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Ebbsfleet United v Dartford

Dartford could complete their first league double over rivals Ebbsfleet United on New Year’s Day in almost 38 years.

The Darts secured a 2-1 victory on Boxing Day with former Fleet defender Tom Bonner scoring against his old side. After a goalless first half, it wasn’t long before the deadlock was broken two minutes after the interval. Bonner, with space in the Fleet box headed a corner into the net to record his first goal since returning to Dartford.

On 61 minutes, Duane Ofori-Acheampong made the most of a long ball and the hesitating Dave Winfield to finely finish past Nathan Ashmore for 2-0. Ebbsfleet United were offered a route back into the game when Anthony Cook’s well struck shot beat Deren Ibrahim.

A strong defensive display when required, particularly from Ronnie Vint, ensured the Darts held on for the win to go level on points with their local rivals and move into third place.

Darts boss, Tony Burman believed the midfield was where the match was won, he spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk and said: “We won the battle in the midfield area. We played against some really good players and a good team as they are going to be up there”. Pleased with the character of the squad, especially after the 5-0 drubbing at league leaders Maidenhead United, Burman added: “The response we got from losing at Maidenhead is why I think we’ve got a good group together”.

Burman will still be unable to select the suspended Tom Wynter, but will have new signing Tom Murphy available. The former Maidstone United forward played 20 times for the Stones this season after his move from Dover Athletic in the summer. Since November though, the 24 year old has been on loan at Eastbourne Borough. Meanwhile, Ellis Brown has left the club to seek first team opportunities with Thamesmead Town.

Ebbsfleet United boss, Daryl McMahon is relishing the challenge on New Year’s Day hoping to upset the Dartford faithful, he told www.kentonline.co.uk: “Obviously, we’ll be looking for revenge, there’s no doubt about that. We’re not happy with how we played on Boxing Day. We’re looking forward to the home game”, he added: “We start with a clean sheet and go again. We saw in the last 20 minutes (enough) from us, when we were on the front foot and taking the game to them”. Ebbsfleet United’s defeat leaves them 10 points behind league leaders Maidenhead United in second place.

Last term at Stonebridge Road, Ryan Hayes grabbed a goal to remember smashing home an equaliser early in the second half. His strike cancelled out Matthew Godden’s opener when the former Dart scored at the near post. The Darts have to go back to the double win over then called Gravesend and Northfleet for their last league victory at Stonebridge Road in 1979.

Head to Head
Ebbsfleet United wins: 108 / Dartford wins: 117 / Draws: 91

Current League Form
Dartford (WLWWWL)
Won 2-1 v Ebbsfleet United (H)
Lost 0-5 v Maidenhead United (A)
Won 2-1 v Poole Town (H)
Won 3-0 v Bishop’s Stortford (A)
Won 2-0 v Hemel Hempstead Town (H)
Lost 0-2 v St Albans City (H)

Ebbsfleet United (LWWLWW)
Lost 1-2 v Dartford (A)
Won 2-0 v Gosport Borough (H)
Won 3-1 v Oxford City (A)
Lost 2-3 v Maidenhead United (H)
Won 2-1 v Welling United (A)
Won 4-2 v Truro City (H)

Previous Six Meetings
Dartford 2 Ebbsfleet United 1 (26/12/2016 – National South)
Ebbsfleet United 1 Dartford 1 (28/03/2016 – National South)
Dartford 0 Ebbsfleet United 1 (31/08/2015 – National South)
Dartford 1 Ebbsfleet United 0 (29/10/2013 – F.A Cup Replay)
Ebbsfleet United 1 Dartford 1 (26/10/2013 – F.A Cup)
Ebbsfleet United 2 Dartford 2 (01/01/2013 – National League)

Stats
On Boxing Day, Dartford recorded their first league win of the campaign against a team in the current top six

The Darts have now won 6 out of 8 Kent derbies this season in all competitions this term. Only a draw versus Dover Athletic in the F.A Trophy and a Kent Senior Cup penalty shoot out  defeat to Welling United, have prevented Dartford from a perfect record.

Ebbsfleet United are eight league games unbeaten against Dartford at Stonebridge Road, winning three and drawing five with the last three ending all square. In all competitions the run stretches over ten meetings.

Dartford’s last win away to the Fleet was in 1989, the Darts won 2-0 in the Kent Senior Cup first round.

