Archives for : January2015

Dartford v Bristol Rovers

Dartford will need to be up to the task of hosting an in form Bristol Rovers side looking to return to League Two at the first attempt.

Undoubtedly the Darts will be underdogs despite home advantage as they look to close the gap on those above them in the Conference Premier. Dartford have lost nine of their last ten league games whilst the Pirates boast the longest unbeaten record this season. The West Country side have not lost in the league since mid October stretching back 14 games.

Tony Burman celebrated ten consecutive years in charge last weekend with a 2-2 draw in the F.A Trophy. FC Halifax Town took the lead on 12 minutes through Richard Peniket and were two up just before the break when Matty Pearson nodded past Jason Brown. With current form against the Darts the tie looked done and dusted, but a spirited second half forced a replay. Substitute Ryan Hayes scored direct from a corner for the second time this season and defender Rory McAuley volleyed a late leveller. In injury time, a disallowed goal for offside denied Dartford progression to the last eight.

After a disappointing 6-1 defeat to rivals Dover Athletic in their last league fixture, Burman has been given the green light to continue as manager with the board backing the boss. New co-chairman Steve Irving told before the F.A Trophy games: “Tony is integral to what we’re doing going forward, both as a director and manager”, he added “Tony is the right man. We will do everything we can to support him”.

A new face may well take part on the weekend with the signing of Jamie Richards from Plymouth Argyle. The left sided 20 year old will be with the Darts on loan for initially a month. His last club was Linfield in Northern Ireland where he spent six months, the defender has made three appearances for his parent club Plymouth Argyle. Out of contract Mat Mitchel-King departed the club this week, the centre back has now joined St Neots Town closer to where the 31 year old works. Mitchel-King made 70 appearances for the Darts in all competitions over the last season and a half.

The story is the complete opposite across the other side of England, Bristol Rovers under former Salisbury City boss Darrell Clarke have gelled. A slow start over the first seven games left the Pirates in 15th. Then came an unbeaten run of nine including five straight victories. In that run without a loss they beat Dartford 1-0 at the Memorial Ground. Top scorer Matt Taylor fired in a first half penalty to win the match but the fixture was marred by reports of Darts goalkeeper Jason Brown suffering racial abuse, an incident later dealt with by Bristol Rovers officials.

Despite the negativity of that night, the Pirates are in third spot with a game in hand over leaders Barnet. Clarke’s side will not want to lose any ground as they chase down an eight point deficit in a bid to return to the Football League. Expectations are high for the West Country club and the best defence in the Conference Premier has helped them mount a challenge. It’s been a fortnight since their last game against Woking which saw a second consecutive clean sheet in a 0-0 draw.

Intentions during the January window have been clear with the permanent signing of Jermaine Easter and loan deal for Adam Dawson. Easter has plenty of Football League experience most recently with Millwall and Crystal Palace. Dawson signed for Leicester City two years ago but has been out on loan with Notts County and this term Nuneaton Town. Nathan Blissett strengthens the forward line joining from Kidderminster Harriers.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 0 / Bristol Rovers wins: 2 / Draws: 0

Current League Form

Dartford (LLLLLW) Bristol Rovers (DWDWWW)
Dover Athletic  A  1-6 Woking  A  0-0
FC Halifax Town  H  1-2 Nuneaton Town  A  2-0
Kidderminster Harriers  H  1-2 Torquay United  H  1-1
Braintree Town  A  0-3 Macclesfield Town  H  4-0
Braintree Town  H  0-2 Torquay United  A  2-1
Wrexham  A  3-1 Gateshead  H  3-2

Previous Meetings (* – F.A Cup)

07.10.2014 Bristol Rovers 1 Dartford 0
08.12.1934* Dartford 0 Bristol Rovers 1


9 – Dartford have conceded the most penalties in the league this campaign

12 – matches since Bristol Rovers lost an away league game, the longest current sequence in the league

26 – league games since Dartford kept a clean sheet against Torquay United

6009 – Expect a large turnout of Bristol Rovers fans, the biggest supported club in the Conference Premier this season has an average gate of just over 6000

Tony’s ten years – Where are they now?

Club director Tony Burman became caretaker manager, ten years on he remains in charge of the Darts seeing them through three promotions and a new home.

When Dartford were defeated away to Aveley, the desperate performance ended the Tommy Sampson era. Tony Burman steadied the clubs fortunes and in his first full season back as boss the foundations were be laid. Within three full campaigns Dartford returned home, Princes Park opened and the first league championship was won in 24 years, the boss celebrated with fans to a rendition of ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You’. A Kent Senior Cup, F.A Trophy semi-final and two more promotions later, the Darts climbed to the Conference Premier, the top of non league football.

In his first season back in charge Ryan Hayes made four appearances scoring twice, the midfielder now in his tenth year has been part of the journey alongside Burman. Hayes has now made over 400 appearances for the Darts, and continues to bring creativity to the wing. Elliot Bradbrook, Lee Noble, Lee Burns and Danny Harris have remained loyal to the cause whilst others have brought leadership and skill to the club, a host of players could be listed here but that’s another feature in the making.

Aside from Tony Burman himself, the other contstant factor over the last decade is that the Darts have continued to exist and develop by living within their means. To put the tough realities of non league into perspective here is a look at the other teams in Dartford’s league, when Tony Burman took charge in 2005.

Fisher Athletic London

Under the guidance of Wayne Burnett and the backing of a new chairman, the Fish became champions. Their short term gain failed to bring long term rewards as the club lasted just four more years. Burnett resigned in November 2005 and was replaced by former Tottenham Hotspur defender Justin Edinburgh, who led them to another promotion into the Conference South. The South East London club were on the up especially with permission granted for major redevelopment of the Surrey Docks Stadium. After a Conference South playoff defeat and a player exodus a winding up order for unpaid tax dissolved the club in May 2009. Reformed as Fisher FC, the Fish have been playing at Kent League level now the Southern Counties league.

