Rss

Archives for : August2014

Dartford v AFC Telford United

The Darts host Conference North champions AFC Telford United after spending a year apart from each other.

Paths could have easily crossed in the summer but Dartford’s survival means they will face the Bucks for the first time since April 2013. Both meetings in 2012/2013 were significant in some way for AFC Telford United.

In October 2012, Dartford was brushed aside at home in a 4-1 defeat. The win for the Bucks was their last victory before an awful sequence of results. If Dartford fans were put through the mill last term then spare a thought for their opponents who went 30 games without a win, setting a Conference Premier record.

The return fixture signalled AFC Telford United’s final defeat before they broke their unwanted sequence. Charlie Sheringham scored and set up Jason Prior to record a 2-0 triumph for the Darts. AFC Telford United were relegated after that tumultuous campaign but credit is due as they bounced back at the first attempt, taking the Conference North title. The Bucks held off North Ferriby United by three points to return to the Conference Premier.

A tough start for Tony Burman’s men has left the side in the bottom four with two points on the board looking for their first win. Over the Bank Holiday, the Darts grabbed a well deerved point when hosting Torquay United but felt two points had been squandered after Elliot Bradbrook missed a penalty.

On Monday, Dartford made the trip to the Hive to take on a Barnet side who has started their campaign brightly. For the third game running the Darts failed to find the back of the net. Meanwhile, Barnet’s Lee Cook took forty minutes to complete a hat trick to give the hosts a resounding 4-0 victory. Former Ebbsfleet United striker John Akinde opened the scoring for the Bees giving Barnet their third succesive win against Dartford without conceding.

AFC Telford United have yet to get to grips with the Conference Premier since their return. The Shropshire club picked up their first point on the opening day of the campaign against Welling United. Defeats at home to Macclesfield Town and Aldershot Town was followed by another at Bristol Rovers.

The Bucks Bank Holiday Monday fixture against Liam Watson’s former club Southport ended in a six goal thriller with both sides sharing the points. AFC Telford United join Dartford on two points but moved out of the relegation zone.

The Bucks had to come from three times and with ten men to earn a draw at home to the Soundgrounders. Johnny Gorman scored a free kick which was cancelled out by Phenix but just before the interval Richard Brodie made it 2-1 to Southport. Godfrey Poku was dismissed on with hardly any of the second half played. Tony Gray levelled the game but Brodie put the visitors back ahead. In the final minute, Phenix ensured the match would end up 3-3.

Managed by Liam Watson, the former Southport boss has continued to enhance his reputation. Watson led the Sandgrounders to the Conference Premier and kept the Merseyside club there. Now he has turned fortunes around in Shropshire making up for AFC Telford United’s managerial instability of two seasons ago, when they went through four bosses in under two months.

Team News

Lee Burns is likely to miss a third match in a row after suffering from cracked ribs. Peter Sweeney is working on getting match fit but has featured regularly so far this season.

AFC Telford United’s Godfrey Poku will begin his suspension for his red card. Chris Lever is continuing his come back from injury whilst Rod McDonald and Mike Grogan returned over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Head to Head (includes playing Telford United)

Dartford wins: 15 / AFC Telford United wins: 14 / Draws: 8

Current Form

Dartford (?DLDL) AFC Telford United (?LLLD)
Barnet A 0-4 Southport H 3-3
Torquay United H 0-0 Bristol Rovers A 0-1
Kidderminster Harriers A 0-1 Aldershot Town H 0-2
Woking A 1-1 Macclesfield Town H 2-3
Wrexham H 1-2 Welling United A 1-1

Last Meeting at Princes Park

9 October 2012 – Dartford 1 AFC Telford United 4 – Att: 1359

Goalscorer: Jones (35), Jones (37), Hubbins (55), Trainer (69), Bradbrook (75)

Dartford Lineup: Bettinelli, Burns, Bonner, Arber, Rose, Noble, Bradbrook, Champion, Hayes, Crawford, Birchall (subs used: Wallis, Harris, Erskine)

AFC Telford United Lineup: Young, Salmon, Hubbins, Rose, Chilvers, Davies, Trainer, Leslie, Taylor, Jones, Spray (subs used: Brown, Roberts, Sharp)