The Boxing Day crowd of 2404 was the highest in the National South this season and puts Dartford on top of the attendance table with an average of 1045. Ebbsfleet United are second with an average of 1006.

On This Day
The last meeting with Ebbsfleet United on New Year’s Day ended 2-2 just three years ago. The Fleet came from two down to draw level with a dramatic last minute leveller. Jon Wallis and Harry Crawford gave the Darts the advantage but a Nathan Elder double made sure the points were shared. In a more memorable fixture, Dartford thrashed Gravesend and Northfleet 5-0 in 1992 after a scoreless first half. The Darts are without a New Year’s Day win in five with their last a comprehensive 5-2 victory over Sittingbourne 15 years ago in the Southern League Division One East. Since then they have lost four out of five, with the draw at Ebbsfleet United the only point picked up.

Dartford v Ebbsfleet United

Dartford will scrapping for points on Boxing Day against their local rivals Ebbsfleet United to keep in contention of the playoff places.

In a tough December, the Darts know that a win against the Fleet will be the perfect recipe for festive cheer. Often the highlight of the season’s fixture list, Dartford host Ebbsfleet United before the return fixture on New Year’s Day.

After a heavy defeat at table toppers Maidenhead United, Tony Burman’s side will have the opportunity to bounce back and move level on points with their opponents. Dartford were victims of a superb solo performance last weekend by the National South’s top goalscorer, Dave Tarpey who netted four for the Magpies in their 5-0 drubbing of the Darts.

The set back was only the fourth league defeat for Burman’s team this season and third against a top four side. If Dartford are to show they have playoff credentials then positive results against the teams around them need improving. Despite the reverse, the Darts have been in decent form winning eight of their last ten.

Last season, the Fleet won bragging rights as the rivals met after a two year absence. At Princes Park, Ebbsfleet United won 1-0 when Jordan Parkes scored the winner from close range. Dartford pushed for an equaliser but were unable to break down their opponents even after Dean Rance was sent off.

Tom Bonner returns from his suspension but in his place Tom Wynter will be missing. Wynter was red carded in the 5-0 defeat to Maidenhead United and will serve a three match ban.

Ebbsfleet United, amongst the favourites to return to the National League fell short last term, finishing runners up then losing the playoff final. This time out they are back in second spot but rather than setting the pace like twelve months ago, they are playing catch up.

The Fleet started slowly by their standard with a run of four consecutive draws in August, leaving Daryl McMahon’s side in tenth. Since then they have taken an impressive 28 points from the last 33 available, with the last three collected in a 2-0 victory over Gosport Borough. McMahon commented told www.kentonline.co.uk: “We’ve evolved from day one to now and hopefully it continues and we keep on getting better,” he said. “Barring the start of the season, our form from September 5 to now, we’ve only lost one game, drawn two and won the rest in the league. So we’ve been in good form for a couple of months and we’re ticking along nicely”.

Head to Head
Dartford wins: 116 / Ebbsfleet United wins: 108 / Draws: 91

Current League Form
Dartford (LWWWLW)
Lost 0-5 v Maidenhead United (A)
Won 2-1 v Poole Town (H)
Won 3-0 v Bishop’s Stortford (A)
Won 2-0 v Hemel Hempstead Town (H)
Lost 0-2 v St Albans City (H)
Won 1-0 v Oxford City (H)

Ebbsfleet United (WWLWWW)
Won 2-0 v Gosport Borough (H)
Won 3-1 v Oxford City (A)
Lost 2-3 v Maidenhead United (H)
Won 2-1 v Welling United (A)
Won 4-2 v Truro City (H)
Won 1-0 v Bath City (H)

Previous Six Meetings
Ebbsfleet United 1 Dartford 1 (28/03/2016 – National South)
Dartford 0 Ebbsfleet United 1 (31/08/2015 – National South)
Dartford 1 Ebbsfleet United 0 (29/10/2013 – F.A Cup Replay)
Ebbsfleet United 1 Dartford 1 (26/10/2013 – F.A Cup)
Ebbsfleet United 2 Dartford 2 (01/01/2013 – National League)
Dartford 3 Ebbsfleet United 1 (26/12/2012 – National League)

Stats
Dartford have picked up one point from 12 against teams above them in the National South. Last term they managed 13 points from 48 versus those that finished above them.

