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Dartford v Oxford City

The Darts have been making big strides recently and hope to continue moving forwards when they host Oxford City this weekend in the National South.

Dartford completed their fourth consecutive victory in their last match beating playoff hopefuls and Isthmian Premier League champions Dorking Wanderers. In an eventful afternoon, the Darts went two up with more goals from Darren McQueen and Elliott Romain. Dartford ‘dominated the game until 2-0’, but ‘switched off’ according to manager Steve King. The home side hit back with goals from Jimmy Muitt and Luke Moore setting up an exciting finale in which both sides hit the woodwork in the final ten minutes. Then eight minutes into injury time McQueen won a penalty, dusted himself off and netted the winner.

The Darts have not had much luck with injuries this season, but manager Steve King has been able to quickly plug the holes when necessary. Prior the 3-2 win at Dorking Wanderers, Jordan Wynter hurt his knee in the warm up allowing Kyjoun Marsh-Brown to step in at late notice. Steve King had already brought in full back Nick Arnold from Wealdstone before the game and he explained his decision to DFCTV, he said: “I’ve always wanted at least three full backs. I’ve worked with him before, he’s a very talented boy who started his career at Reading, played at Wycombe Wanderers and went to Whitehawk with me and played in two playoff finals. He signed for Aldershot Town, won a cap for the England C team and more recently played for Wealdstone”.

Wynter joins a list of players who have recently suffered from injury including goalkeeper Mark Smith, midfielder Luke Allen and loanee Tyrique Hyde, who has extended his stay for another month. King has used the loan market to his benefit by bringing players to the club, equally he is using the loan system to benefit current squad members. This week Ryan Hayes went out on dual registration to Sevenoaks Town and Norman Wabo loaned to Cheshunt. Sam Blackman is already at Hythe Town and the Dartford boss intends to send Lee Noble and Cameron Brodie out on loan to build up his match fitness and gain experience in Brodie’s case.

Ahead of the Oxford City game, King stated: “We will see what bodies we’ve got available and we will prepare properly as we always do. We’ve got a good harmony going on here”. It’s that harmony that has seen Dartford make ‘good strides’, King added: “We’ve scored at least three goals four times in a row. We’re going in the right direction because sides are playing us now and they realise it’s not the Dartford it was, it’s now a completely different Dartford and they know they’re going to be in a game”. He continued: “Whoever we play now that’s the level I wanted to get to, where nobody could come and roll us over and I think we’re getting close to that level”.

The form of Romain and McQueen has been extraordinary with the duo responsible for 17 of the 24 league goals scored by the Darts since King has been in charge. A better brand of football and tighter defence in recent weeks has moved the Darts away from looking to maintain their National South status to thinking about gate-crashing the playoffs. The positivity of Dartford’s form is starting to be mirrored off the pitch, King commented: “The mindset has completely changed for the fans, the boys have done brilliantly to change that. Fans are now coming to games excited about what is going to happen”.

It was an end of an era for two managers last time Dartford played Oxford City. Tony Burman led the Darts out for the last time during his interim spell and Mark Jones was in charge for his last league game as Oxford City’s boss. Equal on points before kick-off, Dartford moved three points ahead by full-time as they secured a 1-0 away victory courtesy of Ben Greenhalgh’s curling effort which found the top corner. Greenhalgh has spent the last two months on loan at Tonbridge Angels and the goal he scored at Oxford City turned out to be his last for the Darts, the midfielder left this week by mutual consent after 62 Dartford appearances and seven goals since joining in at the beginning of last season.

Although Jones led Oxford City to a cup win a weekend later, he left the club by mutual consent after failing to win a league game for two months. Since then, Andy Ballard and Justin Merritt have taken charge. Ballard was assistant manager to Jones and has a 20-year affiliation with the club, Merritt is the Director of Football and managed the Hoops between 2014 and December 2016.

Defensively, Oxford City have been vulnerable but since Jones’ departure they have scored with more frequency turning defeats into valuable points. The interim duo has improved Oxford City’s form with six wins, two draws and two defeats. They got off to a brilliant start winning four and drawing one of their first five matches.

Last weekend, Oxford City followed in Dartford’s footsteps by taking a two-goal lead, letting it slip before finding a winner. Only the Hoops managed their 3-2 victory by stunning table toppers Wealdstone. Joe Oastler and Elliot Benyon helped Oxford City go 2-0 ahead before Jacob Mendy and Adam Coombes levelled the match. Finn Tapp headed the decisive goal to secure Oxford City’s third win in their last four outings.

The Hoops other two victories completed a festive double over Hungerford Town with Kyran Lofthouse scoring the winner in a 2-1 victory on New Year’s Day. In the reverse fixture on Boxing Day, Oxford City netted three times in a 22-minute spell eventually winning 3-2. Sandwiched between those two triumphs, the Hoops lost 2-1 at Weymouth.

Both teams have started to hit form after managerial changes this term, the Darts have the second-best record over the last six games whilst Oxford City have the fourth.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 5 / Oxford City wins: 2 / Draws: 2

Current League Form

Dartford (WWWWLW) Oxford City (WWLWWL)
Dorking Wanderers A 3-2 Wealdstone H 3-2
Welling United H 4-0 Hungerford Town A 2-1
Tonbridge Angels H 3-0 Weymouth A 1-2
Welling United A 3-0 Hungerford Town H 3-2
Concord Rangers H 0-1 St Albans City H 3-3
Billericay Town H 3-2 Maidstone United H 1-4

Last Six Meetings

12.10.2019 Oxford City 0 Dartford 1
27.04.2019 Oxford City 2 Dartford 1
13.11.2018 Dartford 3 Oxford City 2
06.10.2018 Oxford City 4 Dartford 1
24.03.2018 Oxford City 0 Dartford 2
19.08.2017 Dartford 7 Oxford City 1

Stats

Dartford have won their last three home matches against Oxford City including a 7-1 mauling in August 2017.

Dartford under Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle this season

Won 1, Drew 4, Lost 4, Scored 11, Conceded 20, Points per game: 0.77

Dartford under Steve King this season

Won 7, Drew 3, Lost 2, Scored 24, Conceded 12, Points per game: 2.00

Oxford City under Mark Jones this season

Won 2, Drew 4, Lost 7, Scored 11, Conceded 21, Points per game: 0.76

Oxford City under Andy Ballard and Justin Merritt this season

Won 7, Drew 2, Lost 2, Scored 29, Conceded 22, Points per game: 2.09

On This Day

In the summer of 1958 a young Pele helped Brazil win the World Cup, in the same year Dartford won their last game they played on 11 January. The Darts beat a Lovells Athletic side 3-1 at home in the Southern League and are still waiting to win again on this day. Since then, the Darts have played six times all away from home including two F.A Trophy first round ties. Dartford lost to Dover 2-1 in 1975 and drew with Merthyr Tydfil 1-1 in 1992. In 1962 the Darts lost 4-0 against Hastings United in the Southern Premier League and five years later they drew 2-2 with Wisbech Town in the Southern League First Division. Boston United beat Dartford 3-0 in what is now the National League back in 1986 and the last match 23 years ago saw Witney Town thrash the Darts 5-1 in the Southern League Southern Division.