Match Stats

dfc v afctu match stats

Previous Six Meetings

06.04.2013 Telford United 0 Dartford 2
07.10.2012 Dartford 1 Telford United 4
02.11.1985 Telford United 2 Dartford 1
07.09.1985 Dartford 2 Telford United 1
30.04.1985 Telford United 1 Dartford 2
01.09.1984 Dartford 0 Telford United 0

League Stats

3 – Number of players AFC Telford United have had sent off, more than any other club this season

6 – AFC Telford United have gone six Conference Premier matches without a victory, their last coming on 13 April 2013

9 – Dartford have now gone nine league games without a win

37 – The Bucks have gone 37 games without consecutive wins in the Conference Premier, the longest sequence in the division

 

 

Barnet v Dartford

Bank Holiday football returns on Monday with the Darts making a short journey to Barnet and hoping to bag their first victory.

It’s been a tough start for Dartford playing four teams expecting to push for a return to the Football League. After one point gained in the opening three matches, coming within minutes of winning at Woking sandwiched by two defeats to Wrexham and Kidderminster Harriers, the Darts faced Torquay United on Saturday,who were relegated from League Two last season.

The Darts doubled their points tally with a 0-0 draw against the Gulls but could have easily earned all three. Elliot Bradbrook’s penalty miss just after half time was the closest Dartford came. Earlier in the match Jason Brown made a fantastic double stop in the Dartford goal and at the other end Andy Pugh’s header was well saved by Martin Rice. With Lee Burns missing through injury, Nathan Collier filled in at right back with a man of the match performance and Ryan Hayes made is first start of the campaign.

ghghgggh

ghghgggh

Harry Crawford will return to the Hive where he scored just three in 39 appearances for the Bees. Dartford failed to score in back to back matches against Barnet last season when they played consecutive Conference Premier games against one another. The Bees came out on top on both occasions with a 2-0 win at Princes Park followed by a 1-0 triumph at the Hive. In the corresponding fixture John Nurse’s goal after half an hour was enough for Barnet who held on when Player Manager Edgar Davids was sent off for two bookable offences.

Led by the experienced Martin Allen, Barnet got off to a wonderful start this term with a convincing 5-0 away win at Chester. The Bees also won their first home game of the campaign against Bristol Rovers, with summer signing from and former Ebbsfleet United striker John Akinde getting on the scoresheet.

Barnet’s one hundred percent record disappeared thanks to an inspirational team talk involving jelly babies. Hosting Lincoln City, the Imps boss Gary Simpson relied on some jelly babies to talk tactics as the away side’s coach failed to turn up, with the tactic board stranded. The Bees lost 2-1 and were unable to salvage any points after conceding two early goals, their first of the season.

On the weekend, the Hertfordshire club traveled to Nuneaton Town and Charlie MacDonald’s brace was enough for Barnet to maintain their decent start to the season. The striker scored two in five minutes early in the first half, the first from the spot after Anton Brown handled in the box. His second came from close range but MacDonald was denied a hat trick when his second penalty was saved. Barnet’s third win in four leaves them in fourth spot.

Head to Head

Barnet wins: 14 / Dartford wins: 9 / Draws: 3

Last Meeting at The Hive

7 December 2013 – Barnet 1 Dartford 0 – Att: 1461

Goalscorer: Nurse (30)

Barnet Lineup: Stack, Saville, Stephens, Abdulla, Weston, Yiadom, Gambin, Villa Lopez, Marsh-Brown, Davids, Sykes (subs used: Cadogan, Byrne, Nurse)

Dartford Lineup: Smith, Clark, Essam, Sterling, Noble, Bradbrook, Martin, Stevenson, Burns, Harris, Birchall (subs used: Collier, Dembele)

Match Stats

barnet v dartford match stats3

Previous Six Meetings

07.12.2013 Barnet 1 Dartford 0
26.11.2013 Dartford 0 Barnet 2
03.11.1987 Dartford 1 Barnet 3
04.01.1986 Dartford 5 Barnet 3
01.10.1985 Barnet 2 Dartford 0
15.12.1984 Dartford 2 Barnet 0

 

 

Dartford v Torquay United

Dartford will host former Football League side Torquay United for the first time this weekend and will be hoping to cause an upset.

