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Dartford v Chelmsford City

Dartford start the New Year hosting mid-table Chelmsford City in the National League South at Princes Park.

The two sides met on Boxing Day with the Darts taking all three points. Andy Pugh’s superb strike was enough to clinch a 1-0 victory, however the striker missed Bank Holiday Monday’s draw against Margate. A none game unbeaten run has led to Dartford climbing the table to sixth place and within a point of the playoffs.

Dartford have found the Clarets a thorn in their side over recent seasons, last winning a home match against the Essex club 15 years ago. The last meeting in 2012 ended 0-0 to match the score line at Melbourne Park that season.

Fortunes for both clubs have changed over the last two or three months with roles reversing. From October, Tony Burman has got his Dartford side challenging for the top five after finding the right formula on the pitch. Since mid-September, Chelmsford City slipped from fourth to mid-table.

The Essex club had a much brighter start to this term’s National South campaign. A five game unbeaten run had the Clarets in the playoff places. November yielded a solitary win and last month also saw little in return.

In contrast, at the beginning of October the Darts were in mid-table with manager Burman under pressure. Since switching formation his side have flourished with a fighting spirit, a tight defence and improved results.

It’s not just been this season where the two clubs have reversed roles. Six years ago, Chelmsford City were in a league higher, with Dartford leading the Isthmian Premier League. The F.A Cup drew the sides together and although half a division separated the Darts from the Clarets, the Essex side brushed Burman and company aside in a 4-1 win. The result indicated the work Dartford needed to do to compete higher up the pyramid.

In those six years, the Darts passed Chelmsford City to reach the top flight of non-league football. When Burman signed Max Cornhill and Kenny Clark from the Clarets a few season’s back, it highlighted the change in fortunes.

Chelmsford City are now in their eighth consecutive year in the National South. In their first five seasons they finished in the playoffs four times. Over recent campaigns they have failed to hit those heights again.

Now it’s Mark Hawkes’ turn who has vowed to ‘wake a sleeping giant’. He has brought in new faces but one of those will be an old one to Dartford. Rory McAuley is likely to make his Princes Park return. The 26 year old made 70 appearances for the Darts in the National League.

Chelmsford City favourite Billy Bricknell is also back at the club after spells with Dartford’s rivals Ebbsfleet United and Maidstone United, the striker has a reputation of scoring against the Darts.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 35 / Chelmsford City wins: 50 / Draws: 88

Current League Form

Dartford (DWWWWD) Chelmsford City (WWLWDL)
Margate  H  1-1 St Albans City  A  1-1
Chelmsford City  A  1-0 Dartford  H  0-1
Whitehawk  A  1-0 Wealdstone  H  0-2
Basingstoke Town  A  1-0 Gosport Borough  A  1-2
Havant & Waterlooville  H  4-2 Eastbourne Borough  H  0-3
Maidstone United  H  1-1 Hayes & Yeading Utd  A  5-0

Last Meeting at Princes Park

7 April 2012 – Dartford 0 Chelmsford City 0 – attendance 1660

Darts lineup – Louis Wells, Lee Burns, Tom Bonner, Luke Wilkinson, Tom Champion, Lee Noble, James Rogers, Jacob Erskine, Elliot Bradbrook, Danny Harris (subs used: Ryan Hayes, Tony Garrod)

Previous Six Meetings (* – F.A Cup)

26.12.2015 Chelmsford City 0 Dartford 1
07.04.2012 Dartford 0 Chelmsford City 0
27.08.2011 Chelmsford City 0 Dartford 0
03.01.2011 Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 2
30.08.2010 Chelmsford City 2 Dartford 0
10.10.2009* Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 4

League Stats

Dartford’s record in 2015 ended with 13 victories, 12 draws and 16 defeats, scoring 47 and conceding 55.

9 – the Darts are on the longest current sequence of unbeaten runs. If they avoid defeat they will join Ebbsfleet United, Truro City, Oxford City, Maidstone United and Whitehawk who have reached double figures.