Dorking Wanderers v Dartford

A new ground will be ticked off the list this weekend when Dartford visit Isthmian Premier League champions Dorking Wanderers.

The Darts were in tip top form over the festive period taking maximum points including a convincing double over local rivals Welling United. Hoping to continue the momentum that has lifted Dartford into playoff places, Steve King’s side face a tougher test when they visit Meadowbank.

If the reverse fixture at Princes Park in September is anything to go by, then fans could be in for a treat. Dorking Wanderers ran out victors in a seven-goal thriller, which saw Tony Burman return to the dugout as interim manager. Wanderers scored first when a counter attack was finished from long range by Niall McManus. The Darts took the lead with two Ben Greenhalgh goals in the space of four minutes, then on the stroke of half-time former Dartford striker Jason Prior netted a penalty.

In the second-half, Dartford went in front once again when Charlie Sheringham got on the end of a Ryan Hayes cross. However, in the final six minutes the game swung in Dorking Wanderers’ favour, Giuseppe Sole scored from a free-kick, Lee Noble was sent off and in the final minutes James McShane grabbed the winner.

Dartford managed to score ten goals without reply over the festive season with Elliot Romain and Darren McQueen sharing eight between them. The beginning of a new decade couldn’t have gone any better with the Darts turning over Welling United 4-0 on New Year’s Day. The only change to the starting eleven that beat Tonbridge Angels was Sanchez Ming returning to the side replacing the injured Tyrique Hyde. On loan from Aldershot Town, Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong scored his first Dartford goal in only his second appearance, Elliott Romain added two more to his season’s tally of 11 in 13 games and Darren McQueen scored his tenth of the campaign.

Dartford manager, Steve King told DFCTV that he is pleased with the ‘strides’ his team have taken, but the game versus Dorking Wanderers this weekend could provide more answers, he said: “The test for me now becomes, can we play a team in the top seven and see exactly where we are or where we’re improving or where we’re short?”. He continued: “It will be a tough game, my friend is the owner and manager and he’s done brilliantly. He’s got a good club and players, they are beating everybody at home and have got themselves up to fourth in the division”. Having been out of work before being appointed Dartford boss, King will already know what Dorking Wanderers are about, he explained: “I know how tough it is going to be, I know their players from when I did a bit of commentary work there at the start of the season”.

Dartford’s full back, Liam Gordon has returned to his parent club after ten appearances for the Darts, whilst midfielder’s Lee Noble and Luke Allen may have to wait another two to three weeks before a return. Defender, Josh Hill suffered a dead leg and had his red card successfully appealed against Tonbridge Angels. Hyde has been nursing a bruised heel and Mark Smith will provide competition with in form goalkeeper Alhaji Sesay after recovering from a knee injury.

Dorking Wanderers have risen through the non-league pyramid with five promotions in nine seasons. Founder member of the club, Marc White is the manager and he led the Surrey side to the Isthmian Premier League title last term. This year begun with the Wanderers tasting only their sixth defeat of the season in their first campaign at National South level.

The loss at Eastbourne Borough ended a run of seven consecutive victories in all competitions and their two-month unbeaten run, consisting of seven wins and three draws. During their winning spell they beat playoff challengers Weymouth and Maidstone United, knocked Leatherhead and Bromley out of the F.A Trophy and kept six clean sheets in seven outings.

Looking to complete the double over Eastbourne Borough, following a 4-0 win on Boxing Day against the Sports, White’s side were beaten 3-2 at Priory Lane on New Year’s Day. White made three changes to the side that won 2-0 against Chippenham Town with Sole, McManus and Luke Moore replacing Dan Gallagher, Tom Richards and Jack Barham, who was recalled by Barnet from his loan spell. Matthew Briggs sent Dorking Wanderers 1-0 up at the break, but the second-half belonged to Eastbourne Borough who scored three unanswered goals before Prior grabbed a consolation.

Despite the New Year’s Day setback, Dorking Wanderers are in fourth place a point behind second place and eight adrift of the league leaders. The Surrey club have an exemplary home record taking eight victories from 12. Meanwhile, the Darts are in seventh with an away record of five wins and five defeats from a dozen.

Out of the top ten sides, Dartford and Dorking Wanderers have the worst defensive record, however over the last six matchday’s they have kept seven clean sheets between them, both sides showing signs of improvements at the back. In attack there doesn’t seem to be much of an issue with Wanderers the fourth highest scorers in the National South and the Darts the fifth, helped by Dartford’s Elliott Romain who is joint top of the goalscoring charts and Dorking Wanderers’ Jason Prior who is just two goals behind.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 0 / Dorking Wanderers wins: 1 / Draws: 0

Current League Form

Dartford (WWWLWD) Dorking Wanderers (LWWWWW)
Welling United H 4-0 Eastbourne Borough A 2-3
Tonbridge Angels H 3-0 Chippenham Town A 2-0
Welling United A 3-0 Eastbourne Borough H 4-0
Concord Rangers H 0-1 Maidstone United A 3-2
Billericay Town H 3-2 Weymouth H 1-0
Dulwich Hamlet A 1-1 Welling United H 2-0

Last Six Meetings

07.09.2019 Dartford 3 Dorking Wanderers 4

Stats

Dartford’s 4-0 win against Welling United was the first time the Darts have scored more than three goals in a league game since 24 February 2018 when they beat Truro City 4-1.

The Darts kept a third consecutive clean sheet on New Year’s Day, the first time since April 2018 when they managed four in a row.

Under Steve King, Elliott Romain and Darren McQueen have scored 13 goals in the 9 games when they have both started. The pair have scored 12 in the last 6 in which they were both selected in the starting eleven.

Dorking romped to the league title last season and have settled comfortably in the National South. In 2019 the Wanderers won 31, drew 9 and lost 6 in all competitions.

On This Day

Dartford last won on the 4 January way back in 1986 when they beat Barnet 5-3 at Watling Street, in which is now the National League. The home win rewarded the Darts with two points in the Gola League, bizarrely an away victory was worth three points that season. Victory put some gloss on a difficult period for the club as the financial situation started to unravel, three games later manager John Still resigned. Dartford have played three matches since that triumph, in 1992 they lost 1-0 at Bromsgrove Rovers in the Southern Premier League, were beaten 3-1 at Stamford in the Southern Division One East eleven years later and most recently, lost 2-1 to Kidderminster Harriers at Princes Park five years ago in the National League.

