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St Albans City v Dartford

After a barren spell of victories and goals for Dartford they were back to winning ways on Bank Holiday Monday, now they have to end a poor run of form against St Albans City this weekend.

The Darts have lost three straight games at Clarence Park without finding the back of the net, hopefully the home win over East Thurrock United this week will provide Dartford with the confidence to break the sequence.

Joint manager, Jamie Coyle praised his team after the 2-0 win over the Rocks on monday, he spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk and said: “It’s been a tough couple of weeks, we’ve worked hard on the training pitch to get things right”.

Adam Flanagan and Coyle made two changes in an attempt to put things right with Lee Noble returning from injury and replacing Simon Mensah. The management duo recognised more was needed up front and in came Kudus Oyenuga for Alfie Cue.

The return and stand out performance of Noble was noted by Coyle, he commented: “He’s always on the front foot and in the face of the opposition. It allows everyone in midfield and the back four to get higher up the pitch and press with him”, he added: “He’s a catalyst of so much what the club has done in the past and what we’re going to do this year. You can really see when he doesn’t play that we miss him”.

Tom Bonner put Dartford ahead after a goal was wrongly ruled out earlier. Bonner smashed home a driven shot taking advantage of East Thurrock United’s goalkeeper who had flapped at Ben Greenhalgh’s corner. Noble provided a clever cross for the second goal, which Greenhalgh put away with a diving header at the far post, his first goal for the club.

Charlie Sheringham returns to the Darts for a third spell having previously scored 36 goals in 26 appearances, the 30 year old striker joins from Hemel Hempstead Town. Winger, Tom Knowles has also been signed on a one month loan from Cambridge United, the 18 year old has previous experience with St Ives Town, Cambridge City and St Neots Town. Meanwhile, Alfie Cue has gone out on a month loan to Leatherhead.

A win moved the Darts up six places to eleventh and a point behind a playoff place, whilst also ending a four game winless streak.

If goals are on the agenda then it normally involves St Albans City, already this season they have been involved in four games ending 3-2, winning two of those, against Hungerford Town on the opening day and Weston-super-Mare a week later.

On Bank Holiday Monday, the Saints lost one of those five goal thrillers to newly promoted and title challengers Billericay Town. Ian Allinson’s side were reduced to ten men just before half-time when Harold Joseph was red carded with his team 2-1 up. Billericay Town made use of the extra man scoring before the break then the winner in the second half. Two former Dartford defenders lined up in the starting eleven, Tom Bender who played 20 times during the 2014/2015 campaign and Richard Sho-Silva who managed 24 appearances last season scoring three goals.

Up front, Allinson can call upon striker Ralston Gabriel, the summer signing has started well at his new club scoring five times in St Albans City’s opening seven fixtures. Last season he netted 32 goals for Haringey Borough in their Isthmian Division One North playoff winning campaign, including four hat-tricks.

The Saints haven’t managed a repeat of last season’s start when they won six in a row. The Hertfordshire club finished four points and a place below the playoffs in the end but have only taken seven points from their first seven National South fixtures this time.

It was only seven months ago when the Darts last played at Clarence Park and were trounced 4-0, a repeat of the score in April 2016 at the same venue. Two goals from Sam Merson in three first half minutes followed by second-half strikes by Percy Kiangebeni and Rhys Murrell-Williamson earned the Saints three points last term. Earlier in that season, the Darts won at Princes Park 2-1 with Elliot Bradbrook opening the scoring and Bender’s own goal handing his former side the win. Bender also got on the scoresheet in November 2016 when St Albans City won 2-0 away from home, again Merson scored the other.

Dartford have managed just one win in their last five attempts against this weekend’s opponents.

Head to Head

St Albans City wins: 4 / Dartford wins: 7 / Draws: 4

Current Form

St Albans City (LDLLLL) Dartford (WLLLDW
Billericay Town A 2-3 East Thurrock United H 2-0
Eastbourne Borough H 1-1 Hungerford Town A 0-1
Oxford City A 1-2 Wealdstone H 0-3
Hampton & Richmond H 2-3 Concord Rangers A 0-2
Weston-super-Mare A 2-3 Hemel Hempstead Town H 0-0
Woking A 1-2 Chelmsford City H 1-0

Previous Meetings

03.02.2018 St Albans City 4 Dartford 0
28.10.2017 Dartford 2 St Albans City 1
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

Stats

In every St Albans City match this season both teams have scored, only once has this happened this term in Dartford games, on the opening day of the campaign.

