Archives for : September2014

Welling United v Dartford

Dartford hope to record back to back wins for the first time since March when they make the short journey to Kent rivals Welling United on Tuesday night.

Victory for the Darts will also ensure they leap frog their opponents who are currently two places ahead in sixteenth. In a successive fixture against a part time side Tony Burman has already made it clear that taking points off semi professional teams will be crucial.

Prior the Nuneaton Town game, Burman spoke to and said: “Every game’s a big game for us in this league. With another game on Tuesday, it doesn’t stop, it just keeps going”, he added: “Welling will be looking to get points from us, just like we’re looking to get points from them”.

Last season Dartford only managed one point against the Wings which was at Park View Road. A ten game losing streak was finally ended in January when on loan midfielder Jim Stevenson gave the Darts a lead. Welling United’s top scorer last term, Ross Lafayette equalised from the spot eight minutes later, the striker left the club in the summer.

When Burman and company last won a league match away from Princes Park they followed up the triumph with another. The Darts will be hoping history repeats itself after beating Nuneaton Town for the first time in 27 years on the weekend. For the third time this campaign Dartford had to clinch three points having battled from a goal down. Boro took the lead under new boss Liam Daish just past the half hour mark, Craig Curran giving the hosts an advantage. In the space of two second half minutes captain Elliot Bradbrook scored from the penalty spot and Danny Harris netted a winner.

Managed by former Dartford midfielder Jamie Day, Welling United are just one point better off. The Wings have also won three times this season taking eight attempts to record their first. Form has picked up this month with one defeat in four, including keeping their unbeaten home record intact.

On Saturday, Welling United managed their first away win emphatically against part timers Altrincham. By half time they were 3-0 with goals from Harry Beautyman, Tyrone Marsh and Jake Gallagher. The fourth came with four minutes remaining when summer signing Chris Bush completed the 4-0 triumph.

Team News

Dartford striker Andy Pugh is hoping to return against his former club, Lee Noble has damaged ankle ligaments and missed the 2-1 win at Nuneaton Town. Tom Bender is still waiting for his first start in a Dartford shirt but made an appearance on the weekend when he replaced Ryan Hayes.

Chris Bush and Jake Gallagher are one caution away from a suspension. Jon Nouble’s loan spell from League Two side Dagenham and Redbridge has been extended for a further month. Goalkeeper Lee Butcher made the decision recently to take a year break from football due to work commitments.

Head to Head

Welling United wins: 9 / Dartford wins: 15 / Draws: 6

Current Form

Welling United (WDWLWL) Dartford (WLWLDL)
Altrincham A 4-0 Nuneaton Town A 2-1
Gateshead H 1-1 Forest Green Rovers H 1-2
Lincoln City H 2-0 Dover Athletic H 2-1
Wrexham A 1-2 Gateshead A 0-1
Braintree Town H 2-1 Eastleigh H 2-2
Grimsby Town A 0-2 Altrincham A 1-2

Last Meeting at Park View Road

26 April 2014 – Welling United 1 Dartford 1 – Att: 1366

Goalscorer: Stevenson (10), Lafayette (18 pen)

Welling United Lineup: Butcher, Bergqvist, McLaren, Franks, Cargill, Clarke, Day, Healy, Beautyman, Lafayette, Guthrie (subs used: Cumbers, Fazakerley)

Dartford Lineup: Julian, Mitchel-King, Sterling, McAuley, Burns, Bradbrook, Martin, Woodyard, Stevenson, Harris, Pugh (subs used: Kamara, Collier)

Match Stats

wufc v dfc stats

Previous Meetings (* – Kent Senior Cup / ** – Conference South Playoff Final)

10.01.2014 Welling United 1 Dartford 1
26.12.2013 Dartford 1 Welling United 2
03.09.2013* Welling United 2 Dartford 3
13.05.2012** Dartford 1 Welling United 0
02.01.2012 Dartford 1 Dartford 0
26.12.2011 Welling United 1 Dartford 1


0 – Dartford still await a first half goal this season

1 – Dartford scored their first penalty this season on the weekend against Nuneaton Town

20 – games since Dartford won by more than one goal, the joint longest sequence along with Altrincham

24 – games since Welling United won consecutive games, only Dover Athletic (29) and AFC Telford United (44)

25 – Welling United have picked up the most yellow cards this season

Nuneaton Town v Dartford

Tony Burman will pit his wits against former Ebbsfleet United boss Liam Daish once more when the Darts attempt to gain points at Nuneaton Town.

