam Enver-Marum in the National League. Charlie Sheringham was on the scoresheet nine years ago against his former side Bishops Stortford, the striker netted in a 3-0 victory, Danny Harris and Carl Rook also scored that day.

Weymouth v Dartford

Dartford visit Southern Premier South champions Weymouth on the weekend in hope they secure their first win of the season.

The Darts have taken just two points in their opening four games in their worst start to a campaign in five years. Meanwhile, newly promoted Weymouth have settled in the National South going unbeaten with two victories and two draws. Over the years, the Terras have often got the better of the Darts, but the last meeting between the two sides was almost 22 years ago. Victory for Dartford will be the first triumph at the Dorset club since April 1990.

On Monday night, Dartford capitulated away from home once again falling to a heavy 4-0 reverse at Chelmsford City. It was the second away game in a row in which the Darts conceded four, the first time being on the opening day of the season at Wealdstone. In both of those matches Dartford fell apart over a short second half period, at Wealdstone they let in three goals in twelve minutes and on Monday they shipped in three in a fifteen minute spell.

The pair of defeats sandwiched a couple of 1-1 draws at home to St Albans City then Havant and Waterlooville. Joint manager, Jamie Coyle is concerned with his side defending, he spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk and said: “We’re conceding sloppy goals which we didn’t do last year which is a concern for us”, he continued: “Some of them are coming from set-pieces which is really disappointing. We’ve got a lot of work to do”.

Despite two heavy defeats, the Darts have been competitive in parts and have arguably been the better side at times with the scorelines flattering the opposition, Coyle added: “We’ve said that too many times this season. The first half was the most we’ve dominated a side this season. We had some glorious chances, put some great set-pieces into the box and unfortunately didn’t score the goal”.

New striker Adam Cunnington has performed well as a target man since joining the Darts, but he has asked his team-mates to mix up their style of play, he told www.kentonline.co.uk:We’ve got to make sure we don’t go too direct and make sure we mix it up a little bit”, he continued: “We did that to a degree at Chelmsford in the first half and looked a better side for it. Second half, we went one-nil down and went long ball again. Every flick-on isn’t going to go through, teams aren’t silly”.

After two away games where Dartford fell apart, Cunnington commented: “We’ve got to stand up and be counted. You can’t be losing games 4-0 in National South. You have to stay in games and then you never know, you might nick a goal at the end and come away with a draw”.

The 31-year-old is keen for the side to get off to a good start on Saturday at Weymouth, he added: “We’ve had a real tough start – no excuses – we should have picked up more points. But we have to look forward. We’ll go there knowing we can hurt them, we’ve just got to take those chances early on. It settles everyone’s nerves a bit and then we can relax and play our football. By the looks of it, that’s the key to us at the moment”.

With a sizeable injury list, which includes summer signing Sam Blackman as a long term absentee, there is hope returning players may turn Dartford’s fortunes around. Charlie Sheringham and Alex Flisher were named on the bench after a spell on the sidelines, but Lee Noble and Darren McQueen have played no part in any matchday squad this term. Luke Allen who impressed in his first three games in a Dartford shirt was out injured on Monday, whilst Jordan Wynter is due to serve a ban after his straight red card against Chelmsford City, although the defender will be available versus Weymouth.

It’s been a tough start for Adam Flanagan and Coyle, but on the South Coast it’s been anything but. The Terras began their return to the National South after a ten year absence with a 2-1 win at Maidstone United. The two clubs were two divisions apart last term and a brace from Ben Thomson gave Weymouth a perfect start. Mark Molesley’s side drew against early pace setters Bath City 1-1 before a Josh McQouid inspired hat-trick earned them a 4-1 victory against Chelmsford City last weekend.

On Tuesday night, the Terras drew 1-1 at Slough Town in an encounter which Molesley described as topsy-turvy, he spoke to www.dorsetecho.co.uk and said: “It was a topsy-turvy one, we started well and it went a bit backfoot for our usual performance”, he added: “We had plenty of chances and were knocking on the door, we just couldn’t find that breakthrough unfortunately. It’s a tough place to come and we’re still unbeaten, so there’s plenty of positives and plenty of stuff to improve on”.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 17 / Weymouth wins: 34 / Draws: 15

Last Six Meetings

27.12.1997 Weymouth 2 Dartford 0
23.08.1997 Dartford 2 Weymouth 3
15.02.1997 Weymouth 2 Dartford 1
05.10.1996 Dartford 3 Weymouth 5
22.12.1990 Weymouth 0 Dartford 0
18.08.1990 Dartford 5 Weymouth 3

Stats

Dartford last beat Weymouth 29 years ago winning 5-3 at Watling Street.

Since Dartford’s last victory, the Terras have gone five unbeaten, drawing one before winning the last four matches.