The Darts have failed to score in four of their last five trips to Clarence Park.

Tom Bonner’s goal on Bank Holiday Monday ended a run of 411 minutes without scoring for the Darts.

A total of 28 goals have been scored in games involving St Albans City this season, more than any other team at four goals a game. There has only been 12 goals during Dartford matches the fourth fewest number of goals.

On This Day

Harry Crawford netted a hat-trick as Dartford completed one of their best performances in the National League on this day six years ago. The last time the Darts played on 1 September was at home to Alfreton Town and Crawford was the star of the show. The striker’s low drive opened the scoring, Jacob Erskine added a second and Ryan Hayes prodded in a third. Crawford scored again in the second half before Danny Meadows pulled a goal back for the Reds. Crawford secured the match ball scoring his third of the match from close range. Prior Dartford’s big win they had played their last four games on this day at home in the F.A Cup Preliminary Round beating Leatherhead 3-0 in 2007 with a brace from Brendon Cass and a goal by Tom Bradbrook. The Darts drew 2-2 with Carterton Town in 2002, defeated Eastbourne Borough 3-1 a year before and drew 1-1 with Horsham in 1996. The last away game was in 1990 and ended in a 4-0 defeat to Bromsgrove Rovers in the Southern Premier League.

Dartford v East Thurrock United

Dartford are in action on Bank Holiday Monday with a home National South fixture against Essex side East Thurrock United.

After a slow start to the season Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle will be searching for their second home win, versus a side Dartford have had contrasting fortunes against in their last two meetings at Princes Park.

A year ago, East Thurrock United caused an upset by visiting the home of the Darts and coming away with a 1-0 win. On loan goalkeeper, Jordan Beeney could only tip Reece Harris’ free kick onto the crossbar for last season’s National South top scorer Sam Higgins to score the rebound, it was Dartford’s first home defeat of the campaign. At the time the Rocks were flying high in the league as they went ten unbeaten, but they ended up the campaign in fifteenth.

In the home match a season before, the Darts trounced the Essex club 6-1. Clinical in front of goal, six different scorers found the net starting with a second minute Tom Bonner header. Alex Brown expertly hit a twenty yard volley to double the lead and by half-time the Darts were 4-1 up. Tom Murphy scored on his home debut before Tom Wraight pulled a goal back and Andy Pugh scored from close range. The second half yielded two more goals, one from Ryan Hayes and the other an Elliot Bradbrook spot kick.

Two players that will get a Princes Park welcome will be former Darts Lee Burns and Danny Harris. The pair followed suit starting out as attacking players with Burns top scoring in the Isthmian Premier League title winning campaign and winning Player of the Year at Dartford. The former striker moved to right back until he left the Darts in 2016 after 278 appearances and 33 goals. Danny Harris joined East Thurrock United and he started out at Dartford on the right wing before taking Burns’ place at full back, the hard working Harris made 400 appearances and scored 75 goals.

Dartford made four changes in their last game against Hungerford Town to the team that were beaten 3-0 at home to Wealdstone. Chez Isaac, Billy Roast, Kudus Oyenuga and Delano Sam-Yorke were all put on the bench and in came Simon Mensah, Alfie Cue, Elliot Bradbrook and Jamie Philpot, the latter two returning from injury. Even so, the Darts were unable to prevent a third straight loss without scoring as Hungerford Town picked up their first win of the season. Cue, Philpot and Ben Greenhalgh all had chances, but it was the home side that clinched victory after 58 minutes with a Conor Lynch strike.

East Thurrock United lost their opening five games and took on newly promoted Slough Town on the weekend. John Coventry’s side won their first of the season to get their points tally moving upwards,.The Rocks in some sense were unlucky in their first two outings by conceding last minute goals which condemned them to defeat. On the opening day, the Essex club faced a difficult match with recently relegated Woking, which was decided by a 90th minute Max Kretzschmar penalty. Dulwich Hamlet who had won promotion last term to the National South, beat East Thurrock United when Afolabi Akinyemi netted a final minute winner.

Another team joining the National South from the division above, Torquay United beat the Rocks thanks to two Rauri Keating goals. John Coventry’s side were then beaten 1-0 by Eastbourne Borough and Gloucester City before their maiden win on Saturday. In their clash with the Tigers, East Thurrock United had the experienced former England international Paul Konchesky and Ashley Miller sent off, Konchesky has since left the club after just five games.