The pair last crossed paths in the Conference Premier almost two years ago during the festive season. Burman had the upper hand in the 2012/13 campaign taking four points from six with a home win on Boxing Day and an away draw on New Year’s Day.

If their is one side who have been a thorn in Dartford’s side then look no further than Nuneaton Town. All four matches against the Boro have ended in defeat since returning to the Conference Premier. Even when the hosts were known as Nuneaton Borough, the Darts have to go back 27 years since their last victory, when they won 3-1 in the Southern Premier League at Watling Street.

Two years running now, Nuneaton Town have done the double over Dartford including two final day of the season wins. At Liberty Way back in April, the Darts had already been ‘relegated’ and pride was all the Kent club could play for. On loan Rory McAuley scored for the visitors after 17 minutes. However, Louis Moult finished his campaign in style hitting a hat trick, finishing top scorer for the Boro, and ended the season with five goals against Dartford. The striker also hit a brace in their 2-1 victory at Princes Park a year ago.

Over the next few days Burman will be hoping to grab some away points facing fellow part timers, he told “Nuneaton are another part-time side, like us and a lot of the time that’s where you hope points are going to come from”. The Darts are still waiting for a first away triumph since March, eight games ago.

Dartford’s form has been erratic to say the least, however recent performances have been far more promising as the team try to gel. To add competition to the back line Burman has brought in Welsh defender Tom Bender. The 21 year old has little experience in senior squads but has represented Colchester United and Millwall. The youngster made three loan appearances at Welling United last season and has won caps playing for Wales at all levels up to under 21’s.

With one point on their travels this season, Dartford are a point ahead of this weekend’s opponents who sit in the relegation zone. The Boro have struggled for goals this term, starting the campaign with five games without scoring. In eleven outings Nuneaton Town have netted the fewest times finding the back of the net just five times. The summers losses of Louis Moult and Wes York has had a major impact, the two strikers followed former manager Kevin Wilkin to Wrexham.

Like Dartford, Boro have won just twice in the league this term and had to wait to the sixth match to record their first. Similarly, the victory was also against a newly promoted club from the Conference North. After a 4-0 away loss to Torquay United, Brian Reid was dismissed by the club after just ten games in charge. Mark Noon led the Boro temporarily until Daish’s appointment this week, Noon has now departed Liberty Way after eleven years service.

Nuneaton Town have some reason to be optimistic this weekend, not only do they have a decent record against Dartford they are three unbeaten at home. Altrincham and Forest Green Rovers were outdone before a stalemate with Aldershot Town.

Team News

Lee Noble has damaged ankle ligaments and will be missing as will striker Andy Pugh with an Achilles problem. Pugh may be fit to face his former club on Tuesday. Tom Bender, who signed so close to the weekend’s fixture is available for selection.

Head to Head

Nuneaton Town wins: 12 / Dartford wins: 13 / Draws: 14

Current Form

Nuneaton Town (LLDWLW) Dartford (LWLDLW)
Alfreton Town A 0-1 Forest Green Rovers H 1-2
Bristol Rovers A 1-3 Dover Athletic H 2-1
Aldershot Town H 1-1 Gateshead A 0-1
Forest Green Rovers H 1-0 Eastleigh H 2-2
Torquay United A 0-4 Altrincham A 1-2
Altrincham H 2-1 AFC Telford United H 2-1

Last Meeting at Liberty Way

26 April 2014 – Nuneaton Town 3 Dartford 1 – Att: 903

Goalscorer: McAuley (17), Moult (26, 37 & 63)

Nuneaton Town Lineup: Belshaw, Cranston, Streete, Dean, Gordon, Trainer, Sleath, Moult, Brown, York, Walker (subs used: Taylor, Delfouneso, Pearson)

Dartford Lineup: Julian, Burns, Collier, Cornhill, Clark, McAuley, Woodyard, Stevenson, Suarez, Bradbrook, Swallow (subs used: Vint, Dembele, Adams)

Match Stats


Previous Meetings (Nuneaton Town only)

26.04.2014 Nuneaton Town 3 Dartford 1
14.09.2013 Dartford 1 Nuneaton Town 2
20.04.2013 Dartford 0 Nuneaton Town 1
04.12.2012 Nuneaton Town 1 Dartford 0


0 – Dartford still await a first half goal this season.

2 – goals scored by each teams top goalscorers. Brothers Elliot and Tom Bradbrook as well as Harry Crawford lead the way for Dartford. Whilst Andy Brown is ahead in Boro’s scoring charts.

3 – number of penalties conceded by the Darts, a joint high with Chester, Grimsby Town and Lincoln City.