Despite conceding five on Saturday, the Darts still have the third best defensive record conceding 20. Ebbsfleet United (17) are second behind Maidenhead United (13).

Last season saw the Fleet win their first league game in Dartford since 1983. The Darts won the last six games at Watling Street against Gravesend and Northfleet before reforming, scoring 23 and conceding just once.

On This Day
Since reforming Dartford have won five, drawn three and lost six on Boxing Day. The most notable victory was the 6-1 home win against Canvey Island in 2007. Steve Norman, Ryan Hayes, Brendon Cass, Jay May, Eddie McClements and Jamie Coyle all scored for the Darts that day, in the season they clinched the Isthmian Division One North title. Only once has Dartford played Ebbsfleet United on St Stephen’s Day and that was four years ago at Princes Park. Dartford claimed the local bragging rights with Harry Crawford netting a brace and Elliot Bradbrook scoring the other. Before then, the Fleet were known as Gravesend and Northfleet and the previous fixture 23 years earlier saw Peter Taylor’s Dartford win 5-0 at Watling Street. Last season’s outing on 26 December ended with the Darts beating their next F.A Trophy opponents, Chelmsford City 1-0 thanks to an Andy Pugh winner.

Maidenhead United v Dartford

Dartford grabbed the local headlines this week by causing a F.A Trophy upset, this weekend they aim to do it in the league against leaders Maidenhead United at York Road.

The Darts are ‘buzzing’ ahead of their National South clash with the Magpies and know victory over their opponents will reduce the deficit to eight points with a game in hand. Tony Burman’s side will approach the fixture against the table toppers full of confidence after knocking rivals and National League side Dover Athletic out of the F.A Trophy.

In both ties, Dartford came from behind earning a 1-1 draw at Princes Park on Saturday before winning the replay 2-1. Defender, Ronnie Vint found the net in both games and believes results like Tuesday night’s will push the club forward, he told www.kentonline.co.uk: “Maidenhead will be a tough game for us. They are top of the league and flying but after a game like this why can’t we go there and beat them? Take the confidence from this forward”.

Prior the F.A Trophy tie, Dartford beat fellow playoff chasers Poole Town in the National South, but the tough schedule follows the trip to Berkshire with a double header over local rivals Ebbsfleet United. A fifth consecutive away win in the league will keep their excellent form goingand could see the Darts rise to third in the table.

Only Poole Town have managed to overcome Alan Devonshire’s Maidenhead United side, in the second match of the campaign. The Magpies are currently 18 league games unbeaten and have not lost or failed to score at York Road this season.

With the two best defences in the National South going head to head, it’s no surprise that the reverse fixture this term ended 0-0 at Princes Park. The last visit to York Road back in March ended in Dartford’s first defeat against the Magpies in the post war era.

Tony Burman is hoping that striker Andy Pugh and defender Tom Gardiner will return from injury, however Tom Bonner will continue his suspension.

Maidenhead United have had a week off following their F.A Trophy exit at the hands of Wealdstone. The Magpies did bounce back from the defeat with a 2-0 victory over Margate. Unsurprisingly, National South’s top goalscorer Dave Tarpey found the net once more to notch his 22nd league goal this season. Former Braintree Town striker and captain Sean Marks scored the other.

In his second spell as manager, Alan Devonshire is hoping to repeat the honour of taking the Magpies up a division. The former West Ham United and England midfielder took the club up to the Isthmian Premier league sixteen years ago. This time he has built a squad capable of reaching the National League and sit six points ahead of second place St Albans City.

Devonshire is not letting his players get ahead of themselves though, he explained to www.maidenhead-advertiser.co.uk: “This time last year Ebbsfleet United had a 15-point lead whereas our lead is only six points. Ebbsfleet couldn’t handle it but Sutton United also went on a very good run of form”, he added: “We’re not getting carried away. We’re top of the table and deserve to be there and we’ll just carry on chipping away, trying to get results. That’s what we’ll be trying to do against Dartford on Saturday”.