Dartford’s last game against East Thurrock United was just four months ago. Chasing the league title, the Darts won 1-0 when Danny Mills headed in the winner twelve minutes from time.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 2 / East Thurrock United wins: 3 / Draws: 1

Current Form

Dartford (LLLDWW) East Thurrock United (WLLLLL)
Hungerford Town A 0-1 Slough Town H 1-0
Wealdstone H 0-3 Gloucester City A 0-1
Concord Rangers A 0-2 Eastbourne Borough H 0-1
Hemel Hempstead Town H 0-0 Torquay United A 0-2
Chelmsford City H 1-0 Dulwich Hamlet A 1-2
Bath City A 2-1 Woking H 0-1

Previous Meetings

17.04.2018 East Thurrock United 0 Dartford 1
28.08.2017 Dartford 0 East Thurrock United 1
07.01.2017 Dartford 6 East Thurrock United 1
10.09.2016 East Thurrock United 1 Dartford 1
30.04.2005 Dartford 0 East Thurrock United 3
28.08.2004 East Thurrock United 2 Dartford 1

Stats

The home side have failed to score in half of the meetings between Dartford and East Thurrock United, whilst the away team have always managed at least a goal.

Princes Park has hosted five August Bank Holiday matches with the Darts winning two, drawing one and losing two. Aveley were beaten 4-0 in 2007 and three years later Dartford drew 1-1 with Ebbsfleet United. Bromley were defeated 3-1 in 2011, Ebbsfleet United won 1-0 at Princes Park three years ago and East Thurrock United won 1-0 last term.

Dartford have failed to score in their last four games for the first time since 1985. The last time they went five games without a goal was in February 1975.

On This Day

Deren Ibrahim grabbed national headlines when he scored a free kick from inside his own half. Two years ago, the goalkeeper opened the scoring at home to Hungerford Town setting up a 2-0 win, Alex Brown scored the second goal. Unbeaten in the last five games on 27 August, the Darts have enjoyed this day in recent years. In 2012, Dartford famously beat Cambridge United when Nathan Collier’s deflected shot turned out to be the winner at the Abbey Stadium. Danny Harris scored a lucky goal to open the scoring, but his goal was cancelled out by Cambridge United’s James Jennings. In 2007, Jay May scored a Princes Park hat-trick as the Darts beat Aveley 4-0. Brendon Cass scored the other goal and Dartford went on to win the Isthmian Premier League title that season. Seventeen years ago, Dartford won a local derby 4-0 against then rivals Erith and Belverdere in the Southern League Division One East. Only Chelmsford City have taken points off Dartford on the 27 August in the last 24 years and that was a 0-0 draw in 2011.

Hungerford Town v Dartford

Dartford will want to put right their tough week when they visit Hungerford Town at Bulpit Lane this weekend.

After two straight victories at the start of the season, the Darts have picked up just one point in their last three outings without scoring. Joint Manager, Adam Flanagan urged the current crop of players to produce some flair, whilst captain Tom Bonner asked for patience before the 3-0 defeat to Wealdstone.

Instead Dartford put in a disappointing performance leaving the management duo to consider making changes. Flanagan spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk: “”We feel we might have to make changes already,” said Flanagan. “We were trying to put that off thinking we might get a display and if we’d won we would have been in front of where the club were this time last year after five games”.

He added: “It was very disappointing performance by the players, our expectations were a lot higher. I don’t want to be too brutal but it was probably the poorest performance I’ve seen from a Dartford side”.

Wealdstone’s Bradley Bubb fired a double and Jeffrey Monakana scored from a brilliant 25 yard shot to condemn the Darts to a consecutive defeat. Earlier in the week, Concord Rangers beat Dartford 2-0 with former Dart, Alex Wall appearing on the scoresheet.

Failing to score in the 0-0 draw with Hemel Hempstead Town and the Concord Rangers loss led to Flanagan and Jamie Coyle reverting to a 4-4-2 last weekend, in hope Delano Sam-Yorke would get more support up front. However, the desired result didn’t materialise forcing a rethink from the Dartford bosses.

Elliot Bradbrook missed last weekend’s fixture through illness, Lee Noble was out with a knee injury and Jamie Philpot had a hamstring problem. Flanagan is hoping all three will be back for the Bank Holiday weekend fixtures.

Hungerford Town have picked up just two points from their opening five fixtures. Despite thrashings against two Essex clubs, the Crusaders picked up respectable draws at home to Wealdstone and away to Hemel Hempstead Town.

