Dartford will make the short trip to local rivals Welling United on Friday night to play their rescheduled Conference Premier fixture.
The Darts have not taken to a football pitch this year as the weather has caused havoc across the South of England. After the Boxing Day defeat, the Darts were due to take on the Wings on New Years Day until the harsh conditions forced a second festive postponement.
Friday’s return fixture at Park View Road will be the third time the two sides have met this season, having also being paired up in the Kent Senior Cup back in September. On Boxing Day, the Wings gained the upper hand by coming from behind to defeat the Darts 2-1.
Lee Burns gave Dartford the lead with half hour played, following up Lee Butcher’s fumble from Dave Martin’s effort. The Wings came from behind in the space of six second half minutes when top scorer Ross Lafayette netted his eighth of the season and Kurtis Guthrie grabbed the winner ten minutes from time.
Tony Burman spoke to BBC Radio Kent after the game and said: “In the majority of the game we’ve had something to aim for, but we needed a second goal. I’m disappointed because it’s got to hurt, it’s a massive blow, the run we’re on”, he added: “They’ve got to run through a brick wall for me and for this club, that was explained when they got here. We were 1-0 up and we let Welling dictate second half because we didn’t do what was asked at half-time”.
A break in on field activity has meant Burman has been able to tweak his squad by releasing Matthew Fry. Adam Birchall has returned to his parent club, Gillingham leaving space to fill. Jim Stevenson has extended his loan spell for another month whilst Rory McAuley and Andy Pugh join the Darts.
McAuley made the most league appearances for Cambridge United last term and has spent time with Conference South side Chelmsford City. The 24 year old defender suffered an ankle injury after just two starts this season. Pugh is more known in the Kent scene having played for Welling United and made one loan appearance for Ebbsfleet United this campaign. Pugh was signed by Cambridge United after impressing at the Wings scoring an average of one every two matches.
Since Welling United’s victory at Princes Park they have been in action against Aldershot Town. Top goalscorer Ross Lafayette headed the Wings in front five minutes into the second half but the afternoon took a turn. With just over 20 minutes to play central defender Blaine Hudson picked up a second caution after conceding a penalty. Brett Williams scored the spot kick and with a man advantage the Shots completed the turn around. Aiden O’Brien was the beneficiary as he netted a double to condemn Welling United to their eighth league defeat of the campaign.
Almost four months ago, a mixture of Dartford first team and academy players won at Park View Road in the Kent Senior Cup with two late goals. Mohamed Eisa’s first half goal was cancelled out by Loick Pires, but late strikes from Alex Woodyard and Brima Daramy was too much for the Wings despite Loui Fazakerley’s consolation.
However, the last league meeting at Park View Road took place on Boxing Day two years ago. Lee Clarke gave the hosts a first half lead from a penalty and with time running out the hosts were awarded another spot kick. Saved by Louis Wells, the Dartford goalkeeper set up a counter attack which Noble got on the end of to rescue a point.
Lee Noble is suspended after his second red card of the season. The midfielder was dismissed against Alfreton Town and already missed the Boxing Day defeat to Welling United. Ryan Hayes is still out injured and has been out for several weeks. Alex Woodyard is one caution away from a suspension. Matt Fry has left the club by mutual consent, the defender signed from Concord Rangers in the summer and made 15 league appearances.
Blaine Hudson is suspended for the second time this season following his dismissal versus Aldershot Town. The central defender also missed the Boxing Day clash at Princes Park. Fellow defender Doug Bergqvist has had his loan spell extended until March and is one more yellow card away from suspension. Baily Cargill has also had his loan spell extended until 22 January, the defender has made nine league appearances for the Wings. Jake Gallagher has been out injured whilst Kurtis Guthrie and Joe Healy are both on four cautions this term. Loick Pires has suffered a leg fracture and is set to miss the local derby.
Head to Head
Dartford wins: 15 / Welling United wins: 9 / Draws: 5
Current League Form
|Welling United (LWDDLD)||Dartford (LLLLLL)|
|Aldershot Town||A||1-3||Welling United||H||1-2|
|Wrexham||H||1-1||FC Halifax Town||H||1-2|
Last League Meeting At Park View Road
26 December 2011 – Welling United 1 Dartford 1 – Att: 1815
Goalscorers: Clarke (38 pen), Noble (90)
The Wings Lineup: Pope, Evans, Obersteller, Day, Parkinson, Martin, Healy, Clarke, Cumbers, Pugh, Pires (sub used: Johnson)
The Darts Lineup: Wells, Jones, Green, Bonner, Essam, Champion, Hayes, Wallis, Garrod, Bradbrook, Harris
(subs used: Erskine, Graham, Noble)
Previous Five Meetings (* – Playoff Final / ** – Kent Senior Cup)
5 – number of league defeats Dartford have suffered after scoring the first goal
Welling United have won once in their last seven league games. However, at Park View Road they have lost just once in the Conference Premier in seven fixtures
Dartford are on a run of 10 consecutive league defeats, away they have not won in ten attempts picking up two points from the last 30 available on the road.