7 –  number of points taken by Nuneaton Town and Dartford in their last six matches.

17 – the number of shots Nuneaton Town attempt before each goal they have scored, the most shots to goal ratio in the Conference Premier.

19 – games since Dartford won by more than one goal, the joint longest sequence along with Altrincham.

Dartford v Forest Green Rovers

Familiar opponents return to Princes Park this weekend with the arrival of Forest Green Rovers in the Conference Premier.

Dartford have faced the Nailsworth based club eight times in the last two season’s and have found it difficult to beat them. The Darts only ever victory against Rovers came 17 months ago when the 2012/13 campaign was nearing its end.

Since the 3-2 triumph there has been very little goalscoring action between the two sides. In three of the last four meetings Forest Green Rovers have edged out as 1-0 winners, the other result was a 1-1 draw forcing a F.A Trophy tie into a replay.

Former Wrexham striker, Danny Wright scored the match winner in last season’s Princes Park meeting for Rovers. Once again he was the Darts nemesis last weekend netting the only goal for Gateshead. At the same ground the two teams were drawn together in the F.A Trophy first round with Danny Harris putting the hosts in front before Yan Klukowski forced a replay. Klukowski, Forest Green Rovers top Conference goalscorer of all time has had success in front of goal against the Darts but moved on in the summer to join Newport County.

The Darts approach this weekend’s fixture off the back of a 2-1 win over Kent rivals Dover Athletic. The victory ensured that Dartford climbed out of the bottom four at the expense of their opponents. Goalkeeper Jason Brown made a heroic last minute penalty save to secure the three points in a tense evening. Dover Athletic led after eight minutes when Ricky Miller’s free kick deflected and wrong footed Brown, the Whites looked good for a win. Once again Dartford’s character showed when Harry Crawford scored at the third attempt with just under twenty minutes remaining. In the process of Crawford’s second goal of the season, Dover Athletic’s goalkeeper Mitchell Walker was substituted with an arm injury and relaced by defender Sean Raggett. The visitors kept the hosts at bay until five minutes from time when Tom Bradbrook thumped in a header to steal the three points.

Tony Burman admits his side were fortunate but feels in other games the Darts have been less so. He told “We’ve been unfortunate in a lot of games this season and football does turn itself round sometimes. It probably did for us on Tuesday night”, he added: “The guys have come back from a goal down on Tuesday and they came back from two goals down last Tuesday (against Eastleigh). When you’ve got that in the side, if you get that character, that’ll win you a lot of points”.

As the season has panned out so far it looks like Burman and company will need to make the most of home advantage. Still waiting for their maiden away victory this campaign, the Darts have struggled on their travels since the second half of the  2012/13 season. Aside from the 1-1 draw at Woking just over a month ago, all of Dartford’s points have been gained at home.

Forest Green Rovers have experienced a mixture of results reflective of their current position. Managed by former Gillingham defender Adrian Pennock, Rovers are hoping to finally break into the playoff spots. Not only have Dartford benefited from Salisbury City’s demise, Pennock was able to bring in three former Whites. Clovis Kamdjo, Elliot Frear and Rob Sinclair all ply their trade at the New Lawn.

One player to usually keep a watchful eye on is the experienced striker Lee Hughes. The 38 year old recorded his 300th career goal a month ago scoring against Alfreton Town. Wherever he has played he has been amongst the goals including West Bromwich Albion, Coventry City, Oldham Athletic and more recently Notts County and Port Vale. At Forest Green Rovers his decent strike rate has continued but he hasn’t featured this month.

In Hughes’s absence Jon Parkin and James Norwood have been amongst the goals. Over the last week Rovers ended their five match winless run by beating high flying FC Halifax Town 2-0 and drawing 2-2 with Eastleigh. In both games it was Parkin and Norwood who found the net to help Forest Green Rovers to four points from the last six.

Former Gillingham defender, Adrian Pennock is now in charge of the Rovers and he felt his side deserved something from Tuesday’s draw. He told BBC Radio Gloucestershire: “We conceded two goals, but showed a lot of character to nick a point. If we’d have gone home with nothing it would have been an injustice”, he added: “We played well and it’s a good point away from home”.

Forest Green Rovers start the weekend in twelfth place, the position they have finished for the last three season’s.

Team News

Lee Burns who has already missed some of the campaign with a rib injury picked up a hamstring starin on Tuesday night. Andy Pugh has also missed a couple of fixtures due to an Achilles problem. Meanwhile, Tuesday night’s goalscorer Tom Bradbrook has revealed he has been playing with a slight groin injury over the last three weeks. Peter Sweeney returned to action after completing just 11 minutes of Dartford’s fixture last weekend against Gateshead.