Ian Herring’s side started the campaign on the wrong side of an exciting clash with St Albans City. Leading 2-1 with nine minutes to go, Hungerford Town threw away all three points after conceding in the injury time to lose 3-2. Defeat was followed with the 1-1 draw with Wealdstone which Herring claimed took a lot out of his young squad.

In the Crusaders second home game of the season they fell to a 6-0 thrashing against Chelmsford City. Already four down, Hungerford Town had James Rusby sent off then conceded two more. So when the Berkshire club held Hemel Hempstead Town to a 0-0 draw, Herring was delighted with his players attitude, especially after goalkeeper Jokull Andresson was forced off the pitch with a head injury and Herring himself had to play 75 minutes between the sticks. Last weekend, Hungerford Town were beaten 4-0 at Concord Rangers, in a game which saw former Dartford favourite, Ryan Hayes score his first for the Beachboys.

Last term, Dartford’s visit to Bulpit Lane ended in a shock defeat. The Darts were leading the National South at the time but lost 1-0 after Louie Soares scored from a penalty. The Good Friday visit last year in the 2016/2017 campaign also ended in a Hungerford Town victory with Soares scoring and assisting Stefan Brown.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / Hungerford Town wins: 2 / Draws: 1

Current Form

Hungerford Town (LLLLWL) Dartford (LLDWW)
Concord Rangers A 0-4 Wealdstone H 0-3
Hemel Hempstead Town A 0-0 Concord Rangers A 0-2
Chelmsford City H 0-6 Hemel Hempstead Town H 0-0
Wealdstone H 1-1 Chelmsford City H 1-0
St Albans City A 2-3 Bath City A 2-1

Previous Meetings

09.12.2017 Hungerford Town 1 Dartford 0
05.08.2017 Dartford 0 Hungerford Town 0
14.04.2017 Hungerford Town 2 Dartford 0
27.08.2016 Dartford 2 Hungerford Town 0

Stats

Dartford are yet to score at Bulpit Lane, in fact there hasn’t never been an away goal scored in this fixture.

Hungerford Town and the Darts have failed to score in their last three games. Dartford last hit a barren goalscoring run of three consecutive games in April 2015. Losing 0-2 to Macclesfield Town and drawing 0-0 with Lincoln City in their final National League games. The 2016 season opener ended in Dartford losing 1-0 to Hemel Hempstead Town in the National South.

In 2014, Dartford failed to score for three games in a row in the same season between 16 August and 25 August (0-1 v Kidderminster Harriers, 0-0 v Torquay United and 0-4 v Barnet)

The last time Dartford failed to score in four consecutive games in all competitions was in 2002 and in just league matches in 1985.

On This Day

Lee Burns took home the match ball as he scored a hat-trick in Dartford’s 5-0 demolishing of Kingstonian nine years ago. The Darts swept their opponents aside and even had two goals ruled out plus a penalty miss. Elliot Bradbrook and Ryan Hayes also found the net, in a victory which set the tone for the rest of the Isthmian Premier League title winning campaign. Dartford enjoyed a 1-0 home win over Kidderminster Harriers six years ago, the winner was scored by Burns to secure the Darts first victory in the National League since 1986, after 26 years away.

Dartford v Wealdstone

Dartford are back at home this weekend and will aim to keep their unbeaten Princes Park record this season when they host Wealdstone.

The Darts have taken four points from six in their first two home matches beating Chelmsford City and drawing with Hemel Hempstead Town. Meanwhile, Wealdstone have taken just one point on the road when they drew 1-1 with Hungerford Town and narrowly lost 1-0 to Billericay Town.

When the two sides last met at Princes Park a topsy-turvy six goal thriller was played out with the points shared. The Darts had to twice come from behind through a double from Alfie Pavey before a strike from substitute Andy Pugh had put Dartford in the driving seat with ten minutes remaining. However, with three minutes to go Daniel Green stepped up to equalise from the penalty spot before Lee Noble was given his marching orders in stoppage time after a second yellow.

Pavey also scored a late winner in the return fixture last season as the Darts came from behind against ten men. Wealdstone had Iffy Allen sent off just before half-time yet managed to take the lead in the second-half through Dan Fitchett. With ten minutes to go, Danny Mills headed Dartford level and two minutes later up popped Pavey to clinch victory.

