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August – League Review

Early days yet for the teams in the Conference South and with one month flying past Dartford fans should be delighted with their start.

Dartford took fifteen minutes to open their account when Elliot Bradbrook kicked started the season with a goal. A second from Tom Bonner settled any nerves and a brace from Charlie Sheringham opened The Darts campaign in style. The performance was excellent and the new signings impressed on their debuts.

Two fixtures later and Tony Burman boasted a 100% record. Princes Park hosted a 2-1 win against Eastbourne Borough then Hampton and Richmond. In both games The Darts created a wave of chances and the only concern was the amount of opportunities spurned.

Green opens his account for The Darts in an impressive start to the season

The match at The Crabble was entertaining and both sets of fans thought they could nick all three points. Hardly surprising when both sides had very good spells with the ball and a 2-2 draw satisfied both teams in the end. Tony Burman’s wish of putting on ‘a good show’ for both sets of supporters was certainly granted. A second successive draw was earned at Chelmsford City and a clean sheet to boot. Going by the fans reaction the standard of football was not as high as games one to four and a draw was a fair result.

August ended in style with a 3-1 victory at home against Bromley. Again Dartford had numerous chances at 1-0 up but failed to convert. Bromley equalised and the game turned when Ryan Hayes went down in the box. The penalty was converted by Sheringham and a minute later a second set piece was finished by Danny Harris. Third place and 14 points from 18 leaves The Darts in an excellent position.

The side look to have a very good balance with Tom Bonner playing centre half, two full backs who have impressed, Tom Champion’s reliability in the centre of midfield and Charlie Sheringham scoring goals. The signing of Richard Graham has given Dartford width and options, Bradbrook has been able to play central and join the attack when required and both sets of wingers seem to have a good understanding with the full backs. If anyone needs a rest, or if Burman needs to change things the subs bench boasts the skilful Lee Noble, the strong and industrious Lee Burns, and the speedy Danny Harris. The promising Jack Pallen is still waiting to get involved after injury as is James Rogers after illness. The depth in quality and numbers look better than this time last year allowing for a strong start to the season.

But what about the other teams? Welling United managed to keep the majority of their squad who have shown they can score goals. The Wings top the division with an impressive seventeen goals, six scored by Andrew Pugh. Last season they were the third highest scorers so their attack play looks likely to continue.

Welling's Andy Pugh is top scorer for the leading club

Unsurprisingly, Woking occupies second spot and with their experience, non-league prestige, high attendances they should continue to challenge top spot. The Cards defence is excellent shown by keeping four clean sheets from six games. Last season they managed seven in a row and the second highest amount of clean sheets. Surprisingly Maidenhead United who survived relegation last season on the final day are in fifth spot taking ten points from the last twelve.

The new boys have started steadily. Sutton United must have thought they were in for a long season after a 5-0 defeat to Woking on day one. However they bounced back with three wins in a row and amassed ten points so far. Salisbury City can match Sutton United’s points total but have struggled on their travels so far.

Truro City sprinted out of the blocks winning the first three but have stuttered with three defeats in a succesion. Eastbourne Borough and Tonbridge Angels have earned seven points, The Angels will be happier of the two sides.

It is interesting to see the two sides in transition struggling in comparison to last season’s finishes. Farnborough Town went full time and have only one win to their name whilst Eastleigh, another to go full time lost their opening three but have since taken seven points from the last nine.

At the bottom Hampton and Richmond’s performance at Princes Park suggests they are unlucky to be in the bottom three without a victory. Thurrock are leaking goals and are the only other side yet to record a win. The Essex side must be one of the favourites to go down with their low attendances and reprieve from last season. Boreham Wood have mirrored last year’s slow start despite the signings of numerous new players.

Still there is a long way to go, a lot of football to be played and so typical of non-league football it can take as much as a single turning point, a player to hit form, a team to gel or a couple of loan signings to turn a season. One month down, eight to go.

 

Commentary v Bromley – 29/08/11

Commentary v Bromley brought to you by Gary Clark and Paul Philpot, courtesy of Pure DFC

1st Half:

2nd Half:

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Result & Interview v Bromley (H)

Dartford 3 (Bradbrook, Harris and Sheringham (P)) Bromley 1

Interview

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The Pure DFC Punter – 29th August 2011

For the first time this season, we’re recording a loss, albeit only a small one after Saturday’s 0-0 draw.