28 – points Dartford have taken against teams in the bottom half of the National South. The Darts have won nine out of eleven, drew once and lost once.

On This Day

The Darts unbeaten run on 2 January includes eight wins and four draws spanning a 78 year period. In the last stint at this level, the Darts beat local rivals Welling United 1-0 at Princes Park. Danny Harris scored the winner in a match which saw Andy Pugh playing for the opponents. Cray Wanderers were defeated five years ago with goals by Lee Burns and James White to earn Dartford a 2-1 victory in the Isthmian Premier League. In 2006, Dartford were held to a 0-0 draw with Sittingbourne in the Southern League Division One East. The last team to beat Dartford on 2 January was Aldershot Reserves back in 1937, in the Southern League Midweek Section.

Dartford v Margate

Dartford see out the year in top form and next up is newly promoted Margate at Princes Park.

An eight match unbeaten run in the National South leaves the Darts two points away from the playoff places, with a game in hand.

Dartford host newly promoted Margate for the first time in over five years hoping to record a double. Earlier in the season, the Darts won 2-0 at Hartsdown Park in August. Lee Noble opened the scoring with a header from Barry Cogan’s cross. The Darts were then reduced to ten men after Lee Burns received a second yellow card. Despite the setback, Elliot Bradbrook added a second to seal a well-deserved victory.

December could see boss Tony Burman in with a chance of picking up Manager of the Month. His team have picked up four wins from four, the latest on Boxing Day away to Chelmsford City. The 1-0 victory was Dartford’s third in a row and the second in which Andy Pugh netted the winner. This time the striker DESCRIBE GOAL.

Pugh’s form means fellow striker, Tom Bradbrook will need to prove his worth as he comes back from injury. Bradbrook is expected to return to the squad on Monday after missing the last four games. Lee Burns made way for the impressive Tom Gardiner on Boxing Day, the full back failed a late fitness test. Gardiner slotted into the defence with ease as the Darts kept a third consecutive clean sheet, the first time since March 2011.

During Dartford’s Isthmian Premier league winning season, Margate left Princes Park stunned in March 2010. James Pinnock capitalised on a defensive mishap and netted the winner just after the hour. The visitors stayed organised and desperate for the points they grabbed all three.

Since reforming, the Darts have beaten Margate twice at home in seven attempts. In a league fixture, the last home victory came 18 years ago. Despite a slow start to 2015/16, Tony Burman will feel his side has every opportunity to end the run as they aim towards the playoffs.

The Gate are struggling in their first National South campaign back after a ten year absence. Terry Brown who guided the club to promotion last term is no longer the man in charge. At the beginning of December, Brown described the month as key for the club. A day later, following a 3-0 defeat to fellow strugglers St Albans City, Brown departed Margate. In stepped club captain Nikki Bull and coach Jamie Stuart, who continue the fight against relegation.

Margate took ten matches to record their first win in the league, leaving the coastal side on the back foot. Consecutive victories over Eastbourne Borough and Gosport Borough were followed by inconsistent results and sitting at the wrong end of the table.

Bull’s managerial reign has got off to a flyer with double 1-0 wins against playoff chasers Gosport Borough and Maidstone United. Similarly to the Darts, a striker has scored the winner in both matches, this time Freddie Ladapo is the man, Margate’s top scorer this season.

Former Dart, Nathan Green is likely to return to Princes Park having made 15 appearances under Tony Burman last season. The defender signed in the summer by Terry Brown can also be used in midfield.