Current League Form
Maidenhead United (WWWDDW)
Won 2-0 v Margate (H)
Won 3-2 v Ebbsfleet United (A)
Won 2-1 v Bath City (H)
Drew 0-0 v East Thurrock United (A)
Drew 2-2 v Hungerford Town (H)
Won 3-2 v Hampton and Richmond Borough (A)

Dartford (WWWLWW)
Won 2-1 v Poole Town (H)
Won 3-0 v Bishop’s Stortford (A)
Won 2-0 v Hemel Hempstead Town (H)
Lost 0-2 v St Albans City (H)
Won 1-0 v Oxford City (H)
Won 1-0 v Bath City (A)

Previous Six Meetings
Dartford 0 Maidenhead United 0 (03/09/2016 – National South)
Dartford 2 Maidenhead United 0 (02/04/2016 – National South)
Maidenhead United 2 Dartford 1 (15/03/2016 – National South)
Dartford 2 Maidenhead United 1 (31/03/2012 – National South)
Maidenhead United 1 Dartford 1 (13/03/2012 – National South)
Maidenhead United 2 Dartford 3 (30/04/2011 – National South)

Stats
4 – At York Road, Maidenhead United’s defence has only been breached four times in the National South, the best record in the division this season

15 – League goals conceded by the Darts this season, only Maidenhead United have let in fewer (13)

70 – Percentage of clean sheets the Magpies have kept at home in the league this term, seven clean sheets in 10 games.

The away side has not won in the last five meetings between the sides. Dartford were the last to achieve an away victory in this fixture back in April 2011.

Dartford went 119 years without defeat against Maidenhead United. The Darts lost 2-1 in 1897 and after five wins and two draws the run was ended in their last trip to play the Magpies at York Road in March this year.

Dover Athletic v Dartford

Dartford take their F.A Trophy first round tie back to the Crabble on Tuesday night, when they play Kent rivals Dover Athletic in a replay.

Ronnie Vint’s goal secured a draw for the Darts after Ricky Miller had given Dover Athletic the advantage in the first half. Miller took advantage of Moses Emmanuel’s good work by slotting the ball beyond Ibrahim from six yards for his 27th goal of the season. Tony Burman’s side improved in the second half getting more of a grip on the game and were rewarded when Vint levelled sticking in a rebound created from Danny Harris’ corner.

Manager, Tony Burman spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk after the draw and felt his side missed a great chance to progress in the F.A Trophy, he said: “After half-time I think we were the only team that looked like we were going to win it and we haven’t punished them”, he continued: “We didn’t have loads of chances, you don’t when you play against Dover, but the chances we did have were scoreable. We should have done better with those opportunities, but it wasn’t to be”, he concluded: “It’s disappointing we haven’t come away with a win”.

With the two teams doing it all over again, the Darts will still be missing central defender Tom Bonner through suspension. Tom Gardiner and Andy Pugh started against Dover Athletic on the weekend and were both substituted after picking up knocks, Burman explained: “It’s a little bit bare bones at the minute, we’ll have to assess them to see how they are for Tuesday”.

Burman is hoping his team will show determination, the right attitude and stay organised to help them produce a positive result. With exception to the goal conceded, the Dartford boss was pleased with the defensive display on the weekend against a Dover Athletic side full of attacking promise.

Chris Kinnear’s team are just outside the playoff spots and in their first campaign back in the top non league division they reached the playoffs, losing to Forest Green Rovers in the semi-final. On top of that, Kinnear led Dover Athletic to consecutive F.A Trophy quarter-finals, he told www.doverathletic.com in the build up to the original tie: “What is done is done, no matter how much those two defeats hurt and I can tell you they did because we should have made it all the way to Wembley”, he added: “We didn’t give a great account of ourselves in those two games, but that’s all in the past now”.

Twenty places below the Whites, Dartford will be looking to cause an upset at a ground they have struggled to win at over the years. The last visit to the Crabble saw the Darts heaviest defeat against Dover Athletic for thirteen years when they lost 6-1. Nicky Deverdics headed Dover Athletic ahead early on but Harry Crawford sent the sides into the break level. In the second half, the Whites strolled to victory with goals from Richard Orlu, a Tom Murphy double, Liam Bellamy and future Dart, Barry Cogan.

Prior the 1-1 draw on the weekend, the last two F.A Trophy ties between the Darts and Dover Athletic ended in the same scoreline. Although Dartford won 3-2 just over 11 years ago, the Whites got revenge four years later.