Dartford v Welling United

Steve King once again comes face to face with his former club as Dartford open the New Year against local rivals Welling United.

The two sides met on Boxing Day with the Darts coming out on top by beating the Wings 3-0 at Park View Road. Darren McQueen scored a brace with his first coming from the penalty spot, Elliot Romain also found the net to claim bragging rights for King’s men. In a repeat of the Boxing Day scoreline, Dartford defeated Tonbridge Angels on the weekend with the same pair scoring. This time McQueen opened the scoring and Romain fired in a long range effort. There was still time for Charlie Sheringham to come off the bench to score and Josh Hill to be sent off in the closing stages.

King introduced new loan signing Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong having signed from Aldershot Town. The 22-year-old winger has made 13 appearances for the Shots, scoring 3 times. The only other change was in defence where Josh Hill replaced Tom Bonner, whilst Sanchez Ming made way for Berkeley-Agyepong. The Dartford b oss was happy with the midfielder’s debut, he told kentonline.co.uk: “You can see little bits of quality, (with his) finesse on the ball and the way he manipulates the ball”, he added: “Bearing in mind he has been out for two weeks at Aldershot with concussion, so he hasn’t played for three weeks and he’s coming into a league where it’s a little bit quicker than the National League – it’s up, down, up, down – he’s another who will grow. But he brings little bits of quality and left-footed (players) always bring a bit of balance”.

Since arriving at the Darts, King has increased competition for places in the starting eleven and after the Tonbridge Angels win he praised goalkeeper Alhaji Sesay, who has taken advantage of Mark Smith’s injury to get an opportunity between the sticks. Overall, King was delighted with Saturday’s result and felt the game should have been wrapped up in the first half, he commented: “That’s as dominant as we have been and we should have gone in 2-0 or 3-0 up at least. But we didn’t capitalise on all our good play and, at that time, then you leave yourself open”, he continued: “But for me, we were so dominant that the game should have been over at half-time”.

Dartford’s boss came so close to guiding the Wings back to the National League last term reaching the Playoff final. Now King will be up against his old team for the second time over the festive season after the Boxing Day clash at Park View Road. It will be the third consecutive year that the Darts have hosted Welling United on New Year’s Day and the previous two meetings ended victorious.

Bragging rights were shared last season when the home side won on each occasion. King was in the opposite dugout and at Park View Road guided the Wings to a 2-0 victory. The former Welling United boss wasn’t the only person up against his future club, Josh Hill was selected in the starting eleven and scored the opening goal. Hill had a previous spell with the Darts in 2013 and when Danny Mills netted the Wings second the Darts were sunk by two former players.

After the Boxing Day defeat, Dartford were looking for revenge at Princes Park on New Year’s Day. Ronnie Vint’s late winner with four minutes remaining was enough to earn the Darts three points. An excellent delivery by Ben Greenhalgh wasn’t cleared by the Welling United defence and Vint forced the ball home for the winner.

The previous campaign also saw the two sides meet on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day with Dartford completing a festive double. Out of the two clashes the away fixture at Park View Road will be remembered for Alfie Pavey’s superb last-minute strike. After the Darts threw away a two-goal lead given to them by an Andy Pugh brace, the home side pulled one back through former Dart, Callum Driver and with three minutes to go Jeffrey Monakana equalised. It looked like a draw was on the cards until in the last-minute Alfie Pavey produced a stunning scissor kick from outside the box to clinch victory.

The return fixture ended with a convincing Dartford win, their biggest against Welling United since New Year’s Eve in 1983. This time Pavey came off the bench to grab a brace against his old club to secure a 4-1 triumph. Ryan Hayes opened the scoring with a low drive and Elliot Romain headed the equaliser against his future side. Pugh sent the Darts into the break with a 2-1 lead before Pavey’s second-half goals.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 21 / Welling United wins: 10 / Draws: 9

Current League Form

Dartford (WWLWDL) Welling United (LLWLWD)
Tonbridge Angels H 3-0 Eastbourne Borough A 1-2
Welling United A 3-0 Dartford H 0-3
Concord Rangers H 0-1 Hemel Hempstead Town H 2-0
Billericay Town H 3-2 Dorking Wanderers A 0-2
Dulwich Hamlet A 1-1 Braintree Town H 6-2
Bath City A 0-3 Dulwich Hamlet H 0-0

Last Six Meetings

26.12.2019 Welling United 0 Dartford 3
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

Stats

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

Dartford have tasted defeat just once in their last 12 games against the Wings after ninety minutes, on Boxing Day last year. The Darts also lost on penalties in the Kent Senior Cup three years ago.

The Darts have scored in each of their last 17 home games against Welling United, last failing to score on 28 February 1980 in the Kent Floodlit Cup. Dartford have scored in every home league game versus the Wings.

On Saturday the Darts kept back to back clean sheets in the league for the first time since February 2019.

League Record in 2019

Won 16 / Drawn 12 / Lost 15 / Scored 62 / Conceded 67

League Record This Decade

Won 187 / Drawn 102 / Lost 147 / Scored 665 / Conceded 580 / Goal Difference +85

On This Day

Dartford’s last two New Year’s Day wins have been against Welling United. Before those triumphs the Darts had gone six without a win on the first day of the year. In 2001, Dartford brushed aside Sittingbourne 5-2 in the Southern League Division One East, the start of seven consecutive away games on 1 January, in which Dartford lost five a drew two. The Darts lost to Fisher Athletic (2004), Maldon Town (2005) and Welling United (2011) before drawing with Ebbsfleet United in 2013. Defeats against Braintree Town (2015) and Ebbsfleet United (2017) followed before the run was stopped in 2018 against Welling United. That win ended a 28 year wait for a home New Year’s Day win, which came against Gravesend and Northfleet, the final score 5-0 after a goalless first-half.

Dartford v Tonbridge Angels

This weekend Dartford close out the year with the second of three consecutive Kent derbies, this time at home against Tonbridge Angels in the National South.

Only three months has passed since the Darts last met the Angels, management duo Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle took charge of the Darts for the last time. Dartford were struggling at the wrong end of the table sitting third from bottom, Tonbridge Angels a place and two points behind. Talk of a six pointer may have come too early, but the result proved to be crucial in another way.