New boss, Nikki Bull has added goalkeeper Chris Lewington to the squad. The 27 year old impressed Dagenham and Redridge when he was at Leatherhead. Lewington made 120 appearances for the Daggers in the Football League before joining Colchester United, where he played just once.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 45 / Margate wins: 42 / Draws: 28

Current League Form

Dartford (WWWWDW) Margate (WWLWDL)
Chelmsford City  A  1-0 Maidstone United  H  1-0
Whitehawk  A  1-0 Gosport Borough  H  1-0
Basingstoke Town  A  1-0 St Albans City  A  0-3
Havant & Waterlooville  H  4-2 Hemel Hempstead Town  A  2-1
Maidstone United  H  1-1 Bath City  H  1-1
Hayes & Yeading United  H  2-0 Whitehawk  H  2-6

Last Meeting at Princes Park

23 March 2010 – Dartford 0 Margate 1 – attendance 907

Darts lineup – Andrew Young, Billy Burgess, Adam Gross, Adam Flanagan, Jon Beales, Danny Dafter, Ryan Hayes, Danny Harris, Allan Tait, Lee Burns, Elliot Bradbrook (subs used: Carl Rook, Rob Haworth, James White)

Previous Six Meetings (* – F.A Trophy)

23.02.2010 Dartford 0 Margate 1
18.08.2009 Margate 0 Dartford 4
07.03.2009 Margate 2 Dartford 2
02.12.2008 Dartford 3 Margate 2
11.10.2008 Dartford 0 Margate 1
12.11.2005* Margate 0 Dartford 1

League Stats

With one game left of the calendar year, Dartford’s record has been won 13, drew 11, lost 16, scoring 46 and conceding 54.

8 – the Darts are on the longest current sequence of unbeaten runs, five teams have managed reaching double figures (Ebbsfleet United, Truro City and Oxford City recorded 11, whilst Maidstone United and Whitehawk notched up ten)

3 – clean sheets in a row for Dartford for the first time in almost five years. The Darts last kept three consecutive clean sheets between 22 February 2011 and 5 March 2011 when the beat Dorchester Town, Basingstoke Town then Maidenhead United in the Conference South.

27 – points Dartford have taken against teams in the bottom half of the National South. The Darts have won nine out of ten and lost just once to Wealdstone

On This Day

Dartford’s last fixture on 28 December was a local derby against rivals Ebbsfleet United five years ago. The Fleet ran out 2-1 winners at Stonebridge Road as the Darts were reduced to nine men. Derek Duncan’s free kick gave the Fleet the lead before Elliot Bradbrook levelled. Joe Bruce was sent off when he conceded a penalty which Callum Willock scored. James White became the second Dartford player to be dismissed after a second caution. Thirteen years ago, the Darts were involved in an entertaining 3-3 home draw with Burnham and in 1998 beat former landlords Erith and Belvedere 2-0.

Chelmsford City v Dartford

Dartford look to continue their fine form on Boxing Day, when they travel across the Thames to face Chelmsford City.

When the fixture list was announced pre-season, the Darts and the Clarets seemed an unusual festive pairing. On Saturday, they meet for the first time since Dartford’s promotion winning campaign.

The form of both sides is contrasting with Dartford recording the most points in the last six fixtures, whilst Chelmsford City have taken the least. Victory for the Darts could move them into the National South playoffs.

Tony Burman’s side stretched their unbeaten run in the National South to seven last weekend, with their third consecutive away win. Andy Pugh finally scored for the Darts, ending a three month drought. The striker’s shot made its way through a crowded penalty area, which turned out to be the winner. With Pugh netting the only goal, Elliot Bradbrook’s run of scoring ended after five consecutive league matches.

At the other end of the pitch, Dartford have now kept two consecutive clean sheets, the first time in the league since April 2013. Burman praised his defence after Saturday’s match against Whitehawk, who were the league’s top scorers, he told www.kentonline.co.uk: “We defended very well”, he continued: “I thought we thoroughly deserved the win. Deren Ibrahim hasn’t had a save to make against one of the top-scoring teams in this league”.

Victory at the Enclosed Ground moved the Darts up to seventh, two points behind the playoffs with a game or two in hand over those above them. The win in Sussex, followed a well earned triumph at Basingstoke Town and an entertaining victory in their last home game versus Havant and Waterlooville.

Burman is hoping the momentum will continue, he added: “We’ve started December really well and we’ve spoken about getting to the end of February still being involved (in the play-off race)”.

Chelmsford City have lost much of their early season promise, which saw them in the top four by mid-September. The Clarets lost just twice in their opening ten fixtures, they have won just twice since.