The Darts have started their campaign with matches against Wrexham, Woking and Kidderminster Harriers picking up one point in the process. The tough opening continues with the Gulls followed by an away trip to Barnet. Torquay United on the other hand, visited Gateshead, hosted Welling United before facing Southport and have managed three points more than the Darts.

ghghg

Burman feels a win is round the corner

Last weekend a second defeat of the season left Dartford still searching for their first victory. Kidderminster Harriers looked competent and comfortable taking the lead just before half time through Kyle Storer. Despite another loss, Tony Burman feels his side deserve more than the points tally they have, he told www.newsshopper.co.uk: “We could be sitting here at the end of the first week and we could have had six points without any doubt, but unfortunately it was not to be”, he added: “I do not think we are doing a lot wrong, but hopefully the breaks will come our way and we will get our first win over the weekend”.

Burman has been pleased with performances and the squad as a whole looks much improved compared to a year ago. During the summer Burman already planned to rotate his players having signed enough to provide competition in midfield and up front. With Nathan Collier and Lee Burns also available their versatility adds extra cover on the park. Tom Bradbrook has started his second spell with the club by picking up the PureDFC man of the match vote on the first day of the season. Andy Pugh and Elliot Bradbrook have been recognised amongst the supporters and Peter Sweeney’s first start was promising at Woking. Meanwhile, striker Harry Crawford and winger Ryan Hayes have yet to start which shows the depth within the squad this term.

Whilst Dartford’s opponents have a wealth of Football League experience, Dartford have spent more full season’s in the Conference Premier, now totalling five compared to Torquay United’s two. The Darts will want to make the most of their reprieve whilst their visitors are chasing a return to League Two.

It took the Gulls two attempts last time they played Conference Premier football having finished third in 2007/08 then fourth the next year. A playoff semi final defeat to rivals Exeter City was forgotten the following season when they won the playoff final versus Cambridge United. The Gulls also lost the F.A Trophy final to Dartford’s local rivals Ebbsfleet United, during their last stint at this level.

The Devonshire club have had an average start tasting a 3-1 defeat on the opening day at Gateshead, a 3-0 win at home to Welling United followed by a 0-0 draw versus Southport. Chris Hargreaves is the man in charge at Plainmoor where he spent three years making over 100 appearances for the club. His squad looks fairly new with many faces moving in and out of the Devonshire club. Louis Briscoe, Luke Young, Ryan Bowman, Angus MacDonald have all featured in the opening fixtures with Toby Ajala mainly appearing as a substitute.

Bowman has played against Dartford before whilst at Hereford United two season’s ago and in the same campaign Louis Briscoe faced the Darts in Mansfield Town colours. At the back Angus MacDonald formerly of Salisbury City has represented England at under 16 and under 19 level and the England C team.

Team News

Lee Burns will be out of action this weekend after picking up a rib injured when he collided with goalkeeper Jason Brown. Defender Ronnie Vint has signed for Southern Counties East League side Cray Valley Paper Mills and Kaka Dembele moves to Leatherhead of the Isthmian Premier League. Both players have signed on dual registration meaning they are still available for selection.

Ryan Bowman will be missing for the visitors when he was red carded on Saturday. With 20 minutes gone in the match against Southport, Bowman head butted Scott Kay. The decision wasn’t questioned by boss Chris Hargreaves who said the referee had no option but to send his player off.

Stats

dartford v torquay

Kidderminster Harriers v Dartford

This weekend Dartford play their second successive away game of the season when they take on Kidderminster Harriers.

Since returning to the Conference Premier the Darts have a decent record against their opponents. Last season Dartford beat the Harriers twice, one of only two doubles Tony Burman’s side achieved. In Dartford’s return to the Conference Premier the club recorded their first win in the top flight of non league football for 26 years.

MaxCornhill

Cornhill one of Dartford’s scorers last time

At Aggborough last time out, two first half goals were enough for the Darts to claim all three points and their first victory in three months. After just three minutes Max Cornhill headed Dartford in front when he got on the end of Alex Woodyard’s cross. The lead was doubled half way through the first period, Alex Wall’s shot was parried by Harriers goalkeeper Danny Lewis and Andy Pugh netted the rebound. Kidderminster Harriers started the second half quickly but Michael Gash’s goal wasn’t enough for the hosts.

