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Slough Town v Dartford

Dartford face a tough F.A Cup qualifying tie this weekend when they visit Southern Premier League table toppers Slough Town.

Over recent weeks the Darts have found form going unbeaten in their last six matches. Dartford’s positive run is nothing compared to Saturday’s opponents who have won their last nine fixtures and are unbeaten in 11 games.

It’s been 28 years since the Darts played Slough Town and they will be hoping to repeat the 2-1 F.A Cup fourth qualifying round victory, with the help of player manager Peter Taylor’s finishing. The clubs also met seven years earlier with Dartford running out 4-1 winners in the F.A Trophy first round against the then Isthmian League leaders.

Last weekend, Tony Burman led his side to a 2-1 victory over the National South’s bottom side Concord Rangers. The home win lifted the Darts to seventh in the table to keep up momentum.

Duane Ofori-Acheampong was relieved to have opened his goal scoring account for the Darts with the opening goal against the Beachboys. Danny Harris added a second, his third of the campaign before Concord Rangers grabbed a consolation.

Burman told www.dartfordfc.com: “It was a good time to take the lead with Duane getting off the mark. We knew the game would open up in the second half and took advantage of that with an excellent goal from Danny. It was disappointing not to increase the lead and to concede a late goal, but the main thing is we added another 3 points to the total”.

Tom Wynter is the only injury concern when the full back was substituted before half-time last weekend, Burman commented: “We had him looked at on Monday and there was good movement in the knee and there is a slim chance he could be involved Saturday, although we know we have to be careful and we may wait for the following week”.

Ronnie Vint has returned to action but still building up fitness levels, he is likely to get a longer run out in the Kent Senior Cup next week. That leaves the possibility of Keaton Wood replacing Wynter if required.

The third qualifying round tie could see more academy players gaining first team experience, Burman stated to www.kentonline.co.uk: “With seven substitutes in the FA Cup it means I could bring a couple of players in. With Ben Francis and Richard Seixas having a chance to get games in elsewhere, a couple of second-year guys here could be called upon”, he added: “Some of them have done well and deserve the recognition and we are confident enough in them to get them involved. We’ve got some good prospects coming through”.

Slough Town were in action on Tuesday and extended there winning streak to an impressive nine in all competitions. The Rebels are five points clear in the Southern Premier League and with a new stadium at Arbour Park the feel good factor could play a part in causing an upset.

Joint managers Neil Baker and Jon Underwood helped the Berkshire side see off Chipstead and Cambridge City in the previous rounds. Chipstead were swept aside 6-1, the only goal conceded by Slough Town at home this season and Cambridge City were beaten 3-1.

Attacking threat comes from the all over the pitch with four players sharing the top scorer tag for Slough Town this term. Lee Barney, James Dobson, Gavin James and Warren Harris have all netted six times, former Hampton and Richmond striker Charlie Moone is just one behind. Defensively, the Rebels have kept four clean sheets in their last five outings.

Slough Town finished their previous two campaigns in the Southern Premier League in 16th and 17th respectively, there is no doubt the move to Arbour Park has been a catalyst to their success this time. The Rebels will be hoping to recreate the F.A Cup run they had in 2013 when they negotiated six games, including one replay to reach the first round where they lost to Mansfield Town on penalties. The Berkshire club has reached the proper stages 16 times in their history.

Head to Head

Slough Town wins: 0 / Dartford wins: 2 / Draws: 0

Current Form (all competitions)
Slough Town (WWWWWW)
Won 2-0 v Leamington (H)
Won 3-0 v Biggleswade Town (H)
Won 3-1 v Cambridge City (A) – F.A Cup
Won 1-0 v Weymouth (A)
Won 4-0 v Redditch United (A)
Won 6-1 v Chipstead (H) – F.A Cup

Dartford (WWWDWD)
Won 2-1 v Concord Rangers (A)
Won 3-2 v Chelmsford City (A) – F.A Cup
Won 2-0 v Margate (A)
Drew 1-1 v East Thurrock United (A)
Won 2-1 v Welling United (H)
Drew 0-0 v Maidenhead United (H)

Last Meetings

Slough Town 1 Dartford 2 (29/10/1988 – F.A Cup)
Dartford 4 Slough Town 1 (10/01/1981 – F.A Trophy)