Last meeting against the Darts

Southern League Division One Eastern
23 April 2005 – Fisher Athletic London 2 Dartford 1
13 November 2004 – Dartford 1 Fisher Athletic London 2

East Thurrock United

The Essex club finished their first season in the Southern League Eastern division as runners up. The following campaign the Rocks were playing in the Isthmian Premier League. Toying with the idea of renaming the club to Thurrock United, the Essex FA rejected their request. The 2007/08 season ended in dramatic circumstances, a one point deduction for fielding an ineligible player was the difference between safety and relegation, Boreham Wood stayed up by two goals. Champions of the Isthmian Division One North three years later saw the Essex club return to the Premier League where they remain. Three years ago East Thurrock United created club history by reaching the F.A Cup first round a feat they repeated this term.

Last meeting against the Darts

Southern League Division One Eastern
30 April 2005 – Dartford 0 East Thurrock United 3
28 August 2004 – East Thurrock United 2 Dartford  1

Maldon Town

Promoted to the Southern League East division the season before, Maldon Town followed up the success with a third place finish. Winners of the playoffs the Essex side moved up once more to the Isthmian Premier League. This time they were unable to continue their rise and were relegated after one campaign in the seventh tier. The ‘yo-yo’ affect was cut short in 2007 when Maldon Town were prevented from taking part in the playoffs due to ground grading issues. Just over five years ago, Tiptree United chairman Ed Garty took over the club. Tiptree withdrew from the Essex Senior league and joined forces with Maldon Town to become Maldon and Tiptree. The Jammers remain in the Isthmian League Division One North.

Last meeting against the Darts

Isthmian Division One North
22 December 2007 – Maldon Town 2 Dartford 2
18 August 2007 – Dartford 2 Maldon Town 2


Leading Maldon Town in extra time of the playoff final, Uxbridge went on to lose on penalties. The Middlesex club changed their manager the following season when Tony Choules was appointed, he remains in charge today. Stability is a common theme for the Reds who have gone through just five managers in forty years. Under Tony Choules, Uxbridge reached another playoff final in 2008, this time falling short in a 1-0 defeat to Oxford City. After a switch to the Southern League Division One Central, four years later the Reds suffered more playoff heartbreak in the semi-finals. Still playing at the same level the Reds have participated in the Southern League for the last ten years.

Last meeting against the Darts

Southern League Division One Eastern
7 February 2006 – Dartford 1 Uxbridge 3
31 December 2005 – Uxbridge 2 Dartford 1

Wivenhoe Town

A fifth place finish was followed up with an appearance in the playoff final a year later. Wivenhoe Town were beaten 2-1 by Stamford to miss out on promotion. With the geographical challenges non-league brings the Dragons moved back to the Isthmian League, finishing bottom in 2008. After 22 years the Essex club returned to the Eastern Counties League where they continue to finish at the lower end of the table. Life at Broad Lane has not given supporters much to cheer, even when former West Ham United defender Julian Dicks was appointed boss. In their second season back in the Eastern Counties, Wivenhoe Town hit rock bottom with a paltry eight points. Fortunately they survived because two other teams withdrew from the division.

Last meeting against the Darts

Isthmian Division One North
15 December 2007 – Dartford 4 Wivenhoe Town 2
21 August 2007 – Wivenhoe Town 0 Dartford 3

Barking & East Ham United

At the time Tony Burman stood in to take charge before the Tommy Sampson era, Barking and East Ham United had only just begun a new adventure of their own. A merger in 2001 was incredibly short lived, within five years the club were dissolved. Based in Dagenham, the Essex club reached the playoff semi-final in 2006 losing to the winners Stamford. The club spent two seasons in the Southern League East before switching back to the Isthmian League, however prior the new campaign Barking and East Ham United folded. Out of the ashes Barking were formed and entered the Essex Senior League immediately, the Blues have enjoyed top half finishes over the last eight years and are amongst the front runners this term.

Last meeting against the Darts

Southern League Division One Eastern
25 February 2006 – Barking & East Ham United 2 Dartford 2
25 October 2005 – Dartford  2 Barking & East Ham United 2

Boreham Wood

The second highest ranked team from the class of 2005, the Wood have been a thorn in Tony Burman’s side over the last ten years. The Hertfordshire club have lost just twice in eleven games against Dartford during Burman’s third stint in charge.  Boreham Wood won the Southern League Eastern division the following season; the exciting end to the campaign saw the club take the title on goal difference. Four years in the Isthmian Premier League came to an end when they were promoted to the Conference South along with Dartford; the Wood beat Kingstonian in the playoff final.  Managed by Ian Allinson since 2008, the club may well overtake the Darts as they currently lead the Conference South table.

Last meeting against the Darts

Conference South
21 April 2012 – Dartford 2 Boreham Wood 2
8 October 2011 – Boreham Wood 3 Dartford 1

Barton Rovers

A consistent club continuing to play at the same level, Barton Rovers have been pootling along. The only major excitement over the last ten years has been the renaming of their division. From Southern League East to Midlands to Central, the Rovers regularly finish mid table but have flirted with relegation to add a little danger. The Bedfordshire club did manage to attract a trio of former Luton Town players in Tony Thorpe, Scott Oakes and Liam George but this didn’t make too much difference. Last season Barton Rovers came sixth ending three points behind playoff winners Slough Town, this term they are hanging around in the same region hoping to reach the playoffs and finally move out of level 8.

Last meeting against the Darts

Southern League Division One Eastern
30 April 2006 – Barton Rovers 0 Dartford 2
28 January 2006 – Dartford 2 Barton Rovers 0

Waltham Forest

Formerly known as Leyton Pennant the club changed its name under chairman Harry Ramis. Renamed Waltham Forest and with the chairman’s brother Hakan Heyrettin in charge, the Stags finished in the top ten. Heyrettin and his brother left the following season and the Essex club were left on the brink financially. Two more changes in the chairman’s seat plus ground difficulties added to a chaotic period up to 2008. The Stags became Illford’s tenants and lower league finishes in the Isthmian Division One North were now the norm. Four years ago, Waltham Forest survived with a reprieve but last term the club were relegated to the Essex Senior League, with their lowest points tally and 118 conceded goals.

