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Dartford v St Albans City

The Darts are back at Princes Park this weekend heading the National South table and hosting fourth place St Albans City.

Dartford started the week down in seventh place and one win saw a huge leap up the standings into pole position. With the top four separated by goal difference, Tony Burman will be hoping to improve his record against Saints boss Ian Allinson, to ensure the Darts maintain their lead in the National South. Victory at home will almost guarantee top spot as Dartford’s goal difference is seven goals more than their closest rivals.

However, the Darts have lost their last three meetings against St Albans City without even scoring a goal. The last of which came in March when Charlie Walker’s goal was enough to complete the double over Dartford. Earlier in the campaign St Albans City won 2-0 at Princes Park to end the Darts unbeaten home start that season. Sam Merson headed in the opener and former Dart, Tom Bender grabbed a second. At the end of the 2015/16 season, the Saints recorded their first ever victory over Dartford with a comprehensive 4-0 win on the final day.

After a second consecutive away defeat in the league last weekend without scoring, the Darts travelled to Bath City on Tuesday night. Having been beaten 3-0 by Weston-super-Mare then 1-0 by Chelmsford City on the road, the Darts were hoping to break their barren spell. Richard Sho-Silva was missing from the squad against the Romans meaning captain Elliot Bradbrook paired up with Ronnie Vint in central defence.

The match began with Ryan Hayes trying his luck immediately shooting straight from kick off and hitting the crossbar. In form striker Alfie Pavey looked lively and when Lee Noble crossed the ball on 32 minutes Pavey headed home. The lead lasted almost up to the interval but Tom Smith equalised before half-time. Dartford failed to break down ten men Chelmsford City on Saturday, but this time the Darts had to be resolute after Andy Pugh was dismissed. Despite the disadvantage Pavey pounced again to win the match 2-1 and keep up his record of almost a goal a game.

St Albans City, unbeaten in six prior to their Tuesday night fixture took on Hampton and Richmond Borough at the Beveree. The hosts took the lead on half an hour when Charlie Wassmer headed the opener which turned out to be the decisive goal, denying the Saints a place at the summit of the table.

Allinson’s side were the fastest out of the blocks this season winning their opening six, before losing to Braintree Town and Gloucester City back to back. Since then they remained unbeaten in the league until their mid-week reverse at Hampton and Richmond Borough.

Head to Head
Dartford wins: 6 / St Albans City wins: 3 / Draws: 4

Previous Meetings

25.03.2017 St Albans City 1 Dartford 0
08.11.2016 Dartford 0 St Albans City 2
30.04.2016 St Albans City 4 Dartford 0
06.02.2016 Dartford 2 St Albans City 0
02.04.2011 St Albans City 1 Dartford 2
22.03.2011 Dartford 2 St Albans City 2

Current League Form

Dartford (WLWLWW) St Albans City (LDWDDW)
Bath City A 2-1 Hampton & Richmond A 0-1
Chelmsford City A 0-1 Hungerford Town H 0-0
Bognor Regis Town H 1-0 Bath City H 2-0
Weston-super-Mare A 0-3 East Thurrock United A 1-1
Eastbourne Borough H 4-2 Whitehawk A 1-1
Chippenham Town H 3-0 Havant & Waterlooville H 2-1

Stats
Only St Albans City (17 points) have picked up more points at home this season than Dartford (16).

The Darts are the top scorers in the league with 32 goals and only Chelmsford City (9) have conceded fewer than Dartford’s 14 goals.

The Saints have failed to win any of their last four away games in the National South (D2 L2). Their last away win in the National South came on 19 August 2017 against Poole Town.

On This Day
Nine years ago Dartford were involved in a thrilling come back when they drew 3-3 with AFC Hornchurch in the Isthmian Premier League. Dean Green scored the opener for the Urchins and set up the second when his cross found Simon Parker. AFC Hornchurch went three up when Green netted his second before half-time. Early in the second half Cody McDonald’s pace helped him to start the come back, Rob Haworth scored by getting on the end of Ray Powell’s corner and Jamie Day completed the turnaround with a 25 yarder.

Bath City v Dartford

Dartford could end up top of the table on Tuesday night providing they can beat hosts Bath City in the National South.