The earlier meeting between the two sides ended 3-0 to Dartford at Princes Park. Jason Prior, Elliot Bradbrook and Danny Harris were all on the score sheet just under a year ago. At the same venue the previous campaign, the Darts won their first fixture back in Conference Premier with a Lee Burns winner in the first half.

Matches against Kidderminster Harriers haven’t always ended with a favourable outcome. In December 2012, the Harriers won on their own patch 5-1. Jacob Erskine equalised for Dartford after the visitors fell behind to a Cheyenne Dunkley strike. Jamille Matt’s brace, Mike Williams and Lee Vaughan completed a miserable day for the Darts.

Dartford’s campaign has got off to a promising start performance wise, yet they only have one point to their name. An opening day defeat to Wrexham was followed up by an agonising draw at Woking. The Darts matched the Cards on Tuesday night at a ground where they normally struggle. Rory McAuley put Dartford in front with a header and in the final minute substitute Giuseppe Sole equalised.

Tony Burman was once again pleased with his players he told kentonline.co.uk: “We were all really gutted after the game because we’d done so well”, he added: “I would have accepted one point before the game but it was a difficult pill to swallow”. The Darts boss has also hinted at the prospect of rotating the matchday squads and with Ryan Hayes yet to feature the midfielder may well get his chance.

Kidderminster Harriers disappointed last term and a change of manager indicated they were falling short in obtaining their aim of returning to the Football League. This time the Harriers have yet to concede in their opening two fixtures by earning a 0-0 draw at Lincoln City and a 3-0 win at home to Alfreton Town.

cheydunkley

Dunkley has started the season in good form

Dunkley headed the hosts in front on Tuesday night from a Kyle Storer corner. In the second half, the same combination of Storer and Dunkley made it 2-0. A third was added six minutes from time when Marvin Johnson scored his first for the season. Mark Creighton, one of managers Gary Whild’s coaches put his sides success down to work rate, he told www.harriers.co.uk:  “The thing I know about Gary Whild having played for him, is that lads will run through brick walls for him”.

With two clean sheets and a defender top scoring so far the back line are in good condition. Dunkley and Josh Gowling have been part of the Harriers back four for a couple of season’s now. Jared Hodgkiss has joined the pair from Forest Green Rovers along with the experienced former Torquay United full back Kevin Nicholson. The Darts may find it tough to break through but will have to keep an eye on strikers available to Gary Whild’s. Michael Gash and Marvin Johnson maybe familiar to most with new additions Ahmed Obeng, Craig Reid and ex Forest Green Rovers forward Reece Styche also part of the squad.

Head to Head

Kidderminster Harriers wins: 11 / Dartford wins: 12  / Draws: 7

Last Meeting at Aggborough

21 January 2014 – Kidderminster Harriers 1 Dartford 2 – Att: 1580

Goalscorers: Cornhill (3), Pugh (23), Gash (49)

Harriers Lineup: Lewis, Demetriou, Vaughan, Gowling, Byrne, Storer, Jackman, Fowler, Morgan-Smith, Gash, Johnson (subs used: Malbon, Cieslewicz, Aloi)

Dartford Lineup: Julian, Sterling, McAuley, Mitchel-King, Bradbrook, Woodyard, Stevenson, Burns, Cornhill, Pugh, Wall (sub used: Kamara)

Match Stats

kidderminster v dartford stats
Previous Six Meetings

21.01.2014 Kidderminster Harriers 1 Dartford 2
21.09.2013 Dartford 3 Kidderminster Harriers 0
22.12.2012 Kidderminster Harriers 5 Dartford 1
25.08.2012 Dartford 1 Kidderminster Harriers 0
29.03.1986 Kidderminster Harriers 4 Dartford 1
05.10.1985 Dartford 5 Kidderminster Harriers 1

Woking v Dartford

Dartford will aim to get off the mark in their first away trip of the season tomorrow night against Woking.

With the exception of two previous meetings this fixture has seen three goals or more scored. Last season, both matches were one sided with the home team triumphing convincingly. At the Kingfield Stadium three unanswered strikes in the space of fourteen second half minutes left Woking in full control. Loan striker from Ipswich Town, Jack Marriott scored his first goal for the Cards, Scott Rendell added another and Joe McNerney sealed the 3-0 win.