Last meeting against the Darts

Isthmian Division One North
1 March 2008 – Dartford 1 Waltham Forest 0
20 November 2007 – Waltham Forest 2 Dartford 4

Leighton Town

Isthmian Division Two champions the year before with a sound 91 points and an impressive 111 goals, Leighton Town have been in the Southern League’s second tier ever since. The Reds mainly ended each campaign in mid table with their best ever finish coming four years ago, when they secured seventh spot. Last season has been extremely difficult for the Bedfordshire club, due to mounting debts the club decided to not pay their players to become the only amateur side in the Southern League Division One Central. Despite the decision the Reds improved on the previous campaign which saw them second from bottom and conceding 121 goals. This term Leighton Town are hovering around the same region of the league standings.

Last meeting against the Darts

Southern League Division One Eastern
19 March 2005 – Leighton Town 1 Dartford 1
18 December 2004 – Dartford 0 Leighton Town 0

Chatham Town

The most notable and significant link between Chatham Town and the Darts is Brendon Cass. The striker joined Dartford in 2005 and went on to score 83 times. In the five years Cass played under Burman, the Chats continued at the same level finishing as high as tenth and consistently in mid table. Having moved between the Isthmian Division South and North, the Kent club employed former Dartford title winning captain Alex O’Brien as manager in 2010. O’Brien only lasted a season, and as recent as last season the Chats enjoyed their best F.A Cup run in eighty years. Reaching the F.A Cup fourth qualifying round, the club came close to a first round tie against Mansfield Town.

Last meeting against the Darts

Isthmian Division One South
9 April 2007 – Dartford 1 Chatham Town 3
26 December 2006 – Chatham Town 2 Dartford 3

Wingate & Finchley

On 26 April 2008, the Blues visited Princes Park to face the newly crowned Isthmian Division One North champions Dartford. Three years later the London based side tasted promotion themselves but not before heartbreak the season before. Back to back third places gave Wingate and Finchley two attempts at the playoffs, firstly losing to Enfield Town then winning the final a year later, after extra time against Brentwood Town. Promotion to the Isthmian Premier League was the icing on the cake, as the club also triumphed in the Isthmian League Cup and London Senior Cup. Last season ended dramatically, a 5-0 final day win saw the Blues relegated on goal difference only to be reprieved when Worksop Town resigned from the Northern League.

Last meeting against the Darts

Isthmian Division One North
26 April 2008 – Dartford 1 Wingate & Finchley 0
3 November 2007 – Wingate & Finchley 0 Dartford 2

Arlesey Town

The club had risen through the lower levels of non-league and after nine years moving sideways between the Southern and Isthmian leagues, the Blues became champions of the Southern League Central Division four years ago. Despite having a nine point deduction Arlesey Town still managed to rack up 108 goals and win the title by a point. In the following campaign the Bedfordshire club reached the F.A Cup first round for the first time losing to Salisbury City. They repeated the feat the following season and this time Coventry City stood in the way. Another year on, Arlesey Town did enjoy cup success lifting the Southern League Cup. This term, the Blues are in the lower regions of the Southern Premier League.

Last meeting against the Darts

Isthmian Division One North
19 February 2008 – Arlesey Town 0 Dartford  4
26 January 2008 – Dartford  1 Arlesey Town 0

Beaconsfield SYCOB

Over the next three seasons Beaconsfield SYCOB played in three different divisions without being promoted or relegated.  Sticking in the Southern League, the Rams moved from East to West to South West before relegation arrived in 2007. Beaconsfield SYCOB bounced straight back winning the Spartan South Midlands Premier League by nine points. The following season saw the club reach fourth, their highest ever finish. Twelve months later, the Buckinghamshire side fell to bottom of the pile but were spared a return to the county leagues with a reprieve. Fortunes turned quickly and in the following campaign the Rams finished as playoff runners up losing out to Bedworth United. The club remain in the Southern League Division One Central.

Last meeting against the Darts

Southern League Division One Eastern
15 January 2005 – Beaconsfield SYCOB 2 Dartford 1
21 August 2004 – Dartford 0 Beaconsfield SYCOB 0

Harlow Town

The Hawks returned to the Isthmian League the following season finishing runners up in Division One North. A penalty shootout win in the playoff final against AFC Sudbury secured Harlow Town’s place in the Isthmian Premier League. Joined by Dartford a year later, the Essex side were relegated which included a three point deduction.  The club continued to slide and ended bottom of the Isthmian Division One North with a further ten points docked for financial problems. New owners revived the club temporarily but two years later another ten point deduction for an administration error led to another reprieve.  Last season Harlow Town look back on track with a fourth place finish, an all-weather pitch and a playoff final appearance.

Last meeting against the Darts

Isthmian Premier League
24 March 2009 – Dartford 1 Harlow Town 1
25 August 2008 – Harlow Town 1 Dartford 2

F.A Trophy First Qualifying Round
18 October 2008 – Dartford 2 Harlow Town 1


Restructuring of the non-league pyramid meant that Aveley were another team to move across to the Isthmian Division One North the following campaign. It wasn’t until Rod Stringer was appointed manager that the club started to progress. Six years ago, the final day of the football calendar was full of tension when the top two met. Aveley had to beat free scoring East Thurrock United away from home, Aveley’s 3-2 win saw two former Darts experience different emotions, Joao Carlos triumphed but Max Cornhill missed a crucial penalty. Stringer led the club to third in the Isthmian Premier earning a move to Braintree Town, two years later the Millers returned to the Isthmian Division One North.

Last meeting against the Darts

Isthmian Premier League
17 April 2010 – Dartford 2 Aveley 2
24 October 2009 – Aveley 1 Dartford 4

Isthmian League Cup Third Round
15 December 2009 – Dartford 4 Aveley 5

Berkhamsted Town

Financial troubles hit the club at the time Tony Burman took charge Dartford ten years ago. Berkhamsted Town had seven points deducted and would have finished above Beaconsfield SYCOB had it not been for the off field problems. The Lilywhites would only last another three full seasons, on each occasion the Hertfordshire side ended in the bottom two, twice getting a reprieve. Berkhamsted Town were finally relegated in 2008 and so they moved downwards to the Spartan South Midland League, with just 10 points and 128 conceded goals. Attempts to resolve its debts were unsuccessful and the club eventually bit the dust when they were wound up in 2009 with its record expunged.