Head to Head 

Dartford wins: 1 / Forest Green Rovers wins: 4 / Draws: 5

Current Form

Dartford (WLDLWL) Forest Green Rovers (DWLLDD)
Dover Athletic H 2-1 Eastleigh A 2-2
Gateshead A 0-1 FC Halifax Town H 2-0
Eastleigh H 2-2 Nuneaton Town A 0-1
Altrincham A 1-2 Wrexham H 0-1
AFC Telford United H 2-1 Welling United A 1-1
Barnet A 0-4 Bristol Rovers H 1-1

Last League Meeting at Princes Park

3 December 2011 – Dartford 0 Forest Green Rovers 1 – Att: 1061

Goalscorer: Wright (83)

Dartford Lineup: Julian, Mitchel-King, McAuley, Sterling, Stevenson, Cornhill, Noble, Swallow, Burns, Suarez, Harris (subs used: Woodyard, Collier, Akinwande)

Forest Green Rovers Lineup: Russell, Oshodi, Oliver, Green, Hodgkiss, Bennett, Bangura, Jordan, Klukowski, Norwood, Taylor (subs used: Wright, Hughes)

Previous Five Meetings (* F.A Trophy)

12.04.2014 Dartford 0 Forest Green Rovers 1
03.12.2013* Forest Green Rovers 1 Dartford 0
30.11.2013* Dartford 1 Forest Green Rovers 1
02.11.2013 Forest Green Rovers 1 Dartford 0
16.04.2013 Forest Green Rovers 2 Dartford 3

Stats & Facts

0 – Dartford are yet to score in the first half this season, the only Conference Premier side waiting to find the net in the first 45 minutes

3 – The Darts have conceded the most penalties this campaign, along with Chester

4 – games since Forest Green Rovers won away from the New Lawn

17 – games since Dartford won consecutive matches, last achieved in March when they beat Hyde 2-0 and Macclesfield Town 2-1 last season.

37 – Forest Green Rovers have been caught offside more than any other Conference Premier club this term

Dartford v Dover Athletic

After a three year absence the Kent derby between Dartford and Dover Athletic returns to Princes Park with both sides needing points.

In what has been dubbed a crucial period in this season’s calendar, Dartford face the fourth newly promoted side in 18 days. This time it will be the first time these two Kent rivals have faced each other in the top flight of non league football.

On the weekend with Dartford searching for their first ever goal up at Gateshead they failed to find the net once more. Although this time the performance was far more encouraging than previous years. Tony Burman opted to play a different system going with three at the back and wing backs. Peter Sweeney’s early injury saw Max Cornhill return to action after missing last Tuesday’s mid week draw against Eastleigh. The Darts dominated the first half and Gateshead relied on goalkeeper Adam Bartlett to keep them in the game. The Heed took an early second half lead through Danny Wright which turned out to be the winner, Dartford still managed to create chances but couldn’t find that elusive goal.

The last one and and half matches have shown Dartford in a better light on the pitch. At 2-0 down versus Eastleigh a week ago Burman admitted his side ‘hit rock bottom’. After clawing that match back to 2-2 and a decent showing on the weekend has left the Darts hoping they can go one further against rivals Dover Athletic.

To add extra spice to the occasion Dover Athletic are likely to line up with three former Dartford defenders. Tyrone Sterling is in his second spell with the Whites after rejoining the club in the summer from the Darts. Sterling made 34 Conference Premier appearances last term including four alongside Connor Essam, who spent time on loan at Princes Park. Essam has spent two loan spells for Dartford and in total has played 14 league matches for the club. Tom Bonner makes up the trio of former Darts, the Cambridge United defender is at the Crabble on loan and made 167 starting appearances between 2010 and 2013 scoring 11 goals.

The Whites were also unfortunate on the weekend losing 1-0 at The Crabble against Macclesfield Town. The result leaves Dover Athletic ahead of Dartford by a point with the relegation line separating the two. For Chris Kinnear it was a third successive home defeat without scoring and were it not for a 4-1 away win at struggling AFC Telford United, Dover Athletic’s only other win came two weeks into the campaign against Eastleigh.

Kinnear previously enjoyed success at The Crabble in the late eighties and early nineties taking the club from the Southern League to the Conference Premier. Whilst times have changed with the increase of professional teams in the league, the 60 year old will be hoping to keep Dover Athletic in the top non league division.