Two years ago, Dartford faced Wealdstone at home on the opening day of the season and that time it ended 2-2. It took until a minute before half time for Dartford to open their account when Luke Wanadio hit a low ball across the box for Elliot Bradbrook to finish. Early in the second half, Wealdstone were level through Elliot Benyon but the lead was restored after Ryan Hayes netted from the spot. The three points looked like they were heading for the Darts, however in the final minute Eddie Oshodi headed an equaliser.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 13 / Wealdstone wins: 13 / Draws: 13

Previous Meetings

17.02.2018 Wealdstone 1 Dartford 2
21.11.2017 Dartford 3 Wealdstone 3
28.01.2017 Wealdstone 0 Dartford 4
06.08.2016 Dartford 2 Wealdstone 2
26.01.2016 Dartford 1 Wealdstone 2
03.10.2015 Wealdstone 2 Dartford 1

Stats

Dartford have won two of the last three meetings versus Wealdstone, however before this unbeaten run the Darts were winless against the opponents in 14 games stretching back to 1989.

The last home win against the Stones came in 1991 when Dartford won 4-1. Since then the Darts have hosted Wealdstone six times, drawing five and losing once.

At Princes Park, the previous two games there have been ten goals scored between Dartford and Wealdstone. The last six meetings have seen three or more goals scored in this fixture.

On This Day

They recently met on Tuesday night and only three years ago Dartford staged a fantastic comeback to beat Concord Rangers 3-2. Lewis Taaffe’s second-minute strike and his second goal on the hour mark had the Darts staring at defeat. Andy Pugh’s deflected effort seven minutes later gave Dartford hope and set up a late flourish. Pugh levelled things up five minutes from time with a curling shot into the top corner and Tom Bradbrook stepped up to complete the comeback in stoppage-time. The Darts lost 2-0 to Macclesfield Town in 2012 and beat Margate 4-0 in 2009 which included a well worked free-kick between Ryan Hayes and Jamie Day. The last home match on 18 August was a 2-2 draw with Maldon Town in the Isthmian Division One North back in 2007.

Concord Rangers v Dartford

Adam Flanagan returns to Thames Road on Tuesday night when he leads the Darts out against his former club Concord Rangers.

The joint Dartford manager left the Essex club shortly after guiding the Beachboys to safety last season. He enjoyed three years managing Concord Rangers which included a top ten finish in his first campaign.

In recent years there have been connections between the two clubs and it’s no different this time. In the summer Flanagan and Jamie Coyle signed Ben Greenhalgh, Manny Ighorae and Billy Roast from the Beachboys, who will also face their former club for the first time. Greenhalgh has been involved from the start in all three of Dartford’s games this term, whilst Ighorae and Roast have only managed appearances from the bench so far.

It will be a strange evening for many involved with Dartford Football Club on Tuesday, when they see midfield legend Ryan Hayes in a Concord Rangers shirt. The former Dartford winger made 580 appearances for the club scoring 108 goals. A creative winger spent 13 years at Dartford winning two league titles and promotion through the playoffs. Only Steve Robinson and Les Burns have made more appearances in a Dartford shirt and he is sixth in the Darts all time goal scoring chart.

The football pitch is no place for sentiment though and the Darts will be hoping they can add another victory. Dartford have had a respectable start to their campaign winning their first two against Bath City and Chelmsford City. The Darts finally defeated the Clarets at home after an 18 year wait. On Saturday, Elliot Bradbrook was rested and in his place a debut was given to Simon Mensah. At the beginning of the day Dartford in second place were hosting league leaders Hemel Hempstead Town, by the end of the afternoon they were still level on seven points after a 0-0 draw. The Darts did have a glorious opportunity to win the match ten minutes from time, but Jamie Philpot missed his spot kick.

One player who will have a point to prove is Concord Rangers striker Alex Wall. Having spent 11 games on loan at Princes Park in 2015 scoring 6 goals he signed for Dartford this summer. However, injury to Andy Pugh and with Jamie Philpot and Chez Isaac bolstering the Dartford squad, Wall left without playing a competitive game since re-joining. A day later the striker joined Concord Rangers and immediately made an impact scoring on his debut.

Wall netted a brace on the opening day of the season when the beachboys beat Gloucester City 2-0 at home. The new era under manager Sammy Moore was kickstarted into life when Wall fired a shot into the Gloucester City goal. The Essex club went down to ten men on half-time when Lee Minshull was red carded, but that didn’t deter Concord Rangers as Wall scored another to seal three points.

