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Ebbsfleet United v Dartford

Dartford could have a say in the National South title race on Easter Monday, when they take on league leaders and local rivals Ebbsfleet United.

The Darts are trying to keep pace with the top five after a poor run ended on Good Friday. A first league away win against their opponents in 37 years will only help their cause.

The Fleet are nervously looking over their shoulders and hope to return to the National League after a three year absence.

A frustrating sequence of results left Dartford falling behind the playoff places. Tony Burman’s side lost four in a row and picked up just one point from 18 until the visit of Bishop’s Stortford. Finally, the Darts got back to winning ways with a 3-1 home win.

Danny Harris scored against his former club with a low drive after just six minutes to settle some nerves. The visitors were level just under ten minutes later as Ronnie Vint headed into his own net. Loanee, Keaton Wood put Dartford back in front midway through the first half, scoring his first for the club. Tom Bradbrook sealed the match moments after having a goal ruled out, the striker took his tally to 13 in all competitions for the season.

Dartford make the short journey to Stonebridge Road on the back of three straight away defeats, whilst Ebbsfleet United are five unbeaten at home.

The Darts will have to make do without captain Elliot Bradbrook who serves the last game of his suspension. Lee Burns made his first start since December but failed to finish the match against Bishop’s Stortford. Andy Pugh has been dealing with a groin injury, Callum McNaughton has a fractured metatarsal and Mark Onyemah’s loan spell has ended. Nathan Ferguson, who signed from Burton Albion will be in contention to make his second start and former Ebbsfleet United defender Paul Lorraine is waiting for his Dartford debut.

The Fleet have led the National South since mid-September but have seen the gap reduce over the last few months. Daryl McMahon’s side have drawn over half of their games in 2016, meaning Sutton United and Maidstone United can catch them if they win their games in hand.

Dartford’s local rivals were undone on Good Friday when they lost their first away game of the campaign to relegation threatened Weston-Super-Mare. The 18 match unbeaten away run ended when Daryl Grubb scored a brace for the Seagulls before former Dart, Matthew Godden grabbed a consolation. Godden leads the way in front of goal for Fleet having scored 17 league goals so far, although the striker has only managed two in 2016.

After thrashing Hemel Hempstead Town 6-0 with a reshuffled team, the loss at Weston-Super-Mare came as a surprise. Having sat on the sidelines for the majority of the campaign, former Dartford striker Charlie Sheringham got a rare start against Hemel Hempstead Town.

Another ex Dart, Tom Bonner is likely to return to the Ebbsfleet starting eleven after finishing his four game ban for his red card against Whitehawk. Bonner and Sheringham were part of the Dartford squad which won promotion to the National League in 2012. Kenny Clark is fourth former Dart in the Ebbsfleet United squad and has played 28 times in the league for the Fleet this term.

McMahon can also look towards a range of depth and experience in his squad with the likes of Aaron McLean, Danny Kedwell and Danny Haynes. The trio have made over 850 Football League appearances between them.

Earlier in the season, Ebbsfleet United won away in the league against the Darts for the first time in 32 years. The Bank Holiday August derby was decided by Jordan Parkes after just seven minutes. Dean Rance was sent off for Fleet but they witheld Dartford pressure to take three points.

Dartford’s previous league visit to Stonebridge Road ended in dramatic fashion. A two goal lead was thrown away in injury time when Nathan Elder’s second of the match made it 2-2. Jon Wallis and Harry Crawford had given the Darts a two goal advantage.

Head to Head

Ebbsfleet United wins: 108 / Dartford wins: 116 / Draws 90

Current League Form

Ebbsfleet United (LWDDWD) Dartford (WLLLLD)
Weston-Super-Mare  A  1-2 Bishop’s Stortford  H  3-1
Hemel Hempstead Town  A  6-0 Havant & Waterlooville  A  0-2
Bath City  A  1-1 Maidenhead United  A  1-2
Maidenhead United  H  0-0 Whitehawk  H  2-4
Gosport Borough  A  2-0 Weston-Super-Mare  A  1-2
Havant & Waterlooville  H  2-2 Hayes & Yeading Utd  A  2-2