Head to Head
Dover Athletic wins: 35 / Dartford wins: 32 / Draws: 24

Previous Meetings
Dartford 1 Dover Athletic 1 (10/12/2016 – F.A Trophy)
Dover Athletic 6 Dartford 1 (17/01/2015 – National League)
Dartford 2 Dover Athletic 1 (16/09/2014 – National League)
Dartford 0 Dover Athletic 1 (04/03/2013 – Kent Senior Cup)
Dartford 3 Dover Athletic 1 (03/12/2011 – National South)
Dover Athletic 2 Dartford 2 (23/08/2011 – National South)

Current Form (all competitions)
Dartford (DWWLWW)
Drew 1-1 v Dover Athletic (H)
Won 2-1 v Poole Town (H)
Won 4-2 v Weston-super-Mare (A) – F.A Trophy
Lost 2-2 (1-4 on penalties) v Welling United (A) – Kent Senior Cup
Won 3-0 v Bishop’s Stortford (A)
Won 2-0 v Hemel Hempstead Town (H)

Dover Athletic (DLWWWL)
Drew 1-1 v Dartford (A)
Lost 1-2 v Dagenham and Redbridge (H)
Won 6-0 v Sutton United (A)
Won 3-1 v Woking (H)
Won 2-0 v Guiseley (H)
Lost 2-4 v Cambridge United (H) – F.A Cup Replay

Stats
In the F.A Trophy Dartford and Dover Athletic have both beaten each other twice and the other three matches ended in a draw.

Dartford 1 Dover Athletic 1 (10/12/2016 – F.A Trophy 1st Round)
Dover Athletic 3 Dartford 2 (21/11/2009 – F.A Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round)
Dartford 3 Dover Athletic 2 (18/10/2005 – F.A Trophy 1st Qualifying Round Replay)
Dover Athletic 1 Dartford 1 (15/10/2005 – F.A Trophy 1st Qualifying Round)
Dartford 2 Dover Athletic 0 (07/02/1989 – F.A Trophy 2nd Round Replay)
Dover Athletic 0 Dartford 0 (04/02/1989 – F.A Trophy 2nd Round)
Dover 2 Dartford 1 (11/01/1975 – F.A Trophy 1st Round)

On Saturday, Elliot Bradbrook failed to score for the first time in cup matches he’s started this season. The Darts captain has scored ten cup goals this campaign.

The Darts have won just once in their last nine outings at the Crabble. In 2010, Dartford beat Dover Athletic 2-0 which is their only victory since 1991. The Darts have recorded five draws and three defeats in that time against the Whites.

On This Day
Eight years ago to the day the Darts visited The Crabble in the Isthmian Premier League. Dover Athletic ran out 4-2 winners in the season they went up as champions. Rob Haworth scored a brace for Dartford and future Darts, Jon Wallis and James Rogers found the scoresheet for the Whites. Former Dartford midfielder Andy Hessenthaler was also part of the Dover Athletic side that day. Two years ago, Dartford won a F.A Trophy first round tie beating Solihull Moors 2-0, brothers Elliot and Tom Bradbrook ensured the Darts progressed to round two.

Dartford v Dover Athletic

Dartford will have to erase memories of their last meeting against Kent rivals Dover Athletic, if they want to progress in the F.A Trophy this weekend.

The Darts are hoping to make it into round two and make up for the 6-1 thrashing that was dished out to them almost two years ago. Dartford can take some comfort in the fact that they did beat Dover Athletic at home that season in a match that had a tense finale.

Ricky Miller, who is in form for Dover Athletic this term toping the National League scoring charts with 22 goals already, opened the scoring in the last meeting at Princes Park with a 25 yard free kick. Dartford were forced to come from behind after Miller’s eighth minute strike. Harry Crawford equalised from close range and with five minutes remaining Tom Bradbrook scored Dartford’s second. Elliot Bradbrook gave away a penalty during injury time, but the hero was goalkeeper Jason Brown who saved Miller’s effort.

Dartford’s first and only fixture in this season’s F.A Trophy was only a fortnight ago. The Darts travelled across the country to to take on struggling National South side Weston-super-Mare. Despite having Tom Bonner sent off, who has started his four match ban and will miss the clash with former club Dover Atletic, Dartford recorded a 4-2 victory. Elliot Bradbrook kept up his extraordinary cup form with an impressive hat-trick, taking his cup tally to ten goals in just six games, whilst Andy Pugh opened the scoring for the Darts in the 4-2 triumph.