Another former Dart, Tyrone Sterling made his debut against the Tigers and he was also in the starting eleven when his side drew with local rivals Billericay Town. Wall gave Concord Rangers the lead when he scored a free-kick. In the final minute Moses Emmanuel ghosted in at the far post to deservedly level the match. On the weekend, the Beachboys picked up their seventh point of the campaign with Jack Midson scoring the winner against newly promoted Dulwich Hamlet.

The previous two visits to Thames Road have ended in 1-1 draws with the last meeting in January. Elliot Bradbrook had a penalty saved by former Darts goalkeeper Louis Wells before the Beachboys took the lead. Ben Greenhalgh’s shot was parried by Deren Ibrahim and Steve Cawley, who left Concord Rangers in the summer scored. Ryan Hayes equalised with a rasping shot in off the crossbar. In March 2017, Hayes recorded his 100th goal for Dartford but it was cancelled out by a Cawley penalty.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Concord Rangers wins: 1 / Draws: 2

Previous Meetings

06.01.2018 Concord Rangers 1 Dartford 1
15.08.2017 Dartford 2 Concord Rangers 0
11.03.2017 Concord Rangers 1 Dartford 1
24.09.2016 Dartford 2 Concord Rangers 1
27.02.2016 Dartford 1 Concord Rangers 2
18.08.2015 Concord Rangers 2 Dartford 3

Stats

The Darts are unbeaten in four matches away to Concord Rangers having never lost a match at Thames Road.

In six of the seven matches between Dartford and Concord Rangers both teams have scored. The only clean sheet was kept by the Darts a year ago in a 2-0 win.

Dartford have missed two penalties out of three this season by three different penalty takers.

On This Day

In 1993 it was an historic day for the Darts as they played their first league match since reforming. For the opening day of the season they were put up against Deal Town, a team that had scored 128 goals in their previous campaign and it was away, but then so were all the other matches technically. Micky Collins was responsible for the most memorable moment scoring the winner after just ten minutes securing the last win for the Darts on 14 August. Future Darts boss Gary Julians was sent off before half-time and somehow Dartford held on against an onslaught to create history.

Dartford v Hemel Hempstead Town

Dartford will be determined to protect their perfect start to the National South campaign when they host Hemel Hempstead Town this weekend.

The Darts started their campaign with a 2-1 away win at Bath City and followed up the win with a rare triumph over Chelmsford City. Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle made one change to the starting line up giving Delano Sam-Yorke his first start for the club at the expense of Kudus Oyenuga, who was out injured and hopes to be fit soon.

In an end to end first half with very few clear cut chances, the most notable moment caused controversy. Joint manager, Adam Flanagan and Clarets boss Rod Stringer squared up over an incident and were both sent off. Dartford began the second-half brighter and two chances fell to Jamie Philpot who hit the post then came close four minutes later. The Darts were rewarded with fifteen minutes to go when Elliot Bradbrook’s looping header secured a first home victory against Chelmsford City in 18 years.

Last time Dartford hosted Hemel Hempstead Town back in March, Andy Pugh produced two moments of quality. On a snowy afternoon with the ‘Beast from the East’ in full flow, the striker helped the Darts to leave it late and snatch victory.

Against the run of play Pugh put Dartford ahead with a curling effort which took the slightest of deflections and into the top corner. Despite the hosts taking the lead with fifteen minutes of the half remaining, it was the visitors who went into the break in front. First, Jordan Parkes hit a 35 yarder past goalkeeper Berti Schotterl, then David Moyo scored just before half-time.

The second half remained a struggle for Dartford, but Pugh’s quality showed with ten minutes left on the clock. The striker produced a delightful chip over Laurie Walker to level the match setting up a dramatic finale. In the final minute Nathan Collier put in a cross for Alfie Pavey to nod home and give the Darts a 3-2 victory and a double over the Hertfordshire club. Earlier in the campaign Elliot Bradbrook scored two penalties and Pavey the other in a 3-0 win.

Last season’s home win kept up Dartford’s unbeaten Princes Park record against the Tudors. In the previous two campaigns the Darts picked up four points from their opponents. Danny Harris and Luke Wanadio both scored in a 2-0 triumph back in November 2016. Whilst the year before that, Ryan Hayes scored a curling last-minute equaliser in a 2-2 draw, which saw Dartford come back from two down.

Hemel Hempstead Town finished fifth last season and lost on penalties to Braintree Town in their playoff match. Manager, Dean Brennan will hope his side can challenge again this term and after their opening day victory over Chippenham Town, the Tudors have also made a great start.