Last League Meeting at Stonebridge Road

1 January 2013 – Ebbsfleet United 2 Dartford 2 – attendance 2242

Goalscorers: Wallis (12), Crawford (48), Elder (50, 90)

Darts lineup: Bettinelli, Burns, Rose, Arber, Bonner, Champion, Hayes, Bradbrook, Harris, Wallis, Crawford (subs used: Rogers, Erskine, Collier)

Fleet lineup: Edwards, Stone, Walsh, Lorraine, Howe, Phipp, Barrett, Folkes, Carew, Enveer-Marum, Elder (sub used: Blake, Williams, Azeez)

Previous Meetings (* – F.A Cup)

31.08.2015 Dartford 0 Ebbsfleet United 1
29.10.2013* Dartford 1 Ebbsfleet United 0
26.10.2013* Ebbsfleet United 1 Dartford 1
01.01.2013 Ebbsfleet United 2 Dartford 2
26.12.2012 Dartford 3 Ebbsfleet United 1
28.12.2010 Ebbsfleet United 2 Dartford 1
28.08.2010 Dartford 1 Ebbsfleet United 1

Stats

Dartford have yet to beat a side in the top five taking two points from a possible 18.

9 – Ebbsfleet United have gone nine unbeaten against the Darts at Stonebridge Road, winning six and drawing three. Dartford last won in the Kent Senior Cup away to Fleet and have to go back to 1979 for an away league victory against their local rivals.

11 – Prior to the defeat at Weston-Super-Mare, the Fleet went eleven games without defeat, matching the unbeaten run they set at the start of the season.

On This Day

Dartford have not won on 28 March since reforming drawing three and losing one. Last year, the Darts were beaten 2-1 by Altrincham in the National League. Ryan Hayes’ deflected shot was consolation after Damian Reeves’ brace for the visitors. Seven years ago, Dartford drew 2-2 with Tonbridge Angels in the Isthmian Premier League. Adam Flanagan rescued a point as the Darts came from behind twice, Bradley Woods-Garness netted the other goal. In 2005, Dartford recorded the same scoreline against Wingate and Finchley in the Southern League Division One East and in 1998 drew 0-0 with Havant Town in the Southern League South Division.

Dartford v Bishop’s Stortford

Dartford begin their Easter schedule at home to Bishop’s Stortford on Good Friday, ahead of the Kent derby days later.

The Darts’ season is in danger of fizzling out after suffering a fourth straight defeat on the weekend at Havant and Waterlooville. The loss at Westleigh Park leaves Dartford further down the pecking order but still five points adrift of the playoffs.

A depleted squad will need to pick themselves up again and turnaround recent misfortunes. Dartford have taken one point from their last five games and need to improve performances with just eight games to go. On Saturday, Tom Bradbrook was ruled out with injury and brother Elliot suspended, the captain will also miss both Easter fixtures. Danny Harris has a hamstring problem and striker Andy Pugh was pulled off in the 2-0 defeat at Havant and Waterlooville with a groin problem. Lee Noble captained the Darts on Saturday, however two goals from James Hayter gave the hosts a comfortable win.

Last time out against the Blues, Dartford secured a first win in over a month. Barry Cogan scored his first for the Darts from a Tom Gardiner cross. Bishop’s Stortford equalised when Christian Smith headed from close range. The winner came from Elliot Bradbrook who shot on the turn found the back of the net.

The last time the Darts hosted the Blues was in August 2010. Dartford, newly promoted as Isthmian Premier League champions took four games to register a first National South win. Danny Harris scored against his former club minutes before the visitors had a penalty saved by Andrew Young. The lead was doubled prior the break through Charlie Sheringham and Carl Rook wrapped things up with a third.

Bishop’s Stortford have been sporadic this campaign and sit comfortably five places below Dartford but just a win away. Rod Stringer’s side can look towards the goals provided by top scorer Elliot Buchanan who has 22 this season. The striker scored twice on the weekend in a 2-2 draw with Bath City, which extended Bishop’s Stortford’s unbeaten run to four. Last month, the Hertfordshire club lost five in a row after recording their longest spell of seven games without defeat seven.