A former Dover Athletic striker was to thank for Dartford’s win on the weekend at home to Poole Town. Duane Ofori-Acheampong headed Lee Noble’s free kick to make it 1-0 and within a couple of minutes Luke Wanadio made it two. Poole Town halved the deficit causing trouble for the Darts in the second half. Tony Burman spoke to kentonline.co.uk and praised the effort of his players, he said: “Second half I don’t think we played the best football ever, but we dug in and we have won the game ugly and got the three points and I will take that all day long”.

Victory over fellow playoff contenders leave the Darts fourth in the National South and without Tom Bonner, central defender Ronnie Vint stepped up with an assured performance, together with Ofori-Acheampong and Noble he made it into the kentonline Team of the Week.

Twenty places above Dartford in the football pyramid, Dover Athletic will provide a tough test. The Whites beat Sutton United 6-0 away from the Crabble recently, a team that knocked the Darts out of the F.A Cup with a 6-3 victory. Chris Kinnear’s team are just outside the playoff spots and in their first campaign back in the top non league division they reached the playoffs, losing to Forest Green Rovers in the semi-final.

Away from the National League for thirteen years, it looks like Dover Athletic have established themselves once more. Helping them to achieve stability is two former Dartford players Jim Stevenson and Tyrone Sterling. Partnering the prolific Miller up front is former Welling United hitman Ross Lafayette who has found the net nine times this season.

The last two F.A Trophy ties between the Darts and Dover Athletic have ended in the same scoreline. Although Dartford won 3-2 just over 11 years ago, the Whites got revenge four years later.

Head to Head
Dartford wins: 32 / Dover Athletic wins: 35 / Draws: 23

Previous Meetings
Dover Athletic 6 Dartford 1 (17/01/2015 – National League)
Dartford 2 Dover Athletic 1 (16/09/2014 – National League)
Dartford 0 Dover Athletic 1 (04/03/2013 – Kent Senior Cup)
Dartford 3 Dover Athletic 1 (03/12/2011 – National South)
Dover Athletic 2 Dartford 2 (23/08/2011 – National South)
Dartford 4 Dover Athletic 0 (25/04/2011 – National South)

Current Form (all competitions)
Dartford (WWLWWL)
Won 2-1 v Poole Town (H)
Won 4-2 v Weston-super-Mare (A) – F.A Trophy
Lost 2-2 (1-4 on penalties) v Welling United (A) – Kent Senior Cup
Won 3-0 v Bishop’s Stortford (A)
Won 2-0 v Hemel Hempstead Town (H)
Lost 0-2 v St Albans City (H)

Dover Athletic (LWWWLW)
Lost 1-2 v Dagenham and Redbridge (H)
Won 6-0 v Sutton United (A)
Won 3-1 v Woking (H)
Won 2-0 v Guiseley (H)
Lost 2-4 v Cambridge United (H) – F.A Cup Replay
Won 3-2 v Solihull Moors (A)

Stats
2 – In the F.A Trophy Dartford and Dover Athletic have both beaten each other twice and the other two matches ended in a draw.

Dover Athletic 3 Dartford 2 (21/11/2009 – F.A Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round)
Dartford 3 Dover Athletic 2 (18/10/2005 – F.A Trophy 1st Qualifying Round Replay)
Dover Athletic 1 Dartford 1 (15/10/2005 – F.A Trophy 1st Qualifying Round)
Dartford 2 Dover Athletic 0 (07/02/1989 – F.A Trophy 2nd Round Replay)
Dover Athletic 0 Dartford 0 (04/02/1989 – F.A Trophy 2nd Round)
Dover 2 Dartford 1 (11/01/1975 – F.A Trophy 1st Round)

10 – Elliot Bradbrook has scored in every cup game he has started this season. He failed to score against Cray Wanderers in the Kent Senior Cup but came on as a substitute in that match.

35 – the number of goals featuring in Dartford cup matches this term, over seven games that’s 5 goals a game.

44 – the number of goals featuring the Darts in the National South, the lowest average in the league of 2.32 per game.

On This Day
Elliot Bradbrook and a Jacob Erskine double sealed a 3-0 F.A Trophy victory for the Darts five years ago. Dartford went on to reach the third round going out to Wealdstone in a replay. Two years ago, the Darts were knocked out of the Kent Senior Cup in a 7-3 defeat to Gillingham at the second round stage.