Stats

Elliot Bradbrook remains one goal away from his one hundredth for Dartford

Slough Town have recorded the longest winning streak in the Southern Premier League for two years

On This Day

Cup matches on the 1 October have been a good omen for the Darts going seven unbeaten in a run including five wins. The last cup defeat on this day in 1947 came against Gillingham in the Southern League Cup. Since then the Darts drew 1-1 with Gravesend and Northfleet in the same competition five years later. In the F.A Cup, Epsom and Ewell were beaten 2-1 in 1983, St Albans City held the Darts 1-1 in 1988 and Witham Town were defeated 3-1 in 1989. The only F.A Vase fixture Dartford played on 1 October took place in 1994, when the Darts overcome Steyning Town 3-1. Back to the F.A Cup and in 2000 Abingdon Town were narrowly beaten 3-2 and just five years ago Harrow Borough lost 5-0 to the Darts, James Rogers, Elliot Bradbrook, Charlie Sheringham, Tom Bonner and Lee Burns scoring the goals.

Dartford v Concord Rangers

Dartford look to extend their unbeaten home run to six when they host bottom of the table side Concord Rangers this weekend.

In the three previous meetings between the two sides only the away team has managed to come home victorious. The Darts will be hoping to break that record at Princes Park to keep momentum going in the National South. Concord Rangers on the other hand have struggled to get going this term winning just one of their opening eleven fixtures.

Last weekend, current top scorer for the Darts, Elliot Bradbrook took his goal tally for Dartford to 99 in the 3-2 F.A Cup win at Chelmsford City. The captain scored twice in the first half and was unlucky to miss out on his one hundredth and a hat-trick when he had a goal ruled out as well. An own goal by Chelmsford City’s goalkeeper, Ross Fitzsimons set the tone for the first half before Bradbrook’s duo. The Clarets fought back in the second half finding the goal twice in four minutes when Shamir Mullings scored both.

Burman praised his side’s attitude and desire to hold on and progress to the F.A Cup third qualifying round where they meet Slough Town.Victory for the Darts now means they are unbeaten in five in all competitions, avoiding defeat at Concord Rangers will make it a season’s best run.

Defeat was something the Darts were unable to avoid in the same fixture last campaign. Former Dartford midfielder James White scored a superb goal to give the Beachboys an away win at Princes Park. In fact all three strikes in the 2-1 loss back in February were expertly taken from outside the box. Tom Bradbrook curled his effort into the top corner but his goal was cancelled out by Steve Cawley’s twenty yarder.

At last Dartford are back to full strength with defender Ronnie Vint named on the subs bench for the F.A Cup tie, after his cast on his wrist was finally removed. That means Burman is pleased with the amount of players in his squad, so much so he has this week let Ben Francis out on loan for a month and Richard Seixas will join the striker on dual registration at Leatherhead. The Darts boss is hoping the pair can reach a higher level of fitness following injury whilst promoting some more academy talent.

Managed by former Dartford title winning captain Adam Flanagan, Concord Rangers have had a poor start to their season. In their fourth term in the National South, the Beachboys have reached the top ten in their previous three campaigns but sit at the bottom this time.

The Essex club suffered four straight defeats to begin their campaign before picking up their first point away to Oxford City. Since that draw the Beachboys have managed to avoid back to back league losses but still remained winless after nine attempts. At the tenth effort, Concord Rangers finally grabbed their first win beating Weston-super-Mare away.

Flanagan’s team will approach this weekend’s fixture having lost two in a row, the National South reverse at home to Wealdstone was followed by a F.A Cup exit against AFC Rushden and Diamonds. Two former Darts took part in those games, Joao Carlos who played four times in the Isthmian Premier league winning side and Mark Onyemah, the full back spent time on loan at Princes Park last term.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 2 / Concord Rangers wins: 1 / Draws: 0

Current League Form
Dartford (WDWDLW)
Won 2-0 v Margate (A)
Drew 1-1 v East Thurrock United (A)
Won 2-1 v Welling United (H)
Drew 0-0 v Maidenhead United (H)
Lost 1-4 v Hampton & Richmond Borough (A)
Won 2-0 v Hungerford Town (H)