Joe Turner scored twice to help Tonbridge Angels to a 3-2 victory the first coming from a penalty. Against the run of play Dartford levelled before the break when Josh Hill scored from close range. Parity didn’t last long as Turner put the Angels back in front before the break with a driving shot from fifteen yards. The Darts thought they could grab a point with fifteen minutes remaining, Ryan Hayes sent in a free-kick for Charlie Sheringham to equalise. Tonbridge Angels managed to win it with five minutes left, Tom Derry sliding in the winner and ending Flanagan and Coyle’s spell in charge.

Tonbridge’s triumph ended a dismal run against the Darts, who had won the last eight meetings. Four of those were at Princes Park with the most recent Dartford home victory versus their Kent rivals coming in the F.A Trophy second round seven years ago. Harry Crawford, Elliot Bradbrook and Jon Wallis scored that day and the same score was repeated in the F.A Cup four years later at Longmead, Alex Brown, Andy Pugh and Bradbrook netting this time.

Dartford have won the last two league games at Princes Park against the Angels, in 2011 Bradbrook, Danny Harris and Charlie Sheringham found the net in a 3-1 victory and in 2009, Allan Tait and Harris helped the Darts to a 2-0 triumph.

The Darts haven’t hit the heights they expected in 2019, but with recent performances under Steve King with a patched-up squad, there is plenty to look forward to in the next calendar year and on to next season. King has given Dartford a glimpse of the type of players he would like to bring to the club and if the injury list reduces then the Darts should find themselves in a better position.

The Darts will approach this weekend’s match fresh from an excellent 3-0 Boxing Day win against Welling United. Darren McQueen scored a brace at Park View Road with his first coming from the penalty spot, Elliot Romain also found the net to take his tally to eight for the season in just 11 appearances. Tom Bonner replaced Josh hill at the back and Charlie Sheringham came on as a substitute to get his first minutes since October.

Now two points off a top seven place, King still insists that the Darts are not ready for the playoff due to results being inconsistent, he told www.kentonline.co.uk: “The minute we win two, three, four games (in a row) then I’ll think we’ve got a bit of consistency but at the moment we haven’t got that”. Opponents, Tonbridge Angels had their derby against Maidstone United called off, King commented: “What does that mean? Are they going to be fitter, stronger faster? Maybe. We want to back up this win and we’ve not been able to do that since I’ve been here”.

Tonbridge Angels came through two playoff finals last season to earn promotion. Steve McKimm’s side, playing in the National South for the first time in five years, have been battling at the bottom and will be delighted to stay in the division come April. At the time of writing, prior their away trip to Hemel Hempstead Town, the Angels had taken just three points on the road and were still looking for their first away victory of the season.

Derry, who netted in September’s clash against the Darts is amongst the top scorers for the club this campaign along with D’Sean Theobalds and Joe Turner. One player who has had a positive impact is Dartford loanee Ben Greenhalgh. The midfielder scored a free-kick on his debut and has also chipped in with a few assists in his appearances so far for the club.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 67 / Tonbridge Angels wins: 38 / Draws: 24

Current League Form

Dartford (DDWLLD) Tonbridge Angels (DLLDWL)
Welling United A 3-0 Hemel Hempstead Town A 1-1
Concord Rangers H 0-1 Billericay Town H 3-2
Billericay Town H 3-2 Hungerford Town A 0-1
Dulwich Hamlet A 1-1 Slough Town A 0-0
Bath City A 0-3 St Albans City H 2-1
Maidstone United H 2-2 Oxford City H 4-4

Last Six Meetings

03.09.2019 Tonbridge Angels 3 Dartford 2
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

Stats

Dartford are five games unbeaten at Princes Park against Tonbridge Angels (W4, D1)

The Darts last lost to the Angels at home in 2004 when they lost 3-2 in the Southern League Division One East

Dartford have conceded just once in their last four home games against Tonbridge Angels keeping three clean sheets

On This Day

Dartford have won once in their last seven games played on 28 December and that was a 2-0 home derby with Erith and Belvedere back in 1998. The Darts last played on this day four years ago when they hosted Margate in the National South. Ronnie Vint, Ryan Hayes and Lee Noble are the only survivors from that game that also featured academy graduate Ebou Adams, now plying his trade at Forest Green Rovers. Elliot Bradbrook equalised six minutes into the second-half to earn a 1-1 draw, cancelling out the opener from Freddie Ladapo, who is now at Rotherham United. Nine years ago, Dartford were beaten by their local rivals Ebbsfleet United at Stonebridge Road, Bradbrook scored for the Darts whilst Derek Duncan and Callum Willock netted for Fleet. The Darts finished the match with nine men after Joe Bruce and James White were both sent off.

Welling United v Dartford

Steve King faces his former club on Boxing Day and there will be no room for sentiment, when he returns to Park View Road to take on local rivals Welling United.

A point will keep the Darts ahead of the Wings in the National South standings, whilst victory will move Dartford five points ahead of their rivals. For the third consecutive campaign the two sides meet each other over the festive season, the Darts will hope to avenge the defeat they suffered at Park View Road a year ago.

Frustrated with his side’s inconsistency, Steve King guided the Darts to a 3-2 home win against Billericay Town before watching on as Concord Rangers took all three points on the weekend. The Dartford boss described his team as ‘chalk and cheese’ when speaking to www.kentonline.co.uk, he commented: “We deserved the plaudits and to win the game against Billericay”, before adding his thoughts after the 1-0 defeat against Concord Rangers, he explained: “I felt there wasn’t enough quality,” he continued: “Normally you can have five or six off their game and the other six can carry you through but I thought nearly all of them were off their game”.

Crowd favourite, Ryan Hayes was praised for his efforts when he came on as a substitute as he ‘lifted the side’ in the final quarter. However the game hinged on two penalties, in form Dartford striker Elliott Romain hit the post with his spot kick, whilst Joel Nouble scored his penalty to earn the Beachboys victory. Two new signings were introduced to the Dartford faithful and one could be in line to face his former club on Boxing Day.

Sanchez Ming left the Wings a day before he was selected in Dartford’s starting eleven on the weekend. The full back was brought in on loan by King whilst at Welling United from Dulwich Hamlet, Ming signed permanently for the Wings in the summer but has now decided to team up with King once more, he was the only change to the team selected against Billericay Town. Appearing as a substitute on the weekend, Marcel Barrington has joined the Darts from Concord Rangers. The 24 year old was part of the Braintree Town side that beat Dartford in the National South playoffs in May 2018. The striker will already be familiar with midfielders Billy Crook and Luke Allen who were also in the Irons team that were promoted that season. In the three months King has been in charge the squad has a different look with over half of the players involved on Saturday new signings.