The Darts have won just twice and drawn three in their last 20 league visits to Weymouth stretching back to 1959.

On This Day

John Hunt netted a hat-tick as Dartford beat Greenwich Borough in the Kent League back in 1994. In his second spell for the Darts, Hunt went on to score one more time making ten appearances. Dartford’s last win on this day came in 2002 when summer signing Shaun Loft scored a brace in a 3-0 home win against Kings Lynn. Two years later the Darts were involved in a six goal thriller drawing 3-3 with Great Wakering Rovers at Stonebridge Road. Dartford have never played at Princes Park on this day, but since the stadium opened they were involved in an away fixture at the Beveree, Hampton and Richmond running out 1-0 winners nine years ago, the last time the Darts played on the 17th August.

Chelmsford City v Dartford

Dartford’s difficult start to the season continues on Monday night with a tough fixture away to Chelmsford City.

The Darts are looking for their first win of the campaign and visit the Melbourne Stadium where they have won just twice in the last eleven visits. Dartford have picked up two points from their opening three league games, drawing twice at Princes Park after the opening day defeat at Wealdstone.

It’s fair to say that the fixture and injury list has been unkind to Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle in their second season in charge. The management duo have been unable to select new signings Sam Blackman, Darren McQueen and Alex Flisher and have also been without Charlie Sheringham and the influential Lee Noble, last season’s Player of the Year. At least Sheringham was on the bench on the weekend and played a small part by replacing Adam Cunnington.

Cunnington opened his Dartford account with a powerful back post header on the weekend against one of the title favourites Havant and Waterlooville. Unchanged from the midweek 1-1 draw with St Albans City, the Darts looked the better side in the first half but the weather made conditions tricky for both sides. Dartford went into the break a goal up, however the second half they were left hanging on. Jonah Ayunga scored his third of the campaign for the Hawks to leave Dartford recording a second consecutive 1-1 draw.

Chelmsford City made a blistering start to their campaign scoring the first goal of the National South season after just two minutes, with the help of Hampton and Richmond Borough defender Tom Jelly. Summer signing Sam Higgins sent in a cross only for Jelly to deflect the ball past his own goalkeeper. Tom Wraight doubled the advantage eight minutes later and in the second half Wraight notched another. Hampton and Richmond Borough’s, Tyrone Lewthwaite pulled a goal back before a last minute Andy Fennell strike sealed a 4-1 win. The Clarets lost their second game against Essex rivals Concord Rangers. Goals either side of half-time by Decarry Sheriff put the Beachboys in control until former Maidstone United man Ollie Muldoon gave Rod Stringer’s side hope with ten minutes to play.

On Saturday, Chelmsford City travelled to the Jurassic Coast to take on Southern Premier League South champions Weymouth. The Terras had picked up four points in their first fixtures back in the National South for a decade, whilst the Clarets were a point behind. It all looked good for the visitors when Shaun Jeffers scored a penalty with thirteen minutes gone. However, Chelmsford City’s afternoon unravelled when Josh McQuoid’s hat-trick put Weymouth on course for their first home win. McQuoid scored a couple of penalties before one from open play, Ben Thompson added the fourth as the Clarets lost 4-1.

In January, Dartford thought they were on course for a rare league double over Chelmsford City when former Claret Phil Roberts scored his first for the Darts. The game was turned around with five minutes remaining, Jonny Giles curling in the equaliser then Rhys Murphy finding a winner for the hosts in the final minute. The two meetings last term were feisty in places, in the previous meeting at Princes Park both Adam Flanagan and Rod Stringer were dismissed from the dugout in a game that saw Elliot Bradbrook score the winner.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 37 / Chelmsford City wins: 56 / Draws: 21

Last Six Meetings

18.02.2017 Chelmsford City 2 Dartford 1
07.08.2018 Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 0
10.02.2018 Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 2
21.10.2017 Chelmsford City 1 Dartford 0
07.05.2017 Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 2
03.05.2017 Chelmsford City 0 Dartford 0

Stats

Dartford have won one of their last eight matches against Chelmsford City. Elliot Bradbrook scored the winner at Princes Park last season.

Chelmsford City have lost just three of their last nineteen games versus Dartford in all competitions.

On This Day

Dartford were held at home to a 0-0 draw two years ago against Saturday’s opponents Havant and Waterlooville, the third draw in a row on this day. In 2014, the Darts were close to victory when they visited Woking and Rory McAuley diverted Peter Sweeney’s cross to take the lead. However, a last minute Giuseppe Sole header denied Dartford a win in the National League. Another away draw was recorded back in 1995 against Herne Bay in the Kent League with both sides failing to find the net.

Dartford v Havant and Waterlooville

Almost sixteen months on from the final day of the season heartbreak, Dartford host their conquerors Havant and Waterlooville this weekend.