Scott Rendell scores against the Darts last season

Scott Rendell scores against the Darts last season

At Princes Park, later in the season Dartford won 5-1 having fallen a goal behind to a Rendell effort. A minute later on loan striker Alex Wall equalised and then the visitors had Joey Jones dismissed. The Darts cashed in on the extra man advantage with four more goals from Wall, a brace from Max Cornhill and a last minute strike by Lee Noble.

The short trip to Surrey has been tricky for Dartford, apart from a 2-2 draw at the Kingfield Stadium in November 2010 the Darts have lost their last three without finding the back of the net. Back to back 1-0 wins for Woking in February and August 2012 arrived in their Conference South title winning campaign then in the early stages of their Conference Premier return.

The Darts lost their opening fixture of 2014/15 on Saturday to Wrexham after falling behind twice. Tony Burman handed first league starts to goalkeeper Jason Brown and Luke Daley. Whilst Rory McAuley, Adam Green, Andy Pugh and Tom Bradbrook all started second spells for the club. New signing Peter Sweeney took some part from off the bench as did striker Harry Crawford.

Wrexham’s new signing of their own, Wes York put the visitors ahead with half an hour played. The former Nuneaton Town man headed in Connor Jenning’s cross. Dartford matched their opponents and deservedly equalised early in the second half, Lee Noble delivered a corner for Tom Bradbrook to open his second goalscoring account for the Darts. With twelve minutes to go another former Nuneaton Town striker Louis Moult put York through on goal who netted his second. Over the past two season’s the pair have been troublesome for Dartford scoring winners for the Boro and now for Wrexham.

Despite defeat the feeling around Princes Park is that of optimism as the performance and squad looks to have improved from a year ago. Tony Burman spoke to kentonline.co.uk after the game and said: “I don’t think we deserved to lose the game. I’m disappointed in respect of the result but I’m pleased with what I saw out there. There were a lot of positives for us”. Kevin Wilkin, the Wrexham boss praised the Darts after the match applauding the fact his side were pushed all the way to the end.

New signing Tom Bradbrook scored on the weekend

New signing Tom Bradbrook scored on the weekend

Woking managed to beat Alfreton Town to kick start their campaign, however they will hope the Alfreton Town curse will not affect them this term. Ever since promotion to the Conference Premier, the team who has beaten the Reds on the opening day has ended up in the relegation season at the end of April.

The Cards also fell behind but this time they managed to turn the tables. Lee Stevenson’s drive put Alfreton Town ahead but the goal was cancelled out by Woking’s débutante Dean Morgan. Rendell continued his goalscoring exploits on from last season and two in the space of eight minuted clinched the three points for the Surrey side. Manager, Garry Hill was delighted with the opening day result and felt is Woking side deserved victory.

Rendell will be the player to contain for the Dartford defence, the 27 year old top scored for the Cards last term which included two against Dartford, one in each match. The former Cambridge United, Wycombe Wanderers and Luton Town striker netted 17 league goals in 2013/14.

Hill believes his current squad is the strongest he has assembled since being in charge at Kingfield. As well as Morgan, over the summer the Woking boss brought back Keiran Murtagh who had played for the Cards in their Conference South title winning campaign. Theo Lewis and James Clarke were signed from Salisbury City, Jake Cole arrived as a back up goalkeeper and Joey Jones, who was red carded against the Darts last time, made his loan spell permanent.

Team News

Elliot Bradbrook who hardly featured in pre season appeared for the full ninety minutes against Wrexham. The captain had been carrying an ankle injury. Ryan Hayes is yet to make a competitive appearance after his long term injury last campaign, the winger was named amongst the substitutes on the weekend.

Head to Head

Woking wins: 4 / Dartford wins: 4 / Draws: 1

Last Meeting at Kingfield Stadium

12 November 2013 – Woking 3 Dartford 0 – Att: 1157

Goalscorers: Marriott (63), Rendell (47), McNerney (77)

Woking Lineup: Beasant, Nutter, Parkinson, McNerney, Newton, Betsy, Payne, Banya, Ricketts, Marriott, Rendell (subs used: Cestor, Goddard, Sole)

Dartford Lineup: Julian, Clark, Fry, Mitchel-King, Noble, Cornhill, Burns, Woodyard, Hayes, Godden, Birchall (subs used: Harris, Sterling, Prior)

Match Stats

woking v dartford stats
Previous Meetings (* – F.A Cup)

18.02.2014 Dartford 5 Woking 1
12.11.2013 Woking 3 Dartford 0
01.04.2013 Dartford 4 Woking 1
14.08.2012 Woking 1 Dartford 0
18.02.2012 Woking 1 Dartford 0
13.12.2011 Dartford 2 Woking 3
09.04.2011 Dartford 3 Woking 2
27.11.2010 Woking 2 Dartford 2
21.10.1972* Dartford 3 Woking 2

 

Dartford v Wrexham

New and familiar faces will begin their campaigns against Wrexham at Princes Park this weekend.