Concord Rangers (LWDLDL)
Lost 0-1 v Wealdstone (H)
Won 2-1 v Weston-super-Mare (A)
Drew 0-0 v Bishop’s Stortford (H)
Lost 0-5 v Welling United (H)
Drew 0-0 v Whitehawk (A)
Lost 0-1 v Maidenhead United (H)

Last Meetings

Dartford 1 Concord Rangers 2 (27/02/2016)
Concord Rangers 2 Dartford 3 (18/08/2015)
Concord Rangers 1 Dartford 3 (27/01/2009)

Stats

Elliot Bradbrook is one goal away from his century after 311 starting appearances and 13 substitute appearances. The Dartford midfielder averages approximately a goal every 3.27 games.

Dartford are unbeaten in five home matches this season winning two and drawing three.

Only league leaders Maidenhead United and newcomers Poole Town have conceded fewer goals (1) at home than Dartford(3).

All five of Concord Rangers’ goals have come away from home this season.

The Beachboys last went one win from their opening eleven league games back in 2011, when they finished 14th in the Isthmian Premier League.

On This Day

Dartford’s match against Concord Rangers will be only their fourth home game on the 24 September in the last 39 years. Since defeat to Atherstone United in the 1977 Southern Premier League, the Darts have beaten Witney Town 4-1 in 1983 and Tonbridge Angels 3-1 five years ago in the National South, Elliot Bradbrook, Danny Harris and Charlie Sheringham all scored. In between the two home victories, Dartford played six away matches in a row including a 5-1 hammering of Darenth Heathside in the Kent Premier League in 1994. The last time Dartford played on this day was at Blundell Park where they lost 5-2 to Grimsby Town in the National League three years ago.

Chelmsford City v Dartford

Almost a year ago Dartford were on the wrong end of a F.A Cup upset, now the Darts hope to progress in their tough draw against Chelmsford City.

Only a month has passed since Dartford visited Melbourne Park and came home with a point. The National South fixture ended all square when Luke Wanadio’s header was cancelled out by Shaun Jeffers.

Having been knocked out at this stage last term to Southern League Division One Central side Uxbridge, Tony Burman will be desperate to avoid another early exit, he told www.kentonline.co.uk: “Last year we had a dream draw but it backfired for us. This year we’ve got a team in the same division as ourselves away from home. You don’t want to be playing a team in your own league and they have got home advantage but we want to stay in the FA Cup and that’s what we’ll try to do”, he added: “We all know the financial rewards that are on offer but it’s a tough draw and I am sure they think the same. We’ll both be looking forward to it. It’s a one-off game. Nothing else matters and we’ll look to do our best and progress”.

The Darts can look forward to the cup tie having stretched their unbeaten run to four in the league at Margate. Leaving it fairly late, Dartford scored twice in the final fifteen minutes to record their second away win of the season. Andy Pugh scored his first of the campaign following up a rebound from Danny Harris’s effort. Elliot Bradbrook made sure of the three points by scoring a penalty.

Tony Burman almost has a full squad to choose from and is hoping Ronnie Vint is cleared to play. The defender has suffered with a broken wrist but match officials have ruled him out because of the cast he has to wear.

Dartford last played Chelmsford City in the F.A Cup seven years ago when the Darts were in the Istmian Premier league. Two of the players in the current squad, Elliot Bradbrook and Lee Noble started that game which ended 4-1 to the Clarets. The Essex side inflicted the first home defeat of that campaign on the Darts with two goals coming from Antonio Murray and the others by Ricky Holmes and Dave Rainford, Adam Flanagan scored the only goal for Dartford.

Chelmsford City will provide another stern test in the cup, the Clarets are fourth in the National South, five points behind top spot. The Essex club are unbeaten at home with four wins and two draws, their only defeats this campaign came back to back against current league leaders Maidenhead United and third place St Albans City.

The Clarets saw the end of their five game winning streak on Monday when they drew at home with East Thurrock United. The 2-2 stalemate was the first points dropped by Rod Stringers’ side since losing at Maidenhead United. Jeffers earned a point for his team with a stoppage time equaliser as the Clarets fell behind twice in the game.