Karl Oliyide’s double helped Hemel Hempstead Town to a 4-2 win, his first goal came after four minutes. After Jordan Parkes hit a free kick against the post, Chippenham Town went ahead after Karnell Chambers scored twice. The Tudors were level five minutes before the break, new signing Steve Cawley equalised and after the interval Oliyide restored the host’s lead. The three points were secured in the final two minutes when the Tudors broke away for Alex Osborn to score.

On Tuesday night, Hemel Hempstead Town scored an injury time winner against Hampton and Richmond Borough. The Tudors made three changes to the starting eleven. Former Watford defender Lloyd Doyley replaced Joe Howe, Tom Hamblin was in for former Millwall and Crystal Palace defender Darren Ward and Connor Dymond was selected ahead of Scott Shulton. Two goals within a five minute first half spell left the two sides level at the break. Hampton and Richmond Borough took the lead through experienced striker Chris Dickson, however Kyle Connolly equalised for the Tudors. In the final minutes of second-half stoppage time, former Arsenal winger Sanchez Watt scored the winner to earn Hemel Hempstead Town six points in their opening two fixtures.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Hemel Hempstead Town wins: 1 / Draws: 2

Previous Meetings

17.03.2018 Dartford 3 Hemel Hempstead Town 2
26.08.2017 Hemel Hempstead Town 0 Dartford 3
01.04.2017 Hemel Hempstead Town 2 Dartford 2
12.11.2016 Dartford 2 Hemel Hempstead Town 0
17.10.2015 Dartford 2 Hemel Hempstead Town 2
08.08.2015 Hemel Hempstead Town 1 Dartford 0

Stats

Dartford are unbeaten in five matches against Hemel Hempstead Town and unbeaten in three at Princes Park against the Tudors.

Hemel Hempstead Town’s only win against Dartford was on the opening day of the 2015/2016 season. Since then this fixture has seen 18 goals in five meetings at 3.6 goals a game.

Elliot Bradbrook has scored two goals in as many games, the last time the midfielder scored in consecutive matches was on the 2nd and 5th September 2017 against Hampton and Richmond Borough and Whitehawk respectively.

The attendance of 1220 against Chelmsford City on Tuesday night was Dartford’s biggest home crowd in August since 2015. The Darts attracted 2551 for the local derby against Ebbsfleet United on 31 August 2015.

On This Day

An early goal from Tom Bradbrook gave Dartford a 1-0 win over Eastbourne Borough. In the first home game of the 2015/2016 season, Jack Simmons whipped in an excellent cross which was finished by Tom Bradbrook’s header. The victory came three days after losing to Hemel Hempstead Town on the opening day of the campaign. Newly promoted, Dartford hosted Tamworth in the National League six years ago. Peter Till scored for the visitors and Adam Cunnington’s superb doubled their lead. Elliot Bradbrook netted a free-kick before Cunnington added another delightful finish. Harry Crawford pulled a goal back for Dartford to set up a tense ending to the 3-2 defeat.

Dartford v Chelmsford City

The first home game of the season couldn’t be any tougher for the Darts when they face Chelmsford City on Tuesday night.

Recent results against the Clarets will give the Essex club the psychological edge. Under Tony Burman, Dartford lost four of the last five and picked up a goalless draw in a playoff tie. Now with new managers Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle at the helm, the Darts will be hoping for a change of fortune.

Already with a win under their belt, Dartford will approach their first home game of the 2018/19 campaign with optimism and confidence. On Saturday they had to come from behind to defeat Bath City in a close contest. Coyle and Flanagan handed debuts to Chez Isaac, Ben Greenhalgh, Kudus Oyenuga and Jamie Philpot. Other debutants, Manny Ighorae and especially Delano Sam-Yorke made their mark from off the bench.

However, it was a Bath City debutant who made the first impact, Adam Mann but the hosts ahead with a 20 yard drive on just nine minutes. The Darts got themselves back into the game and on the stroke of half time Elliot Bradbrook headed his 134th Dartford goal. The former captain had the chance to win the match with six minutes remaining from the spot, but blazed his effort over. Moments afterwards, substitute Sam-Yorke was brought down in the box and a second penalty was awarded, this time Sam-Yorke stepped up to score the winner.

One player determined to put one over the Clarets will be Oyenuga. The former Chelmsford City winger will face his old side for the first time since joining Dartford this summer. Oyenuga appeared 33 times for the Essex club last term scoring ten helping them to a third-place finish.