The Darts finished in the relegation zone last time out but were saved when Hereford United and Salisbury City failed to secure a place in this season’s competition.

Tony Burman had prepared for life in the Conference South until news of the reprieve. The Dartford boss was ‘devastated’ when relegation was confirmed on Easter Monday, however by June those emotions turned to excitement when it was confirmed the Darts will remain in the Conference Premier.

hghgh

Crawford is one of many to return to Princes Park this summer

Over the summer the club has signed Tom Bradbrook, bringing the striker back to the club he left six years ago. Brother of captain Elliot, the 27 year old impressed Burman at Leatherhead. Adam Green, Rory McAuley, Andy Pugh and more recently Harry Crawford have also returned to Princes Park. The only players to have not played for the Darts before is goalkeeper Jason Brown and midfielder’s Luke Daley and Peter Sweeney.

Crawford spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk in the build up to the season opener, he said: “I like it here. I’ve had good times here, I like the club, I like the set-up, I know how it works and the fans have been brilliant here. I just feel happy here”.

Sweeney only signed this week and has had no pre season with the club. The 29 year old played in a F.A Cup final with Millwall when the Lions lost to Manchester United. He has also been promoted twice, once with Stoke City and once with Bury.

Wrexham will have fond memories of their last visit to Princes Park when they came from a goal down to win 5-1. Lee Burns opened the scoring after just three minutes when he overlapped onto Lee Noble’s pass. Wrexham then outclassed the Darts hitting four goals before half time. Brett Ormerod scored two, Joe Clarke and Rob Ogleby all found the net all within a twenty minute spell. In the second half, Dartford kept the score down but the visitors still had time to add a fifth when Johnny Hunt netted in the 76th minute.

The Welsh club disappointingly finished the campaign in 17th place and a change of manager at the tail end of the season has seen some player movement this summer. New boss Kevin Wilkin has replaced last season’s top scorer Johnny Hunt with Louis Moult and Connor Jennings.

ghghgh

Moult enjoying his hat trick against the Darts

Moult scored five against the Darts last term for Wilkin’s former club Nuneaton Town, including a hat trick on the final day of the season. Whilst Jennings is another to watch, the striker scored 16 goals in 16 games on loan at Macclesfield Town last season, including a brace against Dartford in November.

Wilkin also bolstered his squad by linking back up with former Nuenaton Town winger Wes York. Blaine Hudson who spent time in Kent last term at Welling United has been brought in to strengthen the defence.

In preparation for 2014/15, Dartford started pre season against former landlords Thurrock. McAuley celebrated a new deal with the winner against the Isthmian Division One North side. A host of Football League clubs tested Dartford’s fitness levels, Millwall, Leyton Orient and Gillingham all visited Princes Park and won. Another defeat to Isthmian Division One North champions VCD Athletic followed with Tom Bradbrook scoring for the Darts.

Meanwhile, Wrexham started with a win against Swansea under 21’s although defender Neil Ashton suffered a nasty head injury. Colwyn Bay were defeated 2-0 with the two former Nuneaton Town boys York and Moult scoring. A young squad lost to Prestatyn before the Welsh side notched another victory over AFC Flyde and a draw versus Rhyl.

Two years ago, Dartford dented Wrexham’s title hopes at Princes Park in a 2-1 win. After falling behind to Danny Wright’s shot from just inside the box, the Darts left it late to claim three points. On loan Jack Evans equalised and as the game headed to a close Elliot Bradbrook headed a dramatic last minute winner.