Welling United haven’t hit the heights of last term when King led them to the Playoff Final. Mark Goldberg has been in charge since the summer and now the Wings are down in sixteenth place, two points behind Dartford in thirteenth. Last season with King working under Goldberg, Welling United won on Boxing Day beating Dartford 2-0 after goals from two former Darts, Josh Hill and Danny Mills. This time Hill will be back in a Dartford shirt for the festive derby hoping to win at Park View Road again.

After a barren run in the league without finding the net, The Wings found some spark in their 6-2 victory at home against Braintree Town just over a month ago. A 2-0 away defeat at Dorking Wanderers followed in the league then a 2-0 win at home to Hemel Hempstead Town, former Dart, Nathan Green found the net. With their game at league leaders Wealdstone postponed on the weekend, Welling United last played in the National South almost three weeks ago.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 20 / Welling United wins: 9 / Draws: 10

Current League Form

Dartford (LWDLDW) Welling United (WLDLWL)
Concord Rangers H 0-1 Hemel Hempstead Town H 2-0
Billericay Town H 3-2 Dorking Wanderers A 0-2
Dulwich Hamlet A 1-1 Braintree Town H 6-2
Bath City A 0-3 Dulwich Hamlet H 0-0
Maidstone United H 2-2 Chippenham Town A 0-0
Hampton and Richmond A 2-1 Slough Town A 0-1

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

Stats

Dartford have lost just one of their last six away league games (W4, D1, L1)

Over the last 15 years the Darts have won three out of 11 against Welling United at Park View Road (D4, L4).

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.

On This Day

Last season’s 2-0 Boxing Day defeat against Welling United ended a run of three Boxing Day victories in a row. The last of those triumphs came in dramatic circumstances as Alfie Pavey’s last minute wonder goal separated the two teams two years ago. After the Darts threw away a two-goal lead given to them by an Andy Pugh brace, the home side pulled one back through former Dart, Callum Driver and with three minutes to go Jeffrey Monakana equalised. It looked like a draw was on the cards until in the last-minute Alfie Pavey produced a stunning scissor kick from outside the box to clinch victory. This year will be the fifth time in nine years in which the Darts have faced Welling United on this day. In 2011 the game ended 1-1 at Park View Road and in 2013, the Wings won 2-1.

Dartford v Concord Rangers

Dartford can put more distance between them and Concord Rangers this weekend if they complete a league double over the Essex club.

The Darts welcome the Beachboys to Princes Park knowing victory could potentially move themselves up into the top ten. Earlier this season, under the guidance of Tony Burman during his interim spell, the Darts beat Concord Rangers away from home to end a run of nine away games without a win. Charlie Sheringham opened the scoring after four minutes and Alex Flisher scored the second to claim all three points.

Unbeaten in their last three meetings against the Essex side at Princes Park, last season finished all square on home soil. Former Concord Rangers midfielder, Ben Greenhalgh netted against his former club only for Jack Midson to equalise. The Beachboys were reduced to ten men, however the Darts were unable to take advantage. Dartford had won the previous two home meetings before that 2-0 in August 2017 and 2-1 in September 2016.

Steve King will be hoping to achieve something the Darts have been unable to do this season, win consecutive home games. Last weekend the introduction of some new faces helped his side claim only a second league win at home by beating Billericay Town 3-2. Second choice goalkeeper Alhaji Sesay made his debut replacing Mark Smith, whilst Jordan Gibbons made way for new loan signing Rowan Liburd, who joined from Hereford. The striker’s performances for Billericay Town five years ago earned him a move to the Football League. The 27 year-old went on to play for Wycombe Wanderers, Stevenage and Leyton Orient. More recently he represented Hemel Hempstead Town and Guiseley before joining Hereford. On the substitutes bench Kyjoun Marsh-Brown returned from injury and made an appearance, whilst another new signing Miloud Djouaher came on to make his debut. Once again Elliott Romain continued his goalscoring streak taking his tally to seven goals in just nine games for the Darts.His double helped Dartford secure three points after Darren McQueen opened the scoring in the 3-2 triumph.

McQueen spoke to DFCTV after the game and commented: “We did really well to get the three points. We had to grind it out in the second half”, he added: “We all came together as a collective, the shape was very good as well, defensively we were hard to play through”. He continued: “Our home form hasn’t been the best, so this was the win we needed and we need to carry that on”.

Meanwhile, Concord Rangers were in F.A Trophy action and would have been Dartford’s opponents had they not been knocked out by Maidstone United. The Beachboys took on the Stones in the first round and it was music to Concord’s ears at full-time, although the afternoon didn’t begin too well. Maidstone United were two up inside twenty minutes, but Kit Elliott gave Concord Rangers hope before half-time. In the final eight minutes Lamar Reynolds equalised then Danny Green struck to complete the F.A Trophy comeback.

In the National South it hasn’t been particular great on the road for the Essex club losing their last four on their travels, yet their home form means they are just a point behind the Darts in the league standings. Danny Scopes will lead his team out at Princes Park with a degree of confidence after his side recorded consecutive victories. Before the 3-2 win over Maidstone United, the Beachboys claimed an impressive 5-0 triumph over Eastbourne Borough, in that starting eleven was former Dart, Billy Roast.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 5 / Concord Rangers wins: 2 / Draws: 3

Current League Form

Dartford (WDLDWW) Concord Rangers (WLDLWL)
Billericay Town H 3-2 Eastbourne Borough H 5-0
Dulwich Hamlet A 1-1 Wealdstone A 0-3
Bath City A 0-3 Dorking Wanderers H 3-3
Maidstone United H 2-2 Bath City A 1-3
Hampton and Richmond A 2-1 Hemel Hempstead Town H 3-1
Eastbourne Borough A 2-0 Havant & Waterlooville A 1-2

Last Six Meetings

14.09.2019 Concord Rangers 0 Dartford 2
26.01.2019 Dartford 1 Concord Rangers 1
14.08.2018 Concord Rangers 2 Dartford 0
06.01.2018 Concord Rangers 1 Dartford 1
15.08.2017 Dartford 2 Concord Rangers 0
11.03.2017 Concord Rangers 1 Dartford 1

Stats

In the last ten league games at Princes Park both teams have scored. Dartford last failed to score in the league at home on 13 April 2019 against Chippenham Town, whilst their last clean sheet was on 9 March 2019 in the 2-0 win versus Gloucester City.

In all competitions, the last five games involving Concord Rangers has seen 24 goals at an average of 4.8 goals per game.

On This Day

Dartford’s last home win on this day was back in 1974 when they beat Cambridge City 3-0 in the Southern Premier League, since then they have only played one more time at home. The 1991 Southern Premier League clash with Moor Green ended in the away side beating the Darts 3-1. Therefore, the visit of Concord Rangers will be the first time Dartford have hosted a team at Princes Park on this day. The last fixture on 21 December finished in a 2-1 loss at Alfreton Town six years ago in the National League and in 2002, Dartford hammered 5-0 at Histon in the Southern Division One East.