Dartford last lost to Bishop’s Stortford in 1981 in the F.A Trophy semi-final. Since then the Darts have won three in a row against their Good Friday opponents.

 

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 3  / Bishop’s Stortford wins: 3  / Draws: 2

Last Meeting at Princes Park

Current League Form

Dartford (LLLLDL) Bishop’s Stortford (DWDWLL)
Havant & Waterlooville  A  0-2 Bath City  A  2-2
Maidenhead United  A  1-2 Whitehawk  H  2-1
Whitehawk  H  2-4 Eastbourne Borough  H  1-1
Weston-Super-Mare  A  1-2 Whitehawk  A  3-2
Hayes & Yeading Utd  A  2-2 Chelmsford City  A  1-4
Concord Rangers  H  1-2 Truro City  H  0-3

Previous Meetings (* – F.A Cup / ^ – F.A Trophy)

24.10.2015 Bishop’s Stortford 1 Dartford 2
29.01.2011 Bishop’s Stortford 0 Dartford 1
24.08.2010 Dartford 3 Bishop’s Stortford 0
11.04.1981^ Bishop’s Stortford 2 Dartford 1
04.04.1981^ Dartford 1 Bishop’s Stortford 1
22.11.1975* Dartford 1 Bishop’s Stortford 4
27.10.1970* Bishop’s Stortford 3 Dartford 1
24.10.1970* Dartford 1 Bishop’s Stortford 1

On This Day

Ten years have past since Dartford played on 25 March against Corby Town. A 1-1 draw in the Southern League Division One East came six years after beating the same club 1-0 in the Southern League Southern Division. Fareham Town were beaten 3-1 at home in 1998 and Herne Bay held the Darts to a goalless draw 21  years ago in the Kent League.

Havant & Waterlooville v Dartford

Dartford will need to find a way through the ‘brick wall’ at Havant and Waterlooville this weekend if they want to push for a playoff spot.

The Darts have fallen off the pace with four defeats in their last five games. The latest loss in midweek against Maidenhead United has knocked the side’s confidence. Manager, Tony Burman admitted his team have “hit a brick wall”, he told www.kentonline.co.uk: “The last few results have not helped the confidence. Players can’t, at this stage of the season and where we are in the league, feel sorry for themselves but unfortunately that’s how it seems to come across a little bit”.

With just one point taken from the last fifteen, Dartford are now five points adrift fifth spot with a game in hand. The 2-1 reverse at Maidenhead United followed defeats to Whitehawk and Weston-Super-Mare. Elliot Bradbrook returned to action with a goal, after missing the Whitehawk match, but the captain is now suspended for the next three games for his red card at Weston-Super-Mare.

Danny Harris will be out with a hamstring injury and George Sykes is still reovering from illness. When Harris and Sykes were substituted last weekend against Whitehawk, Lee Noble and Barry Cogan were forced into action too soon. Burman commented: “I had to leave Lee Noble and Barry Cogan on the bench (on Tuesday) simply because of what happened on Saturday. With Elliot missing, I needed to keep them right for Saturday”, he added: “Although they came on last night (Tuesday’s game), it’s a gradual thing. If I push them too much, they’ll end up being injured as well”.

With the squad down to the ‘bare bones’, Burman does not want to make excuses, he said: “They’re things to test you. We can’t use them as excuses – but they are facts”.

The Darts can be optimistic if past form against Havant and Waterlooville counts. The Hampshire side are four points above safety and lost 4-2 at Princes Park. Dartford’s win against the Hawks was their third consecutive, having completed a double against them four years ago.

Back in December, the Darts were close to throwing a two goal advantage away against Havant and Waterlooville, but recovered well to win 4-2.  Elliot Bradbrook scored from the spot and before the break Danny Harris bundled over a second. The Hawks hit back with a quick fire double to level the match with goals from Dan Strugnell and Matt Paterson. Elliot Bradbrook restored the lead, but the moment of the match belonged to Ebou Adams, who netted his first ever senior goal.