Chelmsford City’s winning run started with three clean sheets against Oxford City, Welling United and Weston-super-Mare followed by wins over Ebbsfleet United and Whitehawk. Top of the form table, the Clarets look set to challenge for promotion after three years of mediocrity.

In last season’s F.A Cup, the Clarets won a replay against Ebbsfleet United before losing to a struggling Basingstoke Town team. The last time the Essex club reached the proper rounds was when they last reached the playoffs in 2012.

Head to Head
Chelmsford City wins: 50 / Dartford wins: 35 / Draws: 90

Current Form
Chelmsford City (DWWWWW)
Drew 2-2 v East Thurrock United (H)
Won 1-0 v Whitehawk (A)
Won 2-1 v Ebbsfleet United (A)
Won 1-0 v Weston-super-Mare (A)
Won 2-0 v Welling United (A)
Won 2-0 v Oxford City (A)

Dartford (WDWDLW)
Won 2-0 v Margate (A)
Drew 1-1 v East Thurrock United (A)
Won 2-1 v Welling United (H)
Drew 0-0 v Maidenhead United (H)
Lost 1-4 v Hampton & Richmond Borough (A)
Won 2-0 v Hungerford Town (H)

Previous Six Meetings
Chelmsford City 1 Dartford 1 (13/08/2016)
Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 1 (02/01/2016)
Chelmsford City 0 Dartford 1 (26/12/2015)
Dartford 0 Chelmsford City 0 (07/04/2012)
Chelmsford City 0 Dartford 0 (27/08/2011)
Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 2 (03/01/2011)

F.A Cup Stats
Over the last ten years Chelmsford City have reached the proper rounds on four occasions compared to Dartford’s three times

Dartford have made it past the second qualifying round on seven occasions in the last ten years compared to Chelmsford City’s eight.

Dartford reached the third round two years in a row in 1935/36 and 1936/37, the furthest they have got in the F.A Cup

The Clarets made the second round three years in a row between 2011 and 2013

Chelmsford City’s best F.A Cup came in 1938/39 when they reached the fourth round

On This Day
John Bartley scored four times including a 20 minute hat-trick against Flackwell Heath in the F.A Cup first qualifying tie 28 years ago. The Darts went on to win 7-1 at Watling Street and reach the first round proper. The 1988 F.A Cup tie was the last victory Dartford recorded on 17 September and since then they have lost 3-0 to Chatham Town in the Kent League (1994), 4-1 to Corby Town in the Southern League Division One East (2005), 2-1 to Farnborough in the National South (2011) and 3-0 to Luton Town in the National League (2013).

Margate v Dartford

Dartford are involved in their second Kent derby in a week when they travel to the coast to face Margate.

The Darts have tasted victory just once on the road this term and are still trying to find their flow ahead of their trip to Hartsdown Park, a venue they have enjoyed visiting in recent years.

Last term, Dartford won 2-0 with goals from Lee Noble and Elliot Bradbrook and seven year ago they strolled to a 4-0 victory. This season, both teams enter the derby on the back of three games without defeat and separated by one point.

On Saturday, the Darts also travelled locally across the Thames to take on East Thurrock United. In a tepid affair, the hosts scored and missed a penalty, which Deren Ibrahim saved. Ryan Hayes came off the bench to make an impact yet again, the midfielder scored the equaliser to become the top marksmen for Dartford this campaign. Hayes is having to make do with substitute appearances and his 93rd goal for the club adds to the part he had in the winning goal against Welling United last week. The loyal servant created the winner for Elliot Bradbrook in a 2-1 triumph over their local rivals.

Manager, Tony Burman stated that his team is yet to get out of third gear and judging by his comments after the draw at East Thurrock United he still looking for the perfect formula, he said: “East Thurrock is a difficult place to come. You have to start with the right attitude and realise sometimes you dig in and it’s not going to be pretty. I think the game quality wise wasn’t great, and probably the best thing I can say is we got something for our efforts”.

With the squad almost back to full capacity, Keaton Wood took his place on the bench on Saturday after missing the 0-0 draw with Maidenhead United  with a dead leg. Ronnie Vint has managed just two games this term before breaking his wrist, but his cast has been deemed unsuitable by match officials.