Last meeting against the Darts

Southern League Division One Eastern
18 February 2006 – Berkhamsted Town3 Dartford 1
1 October 2005 – Dartford 1 Berkhamsted Town 1


The Brickies have been consistent over the last decade and remain in the Isthmian Division One South, which they joined nine years ago. Sittingbourne’s main success came in the Kent Senior Cup when they won the honour for the first time in 52 years by beating Folkestone Invicta. The Kent side under Richard Brady had former Dartford defender Jamie Coyle as his assistant, the pair eventually left Bourne Park for Leatherhead. The Brickies have had less stability in relation to where they are playing home matches. After leaving Central Park for Bourne Park in 2002, the club upped sticks once more for financial reasons to Woodstock Park, to share with Southern Counties East side Woodstock Sports.

Last meeting against the Darts

F.A Trophy First Qualifying Round
17 October 2009 – Sittingbourne 0 Dartford 1

F.A  Cup First Qualifying Round
18 September 2007 – Sittingbourne 1 Dartford 5 (replay)
15 September 2007 – Dartford 1 Sittingbourne 1

Great Wakering Rovers

The reorganisation of the league system meant Rovers moved from the Southern League Division One East to the Isthmian Division One North. Mid to lower league placing’s become the norm for the Essex club peaking at ninth five years ago. Since then Great Wakering Rovers gradually slid down the pecking order and within two years were relegated back to the Essex Senior League, which they left only 13 years earlier. Only a point separated the bottom three with Rovers finishing in last place. Rovers top scored in the first campaign back but couldn’t amass enough points, however the following season they won the championship by a point on the final day, to return to the Isthmian Division One North.

Last meeting against the Darts

Isthmian Division One North
19 January 2008 – Great Wakering Rovers 0 Dartford 2
16 October 2007 – Dartford 3 Great Wakering Rovers 0

Erith & Belvedere

Local rivals Erith and Belvedere were relegated to the Kent League ending a 23 year stay in the Southern League.  Often top ten finishers, the Deres appointed former Dartford striker Micky Collins in 2010 as manager. Collins made steady progress and three years ago almost delivered the title losing out on goal difference to Herne Bay, a three point deduction proved costly. Erith and Belvedere went to the final day the following season and this time lifted the title in style. The Deres needed to beat VCD Athletic’s result by five goals, they managed a 7-1 win to secure a league and cup double. Last term the club returned to the Kent League, where this season they are amongst the front runners.

Last meeting against the Darts

Southern League Division One Eastern
5 February 2005 – Erith & Belvedere 1 Dartford 1
23 October 2004 – Dartford 1 Erith & Belvedere 1


The basement boys of 2005 wasted no time in returning when they were promoted from the Essex Senior League after one season. Tilbury finished third which was enough to earn promotion to the Isthmian Division One North. The Dockers have remained there ever since despite the odd scare of returning to county level. In Dartford’s title winning season, Tilbury ended third from bottom but they moved in the right direction thereafter. The Dockers did manage an Isthmian League Cup triumph in 2009 beating Harrow Borough in the final. Three years later the Essex club reached the playoffs with a third place finish but an extra time semi-final loss to Needham Market denied the club any glory.

Last meeting against the Darts

Isthmian Division One North
12 April 2008 – Dartford 5 Tilbury 0
30 October 2007 – Tilbury 1 Dartford 2

Dartford v FC Halifax Town

A home tie against FC Halifax Town is between Dartford and a place in the last eight of the F.A Trophy this weekend.

The Darts will want to forget the last meeting with the Shaymen almost two weeks ago, the Yorkshire side came away from Princes Park with a 2-1 victory despite playing the final twenty minutes with nine men. Harry Crawford’s early strike was a temporary highlight for the Darts as the visitors came from behind. Matty Pearson levelled before Lois Maynard was sent off for violent conduct. FC Halifax Town took the lead through Scott Boden’s spot kick which the Shaymen held on to despite James Bolton also receiving his marching orders.

Keeping the F.A Trophy run going will provide light relief to Dartford as league form continues to suffer. On the weekend the Darts lost heavily to Kent rivals Dover Athletic losing 6-1, the clubs biggest league defeat in ten years. Nicky Deverdics put the Whites in front as early as the fifth minute but Crawford netted another for the season, his third in as many games. Deren Ibrahim’s fine form in the Dartford goal could only keep the score down as a brace from Tom Murphy and goals from Richard Orlu, Liam Bellamy and Barry Cogan completed the rout.

It was an unpleasant début for new loan signing Christian Doidge who partnered Crawford up front. The Dagenham and Redbridge striker went straight into the squad after signing the day before. The 22 year old attracted the Daggers interest after an impressive Welsh Premier League campaign with Carmarthen Town, he scored 19 goals in 43 appearances helping the Town to a League Cup triumph.

Since FC Halifax Town’s win at Princes Park, the Shaymen have been without a game due to a frozen pitch, which has allowed Neil Aspin to concentrate in the January transfer market. Defender, Simon Ainge left the Shay for Bradford Park Avenue and in comes Ross Killock, the Leeds United youth team player has had spells on loan at Chester and Alfreton Town. FC Halifax Town will be without Maynard and Bolton after their red cards at Princes Park just under a fortnight ago.

The two sides met in the F.A Trophy before when the Darts run ended one step from Wembley in the semi-finals. Dartford had to beat this weekend’s opponents in the Quarter Final to progress. Then in the Conference North, FC Halifax Town had home advantage and again impressed with a man light. Despite the home side being reduced to ten men early on, Chris Worsley was dismissed for his challenge on Mark Arber, the Conference North playoff winners were not deterred when striker Lee Gregory put the hosts one up. A second half substitution was pivotal in the result, Danny Harris pounced from three yards out, earning the Darts a replay.

In the replay at Princes Park a trio of midfielder’s blasted the Darts into the semi-final after falling behind to Dan Gardner’s second minute goal. Lee Noble scored through a crowded box and two minutes later Elliot Bradbrook netted with a well taken finish. The pick of the bunch came courtesy of winger Ryan Hayes who expertly curled his shot beyond Matt Glennon. The Shaymen set up a dramatic finish with Gardner’s second of the match.