Elliot Bradbrook was also influential when Dartford last travelled to West Leigh Park in a 4-1 win. A convincing away triumph started when the captain’s surging run gave Dartford the lead. Before half time that lead had doubled with a cheeky Danny Harris lob. The same two added a further two but not before Scott Jones temporarily put the Hawks back in the game.

The Hawks have not been able to manage the level of performance set last season when they finished in the playoffs. Manager, Lee Bradbury finds his side in a tussle at the bottom of the National South, four points clear of the drop zone.

Since climbing out of the bottom two in early January, Havant and Waterlooville have lost just once in their last ten league games, drawing six of those. Home form has been key to their bid to survive relegation making up for poor results on their travels, where they have won just once.

Most recently, the Hawks completed a double header against Basingstoke Town. Drawing 1-1 in the league at The Camrose, the two sides met days earlier in the Hampshire County Cup semi-final. The Hawks won 2-0 to reach the final and like the Darts hope to secure some silverware in county competition.

Head to Head

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

Current League Form

Havant & Waterlooville (DDDWDD) Dartford (LLLDLW)
Basingstoke Town  A  1-1 Maidenhead United  A  1-2
Chelmsford City  H  1-1 Whitehawk  H  2-4
Ebbsfleet United  A  2-2 Weston-Super-Mare  A  1-2
Maidstone United  H  2-1 Hayes & Yeading Utd  A  2-2
Bath City  H  1-1 Concord Rangers  H  1-2
Whitehawk  A  1-1 Gosport Borough  A  3-1

Last Meeting at York Road

7 January 2012 – Havant & Waterlooville 1 Dartford 4 – attendance 802

Goalscorers: Elliot Bradbrook (21, 89); Danny Harris (29, 74)

Darts lineup – Louis Wells, Matt Jones, Adam Green, Tom Bonner, Conor Essam, Tom Champion, Lee Noble, James Rogers, Jacob Erskine, Elliot Bradbrook, Danny Harris (sub used: Tony Garrod)

Previous Meetings (* – F.A Cup)

05.12.2015 Dartford 4 Havant & Waterlooville 2
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

On This Day

It’s been 22 years since Dartford last tasted victory on 19 March. Participating in the Kent League First Division a 1-0 away win at Tunbridge Wells formed part of a seven game winning streak. Since then, the Darts have played three, drawing 1-1 away to Leighton Town eleven years ago and losing 2-0 away to Staines Town in 2011. Three years ago in the National League, Dartford were beaten 1-0 by Barrow.

 

Maidenhead United v Dartford

Dartford are just about hanging on to their hunt for a playoff spot and hope to end a four match winless run at Maidenhead United.

The Darts have lost three of their last four National South games and are three points off fifth place. Dartford’s latest defeat at home to Whitehawk meant they failed to take advantage of Truro City’s loss. Maidenhead United are a win away from the Darts in tenth spot and have lost just two league games at home all season.

After the 2-1 disappointment at Weston-Super-Mare, Tony Burman was hoping his side could beat a freefalling Whitehawk team. Captain, Elliot Bradbrook was missing through illness and loanee Keaton Wood made his debut. With injuries stretching the current squad Jack Glander, a product of the academy was named on the bench.

Dartford looked in command at 2-0 up with both goals from Andy Pugh, the first from a penalty. The Darts went on to throw the match away, Danny Mills netted a hat-trick for the Hawks and Scott Neilson sealed the comeback for the Sussex club. Dartford crumbled in the final nine minutes conceding three times to lose 4-2. Danny Harris and George Sykes were also replaced in the first half due to injury.

Due to Maidenhead United’s involvement in the F.A Cup and a frozen pitch, it will be the third attempt for Dartford to a get a game against Maidenhead United at York Road this season.

The Magpies were tipped to be amongst the front runners this term and were sitting in fifth spot at the end of October. However, the Berkshire club then recorded one win in thirteen league games until three wins on the spin. A creditable 0-0 draw at home to Ebbsfleet United was followed up by a 4-1 pasting away to Chelmsford City.