Margate were spared relegation last season by the thinnest of margins when they survived by a single goal. This term they started off with a 1-0 win at home to Bath City before returning to that relegation form. Four defeats on the spin was ended in a 3-1 triumph over Weston-super-Mare but then came a 4-0 mauling at the hands of Ebbsfleet United.

Form has now taken an upturn with a 1-1 draw at home to Hungerford Town and back to back league wins for the first time since February. On the weekend the Gate defeated Bishop’s Stortford 2-0 with goals from Michael Thalassitis and a penalty from new loanee Vas Karagiannis, who manager Nikki Bull has brought in from Maidstone United. Margate also managed what Dartford couldn’t by beating East Thurrock United 2-1 last Tuesday.

Head to Head
Margate wins 42 / Dartford wins: 45 / Draws: 29

Current League Form (Last six games)
Dartford (DWDLWW)
Drew 1-1 v East Thurrock United (A)
Won 2-1 v Welling United (H)
Drew 0-0 v Maidenhead United (H)
Lost 1-4 v Hampton and Richmond Borough (A)
Won 2-0 v Hungerford Town (H)
Won 2-1 v Weston-super-Mare (A)

Margate (WWDLWL)
Won 2-0 v Bishop’s Stortford (A)
Won 2-1 v East Thurrock United (H)
Drew 1-1 v Hungerford Town (H)
Lost 0-4 v Ebbsfleet United (A)
Won 3-1 v Weston-super-Mare (H)
Lost 0-1 v Poole Town (A)

Previous Six Meetings

Dartford 1 Margate 1 (28/12/2015)
Margate 0 Dartford 2 (29/08/2015)
Dartford 0 Margate 1 (23/03/2010)
Margate 0 Dartford 4 (18/08/2009)
Margate 2 Dartford 2 (07/03/2009)
Dartford 3 Margate 2 (02/12/2008)

Stats

Excluding the Kent Senior Cup tie scheduled three years ago, Dartford’s last away defeat at Hartsdown Park came in 1998 in the same competition, since then the Darts have won three and drawn three. The Kent Senior Cup tie in 2013 never took place and as a result Dartford were forced to withdraw from the competition.

The last time Margate won at home in the league against Dartford was in 1997, the Gate’s 1-0 victory came in the Southern League Southern division.

Dartford’s last two visits to Margate have ended with a clean sheet with the Darts scoring six without reply. In fact the Darts have kept four clean sheets in their last five trips to Hartsdown Park.

On This Day

Dartford’s last five matches on 13 September have alternated results between winning and losing. Last season the Darts beat Weston-Super-Mare 2-1 in a dramatic late turn around. Dayle Grubb had the Seagulls ahead with ten minutes remaining until Danny Harris levelled with two minutes to go. In the injury time Clayton Fortune turned the ball in to his own net to hand victory to the Darts. In 1997 and 2008, Dartford progressed in the F.A Cup with wins over Herne Bay (2-1) and Hastings United (3-2) respectively. Defeats arrived at the hand of Gateshead (0-1) two years ago and Chelmsford City (0-2) in 1999.

East Thurrock United v Dartford

Dartford will make the short trip across the River Thames when they visit East Thurrock United this weekend. 

Determined to put a run together, the Darts responded well to the 4-1 defeat at Hampton and Richmond Borough over the Bank Holiday period. Dartford held league leaders Maidenhead United to a goalless draw then went on to beat local rivals Welling United 2-1.

Tuesday night’s grafted victory over the Wings lifted Dartford up the National South table. Although Elliot Bradbrook missed a penalty which Alex Brown benefited from its rebound, the captain notched the winner from Ryan Hayes’ excellent cross. The Darts did have their lead cancelled out earlier when Adam Coombes scored a superb free-kick.

Manager, Tony Burman is pleased with the points return since the Bank Holiday set back but feels there is room for improvement, he told www.kentonline.co.uk: “We’re playing games in third gear and not getting out of that gear. It could be because the guys who have been injured are coming back and doing another pre-season”, he continued: “It’s frustrating again because I feel we can do better. We don’t want little spurts of good play; we want to be more consistent”.