F.A Trophy Story So Far

Second Round

Burgess Hill Town 1 Dartford 2

A last minute winner from Danny Harris clinched victory against Isthmian Division One South high fliers Burgess Hill Town. The Darts completed a cup double against the Hillians and remained the only side to beat the Sussex club this season. Harry Crawford put Dartford in front early on from the penalty spot, Pat Harding made it 1-1. Harris came of the bench and made sure it was Dartford who made it to the last 16.

FC Halifax Town 5 Alfreton Town 3

Richard Peniket took home the match ball with a hat trick in a high scoring entertaining cup tie. Alfreton Town’s Bradley Wood opened the goal fest but Steve Williams equalised. The Reds went ahead again through Lee Stevenson but the Shaymen levelled once more with Peniket’s first. The away side went in front for a third time when Tom Shaw made it 3-2. Peniket hit another two and George Wills secured the 5-3 victory.

First Round

Dartford 2 Solihull Moors 0

In a slow first half goalkeeper Jason Brown kept Dartford in the competition with some decent saves. An improved second half was enough to see the Darts progress at the expense of their Conference North opponents. Firstly captain Elliot Bradbrook netted from the spot and brother Tom sealed the win with just under twenty minutes to go.

Worcester City 0 FC Halifax Town 1

The hosts made headlines in the F.A Cup by beating League One side Coventry City so the Shaymen knew this tie would be tough. FC Halifax Town had to wait until five minutes from time to see Scott Boden score the decider and put the Yorkshire club in the hat for round two.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / FC Halifax Town wins: 3 / Draws: 1

Current Form (* – F.A Trophy)

Dartford (LLWLLL) FC Halifax Town (WWLDWW)
Dover Athletic  A  1-6 Dartford  A  2-1
FC Halifax Town  H  1-2 Alfreton Town  H  5-3*
Burgess Hill Town  A  2-1* Chester  H  0-2
Kidderminster Harriers  H  1-2 Gateshead  A  2-2
Braintree Town  A  0-3 Worcester City  A  1-0*
Braintree Town  H  0-2 Nuneaton Town  H  2-0

Last Meeting at Princes Park

13 January 2015 – Dartford 1 FC Halifax Town 2 – Att: 811

Goalscorer: Crawford (9), Pearson (33), Boden (69 pen)

Dartford Lineup: Ibrahim, Burns, Mitchel-King, McAuley, Driver, Hayes, Cornhill, Noble, Green, Crawford, Harris (subs used: T Bradbrook, Sweeney)

FC Halifax Town Lineup: Glennon, Bolton, M Roberts, Williams, McManus, Maynard, Pearson, Marshall, Smith, Schofield, Peniket (subs used: Boden, K Roberts)

Previous Meetings (* – F.A Trophy)

13.01.2015 Dartford 1 FC Halifax Town 2
14.12.2013 Dartford 1 FC Halifax Town 2
17.08.2013 FC Halifax Town 2 Dartford 0
06.02.2013* Dartford 3 FC Halifax Town 2
30.01.2013* FC Halifax Town 1 Dartford 1




Dover Athletic v Dartford

Dartford’s current form is dividing opinion on the terraces but the club will need to stick together in a crucial Kent derby against Dover Athletic this weekend.

Tony Burman will hope he can lead his side to a league double over Dover Athletic after beating them 2-1 at home earlier in the season. The Darts visit the Crabble seven points from safety and on the back of four straight league defeats. One win and eight defeats has seen the club pick up just three points from the last 27 available. Meanwhile, Dover Athletic have settled in their first season back and are currently unbeaten in eleven Conference Premier matches.

Burman watched his side slump to a 2-1 home defeat in midweek despite having a two man advantage. Harry Crawford scored his second in as many games as early as the ninth minute. FC Halifax Town’s Matt Pearson tapped in the equaliser just passed the half hour mark. Just before the break the Shaymen were reduced to ten men when Lois Maynard was dismissed for violent conduct on Lee Noble. The visitors went ahead from the penalty spot when Rory McAuley was penalised for handball. Scott Boden stepped up and put FC Halifax Town in the lead with twenty minutes remaining. Moments after the penalty, James Bolton was then red carded for an awful foul on Max Cornhill but the Shaymen held on with nine left on the pitch.

Pressure is mounting on Burman and urges everyone to get behind the team, he told “We need everybody’s cause, on and off the field, to (get out of trouble). Unfortunately, the place isn’t like that at the moment”, he added:”I’ve got to take full responsibility because it’s my team that’s out there. We’ve got ourselves into a rut and there’s not much else that can go wrong”.

At least Dartford enter Saturday’s fixture unbeaten in four league matches against Dover Athletic. During the two year spell the clubs met in the Conference South, the Darts won three and drew the other game. Last time at the Crabble a crowd of 1455 witnessed an entertaining 2-2 draw which ended Dartford’s 100% record. A quick start by the visitors had Dartford ahead after 30 seconds when Charlie Sheringham followed up a rebound. Former Darts striker George Purcell levelled the score and in first half injury time Elliot Bradbrook put Dartford in the lead once more. Dover Athletic ended their opponents perfect start to the campaign when Billy Bricknell made it 2-2 on the hour.

In the season before Dover Athletic were brought down to earth on their own patch following their F.A Cup exploits at Gillingham. The Darts won 2-0 thanks to goals from Ryan Hayes and Ollie Berquez. At Princes Park, Dartford won both fixtures 4-0 and 3-1 respectively. Last term the two sides did met in the Kent Senior Cup quarter final in which Dover Athletic won 3-0 on their way to the final, which they lost to Ebbsfleet United.

Dover Athletic’s season has turned around having been second from bottom after eleven games, the Whites had only two wins and a draw to show for their efforts. Since then they have only lost twice in the league and went 16 games unbeaten in all competitions until Premier League side Crystal Palace knocked them out of the F.A Cup third round. Chris Kinnear’s side have only played once in the league this year beating Kent rivals Welling United 2-0 on New Years Day. Victory gave them a festive double over the Wings and sandwiched in between was a creditable 2-2 draw at league leaders Barnet. Two cup competitions have been on the agenda in 2015 keeping confidence at the Crabble high, Dover Athletic also remain in the F.A Trophy and are unbeaten in eight home matches in the Conference Premier.