The Darts went toe to toe with the Hawks during the 2017/2018 season agonisingly losing the National South title in the final minute on goal difference. With Dartford leading at Bognor Regis Town they topped the division, whilst Havant and Waterlooville threw away a two goal lead against Adam Flanagan’s Concord Rangers. With the title heading to Princes Park, former Dartford striker Jason Prior scored a last gasp winner for the Hawks to claim the Hampshire club back to back league titles.

Times have changed in that short space of time with both clubs changing managers. The Darts are still recovering from their near miss and under Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle they finished tenth last term and have taken one point from the opening two matches this season. Last weekend, the Darts began 2019/2020 with their heaviest opening day defeat in twenty years. A twelve minute second half collapse helped Wealdstone on to win 4-1, after Josh Hill scored on his debut just before half time to level the tie.

On Tuesday night, Dartford were back at Princes Park in their first home game of the campaign. Norman Wabo made his first start for the Darts replacing Ryan Hayes, who was named on the bench. St Albans City went ahead on twelve minutes when summer signing Joe Iaciofano scored his first goal for the Saints. Luke Wanadio equalised just past the hour following up Adam Cunnington’s effort, the winger’s first goal since rejoining the Darts.

Havant and Waterlooville have been in the thick of the action over the last four years at both ends of the tables. Under former manager Lee Bradbury, the Hawks were surprisingly relegated from the National South, bounced back by becoming Isthmian Premier League champions followed by the National South title, then relegation from the National League four months ago. Bradbury left Westleigh Park and so the Hawks snapped up the experienced Paul Doswell to lead the Hampshire club.

With Doswell’s previous successes at Sutton United and Eastleigh, the Hawks have rebuilt with familiar faces back working with the boss. Dean Beckwith, Roarie Deacon, Ross Worner, Josh Taylor and the former Championship midfielder Nicky Bailey all signed in the summer. Doswell also took advantage of the issues at Ebbsfleet United with players not being paid on time, he managed to bag Andy Drury, Danny Kedwell and Sam Magri, plus numerous other additions. With Simon Walton coming in as player coach, the Hawks have opted for a blend of trust and experience.

Despite all the changes and a strong squad assembled, Havant and Waterlooville started their campaign with a 1-1 draw at home to last season’s playoff finalists Welling United. Deacon scored on his debut after twelve minutes, but the lead was cancelled out before half-time through Adam Coombes. On Tuesday night, the Hawks made the trip to the Beveree to take on Hampton and Richmond Borough and produced an excellent comeback. The Hawks took the lead within two minutes courtesy of Deacon’s second in as many games. Tyrone Lewthwaite levelled for the hosts and five minutes later Danilo Orsi-Dadomo put Hampton and Richmond Borough in front. The former Hungerford Town striker scored another in the second half to leave the Hawks on the racks. Wes Fogden pulled one back for the visitors then a couple of Josh Ayunga goals completed the comeback.

Dartford managed to keep two clean sheets against Havant and Waterlooville the last time they were in the National South. At Princes Park, Tom Murphy netted the only goal of the game after just two minutes. Havant and Waterlooville enjoyed plenty of possession without threatening the Dartford defence as the Darts won 1-0. The home victory was Dartford’s third in a row against the Hampshire side at Princes Park, following on from a 4-2 triumph four years ago and 3-1 win in 2012.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 5 / Havant and Waterlooville wins: 3 / Draws: 3

Last Six Meetings

13.01.2018 Dartford 1 Havant and Waterlooville 0
12.08.2017 Havant and Waterlooville 0 Dartford 0
19.03.2016 Havant and Waterlooville 2 Dartford 0
05.12.2015 Dartford 4 Havant and Waterlooville 2
17.03.2012 Dartford 3 Havant and Waterlooville 1
07.01.2012 Havant and Waterlooville 1 Dartford 4

Stats

Dartford are unbeaten in their last six games against Havant and Waterlooville, winning five of the last six.

The Darts have kept cleans sheets in each of their last three matches versus the Hawks.

Havant and Waterlooville last beat the Darts away from home in a F.A Cup tie back in 2000, their last league win on the road versus Dartford was twenty years ago. Since the cup tie, the Hampshire side have defeated Dartford just once in 2011.

On This Day

Debutant Adam Birchall’s goal ensured Dartford opened the 2013/2014 National League season with a win. Birchall scored the only goal of the game as the Darts beat Alfreton Town 1-0. Three years later, Keaton Wood was sent off as Dartford lost 1-0 at Whitehawk.

Dartford v St Albans City

Competitive football returns to Princes Park on Tuesday night as Dartford host St Albans City under the floodlights looking to get off the mark.