One of those looking for fitness is Bradbrook, he said: “I’m playing catch-up at the moment. I’m two or three weeks behind the rest of the lads who have got some games in”. Bradbrook scored on the opening day and in the same game he injured his ankle, Tuesday’s match winner still admits to struggling for full fitness, he added: “I was blowing a bit, I felt tight and sore at half-time after playing the whole game on Saturday. It takes it out of you. You can’t be making all those runs when you’re not as fit as you can be, but luckily I got in there when it mattered”.

As well as Bradbrook, the injury list has been a problem for the Dartford squad. Lee Noble has suffered with a groin issue, Keaton Wood failed a fitness test and Ronnie Vint still has his broken wrist in a cast. Striker’s Andy Pugh and Duane Ofori-Acheampong also had time out and as a result are still trying to strike up a decent partnership up front.

One point and one place below the Darts, East Thurrock United have won three, drew three and lost three. On Tuesday night they were beaten 2-1 by Margate at Hartsdown Park. Michael Clark equalised for the Rocks after the Essex club conceded an own goal in the first half, but Margate’s Daniel Akindayini but the Kent club back in front.

John Coventry guided the Rocks to promotion last term wining the Isthmian Premier League playoffs. In that campaign they scored the most in the division and already this season they have showed some signs of attacking intent. East Thurrock United notched five against Gosport Borough three weeks ago and six away to Truro City last weekend. The Rocks sit third in the goal scoring charts behind Hampton and Richmond Borough who they beat last month.

The first competitive meeting between Dartford and East Thurrock United in over ten years could also be the first time the Darts reunite with former favourite Lee Burns, who missed the Rocks loss at Margate through injury. The versatile player started his Dartford career as striker scoring 23 goals during the Isthmian Premier winning campaign. Adding a further promotion, Burns went on to play over 450 times for the club filling in at right back, midfield and even in goal before leaving Princes Park for Rookery Hill this summer.

Dartford have only ever faced East Thurrock United twice in competitive matches and lost them both. Twelve years ago, the Rocks won 2-1 at home and eight months later they completed the double with a 3-1 victory.

Head to Head

East Thurrock United wins 2 / Dartford wins: 0 / Draws: 0

Current League Form (last six games)

Dartford (WDLWWD)

Won 2-1 v Welling United (H)

Drew 0-0 v Maidenhead United (H)

Lost 1-4 v Hampton and Richmond Borough (A)

Won 2-0 v Hungerford Town (H)

Won 2-1 v Weston-super-Mare (A)

Drew 0-0 v Gosport Borough (H)

East Thurrock United (LWDLWD)

Lost 1-2 v Margate (A)

Won 6-0 v Truro City (A)

Drew 1-1 v Eastbourne Borough (H)

Lost 1-2 v Bath City (A)

Won 5-1 v Gosport Borough (H)

Drew 1-1 v Welling United (H)

Previous Meetings

Dartford 0 East Thurrock United 3 (30/04/2005)

East Thurrock United 2 Dartford 1 (28/08/2004)

Stats

The club with the second highest average attendance plays the club with the second lowest this weekend. Dartford’s average from their five home games is 966 compared to East Thurrock United’s 259.

Dartford have lost the lead on five occasions this season and have only fallen behind in their two defeats.

The Rocks top scorer Tom Wraight has only scored in two games, he netted four against Truro City and one against Eastbourne Borough.

Out of the current National South clubs, only Hampton and Richmond Borough (129) have scored more than East Thurrock United (125) since the start of last season.

On This Day

In the three matches since reforming, 19 goals have been scored in just three games on 10 September. Dartford thrashed Cray Wanderers 6-1 in 1994 but left it until the last 23 minutes. After going a goal down, Micky Collins scored four completing a hat-trick in just 16 minutes. Eight years later it was Dartford’s turn to concede six against Chatham Town, the Darts did manage three goals of their own but were well beaten. The most recent fixture came five years ago when the Darts beat Eastleigh 3-0 in a rare victory against the Hampshire club, Charlie Sheringham scored a brace.

Dartford v Welling United

Dartford are back in mid week action with their first Kent derby of the season against Welling United.

Recovering from their disappointment at Hampton and Richmond Borough, the Darts drew 0-0 with league leaders Maidenhead United on the weekend. Tony Burman was pleased with his team’s response, helped by a third home clean sheet in a row to keep their unbeaten run at Princes Park intact.