The Darts may be down in seventh spot but they are just three points behind leaders Braintree Town. If third place St Albans City lose to Hampton and Richmond, then Tony Burman’s side will head the table once again.

Dartford’s superior goal difference could be the difference and with St Albans City the next team to visit Princes Park, a result over Bath City will hopefully give the Darts momentum. Ending the run of difficult fixtures will be Swindon Town in the F.A Cup first round but for now the attention will be on the league.

On the weekend, Dartford had the chance to beat one of the promotion challengers Chelmsford City. However, an early goal by former Ebbsfleet United midfielder Michael West was decisive enough to earn the Clarets all three points. The Darts failed to break down the Essex club despite playing most the match with an extra player, after Kudus Oyenuga was sent off for Chelmsford City. It was the second defeat in three league games for Dartford.

Last season, the trip to Twerton Park ended successfully for the first time since 1975. After ten attempts Dartford finally recorded an away victory against the Romans but had to leave it late. The only goal of the contest was scored on the counter attack by Luke Wanadio who curled the ball into the Bath City net.

The Romans are eleventh in the National South and a win for them will move them a point behind the Darts. Bath City’s fixture scheduled has also been tough lately but last time out they drew 1-1 with league leaders Braintree Town. George Rigg, who was sent off in the final minutes had the Romans ahead before they conceded with five minutes to go. It could have been better for Bath City had they converted an earlier penalty which was missed by Nat Jarvis. In the previous game the Romans lost 2-0 to St Albans City.

Head to Head
Bath City wins: 40 / Dartford wins: 29 / Draws: 19

Current League Form

Bath City (DLDWWW) Dartford (LWLWWW)
Braintree Town H 1-1 Chelmsford City A 0-1
St Albans City A 0-2 Bognor Regis Town H 3-1
Wealdstone H 0-0 Weston-super-Mare A 0-3
Hungerford Town A 2-1 Eastbourne Borough H 4-2
Concord Rangers A 1-0 Chippenham Town H 3-0
Oxford City H 2-1 Whitehawk A 4-0

Previous Meetings

04.03.2017 Dartford 2 Bath City 0
22.10.2016 Bath City 0 Dartford 1
16.01.2016 Dartford 4 Bath City 1
05.09.2015 Bath City 0 Dartford o
07.04.1990 Dartford 0 Bath City 1
09.09.1989 Bath City 1 Dartford 0

Stats
Dartford’s failure to score on the weekend means they are now joint top scorers in the National South with Braintree Town on 30 goals.

The Darts have won their last three against Bath City, their best run since 1971/72

Dartford have kept five clean sheets in their last seven matches against the Romans.

The Darts have won just one of their last eleven at Twerton Park (D4, L6)

Bath City are the only side in the top half of the table with a negative goal difference (-2)

On This Day
Dartford have won their last three games on 24 October with the most recent being against Bishop’s Stortford two years ago. The Darts took the lead through Barry Cogan but the match was level after Christian Smith headed the equaliser. Elliott Bradbrook scored the winner early in the second half. In 2009, Bradbrook, Jamie Coyle, Ryan Hayes and Jay May all found the net as Dartford beat Aveley 4-1 despite ending up with ten men after Adam Flanagan was red carded. Gosport Borough were beaten 1-0 in 1989 in the Southern Premier League meeting.

Chelmsford City v Dartford

Dartford return to National South action this weekend against fellow promotion hopefuls Chelmsford City, a side the Darts had to face six times last season. 

Very little separated the two clubs last term with Dartford pipping Chelmsford City into third place on the final day of the campaign back in April. Yet, the Clarets claimed the bragging rights in the head to head contest winning three and losing once.

Chelmsford City became a nemesis for the Darts last season, the Essex club were victors in the National South playoffs, the F.A Trophy and took four points from Dartford in the league. However, in the three away games last season, Tony Burman managed to achieve his best results against the Essex club.

The first away fixture last season came in the opening month of the campaign. Luke Wanadio headed Dartford ahead just before the hour but Shaun Jeffers put the Essex side level eleven minutes later.

Drawn together in the F.A Cup, Dartford returned to the Melbourne Stadium in an intriguing cup tie. On a windy September afternoon, the Darts raced into a three goal lead before half-time. Goalkeeper, Ross Fitzsimons scored an unfortunate own goal early on and Elliot Bradbrook’s penalty and second goal five minutes later, put the Darts in a commanding position at the break. Chelmsford City fought back with two Shamir Mullings headers in two minutes to set up a tense finish, but the Darts held on to a 3-2 victory.