During Dartford’s rise from the Isthmian Division One to the Conference Premier, a rivalry has blossomed with The Whites since the 2006/07 season. The last league meeting between to the two clubs was back in December 2011 when Dartford triumphed 3-1.

Adam Green scored from the spot before Agustin Battipiedi equalised for the visitors. It took until just past the hour for the Darts to edge back in front, Ryan Hayes whipped in a dangerous free kick which eluded everyone and ended up in the back of the net. As Dover Athletic pushed for a leveller they were caught out with three minutes remaining, Bradbrook’s neat control was expertly finished with a 25 yard curling effort leaving Mikhael Jamiez-Ruiz stranded.

Four goals were also recorded in the previous two meetings. A 2-2 draw in the same season saw Dover Athletic come from behind twice. Charlie Sheringham’s quick fire opener was cancelled out by former Dart loanee, George Purcell’s equaliser. Bradbrook’s header put Dartford ahead until Billy Bricknell levelled the match. In the campaign before, the Darts claimed a convincing 4-0 victory at Princes Park with two goals from Sheringham and a goal each for Tom Champion and Danny Harris. Last season, Dover Athletic knocked Dartford out of the Kent Senior Cup at the Quarter Final stage.

Head to Head 

Dartford wins: 31 / Dover Athletic wins: 34 / Draws: 23

Current Form

Dartford (LDLWLD) Dover Athletic (LLWLLW)
Gateshead A 0-1 Macclesfield Town H 0-1
Eastleigh H 2-2 Barnet H 0-3
Altrincham A 1-2 AFC Telford United A 4-1
AFC Telford United H 2-1 Kidderminster Harriers H 0-1
Barnet A 0-3 Woking A 1-6
Torquay United H 0-0 Eastleigh H 2-1

Last League Meeting at Princes Park

3 December 2011 – Dartford 3 Dover Athletic 1 – Att: 1558

Goalscorer: Green (6 pen), Battipiedi (13), Hayes (62), Bradbrook (87)

Dartford Lineup: Wells, Jones, Green, Bonner, Goodacre, Champion, Hayes, Wallis, Burns, Bradbrook, Rogers (subs used: Harris, Noble, Graham)

Dover Athletic Lineup: Jamiez-Ruiz, Starkey, Wynter, Battipiedi, Schulz, Huke, Cogan, Southam, Walker, Purcell, Redwood (subs used: Baker, Bricknell)

Previous Five Meetings (* Kent Senior Cup)

04.03.2014* Dartford 0 Dover Athletic 3
03.12.2011 Dartford 3 Dover Athletic 1
23.08.2011 Dover Athletic 2 Dartford 2
25.04.2011 Dartford 4 Dover Athletic 0
09.11.2010 Dover Athletic 0 Dartford 2

Stats & Facts

1 – number of times Dartford have been in front this season, a total of 42 minutes

11 – goals conceded by Dover Athletic away from home at an average of 2.75 a game, the second highest average in the division this term

12 – number of goals scored in Dover Athletic’s last two away games. The Whites beat AFC Telford United 4-1. A fortnight before their second win of the season they lost 6-1 to Woking

89 – percentage of games in which games involving Dartford have finished with a one goal margin or less

Gateshead v Dartford

Dartford make the long trip North East this weekend in an attempt to break their Gateshead hoodoo.

The journey to Tyneside has seen very little in return for the Darts, with the exception of a goalless draw 29 years ago Gateshead have come away victorious on their own patch. At the Gateshead International Stadium, Dartford have yet to score in all four meetings between the two sides.

Whilst Dartford sit fourth from bottom, Gateshead sit fourth from top despite surprisingly suffering a 6-1 drubbing at home to Grimsby Town. The Heed have won their other three home games, something Dartford have failed at an away ground in seven matches.

Tony Burman knows Gateshead will be a tough test and believes his players can get a result if they can ‘work harder’, he spoke to and said: “Gateshead is another game. It’s a tough game but they’re all tough. We’ve got to prepare in the right way, work hard and try to get something”.

Burman had to take drastic action mid week having seen his side 2-0 down versus Conference South champions Eastleigh. Harry Crawford may have rescued a point in injury time but early second half substitutions aided an improved performance. The visitors were two up inside 22 minutes, Jamie Collins scored from the spot after Jason Brown conceded a penalty. James Constable who won the spot kick netted the Spitfires second from close range.

The Darts improved for the second forty five minutes when Nathan Collier replaced Adam Green and Lee Noble replaced Ryan Hayes. Ten minutes after the interval captain Elliot Bradbrook headed Noble’s corner to pull a goal back. In the 91st minute Crawford kept his cool with a clinical finish to complete a spirited comeback, his first goal since returning to Princes Park for the club.