Burman told www.kentonline.co.uk after the game: “After Monday we kept a clean sheet, defensively we were a lot better”, he added: “I just feel that we’ve got to keep listening and working hard and encouraging the good performances, and the quality there is in the team”.

Ronnie Vint was ruled out again when officials felt his cast on his wrist was not suitable. To add to the injury concerns, Keaton Wood was substituted after a quarter of an hour and Lee Noble missed out entirely.
Welling United have started life back in the National South poorly up until the weekend. With a few changes in the squad, the Wings breezed to a 5-0 win away to Concord Rangers. Their first victory of the campaign was helped by Adam Coombes’ second half hat-trick.

Recently, the Darts spent two seasons with the Wings in the National League until relegation to the National South two years ago. Whilst Welling United stayed in the top flight of non league for another year, they soon followed when they finished bottom last term.

In those two campaigns both sides have shared a win as well as two draws. The last meeting in 2014 ended with Dartford on top in a 2-1 victory at Princes Park. Max Cornhill and Harry Crawford gave Tony Burman’s side a two goal advantage but late on Welling United rallied. After Jake Gallagher’s dismissal, Harry Beautyman halved the deficit for the ten men. The Wings ended the evening with only nine when Chris Bush was also sent off.

Welling United won by the same score almost a year earlier at Princes Park coming from a goal down. Lee Burns had Dartford ahead by half time but late goals from Ross Lafayette and a winner from Kurtis Guthrie stunned the home crowd. The two away fixtures at Park View Road, one of Dartford’s former homes ended in a 1-1 and 2-2 draw.

The two clubs also spent a couple of season’s at National South level between 2010 and 2012. Coincidentally both teams shared a win and two draws in that time as well. At home the Darts drew 1-1 and won 1-0 but lost 2-1 and drew 1-1 away.

Including two Kent Senior Cup victories each in the last ten years then it’s difficult to split the two sides on head to head record. However, a Playoff final triumph for Dartford in 2012 gives the Darts the slightest of edges.

Since last season’s relegation, the Wings made plenty of changes in the summer yet they have struggled to recover. Former Bromley boss, Mark Goldberg has been unable to recreate his success in the non league management so far. Goldberg took Bromley up to the National League as champions but life at Welling United has been tougher. Even after a summer of change the Wings manager has already brought in three more players and let two others leave.

One face familiar to the Darts is striker Harry Crawford. The 24 year old now plays for the Wings and after leaving Princes Park has struggled to settle down. At Dartford he impressed in his debut season scoring 16 goals in 32 games to earn a move to Football League side Barnet. Crawford returned on loan before re-joining the Darts for the 2014/15 campaign where he scored seven in 39 appearances. The Irishman has since had spells with Boreham Wood, St Albans City and Dover Athletic before signing for Welling United this summer.

Current League Form (last six games)

Dartford (DLWWDD) Welling United (WLDLDL)
Maidenhead United H 0-0 Concord Rangers A 5-0
Hampton & Richmond A 1-4 Chelmsford City H 0-2
Hungerford Town H 2-0 Truro City A 1-1
Weston-super-Mare A 2-1 St Albans City H 0-1
Gosport Borough H 0-0 East Thurrock United A 1-1
Chelmsford City A 1-1 Weston-super-Mare H 0-2

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 16 / Welling United wins: 6 / Draws: 9

Previous Meetings

19.10.2015 Dartford 3 Welling United 1
11.11.2014 Dartford 2 Welling United 1
30.09.2014 Welling United 2 Dartford 2
10.01.2014 Welling United 1 Dartford 1
26.12.2013 Dartford 1 Welling United 2
03.09.2013 Welling United 2 Dartford 3

Stats

Dartford are unbeaten in their last four games against Welling United and have only tasted defeat once in the last ten.

The Darts have scored in each of their last 12 meetings versus Welling United. The last time the Dartford failed to score was ten years ago in a 3-0 Kent Senior Cup loss. In league football the scoring run goes back to 1983 spanning ten league matches.

Dartford have gone six matches without a clean sheet against the Wings, the last clean sheet was in the 1-0 National South playoff final win in 2012.