Team News

Captain Elliot Bradbrook has struggled with injury during pre season getting limited match time. Last season’s top scorer damaged his ankle in training and has since played just 135 minutes of football.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 2 / Wrexham wins: 1 / Draws: 1

Last Five Season Openers

Dartford Wrexham
Alfreton Town H 1-0 Welling United H 2-1
Tamworth H 2-3 Woking H 3-1
Weston Super-Mare A 4-0 Cambridge United H 1-1
Havant & Waterlooville H 2-2 Cambridge United H 1-0
Horsham H 3-2 Eastbourne Borough H 3-0
Hendon A 0-3 Stevenage H 5-0

Last Meeting at Princes Park

19 November 2013 – Dartford 1 Wrexham 5 – Att:816

Goalscorers: Burns (3), Ormerod (15, 34), Clarke (23), Ogleby (31), Hunt (76)

Dartford Lineup: Forecast, Mitchel-King, Fry, Clark, Burns, Martin, Woodyard, Collier, Noble, Birchall, Godden (subs used: Sterling, Cornhill, Harris)

Wrexham Lineup: Coughlin, Wright, Ashton, Artell, Harris, Hunt, Carrington, Clarke, Keates, Ogleby, Ormerod (subs used: Morrell, Cieslewicz, Bailey-Jones)

Match Stats

dfc v wfc match stats
Previous Meetings

08.02.2014 Wrexham 1 Dartford 2
19.11.2013 Dartford 1 Wrexham 5
09.03.2013 Dartford 2 Wrexham 1
22.09.2012 Wrexham 2 Dartford 2

 

Dartford’s summer signings

Tony Burman has brought back five players to Princes Park, a former Welsh international goalkeeper and added youth to this season’s squad.

At the back, Jason Brown has three Wales caps to his name, the 32 year old goalkeeper has been signed from Sutton United to replace Alan Julian who went the other way. Brown started his senior career out at Gillingham and has also played nine times for Blackburn Rovers.

Left back, Adam Green returns to Princes Park as does Rory McAuley, Green wore the Darts shirt between 2011 and 2013 and made 75 appearances scoring seven times. McAuley spent last season on loan from Cambridge United and his impressive displays formed a strong pairing with Mat Mitchel-King. The former U’s defender featured in 18 league matches for Dartford last term and scored his only goal on the final day of the season.

After impressing during pre season Luke Daley moves to Princes Park from Braintree Town. The former Norwich City youth team midfielder made 60 appearances for the Iron and scored eight goals. Most recently, Peter Sweeney will take the number 16 shirt to add to the midfield. The Glaswegian has plenty of Football League experience reaching the F.A Cup final with Millwall and earning a runners up medal. At Stoke City he played five games when the Potters won promotion to the Premier League. The 29 year old won a third runners up medal with Bury when the Shakers won promotion to League One.

Most significantly, Burman has looked at his front line and decided better quality strikers were needed. Andy Pugh is the second loan player from last season to return, the former Welling United and Cambridge United man spent four Conference Premier games with the Darts last term scoring twice. At Welling United he managed to finish the 2011/12 Conference South campaign as top scorer earning his move to Cambridge United.

Two more familiar face return to the club, Harry Crawford who was released by Barnet in the summer and Tom Bradbrook who played for Dartford in 2007/08. Crawford has already had two spells at Princes Park with the first in the Darts return to the Conference Premier two years ago. The 22 year old impressed with his 13 league strikes in 26 games and was signed by Barnet, who later returned Crawford back to Dartford on loan where he scored another goal in the two games he featured in.

Tom Bradbrook will team up with brother Elliot who signed a new contract in the summer. Tom previously helped Burman’s squad win the Isthmian Division One North title back in 2008 winning the Young Player of the Year award. For the club he has scored six goals in eight starts and 26 substitute appearances. The hard working forward has since represented Sittingbourne and Margate and was signed by the Darts from Leatherhead.

From the academy some of the players have limited first team experience in the Conference Premier and thanks to the Kent Senior Cup. Becka-Kah Dembele, who featured alongside Cristiano Ronaldo in the latest Nike advert made three substitute appearances in the league. Femi Akinwande, Kieran Scantlebury, Ebrima Adams and Ronnie Vint also featured from the bench. Whilst Bode Anidugbe only took part in a couple of county cup fixtures.