Alan Devonshire who earned plaudits for his work at Braintree Town, is trying to rediscover the early season form. The 59 year old, has employed five of his former Braintree Town players who Dartford will be familiar with over the last few years. Carl Pentney, Alan Massey, James Mulley and Ryan Peters all had spells at Cressing Road whilst Ben Wright has been amongst the goals, scoring one less than Magpies top scorer Dave Tarpey, the pair have netted 27 between them this season.

It’s almost four years since Dartford drew 1-1 with Maidenhead United at York Road. The Magpies had to grind out a result when they were left with ten men, meaning Dartford dropped valuable points. Alex Wall, who later in his career had a loan spell at Princes Park, opened the scoring for the Magpies then Reece Tison-Lascaris was sent off. Danny Harris scored the equaliser for Dartford.

In the meeting before the Darts held on to a 3-2 win despite being three goals up. Charlie Sheringham scored either side of Jack Pallen’s goal only for Craig Faulconbridge and Jefferson Louis to help set up a tense final day of the season.

Head to Head

Maidenhead United wins: 1 / Dartford wins: 6 / Draws 3

Current League Form

Maidenhead United (LDWWWL) Dartford (DWLDLL)
Chelmsford City  A  1-4 Whitehawk  H  2-4
Ebbsfleet United  H  0-0 Weston-Super-Mare  A  1-2
Margate  H  3-1 Hayes & Yeading Utd  A  2-2
Eastbourne Borough  H  2-0 Concord Rangers  H  1-2
Oxford City  H  2-1 Gosport Borough  A  3-1
Basingstoke Town  A  1-2 Eastbourne Borough  A  1-1

Last Meeting at York Road

13 March 2012 – Maidenhead United 1 Dartford 1 – attendance 355

Goalscorers: Alex Wall (13); Danny Harris (58)

Darts lineup – Louis Wells, Matt Jones, Adam Green, Tom Bonner, Luke Wilkinson, Tom Champion, Lee Noble, Jon Wallis, Jacob Erskine, Richard Graham, Danny Harris (subs used: Elliot Bradbrook, Ryan Hayes, Tony Garrod)

Previous Meetings

31.03.2012 Dartford 2 Maidenhead United 1
13.03.2012 Maidenhead United 1 Dartford 1
30.04.2011 Maidenhead United 2 Dartford 3
05.03.2011 Dartford 3 Maidenhead United 0
11.01.1900 Maidenhead 1 Dartford 1
11.10.1899 Dartford 4 Maidenhead 0
16.03.1898 Dartford 6 Maidenhead 1
06.11.1897 Maidenhead 2 Dartford 1
06.03.1897 Maidenhead 0 Dartford 0
13.02.1897 Dartford 6 Maidenhead 0

Stats

The Darts only defeat to Maidenhead United was 119 year ago, since then Dartford have played the Magpies seven times without defeat.

Maidenhead United have the second best points per game tally at home this season, narrowly behind Maidstone United.

Andy Pugh has scored 11 goals in his last 14 appearances in all competitions.

On This Day

Dartford have drawn four of their last six games on 15 March, the last being a 1-1 draw with Cambridge City in the National League. Alex Wall’s last minute equaliser cancelled out Tom Elliott’s header. Two years before, the Darts picked up a point at home to Eastleigh in a 0-0 National South draw. Dartford’s defence had a great day in 2008 by keeping a clean sheet and scoring all three goals, John Guest, Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle secured a 3-0 win.

 

Dartford v Whitehawk

Dartford hope to end a three match winless run against Whitehawk this weekend, in a bid to keep in touch with the playoff race.

The Darts host a Whitehawk side in freefall and without victory on the road for three months. Having played two games more than fifth place Truro City, Dartford are three points adrift of the playoffs.

Slip ups against Weston-Super-Mare, Hayes and Yeading United and Concord Rangers means the Darts have taken one point from the last nine available.

Last weekend, a controversial match with Weston-Super-Mare ended in a 2-1 defeat, a mass brawl, Elliot Bradbrook being dismissed and penalty shouts turned down. Despite being two down and reduced to ten men George Sykes scored which turned out to be a consolation goal. On another sour note, defender Callum McNaughton fractured his foot and is likely to miss the rest of the season.