The Darts fell to their heaviest opening day defeat in twenty years when they lost 4-1 at Wealdstone on the weekend. Strikers Darren McQueen, Alex Flisher were both missing with a dislocated shoulder, Charlie Sheringham with a thigh injury, Lee Noble is out for a few weeks and Sam Blackman with a broken ankle. Last minute signings ensured some strikers were available for selection but only four substitutes were named on the bench.

Debutante, Josh Hill headed his first goal for the club to level the match on the stroke of half-time, after the Darts found themselves behind to a Ross Lafayette penalty inside the first ten minutes. The match got away from the Darts towards the closing stages when Wealdstone netted three times in twelve minutes. Dennon Lewis hit a deflected shot to give the Stones the lead on 74 minutes, Connor Stevens scored a free header with ten minutes to go then Lafayette struck again.

Flanagan and Coyle gave debuts to goalkeeper Mark Smith, defender Luke Warner-Eley, midfielder Luke Allen and new signings Amos Nasha and Adam Cunnington. Winger, Luke Wanadio started his first match since returning to the club and Norman Wabo made his first appearance coming on as a substitute.

St Albans City started their National South season with a dour 0-0 draw at home to Chippenham Town. Former Dartford defender Tom Bender wasn’t in the matchday squad, but manager Ian Allinson handed first starts to England C international David Longe-King, Joe Iaciofano, Darren Foxley and Bobson Bawling.

In January, Dartford beat St Albans City in an entertaining match between the two sides at Princes Park. The first half saw four goals with Elliott Bradbrook’s 25 yard screamer into the top corner putting the Darts in front. Twice the visitors had to equalise, Zane Banton first made it all square, but five minutes later Phil Roberts netted his first Dartford goal. St Albans City were level again on the stroke of half-time when Sam Merson made it 2-2. However, Roberts, who had waited for his fourth appearance to open his account scored the winner with two minutes remaining, helping the Darts to victory.

Since Dartford’s return to the National South, they have beaten the Saints in three of the last four games at Princes Park, another home triumph this season will make it three on the bounce against the Hertfordshire club. St Albans City last took maximum points in Dartford in November 2016 and have won all four on their own patch without conceding.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 7 / St Albans City wins: 5 / Draws: 4

Last Six Meetings

12.01.2019 Dartford 3 St Albans City 2
01.09.2018 St Albans City 2 Dartford 0
03.02.2018 St Albans City 4 Dartford 0
28.10.2017 Dartford 2 St Albans City 1
25.03.2017 St Albans City 1 Dartford 0
08.11.2016 Dartford 0 St Albans City 2

Stats

At Princes Park, the Darts have won the last two and lost just once to the Saints in six meetings over ninety minutes. Although the F.A Trophy tie in 2008 finished with St Albans City winning on penalties.

St Albans City have won five of the last seven meetings between the two sides. However four of those matches were at Clarence Park without Dartford scoring.

Dartford last lost their opening two games of the season in 2012, they lost in the National League to Tamworth and Woking, then Macclesfield Town made it three in a row. The Darts ended up finishing as the highest part time team in the country that season, in eighth place.

On This Day

Dartford opened their 2016/2017 campaign at home to Wealdstone and the result was much better than Saturday’s. The Darts had to settle for a point despite taking the lead twice in a 2-2 draw. Luke Wanadio, making his debut set up Elliot Bradbrook for the first goal, which was cancelled out just after the break. Ryan Hayes netted from the spot, but deep into injury time Eddie Oshodi rescued a point for the visitors.

 

Wealdstone v Dartford

Dartford kick start their National South campaign on Saturday with an away trip to Wealdstone.

Pre-season dealt the Darts with an unlucky set of circumstances which left Andy Pugh as the only fit striker until Norman Wabo and Adam Cunnington signed. Pugh has yet to play a full ninety minutes of competitive football since his double leg break last summer. Darren McQueen and Alex Flisher, who signed for Dartford this summer have both dislocated their shoulders and Charlie Sheringham is nursing a thigh injury. That left management duo Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle frantically scrambling for a striker before the campaign starts.

Then two came along at once. Wabo joins after leaving Southend United and impressing the Darts in pre-season. The 21-year-old has also had spells with Ebbsfleet United, Maidstone United and Braintree Town.

Cunnington scored a stunning brace against the Darts on the opening day of the 2012 National League season when he played for Tamworth. The 31-year-old left Billericay Town this week looking for first team football, the striker scored 23 goals in 37 appearances for his former club, including three last season. Cunnington’s former teams also include Bromley, Ebbsfleet United and Cambridge United.

On Wednesday, Coyle spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk and said: “As we speak, we have Andy Pugh as our only fit forward. When I say fit, he hasn’t played a full game yet because we’re trying to increase his minutes since his leg break. So, in terms of Saturday, we’re a little concerned. We’ve lost some influential players and we’re down to the bare bones”.