The Darts could face some former players, full back Tyrone Sterling was at Princes Park last season making 38 league appearances and Connor Essam spent two loan spells with the club. Stefan Payne can be a threat up front, the former Gillingham striker has so far netted 11 league goals for the Whites. During the January transfer window Soloman Taiwo and Adam Mekki have been signed on a permanent basis but former Dartford defender Tom Bonner has chosen to move on to rivals Ebbsfleet United.

Team News

Elliot Bradbrook has been struggling with a knee injury which kept the captain out of the F.A Trophy win at Burgess Hill Town and defeat to FC Halifax Town. Should Bradbrook return he will make his 250th start for the club. Goalkeeper Jason Brown should return after missing recent fixtures due to a back injury and personal reasons. Lee Burns, if selected will make his 250th appearance, 15 of which have come from the substitutes bench.

Head to Head

Dover Athletic wins: 34 / Dartford wins: 32 / Draws: 23

Current League Form

Dover Athletic (WDWDDW) Dartford (LWLLLL)
Welling United A 2-0 FC Halifax Town H 1-2
Barnet A 2-2 Kidderminster Harriers H 1-2
Welling United H 4-0 Braintree Town A 0-3
Altrincham A 2-2 Braintree Town H 0-2
Torquay United H 2-2 Wrexham A 3-1
Gateshead A 2-1 Eastleigh A 0-2

Last Meeting at the Crabble

23 August 2011 – Dover Athletic 1 Dartford 0 – Att: 1455

Goalscorers: Sheringham (1), Purcell (20), Bradbrook (46), Bricknell (61)

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

Previous Six Meetings (* Kent Senior Cup )

26.12.2014 Dartford 2 Dover Athletic 1
04.03.2013* 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


6 – Dover Athletic have won all six matches against teams below them in the league and have yet to concede a goal

8 – the penalty conceded against FC Halifax Town on Tuesday night means Dartford have given away the most penalties in the league, joint with Lincoln City

9 – Dover Athletic have hit the woodwork the most times in the league matching Bristol Rovers total

25 – seconds were on the clock when Ryan Hayes scored against Kidderminster Harriers over a week ago, the quickest goal in this season’s Conference Premier

34 – number of fouls Lee Noble has conceded without picking up a yellow card


Dartford v FC Halifax Town

The Darts return to league action this week facing FC Halifax Town for the fifth time since the Yorkshire club reformed.

Dartford are in desperate need of points as they look for their first home win in the Conference Premier for two months. Tony Burman’s side have dropped to third from bottom after a run of seven defeats in eight league matches.

Most recently an early one goal lead was overturned by Kidderminster Harriers in the final ten minutes. Ryan Hayes scored directly from a corner with just 45 seconds on the clock. The visitors could thank Marvin Johnson for his brace to deny Dartford a much needed victory. Burman recognised that the fitness levels of his players was a factor in the 2-1 loss, he told “I thought the lads worked really hard – and unfortunately that work-rate in the first half caused us problems in the second half. The players’ fitness levels probably weren’t quite up to what they should be because of not playing or injuries”.

Over the Christmas and New Year period the Darts suffered back to back losses against Braintree Town. Meanwhile, Southport picked up a win to extend the gap to safety and Alfreton Town’s draw with Torquay United put them above Dartford. With over half the campaign gone the January transfer window could be important to maintaining Conference Premier status.

Burman has already moved in the transfer marker giving Nathan Green his début against Kidderminster Harriers and releasing defender Tom Bender, after his short term contract finished. The Dartford boss has made his intentions clear by confirming he is on the look out to improve the squad, he said: “With the transfer window opening I have made a number of approaches for players to strengthen the team; some will be loan deals and I’m hoping that others will be permanent deals like Nathan’s”.

Since the New Year the injury list has shortened with Lee Burns returning on New Year’s day and Callum Driver returning to action. Andy Pugh has missed much of the campaign through injury and has been out for two months. Due to the delicacy of the injury the striker will not be rushed back into action but he has started light training.

On the weekend the Darts grabbed a morale boosting last minute winner to reach the F.A Trophy’s last 16. With captain Elliot Bradbrook missing from the line up, his brother Tom won a penalty which was stuck away by Harry Crawford, the strikers seventh in all competitions. Pat Harding equalised for hosts Burgess Hill Town six minutes before half time. It was left to Danny Harris to strike the decisive goal condemning the Hillians to only there second defeat of the season, both coming against Dartford.

FC Halifax Town enjoyed a first season in the Conference Premier since reforming. At the tail end of last term they put an incredible run of ten wins from 14 games, including seven clean sheets in a row. Missing out on a Wembley place via the playoffs did not deter the Yorkshire club this season. The Shaymen topped the table after five games with maximum points, however they have been unable to maintain momentum.

Since that early form the Shaymen have been inconsistent only once recording back to back wins since. A spell of three victories in 14 games pushed the club down to eleventh, however ground had been gained again over December. Aspin’s side are keen to start league action in 2015 having suffering consecutive postponements at home to Gateshead and away to Southport. The Yorkshire side have to look back to the end of September to find their last away win in the league when they beat Alfreton Town.

Just over a year ago, FC Halifax Town completed a double over Dartford with their win at Princes Park. The second half was dominated by the Shaymen and they were rewarded with goals from Joe Ironside and Josh Wilson. The Darts managed to claw one goal back late on when on loan defender Connor Essam halved the deficit.