Dartford v Billericay Town

Dartford have the chance to leapfrog Billericay Town in the National South league standings this weekend with victory at Princes Park.

The Darts brought forward their fixture with the Essex club in which is now the only National South fixture this Saturday. Following early F.A Trophy exits from both clubs the game was moved to this weekend in hope of a larger crowd.

A win for Dartford will move them a point ahead of the Blues, so manager Steve King would like to see a repeat of the last meeting between the two sides at Princes Park. Almost eight months ago, in the penultimate game of the season, both teams were chasing a playoff spot. Tom Murphy became the hero with two late goals to overturn Jake Robinson’s strike for Billericay Town.

Dartford approach Saturday’s game on the back of five games without a win in all competitions with three draws and a couple of defeats. Their last outing saw the return of Jordan Wynter from injury and a new addition in Tyrique Hyde. Wynter made his first appearance since his injury almost three months ago. Hyde joined the Darts on loan from League Two side Colchester United and made his debut.

King made four changes to the team that lost 3-0 at Bath City, as well as Wynter and Hyde, Billy Crook returned to the starting eleven and so did Darren McQueen. However, Andy Pugh (broken hand) and Kyjuon Marsh-Brown (hamstring) were the latest casualties to appear on the Dartford injury list which included six others. The Darts looked good value in the second half, even though they went behind through Christian Smith’s free-kick. The equaliser came with fifteen minutes left when Elliott Romain won a penalty then scored from the spot, the striker now has five goals in eight games for the Darts.

After the game, King spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk and said: “I thought we were the better side for the majority of the game”, he added: “We had a central midfield made up of a full-back who hasn’t played for two or three months, Billy Crook who has been out for a month and Tyrique Hyde, who has just come in from Colchester. They never knew each other but the difference was that we had legs in there. I was worried about their central midfield area, I thought they would overpower us but the three boys in there did a magnificent job”.

Full back, Liam Gordon extended his loan spell with the Darts before the match and spoke to DFCTV after the 1-1 draw, he commented: “We could have taken more out of the game, the boys worked hard, but again it’s an away point”. Enjoying his loan spell at Dartford, Gordon is looking forward to the next two home fixtures against Billericay Town and Concord Rangers, he exclaimed: “We need to make the home ground a tough place to play at. We need teams to fear us when they are coming to our ground and most importantly for us to get the three points”.

Billericay Town have often been in the headlines over recent years under the ownership of Glen Tamplin, but all that has now changed. The former owner quit the Essex club in September and around the same time manager Harry Wheeler was replaced by former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Jamie O’Hara, despite the club being in seventh place. O’Hara has one National South victory as manager of the Blues, however he did guide the club to the F.A Cup first round after victories over Basildon United, Bath City and Sutton United, in which former Dartford goalkeeper Alan Julian scored the goal to force a replay.

On the weekend, O’Hara watched his side throw away a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 against Tonbridge Angels. The match featured a Dartford loanee and two former Darts, and all were involved amongst the goals in some part. Femi Akinwande made five appearances for Dartford having come through the academy system, the striker opened the scoring on seven minutes and ten minutes later Billericay Town doubled their lead through Odysseus Alfa. In the second-half Tonbridge Angels staged a comeback with former Dartford keeper Julian conceding three. Khale Da Costa pulled a goal back and two minutes later, Dartford loanee Ben Greenhalgh set up Tom Derry for the equaliser. Da Costa scored his second of the afternoon to complete the turnaround and condemn Billericay Town to their fifth away defeat of the campaign.

The two goals scored by Billericay Town on the weekend ended Jake Robinson’s run as the only Blues goalscorer since late October. The striker scored all seven of Billericay Town’s goals in the six competitive matches leading up to the 3-2 loss. Robinson has scored ten goals in his last nine appearances and nine in the National South so far, putting him second in the National South’s goalscoring charts.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 3 / Billericay Town wins: 2 / Draws: 1

Current League Form

Dartford (DLDWWD) Billericay Town (LDWLLD)
Dulwich Hamlet A 1-1 Tonbridge Angels A 2-3
Bath City A 0-3 Weymouth H 1-1
Maidstone United H 2-2 Dulwich Hamlet A 1-0
Hampton and Richmond A 2-1 Maidstone United A 1-2
Eastbourne Borough A 2-0 Slough Town A 1-3
Chippenham Town H 1-1 Dorking Wanderers H 2-2

Last Six Meetings

22.04.2019 Dartford 2 Billericay Town 1
15.09.2018 Billericay Town 1 Dartford 1
06.03.2010 Dartford 1 Billericay Town 4
02.02.2010 Billericay Town 1 Dartford 0
14.02.2009 Dartford 2 Billericay Town 0
04.10.2008 Billericay Town 0 Dartford 1

Stats

Dartford are unbeaten in their last two matches against Billericay Town.

The Darts have gone seven games without a home win in all competitions (D3, L4) and have won just one in ten this season at Princes Park (W1, D5, L4)

On This Day

At the time, nine years ago Dartford were paired with the biggest team in non-league when they were drawn against Crawley Town in the F.A Trophy first round. After an epic 3-3 draw in which the Darts were denied victory in stoppage time, the two sides played out the replay on 14 December 2010. Against the odds Dartford caused an upset under the floodlights of Princes Park and on that day three of the current squad were involved. Ryan Hayes, Tom Bonner and Charlie Sheringham played their part, but the hero was Tom Champion who scored in the 92nd minute to knock out the Sussex club led by manager Steve Evans, who labelled the Darts a ‘poor side’ after the game.

Dulwich Hamlet v Dartford

Dartford lost their first league game under Steve King last weekend and hope to get back to winning ways on Saturday, when they take on Dulwich Hamlet at Champion Hill.

The Darts travelled to Twerton Park last weekend having won their previous seven matches against Bath City. However, the Romans ended their winless streak with three unanswered goals in the first half. Tom Smith’s goal and Andy Watkins’ brace condemned Dartford manager Steve King to his first league defeat at the club.

Yet to make an appearance for Dartford since signing for the club in the summer, Sam Blackman returned to the squad and was named on the substitutes bench. Lee Noble, Charlie Sheringham and Jordan Wynter are still recovering from injuries whilst central midfield pairing Luke Allen and Billy Crook were also unavailable. At least King had his full backs returning, Jordan Gibbons and Liam Gordon were back in the starting eleven as was Cameron Brodie, whilst Andy Pugh and Darren McQueen dropped to the bench.