Hoping to improve their success rate in recruitment compared to last season, Flanagan and Coyle have introduced some new faces around Princes Park. Sam Blackman is eager to impress after his move to Princes Park from Concord Rangers and made a decent start in the friendlies he played. However, the midfielder broke his ankle, had surgery and will be out for some time. That leaves a smaller squad available to select on the weekend, including a permanent goalkeeper, Mark Smith who joined from Eastbourne Borough, defender Josh Hill who signed from local rivals Welling United, new signing Luke Warner-Eley who performed well in pre-season and Jordan Wynter, who signed from Maidstone United after his successful loan spell with the Darts last term.

Another player returning to Princes Park, Luke Wanadio will provide assists and goals from the wing, Luke Allen could line up in central midfield after signing from Braintree Town and latest signing Amos Nasha comes in from Chelmsford City, after previous experience with Dover Athletic and Concord Rangers. Academy graduate, Cameron Brodie will also be an available midfielder after signing his first contract with the Darts.

Three years on from when Dartford opened their campaign at home against Wealdstone, the Darts will be hoping to win against their opponents for only the fourth time in twenty meetings. When the two sides met in August 2016, the Darts went ahead twice and were denied victory during second half injury time as the game ended 2-2. Dartford suffered the same fate in January last season, this time at the Vale, Elliott Bradbrook opening the scoring and Wealdstone’s Eion McKeown rescuing a point in the 92nd minute.

Despite finding the Stones difficult to beat since Dartford reformed in the early nineties, the Darts are unbeaten in their last three trips to the Vale winning 4-0 two years ago and 2-1 the year after.

At the tail end of last term, the Darts playoff push faltered, whilst by contrast Wealdstone timed their run perfectly to earn a top seven spot on the final day of the campaign. The Stones negotiated their way to the semi-final beating Bath City before defeat against eventual winners Woking. Since then, former manager Bobby Wilkinson left the club and in his place Dean Brennan was appointed.

Brennan brings plenty of experience from his playing days in non-league football and developed a proven track record in management at Hemel Hempstead Town. He guided the Tudors to their highest ever league finish then beat the record by claiming the Southern Premier League title. Brennan went on to better Hemel Hempstead Town coming ninth then sixth in the National South. His spells at Billericay Town and Kingstonian didn’t work out for different reasons, but now he will lead Wealdstone with the hope of reaching the playoffs again.

Using his contacts in the game, Brennan has made fourteen signings as he shapes his squad for the 2019/2020 campaign. Four of which have been signed from his former club Billericay Town, Connor Smith and Ross Lafayette return to the Vale, whilst Michee Efete and Billy Clifford also join from the Essex club. Clifford also worked with Brennan at Hemel Hempstead Town, who the new boss signed Kavan Cotter and Matt Saunders from.

Another five players arrive having signed from teams playing above the National South. Dennon Lewis spent some of his summer away from football by featuring on television show Love Island, he will be hoping to last longer at Wealdstone having left Bromley. Ryan Sellars returns to the Stones from FC Halifax Town, Nick Arnold joined from Aldershot Town and Dejon Noel-Williams, son of former Premier League striker Gifton comes in from Oxford United. Michael Phillips was Maidstone United’s Player of the Season last term and made the move to Wealdstone last week.

Further additions were made from teams below the National South, Reece Beckles-Richards from Wingate and Finchley, Jacob Smith from Kings Langley, Jacob Mendy from Carshalton Athletic and Afolabi Coker from Ashford United.

Dartford’s joint boss, Coyle commented: “They’ve signed some very good players, they have a large squad to call upon and it’s going to be a tough game”, he added: “They were very good against us last year. Dean’s gone in there as manager, the players will be eager to impress in his first game but you look at the league this year and there are no easy games”, he concluded: “Even though we’re struggling with numbers, we’ll go there with confidence and be as positive as we can possible can”.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 13 / Wealdstone wins: 14 / Draws: 14

Last Six Meetings

05.01.2016 Wealdstone 1 Dartford 1
18.08.2018 Dartford 0 Wealdstone 3
17.02.2018 Wealdstone 1 Dartford 2
21.11.2017 Dartford 3 Wealdstone 3
28.01.2017 Wealdstone 0 Dartford 4
06.08.2016 Dartford 2 Wealdstone 2

Stats

Dartford have lost just once in their last six games against Wealdstone, an upturn in form considering they had lost the three meetings before that sequence.

In eight of the last fourteen games bewteen the two sides the match has ended up in a draw, Wealdstone have won four to Dartford’s two in that spell.

Both teams have only failed to score once in the last eight games against each other, with the last scoreless draw coming ten years and thirteen matches ago.