On Tuesday night, the Darts reached the Kent Senior Cup final by beating Greenwich Borough 2-1.  Dartford took the lead in the first half when Barry Cogan’s free kick was flicked on by former Dart, Peter Sweeney and into the path of Ronnie Vint who coolly finished. George Sykes scored the second before Borough pulled a goal back. Tony Burman fielded a strong team and tried out Danny Harris and Kaka Dembele at full back in the second half. The decision may have been influenced by McNaughton’s injury and with the pending suspension of Elliot Bradbrook in mind.

Burman’s hope of a F.A Trophy run was ended by Whitehawk, in the last meeting between the two sides at Princes Park. Mark Onyemah’s handball gifted Whitehawk a penalty which Sam Deering scored. Three minutes later Ryan Hayes’ corner was turned in by a Hawk’s defender. The Sussex side grabbed the winner when Danny Stevens scored from the edge of the box.

Whitehawk have fallen from fourth to eighteenth since Dartford last played them in December. The Darts won at the Enclosed Ground thanks to an Andy Pugh goal in the first half. For the Hawks, defeat was the start of nine matches without victory in the National South, leaving them two points above safety.

After the loss at home to Eastbourne Borough, Steve King was sacked and now interim manager Pablo Asenio is in charge. Asenio drew his first match but witness his side get a 6-0 drubbing against relegation threatened St Albans City.

Last weekend they were beaten 3-2 by Bishop’s Stortford with all five goals coming in the first half. Sam Rents and top scorer were on hand for the Hawks to overturn a 1-0 deficit. The Hawks conceded twice to lose from a winning position.

On Tuesday night, Whitehawk took on Hayes and Yeading United and went ahead in the second half through Deam Leacock. The lead was short lived when United equalised with Ashley Lodge’s twenty yard strike. Elliot Benyon then nodded Hayes and Yeading United in front and Ismael Ehui made it 3-1. In their last nine games, The Hawks have taken just two points from 27 available.

The squad has had a mini facelift over the past week, Sam Deering signed for Ebbsfleet for undisclosed fee, the midfielder played 75 scored 28 for the Hawks. In return they welcome back defender Craig Braham-Barrett and Michael West, who scored against the Darts in August 2010 for Ebbsfleet Utd. Rents also joined Whitehawk from Margate, the defender has already played the Darts earlier in the season in Gates 2-0 defeat.

Former Dartford midfielder and fans favourite, Dave Martin is still with the Hawks. The winger made 71 starting appearances for the Darts scoring 16 times. Meanwhile, Paul Lorraine has left Whitehawk after a 14 month battle with injury, the central defender once signed by Tony Burman played just 14 times for the Sussex club.

Head to Head

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

Current League Form

Dartford (LDLWDW) Whitehawk (LLLDLL)
Weston-Super-Mare  A  1-2 Hayes & Yeading Utd  H  1-3
Hayes & Yeading Utd  A  2-2 Bishop’s Stortford  H  2-3
Concord Rangers  H  1-2 St Albans City  A  0-6
Gosport Borough  A  3-1 Havant & Waterlooville  H  1-1
Eastbourne Borough  A  1-1 Eastbourne Borough  H  1-2
St Albans City  H  2-0 Chelmsford City  H  3-4

Previous Meetings (* – F.A Trophy)

19.12.2015 Whitehawk 0 Dartford 1
28.11.2015* Dartford 1 Whitehawk 2

Stats

3 – In Whitehawk’s four previous trips to Kent they have won three and drew one. Picking up seven points from nine and knocking Dartford out of the F.A Trophy.

5 – Dartford have won all five games against teams in the bottom seven. Weston-Super-Mare were the first bottom eight team to beat the Darts home or away this season.

13 – number of goals in Whitehawk’s last two away games. A 4-3 loss to Chelmsford City and 6-0 defeat to St Albans City.

26 – number of goals Dartford have scored at home, only Sutton United (30) and St Albans City (27) have scored more home goals this term.