Luke Wanadio was representing Dulwich Hamlet the last time Dartford visited Champion Hill and the winger ended up on the winning side. Jamie Mascoll’s volley and a second from Decarry Sheriff secured a 2-0 victory for Hamlet. The Darts won the earlier meeting that season 2-1 at Princes Park with Charlie Sheringham scoring the winner from the spot.

The Darts are just three points ahead of Dulwich Hamlet, who remained in nineteenth place on Tuesday night thanks to Hungerford Town’s victory over Tonbridge Angels, who lined up with Ben Greenhalgh in the starting eleven on loan from Dartford. Dulwich Hamlet started their National South campaign strongly with three consecutive victories, in fact they took thirteen points from their opening six fixtures to leave them in second place. Since then Hamlet have failed to register a win in the league going back to late August, drawing five and losing seven in a twelve-game winless streak.

The latest reverse came on the weekend when Gavin Rose’s side lost 2-1 to Oxford City. Two penalties from Nana Owusu either side of Dominic Vose’s strike condemned the London club to another defeat. Hamlet have had better times in cup competitions this term and prior the loss at Oxford City they knocked out Chippenham Town in a F.A Trophy replay. After a 2-2 draw, former Dartford striker Danny Mills and David Ijaha scored the goals to send Hamlet into the first round. In the F.A Cup, Dulwich Hamlet reached the first round before going out to Carlisle United in front of the television cameras.

Danny Mills made 26 appearances for Dartford scoring six times during the heartbreaking campaign in which the Darts finished runners up on goal difference. The striker moved on to Welling United last term and is now at Champion Hill where he has managed to be a regular in Dulwich Hamlet’s starting eleven. Another former Dart is part of the management team, assistant manager Junior Kadi was part of the Isthmian Division One North title winning side in 2007/2008, the midfielder made 28 appearances and scored six times.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / Dulwich Hamlet wins: 3 / Draws: 2

Current League Form

Dartford (LDWWDW) Dulwich Hamlet (LLDLDD)
Bath City A 0-3 Oxford City A 1-2
Maidstone United H 2-2 Billericay Town H 0-1
Hampton and Richmond A 2-1 Welling United A 0-0
Eastbourne Borough A 2-0 Bath City H 1-3
Chippenham Town H 1-1 Chelmsford City A 1-1
Oxford City A 1-0 Weymouth H 2-2

Last Six Meetings

02.03.2019 Dulwich Hamlet 2 Dartford 0
20.10.2019 Dartford 2 Dulwich Hamlet 1
31.03.2007 Dartford 1 Dulwich Hamlet 1
19.09.2006 Dulwich Hamlet 3 Dartford 2
09.12.1996 Dulwich Hamlet 3 Dartford 1
04.12.1996 Dartford 0 Dulwich Hamlet 0

Stats

Both sides are unbeaten in this fixture when playing at home, the Darts have drawn two and won one and Dulwich Hamlet have won all three at home.

Dartford’s loss at Bath City ended a run of four consecutive away wins in the league, in all competitions it ended a seven game unbeaten run on the road.

The Darts have failed to score in successive games for the first time this campaign, the last time they went two games without a goal was April last season.

On This Day

Lee Noble scored one of the goals of the round in the F.A Cup on this day. The Darts were drawn away to Bradford City and although the Bantams were too strong, Noble’s backheel on a muddy Valley Parade pitch was fine consolation in a 4-1 defeat. Twelve months earlier Dartford lost 1-0 away to Barnet at the Hive in the National League. Dartford last won on 7 December in 2011 when they swept aside Folkestone Invicta in the second round of the Kent Senior Cup. Jacob Erskine, Tom Bonner and Richard Graham’s brace set the Darts on their way as they reached the final that season.

Bath City v Dartford

Dartford can make it eight consecutive victories against Bath City when they return to National South action this weekend with a trip to Twerton Park.

The Darts started a new era last time they visited Twerton Park with joint managers Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle taking charge for the first time. The 2018/2019 season opener ended in triumph for the duo thanks to some late penalty drama. Dartford came from behind after Adam Mann scored ten minutes into his Bath City debut then Elliot Bradbrook equalised just before half-time. With four minutes remaining Bradbrook blasted his penalty over and within a minute the Darts were awarded a second spot-kick, which Delano Sam-Yorke netted to give the Darts their seventh straight win over the Romans.

Over the last week a depleted squad has performed admirably showing manager Steve King the character and attitude that should help the Darts up the National South table. Dartford have just come off the back of three consecutive matches against local rivals Maidstone United, drawing two and losing narrowly on Tuesday night.

In their last National South fixture, Dartford came from two down against the Stones with a couple of late goals by Tom Bonner and Darren McQueen to earn a draw. The two sides met again in the F.A Trophy and this time Maidstone United led twice only for Elliott Romain to equalise on both occasions. In total nine squad members were out through either illness, injury or to avoid being cup tied, which changed the look of the starting eleven including players playing out of position.

If the Darts felt they should have won the initial F.A Trophy clash, the same could have been said about the replay. Despite another committed performance the Darts were finally beaten when Iffy Allen finished off a counter attack. Once again King had limited personnel available but made one change for the replay bringing in Laurent Mendy for Ryan Hayes. The substitutes bench told its own story filled up mainly with academy players, one of which was Charlie Edmundson who made his debut for the club. Although beaten in the end, the Darts have moved in the right direction and will be tested this weekend when they visit Twerton Park.

Bath City are also returning to league action after their F.A Trophy replay win to Southern Premier League South side Gosport Borough. The first meeting ended with no goals to show for either team and so the two sides had to do it all over again on Wednesday night. The Romans were taken to extra time after throwing away a two goal lead, Tom Smith and Andy Watkins scoring the goals. Gosport Borough clawed their was back with to goals of their own, but it was Bath City who progressed when Ryan Brunt netted the winner.

The Romans may have lost their last National South game, but they remain on course to repeat what they achieved last term. Under Jerry Gill, Bath City reached the playoffs last season and they currently occupy fifth place. Their defeat at Havant and Waterlooville ended a five-match unbeaten league run, however at Twerton Park they remain five unbeaten in the National South stretching back to Bank Holiday August, their only home defeat so far in all competitions.

Jerry Gill’s side are eight points off leaders Wealdstone and if it hadn’t been for a run of one victory in nine from the end of August to mid-October, they would be title contenders. The 2019/2020 season started with three wins and two draws and recently the Somerset club put a run of four straight victories together in the league before the 2-1 reverse to Havant and Waterlooville.