The last time both teams were defeated on the opening day of the season was in 2015.

Weymouth – Season Preview 2019/2020

Weymouth

Southern Premier South: 1st

F.A Cup: 1st Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 2nd Round

County Cup: 2nd Round

League Top Scorer: Brandon Goodship (37goals) / Average Attendance: 1006

Weymouth’s first season back in the National South will be without talisman Brandon Goodship who won the Southern League golden boot last term with an incredible 37 goals. Goodship earned a move to League One side Southend United, so the conundrum of finding a suitable replacement has been important to the Terras over the summer. To replace the goals, Weymouth have opted to add more experience with the signing of 31-year-old Brett Williams, who used to be a teammate with manager Mark Molesley at Aldershot Town. Williams made his name with the Shots scoring at nearly a goal every other game, the striker has also played for Stevenage, Forest Green Rovers and Torquay United, most recently he was on loan at Sutton United and he has also represented Bromley too. Andy Robinson won the Player of the Year award with Havant and Waterlooville last season making 35 appearances as the Hawks were relegated, he makes the move across to Dorset. Following Robinson from the Hawks will be Jordan Rose, who has played for Weymouth before in two loan spells. Impressing the Terras last season, Ade Olumuyiwa will strengthen Weymouth’s defence having joined from Southern League Division One South champions Blackfield and Langley. The first summer signing was left sided full back or midfielder Ollie Harfield from National League side Dagenham and Redbridge, he played 33 times for the Daggers last term. After scoring for the Terras in two friendlies, the Dorset club signed Jack Hoey who has been recently playing in the States for Gardner Webb University. Calum Ward signed a professional contract with AFC Bournemouth in the summer, the goalkeeper will be on loan at the Bob Lucas Stadium this season.

The Manager – Mark Molesley

An England C international with 4 caps Mark is a vastly experienced midfielder signed by the Terras in July 2015 following his release by Aldershot Town. Mark became First Team Manager following the departure of Jason Matthews in April 2017 and has impressed with his professional attitude. Mark started his career with Hayes, coming through their youth system. Spells with Cambridge City, Aldershot Town, Stevenage Borough and Grays Athletic before being transferred to Bournemouth. He made his debut for Bournemouth, away to Shrewsbury Town, in the 4-1 defeat in the League Two on 18 October 2008. Molesley signed for Exeter City on 18 January 2013. On 30 April 2013, he was released by Exeter due to the expiry of his contract and joined Aldershot Town. Mark made 40 appearances for the Shots and scored 8 goals. Mark joined Weymouth in Summer 2015 and played for two seasons before retiring to take over as First Team Manager. Mark combines his role at Weymouth with Bournemouth Under 23s.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 17 / Weymouth wins: 34 / Draws: 15

Last Six Meetings

27.12.1997 Weymouth 2 Dartford 0
23.08.1997 Dartford 2 Weymouth 3
15.02.1997 Weymouth 2 Dartford 1
05.10.1996 Dartford 3 Weymouth 5
22.12.1990 Weymouth 0 Dartford 0
18.08.1990 Dartford 5 Weymouth 3

Facts

Dartford last beat Weymouth 29 years ago winning 5-3 at Watling Street.

Since Dartford’s last victory, the Terras have gone five unbeaten, drawing one before winning the last four matches.

Last Ten Years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next Meetings

Saturday 17 August 2019 at the Bob Lucas Stadium

Saturday 25 April 2020 at Princes Park

Welling United – Season Preview 2019/2020

Welling United

National South: 3rd

F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: 2nd Round

League Top Scorer: Brendan Kiernan (13 goals) / Average Attendance: 684

Last season’s play-off finalists have had to rebuild after the departure of manager Steve King. A restructure to keep the club within a smaller budget was deemed necessary and so Chairman, Mark Goldberg has also taken up the role of manager. With that in mind, the Wings recruitment process started later than most clubs, but they did secure the services of centre backs Jay Rich-Baghuelou from Dulwich Hamlet and Rob Swaine from Maidstone United. Swaine was captain at Bromley during Goldberg’s spell as manager at Hayes Lane. It didn’t work out for Kudus Oyenuga at Dartford, who made 21 appearances last season scoring once, the former Chelmsford City player finished last term on loan at Harringey Borough and joined Welling United, only to then sign a dual registration with Margate. His move was instigated when the Wings played Margate in a friendly and Connor Dymond caught their eye. Dymond played for the Wings before in during that spell even saved a penalty when he ended up in goal. Joe Anderson also worked with Goldberg before winning promotion to the National League with Bromley, another former Chelmsford City player now at Welling United. Returning to the Wings after last season’s loan spell from Dulwich Hamlet is Sanchez Ming and following Ming from Champion Hill is former Dart, Nathan Green. A year ago, Archie Johnson started the campaign with Welling United, he left to pursue game time with Cray Wanderers and has now returned. Aaron Cosgrove comes in from Chelmsford City having played for Havant and Waterlooville earlier last season. Richard Platt moves to Park View Road having last season at Chesham United and Bedworth Town. Midfielder, Reece Prestedge won the National South with Bromley in 2015 and has had a wealth of experience with Chelmsford City, Bishop’s Stortford and Maidstone United in the National League. Anthony Cook was also part of that title winning side and he joins from Dulwich Hamlet. In his first three spells with the Wings, Adam Coombes became a firm favourite, the striker left Welling United in 2016 and whilst at Sutton United and Billericay Town had loan spells at Park View Road.  During pre-season a target man was on Welling United’s wishlist and when Joshua Oyinsan put pen to paper the Wings crossed that role of their list, Oyinsan was previously signed at Bromley when Goldberg was in charge and scored 17 times for Cambridge City last term.