The only other meeting between the two sides at Princes Park came in the F.A Trophy fourth round replay. After a 1-1 draw at the Shay, the Darts finally shrugged off their opponents in a close contest. Dartford came from a goal down to lead 3-1 thanks to goals from Lee Noble, Elliot Bradbrook and Ryan Hayes. FC Halifax Town’s Dan Gardner grabbed his second of the night with a minute to go to set up a nervy finish. Bradbrook still had time to miss a penalty which in the end didn’t prove decisive.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / FC Halifax Town wins: 2 / Draws: 1

Current League Form

Dartford (LLLWLL) FC Halifax Town (LDWLWW)
Kidderminster Harriers  H  1-2 Chester  H  0-2
Braintree Town  A  0-3 Gateshead  A  2-2
Braintree Town  H  0-2 Nuneaton Town  H  2-0
Wrexham  A  3-1 Torquay United  A  1-2
Eastleigh  A  0-2 Forest Green Rovers  H  1-0
Forest Green Rovers  A  1-2 Alfreton Town  H  2-0

Last Meeting at Princes Park

14 December 2013 – Dartford 1 FC Halifax Town 2 – Att: 952

Goalscorer: Ironside (63), Wilson (74), Essam (83)

Dartford Lineup: Julian, Sterling, Essam, Clark, Burns, Bradbrook, Noble, Martin, Stevenson, Godden, Birchall  (subs used: Cornhill, Harris)

FC Halifax Town Lineup: Glennon, McManus, Maynard, Pearson, Ainge, Roberts, Marshall, Smith, Gardner, Wilson, Ironside (subs used: Worthington, Holsgrove)

Match Stats

dfc v fcht

Previous Meetings (* – F.A Trophy)

14.12.2013 Dartford 1 FC Halifax Town 2
17.08.2013 FC Halifax Town 2 Dartford 0
06.02.2013* Dartford 3 FC Halifax Town 2
30.01.2013* FC Halifax Town 1 Dartford 1

Burgess Hill Town v Dartford

Dartford have already met Burgess Hill Town in this season’s F.A Cup, this time they travel to Leylands Park for this weekend’s F.A Trophy second round tie.

Drawn against each other once more the two sides met two and half months ago at Princes Park. Harry Crawford’s brace and Elliot Bradbrook’s penalty earned Dartford a F.A Cup first round spot in a 3-1 triumph.

The Darts have won all of their previous visits to the Sussex club, the last coming over eight years ago in the Isthmian Division One South. On the opening day of Dartford’s homecoming season, three months before the Darts moved into their new home, a memorable away day gave Dartford the best possible start. In a 6-1 victory, fans favourite Brendon Cass opened his season with a hat trick, John Farley recorded his only goal of 2006/07 and Jay May notched a brace. In 2003, the Darts won 1-0 in the Southern League Eastern Division during their homeless years.

With the January window open Tony Burman is hoping some transfer dealings along with a cup run will boost the confidence of his squad. The visit of Kiderminster Harriers on Sunday became a familiar tale as Dartford couldn’t hold on to earn important league points. Ryan Hayes gave Dartford a superb start after just 45 seconds, the winger scored his 84th career goal for the club by scoring directly from a corner. Chances were missed to increase the lead when Tom Bradbrook headed a golden opportunity wide of the post. Kidderminster Harriers grew into the game and built up pressure throughout the second half, eventually the Darts defence was breached twice by Marvin Johnson in the final eleven minutes to condemn Dartford to another defeat.

On a positive note new signing Nathan Green made his debut and impressed with his performance. The former Dagenham and Redbridge midfielder can also play at left back so could feature in that position following the release on Tom Bender. Bender made 21 appearances for the Darts and was signed in September. Burman has already made it know he is attempting to sign more players to bolster his squad so there could be some new faces come the weekend.

Dartford’s visitors may be three divisions below them but the form of each club suggests the gap is narrower. Incredibly, Burgess Hill Town are unbeaten in 25 Isthmian Division One South games sitting top by three points with three games in hand.

The Hillians have lost just one match this term at the hands of Dartford in the F.A Cup. The only unbeaten side in the top eight tiers of English football have already played 15 cup games as well. In the F.A Cup, Burgess Hill Town played five times adding to the six F.A Trophy ties so far, two county cup fixtures and two league cup matches. All together the Hillians record stands at played 40, won 33, drawn 6 and lost 1.

The F.A Trophy second round is the furthest the Sussex side has ever reached, which they have managed twice before. Progression will take the club the furthest they have been and captain Darren Budd is hoping history is created, he told, “The lads will be brimming with confidence after the victory against Aldershot in the last round and hopefully we can write another bit of history in record books for Burgess Hill Town FC”.

Victory at Aldershot Town came as a surprise but with the confidence building Burgess Hill Town are currently on a winning streak of twelve matches, the Hillians are looking to beat the 15 consecutive wins set earlier in the season. The run continued during the week when they beat Folkestone Invicta 3-1 despite being reduced to ten men, the strike force of Rob O’Toole and Pat Harding combined again who have netted 29 goals in all competitions between them. Top scorer Greg Luer with 16 goals has earned much praise this term, so much so that the 19 year old has joined Premier League side Hull City.

Team News

Striker Andy Pugh has returned to light training but remains out of match action whilst Nathan Green will be cup tied. Captain Elliot Bradbrook could start his 250th game for Dartford, the captain has made the second most appearances from the current squad of players. If selected, central defender Rory McAuley and midfielder Max Cornhill will make their 50th start for the Darts. Nathan Collier will also reach the 50 mark of substitute appearances should he come off the bench to participate.

F.A Trophy Story So Far

First Round

Dartford 2 Solihull Moors 0

In a slow first half goalkeeper Jason Brown kept Dartford in the competition with some decent saves. An improved second half was enough to see the Darts progress at the expense of their Conference North opponents. Firstly captain Elliot Bradbrook netted from the spot and brother Tom sealed the win with just under twenty minutes to go.

Aldershot Town 0 Burgess Hill Town 1

The F.A Cup giantkillers were giantkilled, the Shots who beat Portsmouth in the F.A Cup a month before and drew with Rochdale days prior hosted the Hillians. However, Burgess Hill Town caused an upset and Dan Perry’s strike earned arguably the biggest victory in the club’s history.

Third Qualifying Round

Burgess Hill Town 3 Leatherhead 2

The hosts left it late to secure a first round place by coming from 2-0 down. Leatherhead of the Isthmian Premier League went in front through Vasileious Karagiannis and former Dart Carl Rook made it two. Joe Keehan started the come back from the spot and had to score from another penalty with ten minutes to go. With the match heading for a replay Darren Budd scored with three minutes to go to put the Hillians through.

