Dartford continue their quest to earn the title of best part time team against Woking on Easter Monday.
The Cards have had the upper hand over the Darts in recent years winning the Conference South title as well as this seasons earlier encounter. Dartford and Woking are amongst the top part time teams in the country. With the playoffs and relegation looking unlikely both sides will want something to play for until the end of April.
At Kingsfield Stadium in August, the Darts had a frustrating evening in Surrey losing their second match of the season. Lee Noble received two yellow cards before the first half finished, leaving the visitors playing out the rest of the game with ten men. A draw would have been satisfactory but when Adam Green upended former Welling United winger Loick Pires a penalty was controversially awarded. Substitute Giuseppe Sole struck the ball beyond Louis Wells to give Woking a 1-0 victory eight minutes from time.
Last season at Princes Park, the visitors got off to a perfect start taking the lead on four minutes when Alan Inns headed the opener. Just before the break Woking went two in front after Adam Doyle netted.
Dartford rallied in the second half and when James Rogers scored a diving header just after the hour the Darts had a lifeline. The Cards pulled away once more with four minutes to go courtesy of Elvis Hammond. In the final minute Jacob Erskine clawed a goal back again for the hosts but it wasn’t enough. The 3-2 scoreline was the exact reverse to the season before when it was the Darts who ran out winners.
Tony Burman guided the Darts to a decent away result on Easter weekend against fourth place Newport County. The trip to Wales ended 0-0 keeping Dartford in twelfth position. The Kent side have now recorded four blanks in front of goal in their last five matches and picked up three away points from the last 33 available. At home, the Darts have been a difference proposition tasting defeat just once in their last eight home matches in the Conference Premier.
Meanwhile, Garry Hill’s side also picked up a point at Kingsfield Stadium maintaining the three point cushion over Dartford. Joe McNerney put through his own net a minute before half time but the goal was cancelled out by Kevin Betsy’s twelfth of the season. Woking’s draw means the club have drawn five of their last six fixtures.
Steve Thompson, coach spoke to BBC Surrey Sport after the 1-1 draw and said: “We looked a little tired today, but we fully deserved the point and I thought we were the team pushing for the win”, he added: “It’s been a very tough week and obviously we would have liked to get more than three points from three games”.
Woking took a while to settle back into Conference Premier football after three years away. Winning just two of their first seven the Cards thrashed Nuneaton Town 6-1 in September giving the side confidence. After some inconsistency and a 7-0 defeat at Hyde, Garry Hill’s side was propelled into action as they went on to win six of their next seven matches. Mid-table form has returned to the Surrey club who can be pleased with their first season back at the top of non league football.
Mark Arber returns from suspension for his red card at Hereford United last week. Csaba Somogyi celebrated his Dartford début with a clean sheet at Newport County on Saturday. The Hungarian goalkeeper on loan from Fulham started ahead of the injured Louis Wells. Danny Harris missed the match on the weekend with a hamstring problem he picked up against Gateshead
Lee Noble will make his 150th start in a Dartford shirt if selected, the midfielder has also made 65 substitute appearances scoring 28 times for the Darts. If in the starting eleven Tom Champion will make his 150th appearance, four of which have been off the subs bench, the midfielder is also one booking from suspension and suffered a broken nose on Saturday.
Head to Head
Dartford wins: 2 / Woking wins: 3 / Draws: 1 / Dartford goals: 10 / Woking goals: 12
Current League Form
|Dartford (DLWLLW)||Woking (DDDDWD)|
|Newport County||A||0-0||Hereford United||H||1-1|
|Hereford United||A||0-1||Nuneaton Town||A||0-0|
|Hyde||A||0-3||AFC Telford United||H||5-2|
14 August 2012 – Woking 1 Dartford 0 – Att: 1846
Scorer: Sole 82 (pen)
The Cards Lineup: Howe, Newton, Cestor, Johnson, McNerney, Ricketts, Sawyer, Betsy, Pires, Bubb, Williams (subs used: Sinclair, McCullum, Sole)
The Darts Lineup: Wells, Burns, Bonner, Arber, Green, Harris, Champion, Bradbrook, Rogers, Erskine, Noble (subs used: Collier, Rose, Crawford)
Previous Meetings (* = F.A Cup)
Dartford (26) and Woking (25) have used the fewest players in the Conference Premier this season
Prior the last two meetings which ended 1-0, the previous four games averaged 4.75 goals a game between the two sides.
Woking have scored the most goals in the opening fifteen matches out of any other Conference Premier club. The chart below shows when both sides are most potent in front of goal.