The Manager – Mark Goldberg

The former Crystal Palace chairman turned to management after he was declared bankrupt almost twenty years ago. Goldberg took up his first managerial post six years later at Bromley where he went on to have three spells with the Kent club. Goldberg’s start in management was successful, leading Bromley to promotion to the National South via the Isthmian Premier League playoffs before leaving during the 2007/2008 season. By the end of that campaign Goldberg returned and lasted until January 2011, but once more he was back when new club chairman, Ashley Reading arrived. Goldberg guided Bromley to the National League in 2014/2015 by winning the National South and left for a third time in 2016.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 20 / Welling United wins: 8 / Draws: 10

Last Six Meetings

01.01.2019 Dartford 1 Welling United 0
26.12.2018 Welling United 2 Dartford 0
01.01.2018 Dartford 4 Welling United 1
26.12.2017 Welling United 2 Dartford 3
28.02.2017 Welling United 0 Dartford 0
22.11.2016 Welling United 2 Dartford 2

Facts

The Darts have won the last five games against Welling United at Princes Park in all competitions.

Welling United have won just two of the last seventeen meetings between the two sides in normal time, the Wings did win a Kent Senior Cup tie on penalties.

Last Ten Years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next Meetings

Thursday 26 December 2019 at Park View Road

Wednesday 1 January 2020 at Princes Park

Wealdstone – Season Preview 2019/2020

Wealdstone

National South: 7th

F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Round

County Cup: Quarter-Final

League Top Scorer: David Pratt (11 goals) / Average Attendance: 882

Sneaking into the National South play-offs in April, the Stones won the elimination match only to lose the semi-final. Bobby Wilkinson left the club and in came former Hemel Hempstead Town and Billericay Town boss Dean Brennan on a two-year contract. Brennan arrived with Jerome Okimo, Daniel Green, Jake Sheppard, Connor Stevens and Jonathan North already signed up for another campaign. The first summer signing was Reece Beckles-Richards from Isthmian Premier League side Wingate and Finchley, the striker has represented Antigua and Barbuda at international level. Kavan Cotter was at Hemel Hempstead Town last season, the versatile midfielder moves to the Middlesex club and has experience with Gillingham and Luton Town. Returning to Grosvenor Vale both Ryan Sellers and Connor Smith are back. Sellers made 20 appearances in the National League with FC Halifax Town last term whilst Smith was at Billericay Town and has 80 Football League appearances under his belt. Jacob Smith has already played alongside new signings Smith and Cotter whilst at Kings Langley last season, the midfielder will know more of his teammates having been part of the same Watford under 18’s title winning side as Connor Stevens. At full back, Nick Arnold has joined the Hampshire club, the 25-year-old has represented Wycombe Wanderers, Woking and Whitehawk. Wealdstone have signed the son of former Premier League striker Gifton Noel-Williams, Dejon. The 20-year-old joins from League Two side Oxford United and had two loans spells in the National South with Slough Town and Gloucester City. Ross Lafayette returns to Grosvenor Vale after a handful of appearances for Wealdstone a decade ago, the striker was at Billericay Town and has plenty of National League experience including a spell with Welling United. Dennon Lewis tried his luck with Scottish Championship side Falkirk before signing for Bromley, the youngster will be part of Brennan’s squad. Winger, Jacob Mendy helped Isthmian Premier League side Carshalton Athletic to a second place finish last season and will add versatility to the flanks for Wealdstone. Afolabi Coker played in the division below Mendy for Ashford United in the Isthmian League South East Division and he takes the step up with the Stones. Michee Efete joins from Billericay Town, the defender has had a loan spell in Iceland and with Torquay United and Bath City in the past, he has also played for Maidstone United. Wealdstone have added Billiy Clifford to their squad, who has worked with manager Dean Brennan at Hemel Hempstead Town and Billericay Town. The 26-year-old finished last season on loan at Slough Town and has previously played for Boreham Wood, Crawley Town and Walsall.