Wrexham

Racecourse Ground Founded 1864 The Red Dragons

Wrexham were relegated from the Football League six years ago and since competing in the Conference Premier have finished in the playoffs three times. Owned by the fans, the Red Dragons lost in the playoff final to Welsh rivals Newport County in 2013 and in the same campaign they won the F.A Trophy beating Grimsby Town in a penalty shoot out. The year before Wrexham amassed an impressive 98 points and still only finished runners up. The Welsh club has plenty of history and are currently ranked the fourth highest Welsh club in English football. No Conference Premier club can boast the fact they have represented their nation in Europe in a major competition, the Red Dragons reached the Cup Winners Cup last eight in 1976.

wfcLast Season

Conference Premier: 17th

F.A Cup: 2nd Round

FA Trophy: 2nd Round

Top Scorer: Johnny Hunt

Average Attendance: 2993

A complete contrast to the campaign before when the Welsh club reached Wembley twice. This time with expectations high Wrexham were nowhere near the standards they set in the previous three seasons. The Red Dragons failed to win more than two games in a row and the only consistent spell was a six match winless streak after the opening day victory. The third best supported side in the league were left just as disappointed as Morrell and on 24 February he resigned. With the strikers at Wrexham’s disposal it was Johnny Hunt, not your out and out striker that found the net the most. Coupled with the fact the Reds conceded more goals than ever in any of their previous Conference Premier campaigns confirmed why Wrexham finished as lowly as they did. A change in leadership could see a different Wrexham next term and for their fans they certainly hope so.

The Manager – Kevin Wilkin

Appointed in March, Wilkin hasn’t had much time to build a squad and has taken charge of Wrexham in only eight matches, winning two, drawing three and losing three. The 46 year old earned his move after impressing constistently at Nuneaton Town where he took them through the non league divisions. Ending his playing career at the Warwickshire club, Wilkin stayed with Boro and when the club reformed he took to management following Roger Ashby’s departure in 2006. The former Northampton Town player led the Nuneaton Town to three playoff promotions rising from the Southern League Division One Midlands through the Conference North and into the Premier. Nuneaton hadn’t had a club in the Conference Premier for nine years and with loyalty and backing Wilkin made it happened for the town. In the Boro’s second campaign back in the top non league division he took them to top of the table after an unbeaten run of nine matches.

The Summer

Wilkin has focused on attack this summer and gone with what he knows bringing two in from his former club. However, the most exciting deal is capturing the services of ex Scunthorpe United striker Connor Jennings. The 22 year old had a fantastic loan spell at Macclesfield Town last term scoring 16 goals in as many games. Nuneaton Town top scorer from last season, Louis Moult will pair up with Jennings having netted 17 league goals in 36 appearances. Also arriving from Liberty Way is winger Wes York who featured in every Conference Premier game last season. Having spent time out on loan with Welling United, Blaine Hudson has moved from newly promoted Cambridge United, the defender comes in and going the other way is Johnny Hunt who will be a U’s player for the 2014/15 season. Robert Ogleby, Kyle Parle, David Artell, Jay Colback and Joe Anyinsah were released and Kevin Thornton moved to Tamworth.

Last Meetings vs The Darts

Wrexham 1 Dartford 2 – Conference Premier – 8 February 2014

After the hammering at Princes Park, the Darts recorded a tremendous away win to go with the 2-2 draw from the previous season. On loan striker, Andy Pugh scored after ten minutes for Dartford following up a free kick goalkeeper Andy Coughlin fumbled. Wrexham were level when Joe Clarke equalised but on the stroke of half time Elliot Bradbrook won the match for the Darts.

Dartford 1 Wrexham 5 – Conference Premier – 19 November 2013

A third minute goal by Lee Burns cheekily put Dartford in front but that is as good as the evening got. Wrexham hit back with five of their own including four in twenty first half minutes. Brett Ormerod bagged a brace, Joe Clarke and Rob Ogleby had the Welsh side 4-1 up at the break. Johnny Hunt added the final goal on a fine Tuesday night for the Red dragons.

Next Meetings

Saturday 9 August 2014 at Princes Park

Saturday 20 December 2014 at the Racecourse Ground

League Performance Last Ten Years

wrexham last ten years

Best Performances

15th Old Division Two (1978/79) F.A Cup Quarter Final (1973/74, 1977/78 & 1996/97) F.A Trophy Winners (2012/13)