Burman admitted that at half time his side had hit ‘rock bottom’ he told “It was absolutely dreadful. We reached rock bottom in respect of what happened in the first 45 minutes. It was a bit embarrassing”. In contrast the Dartford boss was pleased with the players reactionafter the break, he added: “Fair play to the players, they reacted, they got a goal back and they kept plugging away. You hope something’s going to come from it and we managed to salvage something from the game”.

Gateshead have blossomed since the arrival of manager Gary Mills, the former European Cup winner led his side to Wembley just four months ago. Losing out on promotion, the 52 year old is determined to go one better this season. The Tynesiders won their opening two games with Marcus Maddison scoring three times. A draw at Eastleigh and defeat to Grimsby Town followed before three more victories in their last four outings.

Last season Gateshead beat the Darts twice with a a 2-0 win at home in October. The Heed dominated for long periods and took the lead when James Marwood converted Craig Baxter’s cross. Rob Ramshaw scored the home side’s second with a header from close range. At Princes Park, James Brown nodded in the winner to complete the double.

Team News

Striker Andy Pugh missed out on the 2-2 draw with Eastleigh suffering from tendinitis. Lee Burns returned to action which meant Nathan Collier lost out. However the utility player is pushing for a start aftre some impressive performances this term.

Carl Finnigan has signed for the Gateshead but awaits international clearance. The 27 year old is a former Newcastle United reserve and academy striker but spent his first team career in Scotland. Finnigan joins the Heed after being released by South African side Chippa United. Meanwhile, Michael Rankine is getting closer to returning to action after a hamstring injury. The former Hereford United forward’s winner on the last day of the season would have kept the Bulls up if it hadn’t been for their off field problems.

Head to Head

Gateshead wins: 5 / Dartford wins: 1 / Draws: 1

Current Form

Gateshead (WLWWLD) Dartford (DLWLDL)
AFC Telford United H 4-1 Eastleigh H 2-2
Kidderminster Harriers A 1-2 Altrincham A 1-2
Chester H 2-1 AFC Telford United H 2-1
Altrincham A 1-0 Barnet A 0-4
Grimsby Town H 1-6 Torquay United H 0-0
Eastleigh A 2-2 Kidderminster Harriers A 0-1

Last Meeting at Gateshead International Stadium

5 October 2013 – Gateshead 2 Dartford 0 – Att: 561

Goalscorer: Marwood (43), Ramshaw (58)

Gateshead Lineup: Bartlett, Curtis, Baxter, Magnay, Clark, Oster, Turnbull, Ramshaw, Marwood, Hatch, Larkin (subs used: Chandler, Hugill)

Dartford Lineup: Julian, Clark, Fry, Noble, Bradbrook, Woodyard, Cornhill, Collier, Burns, Harris, Birchall (subs used: Prior, Hayes, Ibemere)

Match Stats

gateshead v dartford stats

Previous Meetings (* F.A Trophy)

23.11.2013 Dartford 0 Gateshead 1
05.10.2013 Gateshead 2 Dartford 0
23.03.2013 Dartford 3 Gateshead 0
08.09.2012 Gateshead 2 Dartford 0
05.02.2011* Gateshead 3 Dartford 0
04.05.1985 Dartford 1 Gateshead 2
09.03.1985 Gateshead 0 Dartford 0


2.29 – minutes played when Sean Clancy scored against Gateshead, the quickest opening goal of the Conference Premier campaign so far

5 – number of assists made by Alex Rodman who is joint top of the charts with Barnets’s Charlie MacDonald and Lincoln City’s Sean Newton.

16 – matches since Dartford won by more than a goal

18 – months ago when Dartford recorded their only ever win against gateshead

45 – games since Gateshead suffered back to back defeats, the longest current sequence amongst the Conference Premier clubs

Dartford v Eastleigh

Dartford welcome Conference South champions Eastleigh to Princes Park for the first time in three years.

Having beaten last season’s Conference North winners AFC Telford United two weeks ago, the Darts host another title winning side this weekend, for a consecutive home game. In fact for the third game running Tony Burman will guide his side against a newly promoted club, having visited Altrincham on non league day.

A fortnight ago, home fans were treated to Dartford’s first win of the campaign having seen a one goal deficit overturned. Luke Daley’s 20 yard effort opened his account for the club and Andy Pugh netted his first of the season in reply to Tony Gray’s goal for AFC Telford United. Tony Burman choose to play Peter Sweeney in a more central role and with the addition of Danny Harris in the second half the Darts showed enough character to take three points.