Current state of play

-0.12 units

Monday will see a replay of the Kent Senior Cup of last season, which as we’ll all know, the Darts won 4-1.

Key stats:

– Fourteen goals were scored in the fixtures against Bromley last year.

– The Darts have not lost on this day since 1994.

Bets of the match:

To be able to get over 4/5 on Dartford winning is, in this pages opinion, a bet worth having and we’ll be placing two points on this.

We’ll also be putting one unit on over 3.5 goals in the match at 2.62

2 point: Dartford to win @ 1.83 (Paddy Power)
1 point: Over 3.5 goals @ 2.62 (William Hill)

P/L so far: -0.12 units

 

Dartford v Bromley

Last time The Darts played a competitive Bank Holiday fixture turned out to be memorable for Dartford. Princes Park was the venue, the opponents were Bromley.

Again the two sides meet on a Bank Holiday Monday and Dartford will be looking to repeat the 4-1 Kent Senior Cup triumph in May. However it has been a staggering 43 years since The Darts beat Bromley in a league match but Tony Burman’s side will be hoping to extend their unbeaten run to six.

Dartford lift the Kent Senior Cup

Last season both sides were almost inseparable in the games against each other and in the league positions they finished. The corresponding match in September was an entertaining 2-2 draw. Bromley were topping the table at the time and took the lead through Nic McDonnell. Ryan Hayes equalised only for Harrison Dunk (now at Cambridge United) to restore the lead for the The Ravens. The goal two minutes from time looked like the three points were Bromley’s but in the final minute Elliot Bradbrook rescued a point for The Darts. On Good Friday Bromley eased to a 4-1 victory at Hayes Lane before Dartford repeated the 4-1 scoreline in the Kent Senior Cup Final with goals from Bradbrook, Hayes, Danny Harris and an own goal.

Dartford and Bromley ended with identical records in the league last season with 15 wins, 12 draws and 15 defeats, The Darts edged past The Ravens into tenth place on the final day by goal difference. Between the two clubs their overall records are just as close with 20 wins to Dartford, 22 wins for Bromley and 13 draws.

Tony Burman was pleased with taking maximum points in the opening three games and the consecutive away draws against tough opponents keeps his side unbeaten. The 2-2 draw at The Crabble against Dover Athletic was followed up with a goalless draw away to Chelmsford City. The Essex club have become a thorn in Dartford’s side after winning six in a row against them before Tuesday nights match.

Bromley are just two points and a place behind The Darts in fourth place. After the Kent Senior Cup Hayden Bird resigned in the Summer for the return of Mark Goldberg. A new Chairman in Ashley Reading was also installed at Hayes Lane and the arrival of Harry Harding from Reading and Hakeen Araba from Bishop’s Stortford. Dunk left for Conference Premier side Cambridge United, Wes Daly moved to Basingstoke Town and Warren McBean signed for Havant and Waterlooville.

Goldberg’s side opened this campaign with back to back victories against Hampton and Richmond and Boreham Wood. The Ravens were then defeated by Maidenhead United and thrashed 5-0 against Eastbourne Borough. On Tuesday they bounced back with 3-0 win versus new boys Sutton United.

Did you know?

A total of fourteen goals were scored in the fixtures between Dartford and Bromley last season.

Nine goals were scored in the two league meetings between the two sides. The highest aggregate against the same opponent last season. There was also a total of nine goals in Dartford’s defeats against Boreham Wood (1-3 and 1-4) and the results against Woking (2-2 and 3-2).

Bromley went on the longest winning streak in the league last season with seven consecutive victories from the opening day of the season. Woking equalled this record later on in the campaign.

Bromley failed to score in a third of their away games in the Conference South last season.