Goal threats come from Tom Smith, Ryan Brunt and Adam Mann who have netted 24 goals between them in all competitions, Mann has managed seven in his last nine appearances. Defensively, the Romans have kept things tight and only two sides in the National South have conceded fewer goals this term.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 33 / Bath City wins: 40 / Draws: 19

Current League Form

Dartford (DWWDWL) Bath City (LWWWWD)
Maidstone United H 2-2 Havant & Waterloovile A 1-2
Hampton and Richmond A 2-1 Concord Rangers H 3-1
Eastbourne Borough A 2-0 Dulwich Hamlet A 3-1
Chippenham Town H 1-1 Dorking Wanderers H 1-0
Oxford City A 1-0 St Albans City A 1-0
Slough Town H 2-3 Maidstone United H 1-1

Last Six Meetings

09.02.2019 Dartford 3 Bath City 0
04.08.2018 Bath City 1 Dartford 2
21.04.2018 Dartford 2 Bath City 0
24.10.2017 Bath City 1 Dartford 2
04.03.2017 Dartford 2 Bath City 0
22.10.2016 Bath City 0 Dartford 1

Stats

Dartford have won the last seven games against Bath City with an aggregate score of 16-3. For the past three seasons the Darts have completed the double over the Romans.

The Darts are unbeaten in five games at Twerton Park winning the last three and drawing the other two. Bath City’s last home win over Dartford was a 4-2 victory on 2 December 1988.

Dartford are unbeaten in eight matches against Bath City last tasting defeat on 7 April 1990 at Watling Street.

On This Day

The Darts play their first away game on 30 November since 1983 when they drew 0-0 against Kings Lynn in the Southern Premier League. Dartford’s only win on this day since then was a 4-0 victory over Corby Town back in 2002 in the Southern League Division One East. The last Dartford fixture on 30 November ended in a 1-1 F.A Trophy draw against Forest Green Rovers six years ago, Danny Harris gave the Darts the lead which was cancelled out by Jan Klukowski.

Dartford v Maidstone United

Dartford face rivals Maidstone United for a third time in a row on Tuesday night, this time at Princes Park in the F.A Trophy third qualifying round replay.

In just over a week the two sides have been inseparable, but this time there will be winner. On the weekend a depleted Dartford side came away from the Gallagher Stadium with a creditable 2-2 draw to take the tie to a replay. The Darts had to twice come from behind to deny the home side a place in the next round.

Former Maidstone United striker, Elliott Romain scored a brace to keep Dartford in the F.A Trophy draw, equalising twice after Dan Wishart then Justin Amaluzor gave the Stones an advantage. Steve King named a squad without Jordan Gibbons, Liam Gordon, Billy Crook, Norman Wabo and Cameron Brodie and was already missing Charlie Sheringham, Jordan Wynter, Lee Noble and Sam Blackman. The Darts needed to reshuffle the starting eleven with Darren McQueen, Ronnie Vint and Ryan Hayes coming in. On the bench a number of academy players were selected and replacing Hayes after an hour Laurent Mendy made his debut. Maidstone United made a few changes with one eye on their F.A Cup second round fixture approaching this weekend.

Manager, Steve King explained why the changes were needed and was pleased with the outcome, he said: “I’m very proud of the players who put another unbelievable shift in considering we had seven players missing, no full backs, played a shape we’ve never played and have never worked on that shape”. A number of squad members were unable to take part through illness with two players needing to pull out on the day of the game.

Looking forward to the replay King commented: “It’s going to take another tough performance, they are a full time outfit, they probably have 22 to 24 players in the squad, we haven’t got that. We couldn’t even fill the bench (on the weekend), four of them were youth team players and another was a goalkeeper we signed on Thursday, another one (Laurent Mendy) signed from two levels below us and he did well when he came on. We’ve got to patch up and see who is available because it’s going to be another tough battle again”.

It was the second 2-2 draw in a row against Maidstone United following the National South stalemate. On that occasion, the Darts fought back from two goals down with only four minutes remaining. Wishart was on the scoresheet again for the Stones and his side went two up through Ibby Akanbi, then goals from Tom Bonner and McQueen made sure the points were shared. This time if the scores are level after ninety minutes there will be extra time then penalties if required.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 44 / Maidstone United wins: 44 / Draws: 19

Current Form (FAC – F.A Cup / FAT – F.A Trophy)

Dartford (DDWWDW) Maidstone United (DDWLDW)
Maidstone United (FAT) A 2-2 Dartford (FAT) H 2-2
Maidstone United H 2-2 Dartford A 2-2
Hampton & Richmond A 2-1 Torquay United (FAC) H 1-0
Eastbourne Borough A 2-0 Hampton & Richmond A 1-2
Chippenham Town H 1-1 Braintree Town A 1-1
Kingstonian (FAC) H 2-3 Billericay Town H 2-1

Last Six Meetings

23.11.2019^ Maidstone United 2 Dartford 2
16.11.2019 Dartford 2 Maidstone United 2
22.01.2019* Dartford 1 Maidstone United 1
09.04.2016 Maidstone United 1 Dartford 2
14.11.2015 Dartford 1 Maidstone United 1
20.03.2010 Dartford 3 Maidstone United 0

* – Kent Senior Cup, Maidstone United won 8-7 on penalties / ^ – F.A Trophy

Stats

Elliott Romain has scored four goals in his first five Dartford appearances.

Dartford play the same opponent three times in a row for the first time since 1957 when they played Gravesend and Northfleet in Southern League Cup, FA Cup and F.A Cup replay

Dartford avoided an F.A Trophy defeat for the first time against Maidstone United on the weekend. The previous two meetings in 1972 and  1987 were won by the Stones.

The Darts have won just two of the last nine cup ties against Maidstone United, a Kent Senior Cup Final in 1988 and a Kent Senior Cup first round match in 1991.

Dartford have won seven of the last 11 games against the Stones stretching back to the Kent Senior Cup win in 1991.

The Darts best F.A Trophy performance came in 1974 when they lost the final 2-1 at Wembley to Morecambe. Since then Dartford have been semi-finalists on four occasions with the last time in 2013.

Maidstone United’s run to the Quarter-Final last season equalled their best performance in the competition, they had previously reached the last eight in 1985 and 1987.

On This Day

Elliot Bradbrook’s hat-trick at Weston-super-Mare three years ago sent the Darts into the next round of the F.A Trophy. Andy Pugh scored Dartford’s opener and at 2-2 Tom Bonner was sent off, but it was Bradbrook’s performance that made the headlines. In fact three of the last four Dartford games on 26 November have been F.A Trophy third qualifying round ties. The other two Trophy ties ended without a goal, in 2011 the Darts drew with Eastbourne Borough before winning the replay, and in 2005 they took AFC Wimbledon to another game before exiting the competition.