On This Day

Rarely has their been a Dartford match on 6 September, although the last one was only two years ago. The Darts travelled to Altrincham for the first time in nearly thirty years only to lose 2-1. Newly promoted as National North champions, Damian Reeves scored a brace before Elliot Bradbrook pulled one back. The last victory on this day came in 1989 when the Darts beat Corby Town 2-1 in the Southern Premier League.

Dartford v Maidenhead United

Dartford host their first Non League Day fixture this weekend against league leaders Maidenhead United.

After a mixed Bank Holiday, the Darts will hope to return to winning ways following a performance to forget at Hampton and Richmond Borough. The 4-1 reverse overshadowed the last match at Princes Park in which Dartford beat Hungerford Town 2-0.

Manager Tony Burman said after Monday’s defeat: “This weekend typifies the highs and lows of football, and in the previous six games I felt we have looked very well organised and deserved something from each of our games”, he continued: “(Monday’s) result although against an in form team was very disappointing”, he added: “We were second best all over the park and the better side won the game. I didn’t think we deserved anything from the performance. However we move onto Saturday where I hope we can get back on track against the league leaders”.

On a positive note Elliot Bradbrook and Andy Pugh both played a part in the last two games as they step up their recovery from injury. Tom Bonner and Keaton Wood have now served their one match bans for red cards, Ronnie Vint could feature again although his hand was still in a cast last weekend. Striker Duane Ofori-Acheampong has also featured in the last three matches after a spell out but is in search for his first goal.

Maidenhead United finished level on points with Dartford last term missing out on the playoffs. During the chase to reach the top five the Darts beat the Magpies 2-0 in the last meeting at Princes Park. Two goals in six first half minutes from Danny Harris and Elliot Bradbrook secured victory.

Last season’s win over the Berkshire club maintained Dartford’s perfect home record against their opponents, an accolade the Darts will want to keep going.

This weekend’s fixture with Maidenhead United should provide the Darts with their toughest test. The Magpies top the National South with six wins and a defeat. Former Braintree Town boss, Alan Devonshire has led the Berkshire side to their best start since 2008 and face Dartford on the back of five consecutive victories. Up front the Magpies have Dave Tarpey, this season’s leading scorer in the National South with ten and the best defence who have not conceded in their last four games.

Over the Bank Holiday period Maidenhead United kept up their perfect home record without conceding a goal with a 2-0 win over Truro City. Victory followed back to back 1-0 triumphs against Essex duo Concord Rangers and Chelmsford City. The highlight of the Magpies campaign is a 5-0 home win against Hemel Hempstead Town in which Dave Tarpey netted four.

Current League Form (last six games)

Dartford (LWWDDL) Maidenhead United (WWWWWL)
Hampton & Richmond A 1-4 Truro City H 2-0
Hungerford Town H 2-0 Concord Rangers A 1-0
Weston-super-Mare A 2-1 Chelmsford City H 1-0
Gosport Borough H 0-0 Hemel Hempstead Town H 5-0
Chelmsford City A 1-1 Whitehawk A 2-1
Whitehawk A 0-1 Poole Town A 0-1

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 7 / Maidenhead United wins: 2 / Draws: 3

Previous Meetings

02.04.2016 Dartford 2 Maidenhead United 0
15.03.2016 Maidenhead United 2 Dartford 1
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

Stats

Dartford have won all six home games against Maidenhead United stretching back to 1897. In that time the Darts have scored 23 and conceded twice versus the Magpies.

The Darts are unbeaten at home this season with two draws and a win, the last time they started off with a better home record was the first season back in the National League.

Alan Devonshire has seven former Braintree Town players in his squad, the side he used to manage.

Maidenhead United’s five consecutive wins is their best winning streak since 2007, when they won eight in a row

On This Day

Dartford’s last league win on 3 September came 19 years ago in a Southern League Southern Division match against Baldock Town. Since the 2-1 home win the Darts have beaten Deal Town (2000) 3-1 in the F.A Cup and three years ago Welling United 3-2 in the Kent Senior Cup. Between those triumphs, Dartford have lost 1-0 to Carterton Town in a 2002 F.A Cup tie, 3-1 to Boreham Wood and 3-2 against Basingstoke Town both in league fixtures. Herne Bay and Horsham also beat Dartford in the nineties, the only other two games on this day since reforming.