The Essex club host the Darts on the back of three consecutive defeats. Excluding a county cup triumph, Chelmsford City have gone three months without a home win and are lacking goals at Melbourne Park, scoring once in their last five on their own turf.

Last weekend, the Clarets were beaten by Wealdstone to continue their recent poor home form. Wesley Parker and Bradley Hudson-Odoi scored for the visitors as the Stones won 2-0. Defeat comes off the back of home league losses against Eastbourne Borough, Truro City and Oxford City. The only point picked up in that time at the Melbourne Community Stadium was versus league leaders Ebbsfleet United. The Clarets have also lost recently to Hampshire side Gosport Borough.

Despite recent form, Chelmsford City have shown flashes of inspiration recording a 5-2 victory over Concord Rangers, their last home win back in mid-September. Just before the current losing streak, the Clarets travelled to play Hayes and Yeading United and recorded a 5-0 victory.

The Essex club now has two former Darts in their ranks. Defender, Rory McAuley made 70 appearances for Dartford before making the switch across the Thames in the summer. Last term, midfielder Luke Daley turned out 38 times for the Darts, in his only season with the club.

Both sides will be desperate to provide more value than the two encounters in the 2011/12 season. In August 2011, the match at the Melbourne Community Stadium ended 0-0, the same scoreline  was recorded eight months later at Princes Park.

Team News

Tom Gardiner continues to try a regain a place in the starting eleven. Barry Cogan’s absence meant Tom Wynter played in midfield last weekend, however Cogan is likely to be fit for selection. Striker, Tom Bradbrook was left out of the 1-0 win at Whitehawk, after turning his ankle in training. Ryan Hayes was missing from the starting eleven with a chest infection, although he did make the bench last week.

Head to Head

Chelmsford City wins: 50 / Dartford wins: 34 / Draws: 18

Current League Form

Chelsmford City (LLLWLL) Dartford (WWWDWW)
Wealdstone  H  0-2 Whitehawk  A  0-1
Gosport Borough  A  1-2 Basingstoke Town  A  1-0
Eastbourne Borough  H  0-3 Havant & Waterlooville  H  4-2
Hayes & Yeading Utd  A  5-0 Maidstone United  H  1-1
Truro City  H  1-2 Hayes & Yeading Utd  H  2-0
Bath City  A  0-2 Bishop’s Stortford  A  2-1

Last Meeting at Melbourne Community Stadium

27 August 2011 – Chelmsford City 0 Dartford 0 – attendance 1013

Darts lineup – Andrew Young, Matthew Jones, Adam Green, Tom Bonner, Paul Goodacre, Tom Champion, Ryan Hayes, Jon Wallis, Chalrie Sheringham, Elliot Bradbrook, Richard Graham (subs used: Danny Harris, Lee Burns, Lee Noble)

Previous Six Meetings (* – F.A Cup)

07.04.2012 Dartford 0 Chelmsford City 0
27.08.2011 Chelmsford City 0 Dartford 0
03.01.2011 Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 2
30.08.2010 Chelmsford City 2 Dartford 0
10.10.2009* Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 4
12.03.2001 Dartford 0 Chelmsford City 1

 

On This Day – Boxing Day stats

Dartford’s Boxing Day record is mixed since reforming with four wins, three draws and six defeats.

Dartford have lost their last two against Braintree Town (0-2) and Welling United (1-2).

Three years ago, they beat Ebbsfleet United 3-1 with goals from Harry Crawford (2) and Elliot Brdbrook.

Dartford last played away on Boxing Day against Welling United in the National South four years ago which ended 1-1.

The most memorable win was in 2007 when Canvey Island were blown away as the Darts romped to a 6-1 win, Steve Norman, Ryan Hayes, Brendon Cass, Jay May, Eddie McClements and Jamie Coyle were the scorers that day.

The most played team over Boxing Day since reforming is Erith and Belvedere, the two sides met three times during the Southern League Division One era.