Dartford v Poole Town

A return to league action kick starts December as Dartford host Southern Premier League champions Poole Town.

The fixture brings back memories of the two sides meeting regularly during their Southern League days in the seventies, eighties and nineties. The last time the Darts faced the Dolphins was way back in March 1992 when Dartford won 4-0 at Watling Street.

This season both clubs are challenging for the playoffs with goal difference separating them. Dartford occupy the last spot in fifth place with Poole Town close behind in sixth.

Dartford kept up their recent form in an excellent 4-2 win at Weston-super-Mare on Saturday. The Darts progressed to the F.A Trophy first round but had to do it with ten men. Falling behind to a Bradley Ash goal, Dartford equalised when Andy Pugh scored just before half time. The second half belonged to Elliot Bradbrook who kept up his extraordinary cup scoring form. The captain put Dartford in front before Tom Bonner was sent off and Weston-super-Mare levelled from the spot. Bradbrook replied by giving his side the lead then completed his hat-trick to round off a fine afternoon for the Darts. The captain has now netted ten goals in just six cup games this season.

Over the last ten league games, Dartford top the form guide and other than a defeat to St Albans City they have won eight in that time with six clean sheets along the way. In fact, St Albans City are the only side to breach Dartford’s goal in the league in the last six matches. The Darts last outing in the National South ended in a 3-0 victory against Bishop’s Stortford adding to the 2-0 triumph over Hemel Hempstead Town.

Poole Town were also involved in the F.A Trophy third qualifying round scraping a 1-1 draw with Southern Premier League side Weymouth. The Dolphins avoided an upset with an injury time equaliser from Lewis Lindsay, the Terras led at half time through a Dean Evans header. The replay on Tuesday night ended with Weymouth causing an upset.

Having claimed the Southern Premier League crown last season, Poole Town have started this campaign positively. Sam Surridge’s seven league goals in seven starts and five substitute appearances have given the Dorset side more firepower up front. The loanee from AFC Bournemouth netted a hat-trick in the Dolphins impressive 4-0 win over Chelmsford City at the beginning of November. Defeat away to Concord Rangers was followed up with victory over Whitehawk in their last National South fixture.

Manager Tom Killick, in charge for the last 12 years has engineered a change in fortune for the South Coast club. Dropping out of the Southern League in 1996 with just an embarrassing one point and 188 goals conceded, Poole Town spent the next 15 years in the Hampshire and Wessex Leagues. Appointed in May 2004, Killick led the Dolphins to three consecutive Wessex League titles between 2008 and 2011, the Southern League Division One South and West championship and last season’s Southern Premier League crown. Never finishing lower than eighth, Killick has three runners up medals too.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 14 / Poole Town wins: 25 / Draws: 5

Current League Form
Dartford (LWWWWW)
Won 3-0 v Bishop’s Stortford (A)
Won 2-0 v Hemel Hempstead Town (H)
Lost 0-2 v St Albans City (H)
Won 1-0 v Oxford City (H)
Won 1-0 v Bath City (A)
Won 5-0 v Truro City (A)

Poole Town (WLWDWL)
Won 3-1 v Whitehawk (H)
Lost 2-3 v Concord Rangers (A)
Won 4-0 v Chelmsford City (H)
Drew 1-1 v East Thurrock United (H)
Won 1-0 v Hungerford Town (A)
Lost 1-3 v Oxford City (H)

Previous Meetings
Dartford 2 Poole Town 0 (14/03/1992 – Southern League Premier)
Poole Town 0 Dartford 0 (02/11/1991 – Southern League Premier)
Poole Town 1 Dartford 0 (06/04/1991 – Southern League Premier)
Dartford 0 Poole Town 0 (24/11/1990 – Southern League Premier)
Dartford 0 Poole Town 1 (14/03/1983 – Southern League Premier)
Poole Town 2 Dartford 3 (08/03/1983 – Southern League Premier)

 

On This Day
Challenging at the top end of the National South, Dartford hosted rivals Dover Athletic five years ago and took the bragging rights. In front of over 1500 fans, the Darts brushed aside their opponents with goals from Adam Green, Ryan Hayes and Elliot Bradbrook in a 3-1 win. A trip to Forest Green Rovers was the last time Dartford played on 3 December just three years ago, the Darts went out in a F.A Trophy replay losing 1-0.