In the playoff semi-final just five months ago, the Darts secured a 0-0 draw at the Melbourne Stadium. At the time the result seemed to lay a solid foundation for a second leg at home, but the Clarets recorded victory at Princes Park winning 2-1 on aggregate. Rod Stringer’s side went on to lose the playoff final to Ebbsfleet United missing out on a place in the National League.

Manager, Tony Burman is aware of the threat Saturday’s opponents will bring as well as the following fixtures against Bath City and St Albans City, he told www.kentonline.co.uk: “It’s not the be-all and end-all but it’s a good test to see where we are”, he added: “We’ve got three tough games coming up and we’ve got to enjoy them and be professional in what we do”.

Burman continued: “It’s always tough at Chelmsford. They’ve made a lot of changes to their side but they’re always big and strong. They get plenty of high balls into the box and we’ve got to battle and match them for effort.We’re playing at their place so they’ll come at us and we’ve got to defend well and use the ball when we win it back”.

Meanwhile, striker Duane Ofori-Acheampong who has suffered a minor knee injury and full back Mark Onyemah are hopeful to return to the squad this weekend.

Dartford will need to be focused on league matters once more after the excitement of making it to the F.A Cup first round. The Darts beat Burgess Hill Town of the Isthmian Premier League last weekend thanks to an early Alfie Pavey goal. The striker’s excellent form of ten goals in his last eleven appearances will hopefully continue this weekend. The Darts have now made it to the first round in four of their last six season’s and for the first time since 2010 were rewarded with a home tie against Football League opposition. On Monday night when the draw was made, Dartford were paired up with Swindon Town, a former Premier League side now in League Two.

In their last league outing, the Darts beat Bognor Regis Town 3-1, much needed after the 3-0 reverse against Weston-super-Mare. Goals from Pavey, a Bradbrook penalty and Andy Pugh’s fourth of the season gave the Darts a 3-1 win over the Sussex club to move up to fourth in the National South table.

The Clarets started the campaign strongly and along with Dartford were declared one of the favourites for the title. Winning six of their first seven had the Essex club challenging St Albans City, the only team to have beaten them in that spell. Since then they have drawn four out of the last six, lost to East Thurrock United who had former Claret and Dartford midfielder Max Cornhill to thank for his two goals and a fortnight ago beat Eastbourne Borough 5-2 in their last home league fixture.

On the weekend, Chelmsford City attempted to reach the F.A Cup first round but only managed another draw at Bath City. The replay on Monday was won by former Ebbsfleet United midfielder Michael West’s goal to earn the Clarets a tie with National League side Gateshead.

Rod Stringer strengthened his squad last week with the signing of Chris Assombalonga, brother of Britt who plays for Middlesbrough. The striker impressed with 31 goals in 34 games for Waltham Abbey before joining Dagenham and Redbridge then moving on to Billericay Town. Winger, Aristide Bassele also joined the Clarets having had three loan spells with Welling United in the past. The Chelmsford City boss was amongst the busiest in the summer notably keeping hold of Chris Dickson and capturing the signature of Lee Barnard, the former Southampton and Southend United striker. Former Dart loanee, Jim Stevenson moved to the Mebourne Stadium, the midfielder played 25 times for the Darts scoring once in the 2013/14 season.

Head to Head
Dartford wins: 36 / Chelmsford City wins: 53 / Draws: 91

Current League Form

Chelmsford City (WDLDDD) Dartford (WLWWWD)
Eastbourne Borough H 5-2 Bognor Regis Town H 3-1
Poole Town A 0-0 Weston-super-Mare A 0-3
East Thurrock United H 1-2 Eastbourne Borough H 4-2
Weston-super-Mare H 1-1 Chippenham Town H 3-0
Hampton & Richmond A 1-1 Whitehawk A 4-0
Bognor Regis Town H 0-0 Hampton & Richmond A 2-2

Previous Meetings

07.05.2017 Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 2
03.05.2017 Chelmsford City 0 Dartford 0
18.02.2017 Dartford 0 Chelmsford City 1
14.01.2017 Dartford 0 Chelmsford City 1
17.09.2016 Chelmsford City 2 Dartford 3
13.08.2016 Chelmsford City 1 Dartford 1

Stats
Dartford have beaten Chelmsford City once in the last seven fixtures, since the start of the millennium the Darts have only recorded three victories out of 15 meetings (D5, L8).