Twenty years ago Dartford lost their only game in the Kent League. A 1-0 defeat to Furness proved crucial as the Swanley based side later won the title on the final day, in a showdown against the Darts.

The last Boxing Day away win came in 2006 when Dartford beat Chatham Town 3-2 in the Isthmian Division One South.

Whitehawk v Dartford

In form Dartford travel to Whitehawk for the first time, in an attempt to avenge the F.A Trophy exit just three weeks ago.

The Hawks won the cup tie 2-1 at Princes Park, on a day manager Tony Burman claimed the Darts never got out of ‘second gear’. Dartford took on their opponents after a two week break which finally showed. Sam Deering scored from the spot and Danny Stevens scored the winner, the Darts had equalised thanks to an own goal.

It wasn’t the best afternoon for Mark Onyemah, who was backed by Burman after the match. The full back made two crucial mistakes resulting in both of Whitehawk’s goals. The loanee from Luton Town will be hoping to make amends this weekend.

Burman is keen to get one back over Whitehawk, he told www.kentonline.co.uk: “People probably don’t expect us to get anything from Whitehawk but we’d like to repay the defeat we suffered in the Trophy”.

After a slow start to their National South campaign, Burman has guided the Darts up to eighth thanks to an unbeaten run of six league matches. Four wins and two draws since mid-October has Dartford top of the current form table. He added: “Our six games without defeat have been spread over two months. We’ve played okay in those games but it’s nothing to get too excited about”, he continued: “We’re getting results at the moment and we’d like to continue that throughout December”.

The Darts are chasing down a playoff spot as they enter the busy festive schedule, Burman has already prepared his squad for the task ahead. George Sykes and Kaka Dembele returned from loan spells whilst academy players Ben Francis and Dajon Golding were included in the last match day squad at Basingstoke Town.

In that fixture, Elliot Bradbrook was the hero grabbing the winning goal from close range. The captain pounced to score in his fifth consecutive league game, taking his tally in that period to six goals. The first half strike was enough for Dartford as they looked comfortable in the strong winds. In the second half, the Darts were resolute against the conditions and deservedly held on to victory.

Dartford are now five points behind Whitehawk, who occupy the final playoff spot. By beating Basingstoke Town last weekend, the Darts have already made one game in hand count and they still have another over the Hawks.

This weekend could see former Dartford favourite Dave Martin in action. The winger made 71 starting appearances for the Darts scoring 16 times. Former Ebbsfleet United defender, Paul Lorraine has returned from a long term injury but was so close to wearing the Dartford shirt when he signed in June 2014. Due to Dartford’s reprieve in the National Premier, Lorraine departed because of work commitments.

Whitehawk started their National South campaign brightly losing just once in their opening thirteen fixtures, leaving the Hawks in third place. Last season’s playoff finalists hit a sticky patch in mid-October losing three out of four, including defeat to basement boys Basingstoke Town.

The Brighton based club can boast the best attack in the league, an attribute Burman points out could have its downfall, he commented to www.kentonline.co.uk: “They like to go forward at all costs and sometimes you can exploit that. It can be a good way of playing, to score lots of goals but they’ve also conceded some from winning positions”.

Steve King’s side made headlines in November with an entertaining 5-3 F.A Cup first round win over Lincoln City. The Hawks forced a replay in round two against Dagenham and Redbridge with a last minute equaliser. However, the dream of playing Premier League side Everton at Goodison Park ended when they were beaten 3-2 by the Daggers in Tuesday night’s replay.

In between cup exploits, Whitehawk picked up a 2-2 draw with Wealdstone and a decent victory over Maidstone United, a 1-0 win at the Gallagher Stadium. In the F.A Trophy last weekend they were eliminated in a 3-1 loss versus Dover Athletic.

Victory for either side this weekend will certainly do no harm to their playoff prospects.