However, up at Altrincham once more the home side won 2-1 as Dartford suffered another away defeat. Damian Reeves scored a brace for Alty before Elliot Bradbrook scored a consolation.

In 2011, Burman’s promoted side recorded a first ever victory over Eastleigh winning 3-0 at Princes Park. Charlie Sheringham finished off a counter attack in the first half. The striker then added a second with twenty minutes remaining. Eastleigh’s Henrik Breimyr put the ball in his own net to round off a fine win for the Darts.

Previous meetings with Eastleigh have been far from impressive starting back in the Southern League Division One East. The Spitfires won encounters in 2003/2004, firstly winning 5-0 on their own patch then 5-1 at Stonebridge Road where the Darts resided that season.

When Dartford played the Hampshire side again six years later at least the score was reduced to a 3-0 defeat before a 0-0 draw in the Conference South. The following season with Burman guiding the club to the Conference Premier, a victory was finally recorded along with a 2-2 draw at the Silverlake Stadium.

Eastleigh, who turned full time when they last met the Darts are being backed to finish well in their first ever Conference Premier campaign. The Hampshire are currently sitting in an impressive fifth spot taking 13 points from their first seven games.

Last season Richard Hill started his second season in charge, having guided the Spitfires to the playoffs in his first effort he went one better with the Conference South title being clinched and history being made.

The Hampshire side look strong on paper thanks to some decent backing off the field. Up front James Constable returning to a league he has been prolific in. The former Oxford United striker is usually on the team sheet alongside Jack Midson and Stuart Fleetwood. Between them the trio have all shared the limelight in the Conference Premier at different points in their careers, Midson with AFC Wimbledon and Fleetwood at Forest Green Rovers. All three forwards have respectable strike rates in the fifth tier of English football. It says a lot when last season’s top scorer Craig McAllister has been used as a substitute.

Former Dart, Matthew Fry made his début over the Bank Holiday weekend and could face his former club. The defender made 15 Conference Premier starts for Dartford last term before re-joining Concord Rangers. This campaign he signed for Chelmsford City and played one match before swiftly moving on to his current club.

The Darts are unbeaten in three league matches against this weekend’s opponents and will be hoping to stretch the run to four.

Head to Head 

Dartford wins: 1/ Eastleigh wins: 4 / Draws: 2

Current Form

Dartford (LWLDLD) Eastleigh (WLWLDW)
Altrincham A 1-2 Southport H 2-1
AFC Telford United H 2-1 Macclesfield Town A 0-2
Barnet A 0-4 Welling United H 3-1
Torquay United H 0-0 Dover Athletic A 1-2
Kidderminster Harriers A 1-2 Gateshead H 2-2
Woking A 1-1 Aldershot Town H 1-0

Last Meeting at Princes Park

10 September 2011 – Dartford 3 Eastleigh 0 – Att: 1079

Goalscorer: Sheringham (2, 69), Own Goal (90)

Dartford Lineup: Young, Jones, Green, Bonner, Goodacre, Champion, Hayes, Wallis, Sheringham, Noble, Graham (subs used: Rodgers, Burns, Harris)

Eastleigh Lineup: Barfoot, Forbes, Cooper, Breimyr, Jordan, Tsovolos, White, Bottomley, Slabber, Gillespie, Holder-Spooner (subs used: Geteski, Wilson, O’Hara)

Previous Six League Meetings

19.11.2011 Eastleigh 2 Dartford 2
10.09.2011 Dartford 3 Eastleigh 0
15.03.2011 Dartford 0 Eastleigh 0
16.10.2010 Eastleigh 3 Dartford 0
03.04.2004 Dartford 1 Eastleigh 5
20.12.2003 Eastleigh 5 Dartford 0


Altrincham v Dartford

Dartford face Conference North playoff winners Altrincham on Non League day travelling to Moss Lane for the first time in nearly thirty years.

Coming off the back of their first win of the season the Darts climbed out of the relegation zone with a 2-1 home win against AFC Telford United. The Conference North champions took the lead ten minutes before half time through Tony Gray but the second half saw a change in fortune. Luke Daley scored his first for the club with a well taken shot from 20 yards and Andy Pugh completed the turnaround.
Tony Burman along with the home support was relieved that his side recorded a win and spoke to, he said: “We’ve won the game and everyone’s gone home happy. It’s a little bit of a relief. In all fairness to the supporters, they want to get behind the players, they’re here to support their club. It’s not been great over the last year or so, with what’s happened, but we’re building again. The longer you go without that win, it becomes a monkey on your back”.