The Darts have failed to score in three of the last four games against the Essex side.

Despite Chelmsford City coming out on top of the head to head record, Dartford are unbeaten in their last five trips to the Melbourne Stadium (W2, D3).

Only once in the last ten meetings has their been more than three goals in the game (Dartford’s 3-2 F.A Cup win last season). In that spell which has included three 0-0 draws and three games ending 1-0, the average goals per game is just 1.5.

On This Day
Only a week has gone by since the Darts defeated Burgess Hill Town, the same side Dartford beat 14 years ago on this day. The Southern League Division One East encounter ended 2-1 to the Darts. The previous three fixtures on 21 October all ended in defeats, in 2000 Burnham won 3-1 also in the Southern League Division One East, Cray Wanderers won a Kent League Cup game 2-0 in 1995 and Burton Albion, now in the Championship won 1-0 in the Southern Premier League back in 1989. Dartford’s last away win on this day was way back in 1974 when they beat Tonbridge 4-2 in the Southern League Cup second round.

Burgess Hill Town v Dartford

Dartford can make it to the F.A Cup first round with victory over Isthmian Premier League side Burgess Hill Town on the weekend.

At the same stage three years ago, the Darts beat the Hillians 3-1 at Princes Park but this time it’s the Sussex club playing host. When Tony Burman’s side faced Burgess Hill Town in the fourth qualifying round last time their opponents were flying at the top of the Isthmian Division One South unbeaten. In contrast Dartford were struggling in the National League, three divisions above.

Harry Crawford settled any early nerves by hitting a shot across goal to give Dartford the lead. Five minutes later the striker netted his second instinctively tapping in after goalkeeper Josh James spilt a cross. Darren Budd halved the deficit for the visitors scoring within seconds of coming on as a substitute. A penalty gave Elliot Bradbrook the opportunity to extend Dartford’s lead which he duly obliged.

The gap has closed since then with the Darts dropping into the National South and the Hillians winning promotion at the end of that campaign in 2014/15.

Dartford bounced back in the league on Saturday after the 3-0 defeat at Weston-super-Mare. Goals from Alfie Pavey, a Bradbrook penalty and Andy Pugh’s fourth of the season gave the Darts a 3-1 win over Bognor Regis Town to move up to fourth in the National South table. Pavey has now scored nine in his last ten appearances and starting to show why Burman signed the striker.

Burman praised his side for their patience especially after going in 1-1 at half time, he told www.kentonline, “the guys showed a lot of patience, waited until they got opportunities and they’ve won the game”.

For the first time this season, Burman had all his outfield players available which has led to a new challenge of keeping the squad together, he commented: “I’m delighted we have a full squad, it’s competition for places”, he added: “I’ve got to keep as many people as I can happy and if they want to be successful and they’ve got ambition, they stay here in respect of the level they’re being offered”.

The Darts have negotiated two qualifying rounds so far, beating Barking of the Isthmian Division One North 3-1 at Princes Park. Dartford needed to come from behind to claim victory and progress in the competition.

Burgess Hill Town’s profile is similar to the side Dartford breezed past in the last round. Burman’s side beat Isthmian Premier League club Needham Market 6-1 away from home. The Marketmen won the Isthmian Division One North title the same year Burgess Hill Town won the south division, both sides accumulated over 100 points.

In their first season in the Isthmian Premier, Burgess Hill Town were reprieved whilst the Marketmen survived relegation by a point finishing a place above the Sussex club. Last season, the Hillians finished nineteenth and this term they sit in the same position with Needham Market one place lower.

Manager, Ian Chapman was in charge of the Hillians when they lost to the Darts three years ago and believes his side can cause an upset, he spoke to Mark Dunford of the Mid-Sussex Times and said: “We can win it, it’s not a game I am going ‘well that’s the end of that then’. It will be really difficult, we will have to be at our best and they will have to be poor but it’s a game we can win”.