The Manager – Dean Brennan

A career playing in the Football League career never took off for Dean Brennan, but he had a decent time in non-league football. The former midfielder won the F.A Trophy with Grays Athletic and had spells with Stevenage, AFC Wimbledon and various other clubs including Hemel Hempstead Town. At the age of 29, the Tudors appointed Brennan as interim manager and he kept them in the Southern Premier League. After a spell at Dunstable Town the Irishman returned to the Tudors taking them up to the National South. Brennan moved to Billericay Town and lasted four months before parting company last season and this summer he has taken charge of Wealdstone.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 13 / Wealdstone wins: 14 / Draws: 14

Last Six Meetings

05.01.2016 Wealdstone 1 Dartford 1
18.08.2018 Dartford 0 Wealdstone 3
17.02.2018 Wealdstone 1 Dartford 2
21.11.2017 Dartford 3 Wealdstone 3
28.01.2017 Wealdstone 0 Dartford 4
06.08.2016 Dartford 2 Wealdstone 2

Facts

Dartford have won just three of the last nineteen games against Wealdstone in all competitions.

The two sides meet on the opening day, which happened just three years ago when they played out a 2-2 draw at Princes Park.

Last Ten Years

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next Meetings

Saturday 3 August 2019 at The Vale

Saturday 29 February 2020 at Princes Park

Tonbridge Angels – Season Preview 2019/2020

Tonbridge Angels

2018/19 Season

Isthmian Premier: 4th

F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 2nd Qualifying Round

County Cup: Semi-Final

League Top Scorer: Joe Turner (15 goals) / Average Attendance: 542

There was plenty of controversy about the route to the National South via the play-offs last season. Manager Steve McKimm was not pleased about having to play two finals, however Tonbridge Angels won both and so they will prepare for life in the National South. Vice-captain Sonny Miles, has made almost 400 appearances for the Angels since coming through their youth ranks, the winner of Player of the Year awards last term remains at the Longmead Stadium. The winning goalscorer in the Super Play-off final, Tom Derry has signed on for another season and so has Chinedu McKenzie, who netted an average of a goal every other game last term since joining the Angels in January and Jack Parter, who has racked up over 250 appearances for the Kent club since 2014. James Folkes, Liam Smith, Tom Beere and captain Tom Parkinson have all agreed new contracts. Arthur Lee was integral to the defence in the division below, but he is seeking pastures new. McKimm has also strengthened the squad with the additions of Tommy Brewer from Kingstonian and Alex Bentley from AFC Hornchurch. D’Sean Theobalds scored in the super play-off final against Metropolitan Police, he remains with the Angels. Winger, Khale Da Costa netted five times for St Albans City last term and he has switched to newly promoted Tonbridge Angels. Tommie Hession-Harris and Rhyle Ovenden join the squad after pre-season injuries midfield left the Angels short in the middle of the park. Hession-Harris has had three years of playing in the USA including a spell at Toros and last season was at Isthmian League North side Maldon and Tiptree. Ovenden was a young professional at Watford before joining Hemel Hempstead Town and Whitehawk.

The Manager – Steve McKimm

The winner of two play-off finals in one season will never be taken away from Tonbridge Angels boss Steve McKimm. The former Sutton United player-coach guided the Angels back to the National South, first he masterminded the Isthmian Premier League Playoff victory over Merstham, then he had to repeat the triumph against Metropolitan Police in a super playoff. McKimm had already led Tonbridge Angels to the playoffs in 2015/2016, only to fall short in the semi-final against East Thurrock United. Before he’s time at Sutton United, McKimm had spells at Margate, Gravesend and Northfleet where he won the Isthmian Premier League title, Kingstonian, Farnborough, Hayes and Yeading United and Dulwich Hamlet.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 67 / Tonbridge Angels wins: 37 / Draws: 24

Last Six Meetings

15.10.2016 Tonbridge Angels 0 Dartford 3
15.12.2012 Dartford 3 Tonbridge Angels 0
03.03.2012 Tonbridge Angels 0 Dartford 1
31.01.2012 Tonbridge Angels 2 Dartford 4
24.09.2011 Dartford 3 Tonbridge Angels 1
25.01.2011 Dartford 2 Tonbridge Angels 0

Facts

Dartford are currently on an eight game winning streak in all competitions against Tonbridge Angels going back to ten years.

Tonbridge Angels last beat the Darts in November 2008 and have never won at Princes Park since it opened.

Last Ten Years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next Meetings

Tuesday 3 September 2019 at Longmead Stadium

Saturday 28 December 2019 at Princes Park