On This Day

Dartford’s last victory on 12 March was nineteen years ago in the Southern League Southern Division. The Darts travelled to Buckingham Town to clinch a 1-0 win , a fourth consecutive clean sheet on this day following 1-0 and 2-0 Kent League triumph’s over Slade Green in 1994 and 1996 respectively. Since, Dartford have lost 1-0 to Chelmsford City in 2001 and were thrashed 6-1 by Barking and East Ham United, both in the Southern League Division One East. The most recent fixture was five years ago when the Darts drew 2-2 at the Camrose. Basingstoke Town took an early lead only for Ryan Hayes then Danny Harris to put Dartford ahead, Delano Sam-Yorke scored his second to share the spoils.

Greenwich Borough v Dartford

Dartford eye up a third Kent Senior Cup final in six years when they play tenants Greenwich Borough at Princes Park. 

The Darts have beaten Welling United, Gillingham and Herne Bay on the way and now they face the Southern Counties East’s Premier Division leaders in the final four.

Tony Burman will need to pick up his players after a 2-1 defeat at Weston-Super-Mare. With Saturday’s 400 mile round trip and the National South taking priority, the Darts could field some youngsters once more.  Dajon Golding and Ben Francis have had time to shine in this year’s Kent Senior Cup. Both strikers have scored in the competition and remain on the fringes of the first team squad. Kaka Dembele is another of those who have benefited from the competition having started all three ties so far, scoring a penalty in the last round.

Dartford last played Borough twenty years ago during the Kent League days with the game ending 0-0. The Darts dominated this fixture winning five out of seven including a 6-2 League Cup win in 1994.  In the last three meetings between the two sides Dartford have kept three clean sheets.

Greenwich Borough approach the semi-final on the back of a 7-0 league win against Holmesdale. Former Darts, Mohammed Eisa and Ryan Johnson bagged goals with Peter Sweeney playing in midfield.

Eisa has an impressive 24 league goals to his name this term in a team which have netted 96 in total. Borough are a point ahead of Holland and Blair with just eight games remaining.

Gary Alexander’s side scraped past their two Kent Senior Cup opponents winning both rounds on penalties. Folkestone Invicta were defeated 10-9 on penalties after a 1-1 draw and Tonbridge Angels lost 3-2 in their shoot out after a 2-2 stalemate.

The Darts are aiming to win the competition for the eleventh time, Greenwich Borough have yet to win the Kent Senior Cup. The winner will play either Charlton Athletic or Ebbsfleet United in the final.

 

Weston-Super-Mare v Dartford

Dartford will want to keep their decent record against Weston-Super-Mare intact this weekend to stay in the playoffs.

The Darts have won four of the last five meetings against the Seagulls including a 2-1 home win in September.  Pulling off a dramatic late comeback, Dartford trailed by a goal with two minutes remaining.

Dayle Grubb scored with ten minutes left, taking advantage of a Ronnie Vint error to bend the ball past Derren Ibrahim. The scores were level with two minutes on the clock when Danny Harris scored from close range. Four minutes into stoppage time Lee Noble’s corner was deflected into his own net by Clayton Fortune.

This season has seen a few spirited comebacks from Dartford’s squad, and it was the same never say die attitude that earned them a point on Tuesday. The Darts looked down and out against Hayes and Yeading United having conceded twice in the opening half an hour. Just like the last match against United, the Bradbrook brothers came to the rescue. Tom pulled a goal back ten minutes before Elliot headed home a Ryan Hayes cross. No further goals were scored in the second half as the match ended 2-2. The draw saw the return of Lee Noble and came off the back of a disappointing 2-1 defeat at home to Concord Rangers.

Manager, Tony Burman told www.dartfordfc.com: “In all fairness to the players they did not do a lot wrong in the first half but found ourselves 2-0 down when we had the majority of the game, Once again the players deserve a lot of credit for clawing themselves back on level terms just before half time. I felt we would go on and win the game in the second half but it was not to be, but we came away with a well earned point against a team who had some great results recently”.

Picking up a point pushed Dartford into the last playoff place as Weston-Super-Mare’s fixture at Truro City was called off.