The Darts will have to be on their toes as Chapman also points out that Burgess Hill Town have staged cup shocks before under his reign, he commented: “Since I have been at the club we have beat Chesham, Aldershot, Leatherhead, Sutton, Wealdstone when they were all in leagues above us – and in one case three leagues above”.

Burgess Hill Town will face Dartford as they try to reach the first round proper of the FA Cup for the first time in their history. Manager Ian Chapman believes it is not impossible for his side to pull off a shock against the National League South side. The Hillians have faced Dartford twice since Chapman has been at the club, losing 2-1 and 3-1 – the latter was at this stage in 2014. Chapman said: “They are decent outfit. Anytime you are playing sides from the league above they are going to be decent.

The Hillians have so far made it through three qualifying rounds starting with a 3-0 away win against Erith Town. Former Dartford striker Tony Garrod scored a brace and Pat Harding netted the other in the victory. Garrod played for the Darts 2011/12 National South playoff winning squad, making 5 starts, 27 substitute appearances and scoring five times, he’s been regular in the Burgess Hill Town starting eleven this term.

In the second qualifier, the Hillians threw away a three goal lead over Colney Heath. Pat Harding scored the opener and two from Brandon Diau put the visitors in command. However, the South Midlands League side staged a comeback to force a replay. Three days later, Burgess Hill Town repeated the score from the previous round with Pat Harding and another Garrod brace securing a tie with Wealdstone. The Hillians caused a dramatic upset winning 1-0 with Chiek Toure netting the winner in the last minute of the F.A Cup third round qualifier.

After a 5-0 league defeat against Lowestoft Town on the weekend, the Hillians will have no better opportunity to restore confidence than another cup upset. Yet in their league match before the heavy loss they had beaten Kingstonian 5-0, so at the moment goals are very much on the agenda.

Head to Head 
Burgess Hill Town wins: 1 / Dartford wins: 6 / Draws: 0

Previous Meetings

10.01.2015 Burgess Hill Town 1 Dartford 2
25.10.2014 Dartford 3 Burgess Hill Town 1
13.01.2007 Dartford 7 Burgess Hill Town 2
19.08.2006 Burgess Hill Town 1 Dartford 6
28.10.2003 Dartford 0 Burgess Hill Town 3
21.10.2003 Dartford 2 Burgess Hill Town 1
20.08.2003 Burgess Hill Town 0 Dartford 1

Current Form (all competitions)

Burgess Hill Town (LWWLLW) Dartford (WWLLWW)
Lowestoft Town H 0-5 Bognor Regis Town H 3-1
Kingstonian H 5-1 Needham Market A 6-1
Wealdstone H 1-0 Weston-super-Mare A 0-3
Horsham A 2-4 Cray Wanderers A 2-4
Tonbridge Angels H 0-1 Barking H 3-1
Colney Heath H 3-0 Eastbourne Borough H 4-2

Stats
Elliot Bradbrook, Ryan Hayes, Lee Noble, Andy Pugh and Danny Harris all featured in the last meeting against Burgess Hill Town.

Bradbrook failed to score in the F.A Cup in the last round for the first time since 26 September 2015, when the Darts lost to Uxbridge.

In all competitions, Dartford’s last clean sheet was over a month ago against Chippenham Town. Since then they have played six conceding 12. In first ten games the Darts only conceded just 5 goals.

Burgess Hill Town are looking to reach the F.A Cup first round for the first time in their history.

The Darts last went out to lower league opposition in an away F.A Cup tie 15 years ago. Dartford in the Southern League Eastern Division lost 1-0 in a replay to Carterton Town in the Hellenic League.

On This Day
Dartford have won their last three games on 14 October going back to 1989 when they won an F.A Cup third qualifying tie against Heybridge Swifts 1-0. Since then, the Darts beat Sittingbourne 3-1 in the Southern League Division One South and Godalming Town by the same score in 2006, Richard Avery, Anthony Hogg and Jay May scored in the Isthmian Division One South encounter.

Dartford v Bognor Regis Town

The Darts return to league action this weekend hosting last season’s Isthmian Premier playoff winners Bognor Regis Town at Princes Park.

Dartford bounced back from their last National South fixture that saw them lose 3-0 away to Weston-super-Mare. Tony Burman guided his side to the F.A Cup fourth qualifying round on Saturday with a comprehensive 6-1 win at Needham Market.