 

Stats and Trends – 29th August 2011

On This Day

1925 (A) – Bexleyheath, Drew 2-2
1936 (H) – Newport County Reserves, Won 3-1
1951 (H) – Guildford City, Lost 0-1 (Southern League Cup)
1953 (H) – Llanelly, Lost 0-2
1956 (A) – Gravesend & Northfleet, Lost 1-3 (Southern League Cup)
1959 (H) – Kettering Town, Won 6-1
1962 (H) – Gravesend & Northfleet, Won 3-1 (Southern League Cup)
1964 (A) – Bath City, Lost 0-2
1970 (H) – Bath City, Drew 0-0
1972 (H) – Tonbridge, Won 2-0 (Southern League Cup, 2nd leg)
1973 (A) – Gravesend & Northfleet, Lost 0-2 (Southern League Cup, 2nd leg)
1977 (A) – Hillingdon Borough, Won 1-0
1981 (H) – Barrow, Lost 0-2
1987 (H) – VS Rugby, Drew 1-1
1988 (A) – Aylesbury United, Won 1-0 (Southern League Challenge Match)
1992 (H) – Halesowen Town, Lost 0-1
1994 (H) – Folkestone Invicta, Lost 2-3
1998 (H) – Yate Town, Won 1-0
2000 (A) – Newport Isle of Wight, Lost 0-2
2009 (H) – Wealdstone, Drew 1-1

Trends

– The Darts have never lost to Bromley at Princes Park (Played 3, Won 2, Drawn 1).
– However, the Darts have not beaten Bromley in a league fixture since 1968 (13th November 1968, won 1-0)
– The Darts have not lost at home on this day since 1994, when Folkestone Invicta defeated us.

Ex Darts at Bromley
None

Records v Bromley
Played 57, Won 20, Drawn 13, Lost 22, For 92, Against 97

 

The Pure DFC Punter – 27th August 2011

A small profit is better than a small loss, and that’s what we got on Tuesday night down at Crabble. Backing the draw/Dartford double chance at 1.88 and over 2.5 goals at 1.70 makes up for the loss of one point as the Darts failed to maintain their 100% record.

Current state of play

+2.88 units

Saturday will see the Darts journey across to Chelmsford City, and it will be a tough game. The Darts are currently on a run of four games this season without defeat, but Chelmsford City have been somewhat a thorn in Dartford’s side over the last few games between the two clubs. In fact, Dartford have failed to avoid defeat in the last six matches between the clubs.

Key stats:

– No wins in the last six for the Darts against Chelmsford City.

– Only one victory away from home against Chelmsford since 1992 – the Darts won 4-1 at Billericay Town’s New Lodge on the 30th March 1998.

Bets of the match:

Again, the Darts are “underdogs” according to the bookmakers, and with the Darts side currently playing some decent football, we’ll be taking advantage of that, by backing the Darts at 2.88.

Dartford have gone into every half-time break ahead so far this season, and at 3.2, we’ll be backing this as well as backing the Darts to score first at 2.1.

1 point: Dartford to score first @ 2.1 (Bet 365)
1 point: Dartford to win @ 2.88 (Blue Square)
1 point: Dartford to be winning at HT @ 3.2 (Skybet)

P/L so far: +2.88 units

 

Stats and Trends – 27th August 2011

On This Day

1927 (H) v Bournemouth and Boscombe Reserves – won 1-0
1938 (H) v Cheltenham Town – drew 1-1
1949 (A) v Exeter City Reserves – drew 0-0
1952 (H) v Yeovil Town – lost 1-3
1955 (H) v Gloucester City – won 3-0
1960 (H) v Hereford United – won 6-1
1966 (A) v Crawley Town – lost 0-4
1969 (H) v Hillingdon Borough – lost 0-1 (Southern League Cup 2nd leg)
1974 (A) v Hastings United – lost 0-1 (Southern League Cup 1st leg)
1983 (H) v AP Leamington – won 2-0
1984 (H) v Kettering Town – lost 0-1
1988 (A) v Worcester City – lost 0-1
1990 (H) v Chelmsford City – drew 1-1
1994 (A) v Deal Town – lost 0-2
2001 (H) v Erith and Belvedere – won 4-0
2007 (H) v Aveley – won 4-0

Trends

– The Darts have never scored away from home on this day and won.
– The Darts played Chelmsford City on this day back in 1990, and shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw
– Dartford have lost the last six games in a row to Chelmsford City, which is their worst run against the Essex side in history.

Ex Darts at Chelmsford City
None

Records v Chelmsford City
Played 103, Won 35, Drawn 17, Lost 51, For 131, Against 162

 

Chelmsford City v Dartford

Dartford face their second consecutive away fixture on Saturday after picking up a point at The Crabble on Tuesday night to remain top of the table.