Ronnie Vint was substituted with an injury on Tuesday night, Elliot Bradbrook has a minor hamstring issue and Barry Cogan returns to the squad.

If you’re looking for goals then Weston-Super-Mare are the team to watch. In matches involving the Seagulls there has been over 100 goals scored, including an incredible 5-5 draw with Hemel Hempstead Town at the end of January.

The struggling West Country side lost their opening five matches and played catch up for the rest of 2015. A nine match unbeaten run from the end of November to mid-February has got Ryan Northmore’s side out of trouble for the time being.

During that unbeaten run the average goals per game was just over five. Havant and Waterlooville, Wealdstone and Chelmsford City were all beaten 3-2, St Albans City were defeated 4-1 and Oxford City 5-2. Even the draws have been high scoring with the 5-5 stalemate at Hemel Hempstead Town and 3-3 draw at Eastbourne Borough.

The unbeaten run did come to crushing end with three home defeats in a row against Hayes and Yeading United, Wealdstone and last weekend Chelmsford City. Northmore’s side were resoundingly beaten 3-0 by the Clarets missing two key players in Dayle Grubb (thigh injury) and Jacob Crane, who started his two match suspension. Northmore has welcomed back Jake Llewellyn who returned from his loan spell at Taunton Town and Scott Wilson who has served his suspension.

Head to Head

Weston-Super-Mare wins: 1 / Dartford wins: 4 / Draws 4

Current League Form

Weston-Super-Mare (LLLDWW) Dartford (DLWDWL)
Chelmsford City  H  0-3 Hayes & Yeading United  A  2-2
Wealdstone  H  1-2 Concord Rangers  H  1-2
Hayes & Yeading United  H  0-2 Gosport Borough  A  3-1
Eastbourne Borough  A  3-3 Eastbourne Borough  A  1-1
Oxford City  H  5-2 St Albans City  H  2-0
Hemel Hempstead Town  A  5-5 Wealdstone  H  1-2

Last Meeting at The Woodspring Stadium

13 August 2011 – Weston-Super-Mare 0 Dartford 4  – Att: 480

Goalscorers Elliot Bradbrook (15), Tom Bonner (38), Charlie Sheringham (65, 70)

Dartford Lineup: Andrew Young, Matthew Jones, Adam Green, Tom Bonner, Paul Goodacre, Tom Champion, Ryan Hayes, Jon Wallis, Charlie Sheringham, Elliot Bradbrook, Richard Graham (Subs used: Danny Harris, Lee Noble, Ryan Cooper)

Previous Meetings

12.09.2015 Dartford 2 Weston-Super-Mare 1
12.11.2011 Dartford 1 Weston-Super-Mare 1
13.08.2011 Weston-Super-Mare 0 Dartford 4
08.02.2011 Weston-Super-Mare 0 Dartford 1
04.09.2010 Dartford 4 Weston-Super-Mare 1
13.12.1997 Dartford 3 Weston-Super-Mare 3
16.08.1997 Weston-Super-Mare 0 Dartford 0
12.04.1997 Dartford 1 Weston-Super-Mare 1
23.11.1996 Weston-Super-Mare 2 Dartford 0

Stats

2 – Weston-Super-Mare have only managed two goals at home versus Dartford and that was in the first meeting between the two sides, which ended 2-0 to the Seagulls.

3 – The Darts have kept three clean sheets in their last three visits to The Woodspring Stadium.

8 – Dartford have gone eight games unbeaten against Weston-Super-Mare stretching back to 1997.

101 – Number of goals scored in National South games featuring Weston-Super-Mare this season, the highest total in the league

On This Day

Since reforming the Darts have won two and drew one competitive match on 5 March. The only defeat came in a friendly against Sittingbourne in 1994. Eleven years ago, Waltham Forest were beaten 1-0 in the Southern League Division One East. Five years ago, the Darts took a while to break Maidenhead United down but eventually went on to win 3-0. Charlie Sheringham broke the deadlock before Elliot Bradbrook scored two late goals in the Conference South. In the league above two years later, Dartford drew 1-1 with Stockport County thanks to a Danny Harris equaliser, Mark Cullen had given the Hatters the lead.