Head to Head

Whitehawk wins: 1 / Dartford wins: 0 / Draws: 0

Current League Form

Whitehawk (WDLWLL) Dartford (WWDWWD)
Maidstone United  A  1-0 Basingstoke  A  1-0
Wealdstone  A  2-2 Havant & Waterlooville  H  4-2
Concord Rangers  H  0-2 Maidstone United  H  1-1
Margate  A  6-2 Hayes & Yeading Utd  H  2-0
Weston Super Mare  H  0-2 Bishop’s Stortford  A  2-1
Basingstoke Town  A  1-3 Hemel Hempstead Town  H  2-2

Previous Meetings (* – F.A Trophy)

28.11.2015* Dartford 1 Whitehawk 2

Stats

6 – Whitehawk recorded the biggest home win in the National South this season, the Hawks beat St Albans City 6-0 on 3 October 2015. The Hawks also hit six at Margate and are the only team to score six twice this term

14 – points accrued by Dartford in their last six matches to top the form guide

18 – number of goals scored in games featuring Dartford away from home, the second fewest. There has only been 13 goals scored in matches involving Maidstone United on their travels

40 – Whitehawk are the National South’s joint top scorers with Oxford City, striker Danny Mills has netted a quarter of the Hawks total.

On This Day

Seventeen years have passed since Dartford played on 19 December way back in 1998. An away trip to Corby Town ended with the Darts winning 2-1 in the Southern League Southern Division. Dartford haven’t played at home on 19 December since 1981, when they lost 3-0 to Dagenham in the Alliance Premier League.

Basingstoke Town v Dartford

Dartford hope to make one of their games in hand count against Basingstoke Town this weekend.

The Darts travel to Hampshire to face the side they beat in the National South playoff semi-final, three and half years ago. A win for Tony Burman’s side will potentially take them up to eighth place and within five points of the top five.

Dartford, unbeaten in five league fixtures take on the National South’s bottom club and have fond memories of their last meeting at The Camrose. A first half injury time strike by Lee Noble was enough to give the Darts a 1-0 first leg lead in the 2012 National South playoff semi-final. The second leg at Princes Park ended 2-1 with Elliot Bradbrook and Luke Wilkinson scoring either side of Shaun McAuley’s equaliser on the night.

Burman has led the Darts to three consecutive wins against Basingstoke Town, which began with a convincing 4-1 home triumph. However, the last league meeting at The Camrose ended 3-2 to the Hampshire club with Dartford coming from behind to lead 2-1,before being condemned to defeat.

In only their second away league fixture for two months, Dartford last won on their travels at the end of October. On the road goals have been hard to come by with an average of just a goal a game. In their most recent match, at home to Havant and Waterlooville there were plenty of goals. In form captain Elliot Bradbrook scored from the spot and before the break Danny Harris bundled over a second. Havant and Waterlooville hit back capitalising on a slow Dartford start, the Hawks scored a quick fire double to level the match with goals from Dan Strugnell and Matt Paterson. Elliot Bradbrook restored the lead, his fifth goal in his last four league games but the moment of the match belonged to Ebrima Adams, who netted his first ever senior goal.

Burman told www.dartfordfconline.com: “I was pleased with the first half performance in difficult conditions and I felt we deserved to come in in front with the two goal lead. I can’t explain what happened in the first ten minutes of the second half, but to me it’s frustration at its best”, he added: “On the plus side, this group that we have still fought back and scored two good goals and gained their composure for the last part of the game”.

Basingstoke Town exceeded expectations last term by reaching the playoffs, this time around they have been below par taking just 12 points. The results led to former manager Jason Bristow nobly stepping down just three weeks ago and replaced by Michael Gilkes. Bristow will remain with the club he’s been with for the last 16 years guiding the academy side. Gilkes makes the step up having been assistant manager, his first experience as a first team boss.

Gilkes wasted no time in changing the squad by signing Scottish under 21 international defender Dom Hyam on loan from Reading, a club the new boss has strong connections with from the eighties and nineties. Whilst, Will Salmon departed having only joined Basingstoke Town in the summer from Metropolitan Police.

In his first match in charge, Gilkes watched his side lose 2-1 to Havant and Waterlooville in the F.A Trophy third qualifying round. However, his debut at the helm in National South ended in a 2-1 away win over Bishops Stortford, Jay Gasson’s goal was cancelled out by Elliot Buchanan. The winner came from Hyam in injury time giving the hosts no time to respond.