Second Qualifying Round Replay

Folkestone Invicta 0 Burgess Hill Town 1

A goalless draw at Leylands Park meant the two sides had to face each other again just three days later. Despite heavy rain the fixture went ahead at Fullicks Stadium. Up until 69 minutes the sides were inseparable but with Dan Perry one on one with the Folkestone Invicta goalkeeper, the striker netted the winner.

First Qualifying Round

Burgess Hill Town 2 Chesham United 0

The Hillians bounced back from their F.A Cup defeat at Dartford with a cup win of their own. A brace from striker Pat Harding either side of half time gave the Sussex club a 2-0 win. Harding scored a minute before the interval and doubled his tally with fifteen minutes remaining.

Preliminary Round

Burgess Hill Town 1 Aveley 0

The F.A Trophy journey started back in October against Isthmian Division One North side Aveley. Manager Ian Chapman rested a few players but still relied on the impressive Greg Luer. The striker scored a penalty three minutes into the second half which turned out to be the deciding goal.

Head to Head

Burgess Hill Town wins: 1 / Dartford wins: 5 / Draws: 0

Current Form (*F.A Trophy / ** County Cup)

Burgess Hill Town (WWWWWW) Dartford (LLLWWL)
Folkestone Invicta  H  3-1 Kidderminster Harriers  H  1-2
Hastings United  A  2-1 Braintree Town  A  0-3
Three Bridges  H  3-0 Braintree Town  H  0-2
Worthing  A  5-1 Wrexham  A  3-1
Hastings United**  A  1-0 Solihull Moors*  H  2-0
Carshalton Athletic  H  2-1 Gillingham**  A  3-7

Previous Meetings

25.10.2014+ Dartford 3 Burgess Hill Town 1
13.01.2007** Dartford 7 Burgess Hill Town 2
19.08.2006** Burgess Hill Town 1 Dartford 6
28.10.2003^ Dartford 0 Burgess Hill Town 3
21.10.2003* Dartford 2 Burgess Hill Town 1
20.08.2003* Burgess Hill Town 0 Dartford 1

*Southern League Division One Eastern / **Isthmian Division One South / ^ Southern League Cup / + F.A Cup

F.A Trophy Performances (Last Ten Years)

bhtfc 10 years

Dartford v Kidderminster Harriers

Dartford will hope to avenge their defeat against Kidderminster Harriers earlier in the season and repeat the home win from last term.

The Harriers ran out winners in August by a solitary Kyle Storer goal in a competent performance. The Darts were difficult to break down but going forward failed to register a shot on target that day.

During the previous two season’s Dartford have enjoyed good results against Kidderminster Harriers, including taking six points of the Worcestershire side during the last campaign. At Princes Park, Jason Prior’s close range effort came off Harriers defender Lee Vaughan which gave his side the belief to go on and win. Elliot Bradbrook put the Darts two up six minutes after the break and a third arrived when Danny Harris finished from twelve yards.

Away from home Dartford completed a 2-1 victory to erase the memory of the previus season’s 5-1 loss. The Darts got of to a sensational start by taking a 2-0 half time lead. After just two minutes Alex Woodyard’s excellent cross was met by Max Cornhill, who headed his first league goal for the club. Twenty minutes later débutante Alex Wall shot across the goal and Andy Pugh netted the rebound, for his first for the club. Harriers halved the deficit three minutes into the second half when Gash bundled in from close range but Dartford hung on.

The most memorable triumph since Dartford’s return to the Conference Premier, was the 1-0 home win in August 2012. Substitute Lee Burns headed the vital winner after 36 minutes from a Ryan Hayes corner. Marcus Bettinelli crowned his Princes Park début with a fine display which saw the Darts win a Conference Premier game for the first time in 26 years.

Two defeats against Braintree Town of the festive period has left the Darts seven points behind Southport. A win on Sunday will close the gap on the Merseyside club who are involved in the F.A Cup third round this weekend. Tony BUrman has already used the January transfer window by bringing in 23 year old Nathan Green. The left sided player was a free agent having been released by Dagenham and Redbridge. Burman commented: “I’d like to welcome Nathan to the club on a permanent basis and he will go straight into the squad for Sunday’s game against Kidderminster Harriers. With the transfer window opening I have made a number of approaches for players to strengthen the team; some will be loan deals and I’m hoping that others will be permanent deals like Nathan’s”.

Kidderminster Harriers are chasing down a playoff spot a solitary point behind Eastleigh in fifth. Now in their tenth consecutive season in the Conference Premier, the push to return to the Football League has been taking its toll on Kidderminster Harriers. After finishing runners up two years ago Kidderminster Harriers haven’t reached the same level, but they still continue to knock on the playoff door. Gary Whild’s team started this season with a decent seven game unbeaten during September, October and November. However inconsistencies have played a part in the club looking at the playoffs for promotion.

Over the Christmas period, Harriers won on Boxing Day at Forest Green Rovers before losing consecutive fixtures. Southport beat Kidderminster Harriers and then Forest Green Rovers won on New Year’s Day to avenge their defeat.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 13 / Kidderminster Harriers wins: 13 / Draws: 7

Current League Form

Dartford (LLWLLL) Kidderminster Harriers (LLWWWL)
Braintree Town  A  0-3 Forest Green Rovers  H  2-4
Braintree Town  H  0-2 Southport  H  0-1
Wrexham  A  3-1 Forest Green Rovers  A  3-2
Eastleigh  A  0-2 Lincoln City  H  2-1
Forest Green Rovers  A  1-2 Nuneaton Town  H  3-1
Chester  H  2-4 Altrincham  A  1-2

Last Meeting at Princes Park

21 September 2013 – Dartford 3 Kidderminster Harriers 0 – Att: 1020

Goalscorer: Prior (34), Bradbrook (51), Harris (61)

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

Kidderminster Harriers Lineup: N Vaughan, L Vaughan, Demetriou, Grimes, Gowling, Byrne, Fowler, Dance, Gittings, Gash, Malbon (subs used: Jackman, Lolley, Johnson)

Match Stats

dfc v khfc stats


Previous Five Meetings (* – Friendly / ** – F.A Trophy)

16.08.2014 Kidderminster Harriers 1 Dartford 0
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