In the previous round the Darts had to keep their wits about them against lower league opposition, this time they negotiated any potential upset the Isthmian Premier side could pose. Alfie Pavey struck a first half hat-trick to put Dartford on their way. In the second half, Tom Murphy, Andy Pugh and Ryan Hayes added three more and it could have been more had Elliot Bradbrook not missed a penalty earlier on in the half.

Dartford created fond memories for the fans after last playing Bognor Regis Town in 2010. On the final day of the season having already clinched the Isthmian Premier League title, the Darts won 2-0 with Jamie Coyle scoring the Darts 100th goal of the campaign and Lee Noble adding the 101st. However, the fixture earlier in that season at Princes Park was a much tougher affair. Bognor Regis Town were bottom of the table, where they finished the campaign but it was future Dartford striker Jason Prior who grabbed the headlines in a 3-3 draw. Prior alerted Burman to his potential with a superb hat-trick. Danny Harris scored a brace for the Darts but it was right back Billy Burgess who saved Dartford’s blushes with a 94th minute equaliser.

Bognor Regis Town are still finding their feet in the National South and are eighteenth in the division, thirteen places below the Darts. The Sussex club may be waiting for their first league victory in the league, but they did manage their maiden away win of the season on the weekend. Also in F.A Cup action, the Rocks were paired up with rivals Eastbourne Borough in the third qualifying round. The tie was made even more tasty by the fact that former Bognor Regis Town boss, Jamie Howell now manages the Sports. Ollie Pearce scored both goals either side of the break to make sure the Rocks came out on top.

In their last league fixture Bognor Regis Town threw away a two goal lead with twenty minutes remaining. Pearce netted his fifth National South goal of the campaign in the first half before James Muitt made it 2-0 in the second half, also notching his fifth for the season. Gloucester City hit back when substitute Edward Williams scored a brace and rescued a point for the visitors.

One player who could make a return to Princes Park after a brief spell with the Darts is Ben Swallow. The winger was part of the 2013/14 National League squad that finished in the relegation zone but were reprieved. Swallow made 11 appearances with seven of those coming off the substitutes bench. This season he has been a regular in the Bognor Regis Town starting eleven having signed for the club in the summer from Havant and Waterlooville.

Head to Head
Dartford wins: 3 / Bognor Regis Town: 1 / Draws: 4

Previous Meetings

24.04.2010 Bognor Regis Town 0 Dartford 2
07.11.2009 Dartford 3 Bognor Regis Town 3
02.05.1981 Dartford 1 Bognor Regis Town 1
13.12.1980 Bognor Regis Town 2 Dartford 2
01.05.1980 Bognor Regis Town 2 Dartford 0
10.11.1979 Dartford 2 Bognor Regis Town 0

Current League Form

Dartford (LWWWDL) Bognor Regis Town (DLLLDL)
Weston-super-Mare A 0-3 Gloucester City H 2-2
Eastbourne Borough H 4-2 Hemel Hempstead Town A 1-3
Chippenham Town H 3-0 Wealdstone A 0-3
Whitehawk A 4-0 Hungerford Town H 1-2
Hampton & Richmond A 2-2 Chelmsford City A 0-0
East Thurrock United H 0-1 Eastbourne Borough H 0-1

Stats
Dartford have scored three or more goals in seven of their opening 15 matches. One less time than the first 15 games of the 2009/10 campaign when they were promoted at the end of the season.

The Darts are top scorers in the National South with 27 goals, one ahead of Braintree Town.

Bognor Regis Town have the third leakiest defence conceding 23 times, only Whitehawk (36) and Oxford City (27) have let in more goals.

On This Day
Dartford have only won once on 7 October since reforming and that was eleven years ago in the F.A Trophy Preliminary round against Ilford, the Darts ran out 4-1 winners on their way to second qualifying round. Dartford had to wait eight years to play on this day again, this time losing 1-0 away to Bristol Rovers in the National League. The match was marred by an incident where Dartford goalkeeper Jason Brown was racially abused by a Rovers fan. Aside from a 0-0 draw with Deal Town in 1995, the Darts have lost the other three outings with 18 goals being scored. Fisher Athletic won the Southern League Cup encounter 5-3 in 1997, Rothwell Town won 3-2 in 2000 and Bromley were victorious by the same score in the Kent Senior Cup in 2003.