The line up included top scorer Chris Flood, the striker netted 13 league goals last term and has ten in all competitions this campaign. Partnering the former Eastleigh and Dorchester Town striker was Liam Enveer-Marum. Familiar to the Darts from his spell with local rivals Ebbsfleet United, Enveer-Marum has fared well against Dartford scoring for the Fleet and whilst he was at Braintree Town.

Basingstoke Town have managed just one league win at The Camrose this season, which came after a winless opening 13 games. After the 3-1 victory over Whitehawk, the Hampshire side lost four in a row before the triumph at Bishops Stortford.

 

Head to Head

Basingstoke Town wins: 3 / Dartford wins: 9 / Draws: 4

Current League Form

Basingstoke Town (WLLLLW) Dartford (WDWWDL)
Bishop’s Stortford  A  2-1 Havant & Waterlooville  H  4-2
Maidstone United  H  0-1 Maidstone United  H  1-1
Truro City  A  0-2 Hayes & Yeading Utd  H  2-0
Concord Rangers  A  0-5 Bishop’s Stortford  A  2-1
Maidenhead United  A  3-4 Hemel Hempstead Town  H  2-2
Whitehawk  H  3-1 Wealdstone  A  0-2

Last Meeting at The Camrose

29 January 2011 – Basingstoke Town 0 Dartford 1 – attendance 1691

Goalscorer: Lee Noble

Darts lineup – Louis Wells, Lee Burns, Adam Green, Tom Bonner, Luke Wilkinson, Tom Champion, Lee Noble, James Rogers, Jacob Erskine, Elliot Bradbrook, Danny Harris

Previous Six Meetings (* – Playoff)

08.05.2012* Dartford 2 Basingstoke Town 1
02.05.2012* Basingstoke Town 0 Dartford 1
27.02.2012 Dartford 4 Basingstoke Town 1
03.09.2011 Basingstoke Town 3 Dartford 2
12.03.2011 Basingstoke Town 2 Dartford 2
01.03.2011 Dartford 1 Basingstoke Town 0

Stats

69% – Dartford have won nine of their 14 against Basingstoke Town since first meeting in the league in 1976

34 – Years since the Darts beat Basingstoke Town away in a regular league match

A win could put Dartford on top of the form table (last six games)

On This Day

Dartford last played on 12 December in 2009 beating Waltham Abbey 2-1 at Princes Park. Danny Dafter had a mixed afternoon scoring and getting sent off. Rob Haworth scored the other goal in the Isthmian Premier league encounter. In 1998, the Darts were involved in a seven goal thriller losing out 4-3 to Folkestone Invicta in the Southern League Southern.

Dartford v Havant & Waterlooville

Dartford play their fifth consecutive home game this weekend when they host Havant and Waterlooville in the National South.

The Darts have been getting back on track after a six match unbeaten run in all competitions. However, last weekend Tony Burman’s side suffered a setback, losing their F.A Trophy tie against Whitehawk. Defeat leaves Dartford out of both major cup competitions and a chance to concentrate on the league and Kent Senior Cup.

In the league, Dartford need to make their two games in hand count if they are to challenge for a playoff spot. Currently eight points adrift, the Darts know two victories will bring them within touching distance. In the meantime, the club need to keep pace and stretch their unbeaten league form to five matches.

Last time out in the National South, an Elliot Bradbrook equaliser earned Dartford a point against Kent rivals Maidstone United. The draw followed consecutive league wins over Bishop’s Stortford then Hayes and Yeading United. Elliot Bradbrook will be hoping to keep his goalscoring run going having scored in each of his last three league appearances.

Tony Burman has backed his on loan defender Mark Onyemah this week, the full back’s mistake was vital in Whitehawk knocking Dartford out of the F.A Trophy, Burman told www.kentonline.co.uk: “He’s a more than strong enough character to put that behind him. He has been outstanding for us since he’s been here. He was nearly the hero when he went through and hit the bar, then he was penalised for handball and he should have done better when he got closed down (for the second goal)”. The Dartford boss also felt his side struggled to get into ‘top gear’ after a two week break.