The Darts boss also praised striker Andy Pugh, adding: “He’s been full-time at Cambridge and it’s done him the world of good. He doesn’t mind dropping off in the hole. When you’re playing 4-4-2 and you’re playing against teams who play three in the middle of the park, sometimes you can get a little bit overrun. What we do is that the forward has to come in deeper in the hole and try to pick that third man up. Pughy’s decent at it and when he gets the ball, he’s intelligent”.

Peter Sweeney was allowed to play a more central role in midfield and with Danny Harris coming on Dartford gained impetus. Harris spent last week in talks with Burman about his future with the club and opted to stay at Princes Park to fight for his place.

Away from Princes Park, Dartford have gained just one point at Woking and have found their travels difficult, last picking up an away win at Hyde in March.

Altrincham are still getting to grips with their return to the Conference Premier picking up one win in their opening six matches. A home win against relegated League two side Bristol Rovers was sandwiched between defeats against Aldershot Town, Lincoln City and more recently Southport, Gateshead and Nuneaton Town.

Lee Sinnott has asked his strikers to be more clinical in front of goal, he told the Non League Paper: “We had a lot of possession but things petered out a bit in the final third today. If you’re not going to ask enough questions, you’re not going to get the answers that you want. We didn’t show that spark”.

The Altrincham boss is confident his side will move in the right direction, he commented: “This team is capable of scoring goals and we will get better as the season goes on. If we do that, we’ll get more points”. One player who has known where the goal is Damian Reeves, the striker has scored 115 goals in 170 appearances for Alty and has grabbed the attention of a number of league clubs in the past.

Dartford’s history against their hosts is all set in the eighties with two memorable F.A Trophy wins at the Quarter Final stages. Tony Burman will recall being part of the 1981/82 and the 1984 to 1986 squads. Darts leading appearance maker Steve Robinson will be remembered for the same era with players such as Peter Taylor and Andy Hessenthaler involved in the last meeting between the two sides in 1989.

The last trip to Moss Lane ended without a goal in the Gola League against a strong Altrincham side who finished fourth and won the F.A Trophy. On that day in September 1985, John Still was in charge of the Darts but by the time Alty visited Watling Street in February 1986 he had resigned.

Head to Head

Altrincham wins: 3 / Dartford wins: 4 / Draws: 1

Last Meetings
Dartford 1 Altrincham 0 – F.A Trophy Quarter Final – 11 March 1989

Club favourite Steve Robinson scored a 55th minute winner to put the Darts into the F.A Trophy semi final. Dartford playing a league below Altrincham ended the season as runners up in the Southern League. The clubs met at the same stage eight years earlier when Dartford ran out 3-1 winners at Watling Street.

Dartford 3 Altrincham 2 – Conference Premier – 1 February 1986

This may sound familiar, Dartford had little joy in the second successive Conference Premier campaign. Known as the Gola League the Darts were relegated but victory over Altrincham was one of the few highlights. At the time Dartford were managerless following John Still’s resignation eleven days earlier.

Altrincham 0 Dartford 0 – Conference Premier – 21 September 1985

In an experimental season where teams were awarded two points for a home win and three for an away win, Dartford drew 0-0 in the north west. The Robins went on to finish fourth, win the F.A Trophy for a second time in their history beating Runcorn  and reached the fourth round of the F.A Cup triumphing over Chorley, Blackpool, Birmingham City on the way to defeat against York City.

Previous Meetings (* F.A Trophy Quarter Final)

11.03.1989* Dartford 1 Altrincham 0
01.02.1986 Dartford 3 Altrincham 2
21.09.1985 Altrincham 0 Dartford 0
27.04.1985 Altrincham 2 Dartford 1
29.09.1984 Dartford 1 Altrincham 0
13.03.1982 Dartford 0 Altrincham 1
24.10.1981 Altrincham 2 Dartford 0
14.03.1981* Dartford 3 Altrincham 1


5 – Steven Gillespie received the quickest yellow card this season from coming on as a substitute. Gillespie had only been on the pich for 5 minutes and 43 seconds before being cautioned against Gateshead

13 – number of games since Dartford recordd back to back league wins

14 – Dartford and Altrincham have not won by more than a goal in their last 14 league matches

16 – Altrincham’s Steven Gillespie has had the most shots per goal this season

364 -Luke Daley’s goal agaisnt AFC Telford United ended Dartford’s goal drought of 364 minutes