The Darts were settling into the Conference South when they met Chelmsford City at Melbourne Stadium last Bank Holiday August and were defeated with goals from Billy Bricknell and Anthony Cook.

Danny Harris against The Clarets

Tony Burman’s side have started to show their form from January onwards that guided them to tenth place last season. With three wins and a draw The Darts head the Conference South on goal difference and face The Clarets in fifteenth spot. An entertaining match at The Crabble on Tuesday could have ended with Dartford leading the table by two points but former Chelmsford City player Billy Bricknell rescued a point for Dover Athletic.

The Clarets lost their opening game 1-0 to new boys Truro City but bounced back with a 3-2 win against Havant and Waterlooville. On Monday night the Essex club shared the spoils with Farnborough drawing 2-2 and so they are still searching for their first home win. New strikers Cliff Akurang, who impressed with various clubs last season and Max Cornhill have netted in the last two games. Chelmsford City’s league top scorer from last season Dave Rainford is suspended for Saturday’s fixture.

Glenn Pennyfather was disappointed with the mid week draw after a fine performance against Havant and Waterlooville and expects more consistency from his side. Chelmsford City’s strong squad meant a promotion push was last season’s target and although they reached the playoffs they fell short in the semi finals. The Clarets were only beaten four times at home and failed to score on just three occasions. Like Dartford, Pennyfather’s side also enjoyed an F.A Cup run before losing to a League Two side, albeit against Wycombe Wanderers in a round further.

Pennyfather made numerous changes during the summer bringing back favourite Kezie Ibe from Farnborough and securing the services of Cliff Akurang who impressed with a number of clubs last season. The Clarets manager has also gone with experience by signing Justin Miller (Rushden and Diamonds), Sam Corcoran (Colchester United) and Joe Benjamin (Northampton Town). Alongside the former higher league players he has brought in another six players from Conference South level and lower including Greg Morgan from Boreham Wood and Kenny Clark from Thurrock.

Chelmsford City were one of the first sides to announce the release of players in the summer which surprisingly included Sam Higgins and Takumi Ake. Meanwhile Rob Edmans was snapped up by League Two’s Dagenham and Redbridge. With Akurang and Cornhill striking up a partnership and Ibe familiar with notching up goals at least Dartford will not have to worry about Billy Bricknell, after his move to Tuesday’s opponents Dover Athletic.

Melbourne Stadium home of Chelmsford City

Did you know…

Charlie Sheringham’s goal against Dover Athletic means he beat his personal record of scoring in three consecutive league matches for Dartford.

In fact Sheringham has netted in his last seven league outings and scored an impressive fourteen in his last twelve league fixtures.

Chelmsford City are one of three teams that completed the double over Dartford last season. Boreham Wood and Hampton and Richmond are the other two teams.

The Clarets were victorious in their first five home league matches in the 2010/2011 season and they didn’t concede a single goal.

 

The Pure DFC Punter – 23rd August 2011

It was certainly a good bet to have on Saturday when picking up +2.10 units after backing the Darts to be ahead at half-time.

Current state of play

+2.3 units

Tuesday night will be the traditional tight, local match as the Darts travel down to Dover Athletic. There have been a few tight matches against Dover in the past, and they will want to avenge last seasons two defeats at the hands of the Darts, particularly the 4-0 at Princes Park.

Dover lost seven at home in the league last year, and could put a case forward for needing to tighten up their home to increase their chances of getting into the promotion mix, and this season has seen them score four at home in their only match so far.

Key stats:

– In 7 of the last 12 matches against Dover, there has been over 2.5 goals.

– There have been no draws in the last six meetings between the two clubs.

Bets of the match:

This is a strange one so far – the bookmakers make Dover the overwhelming favourites, and following the injury to Dover keeper Lee Hook on Saturday, the Whites have brought in a new goalkeeper.

The Darts are as long as 1.88 with Unibet to draw or win down at Crabble, and we will definitely be taking one unit of that, as well as 3.85 with Unibet to win the match outright, as nearly 3/1 is far too long, in this page’s opinion.

The final bet will be for over 2.5 goals at a generous 1.7 with Victor Chandler.

1 unit Dartford/Draw double chance @ 1.88 (Unibet)
1 unit Dartford @ 3.85 (Unibet)
1 unit over 2.5 goals @ 1.7 (Victor Chandler)

P/L so far: +2.3 units