A return to National South action starts against Hampshire side Havant and Waterlooville, who have only won once on their travels in the league this campaign. The Hawks finished last season in the playoffs losing in the semi final to the promoted Boreham Wood. This term fortunes have turned with Lee Bradbury’s side in nineteenth, five points clear of the bottom two.

Bradbury may have pedigree as a Football League player and his short managerial career has been promising. Now, the 40 year old faces an unfamiliar challenge at the wrong end of the table after two victories in the last dozen league games. Back to back 3-1 wins at Oxford City and home to Maidenhead United have been a brief respite from eight defeats and two draws they have recorded since the end of August.

Dartford last played Havant and Waterlooville during their National South playoff winning campaign. In March 2012, Sam Pearce put the Hawks ahead and Scott Jones missed a penalty, which only served to stir the Darts into action. Dartford bounced back with three goals without reply, with the first coming from Lee Noble. With nine minutes remaining Danny Harris bundled in the second and to seal victory Luke Wilkinson scored his first for the Darts. A 3-1 triumph was added to the comprehensive 4-1 win achieved at Westleigh Park two months prior, completing a double against the Hampshire side.

In the previous campaign, the two sides met on the opening day in an entertaining 2-2 draw. Dartford, just promoted as Isthmian Premier earned a point with a stoppage time Ryan Hayes penalty. Earlier, Danny Harris headed the first goal from a Hayes free kick before the Hawks went ahead through Bobby Hopkinson’s penalty and Wes Fogden’s strike two minutes from time.

The Darts won’t return to Princes Park until the end of the month to close out the year.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 2 / Havant and Waterlooville wins: 3 / Draws 2

Current League Form

Dartford (DWWDLL) Havant & Waterlooville  (LLWWLD)
Maidstone United  H  1-1 Weston Super Mare  A  2-3
Hayes & Yeading  H  2-0 Sutton United  A  0-3
Bishop’s Stortford  A  2-1 Maidenhead United  H  3-1
Hemel Hempstead Town  H  2-2 Oxford City  A  3-1
Wealdstone  A  1-2 Margate  A  1-4
Truro City  H  0-1 St Albans City  H  1-1

Previous Meeting at Princes Park

17 March 2012 – Dartford 3 Havant and Waterlooville 1 – attendance 1087 – view highlights 

Goalscorers: Noble (23), Harris (81), Wilkinson (87); Pearce (8)

Dartford lineup: Wells, Jones, Green, Bonner, Wilkinson, Champion, Noble, Wallis, Erskine, Bradbrook, Harris (Subs used: Hayes, Garrod, Burns)

Previous Meetings (* – F.A Cup)

17.03.2012 Dartford 3 Havant & Waterlooville 1
07.01.2012 Havant & Waterlooville 1 Dartford 4
18.04.2011 Havant & Waterlooville 1 Dartford 0
14.08.2010 Dartford 2 Havant & Waterlooville 2
15.10.2000* Dartford 0 Havant & Waterlooville 4
29.04.1999 Havant & Waterlooville 1 Dartford 1
06.03.1999 Dartford 0 Havant & Waterlooville 2

 

Stats

At home, Dartford have won three out of three against teams below them in the league

The Dartford defence at home ranks sixth in the league on average conceded per game. However, only two teams home and away (Ebbsfleet United and Maidstone United) have conceded fewer.

Havant and Waterlooville have the leakiest defence having conceded 39 times, they have shipped in 25 goals on their travels.

 

On This Day

Dartford’s last win on 5 December came 34 years ago in the top flight of non league. A 5-0 home win against Yeovil Town. Since then, in 1987 the Darts picked up a goaless away draw with Nuneaton Borough in the Southern Premier League. Following relegation to the Southern Division Dartford lost a year later, 3-2 away to Baldock Town.