Oyenuga spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk during an enjoyable pre-season for the pacey winger, he said: “I’m very direct. When I get the ball, I’m going to run with it and try to score goals and excite. That’s my game, really”. He will bring with him experience gained from playing in Finland, Qatar and spells in the Scottish Premiership and Championship, he commented: “It’s been good to travel and see different styles of football and meet different people”.

In fact, it was Oyenuga’s goal in his last competitive outing at Princes Park that helped Chelmsford City to victory. The Darts had led in their 2-1 defeat back in February when Ryan Hayes scored a sublime solo effort ending with his trademark curling finish. It looked as though Dartford finally ended their poor run against their opponents until a soft penalty was awarded. Oyenuga stepped up to level the match with minutes remaining, then in stoppage time Taylor Miles scored straight from a corner.

Oyenuga had made up for his sending off against Dartford earlier in the campaign at the Melbourne Stadium. Despite the early red card, the Clarets still came out on top winning 1-0. Former Ebbsfleet United midfielder, Michael West capitalised on a defensive mix up to score the only goal of the game.

Now it will be Ibrahim’s turn to make amends, the last gasp defeat at Princes Park proved to be crucial for goalkeeper Deren Ibrahim, as it turned out to be his final competitive game of last season. He will be keen to show his attributes and repay managers Flanagan and Coyle who back their number one in the summer.

Joint-manager Flanagan told www.kentonline.co.uk: “Deren is someone we rate quite highly. I think he’d hold his hands up and say his levels of performance weren’t where he’s shown to be and he probably did need to come out of the team. But he’s very passionate about the club, he’s very eager to get back to the levels he’s set and we’re hopeful we’ll get the very best out of him”.

Despite the lack of form against Tuesday night’s opponents, Dartford have finished one place above the Clarets in the previous two seasons. Both sides went out in their playoff semi-finals back in May, after ending in second and third place.

Chelmsford City were handed a tricky start to their campaign when they were given Torquay United to host. Their opponents were relegated from the National League last term and are amongst the teams expecting to be challenging for promotion. The Clarets created many half chances but it was Torquay United’s Kyle Cameron that came closest to breaking the deadlock.

Rod Stringer has also made plenty of changes to his squad naming many in the starting eleven. Ross Warner, Joe Anderson, Tom Wraight, Rhys Murphy, Amos Nasha and Jai Reason all made their debuts.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 36 / Chelmsford City wins: 55 / Draws: 21

Previous Meetings

10.02.2018 Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 2
21.10.2017 Chelmsford City 1 Dartford 0
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

Stats

Last season, Rod Stringer guided Chelmsford City to a perfect record against Adam Flanagan’s and Jamie Coyle’s former clubs as well as Dartford, winning all six National South matches.

The Darts last beat Chelmsford City at home on 1 May 2000, the Southern League Southern Division fixture ended 3-0 to Dartford.

Since then the Clarets have won seven of the last nine when visiting the Darts, including the last four trips to Princes Park.

Dartford have finished above Chelmsford City in the football pyramid in their last seven seasons. The Clarets last finished ahead of the Darts in the 2010/2011 campaign.

Bath City v Dartford

New management, new squad, new season, Dartford’s summer of change is put to the test for the first time this weekend against Bath City.

The Darts open their 2018/2019 National South campaign at Twerton Park where they won 2-1 last term. Only half of the squad that featured on that October evening remain at Dartford for the forthcoming season.

Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle will select their first competitive squad which will include seven new signings. Callum Driver will be familiar with the Darts having had a spell with the club previously. The new management team have made use of their contacts by signing Ben Greenhalgh, Billy Roast and Manny Igahore from Flanagan’s former club Concord Rangers, whilst Driver arrives from Coyle’s old team Welling United. Delano Sam-Yorke joins the strike force from Maidstone United, Kudus Oyenuga from Chelmsford City and Sam Mensah from Whitehawk.

Three days before the opening game, Dartford announced the signing of Chez Isaac. The 25 year old midfielder spent last season at Woking and has played for Braintree Town, Boreham Wood and Watford. The news came a day after striker Alex Wall was released even though he only signed this summer. The Darts also brought in Jamie Philpot from Millwall where he made nine first team appearances. He has had previous spells at Woking and Coyle’s former club Welling United.

With the loss of top scorer and National South’s Player of the Year, Alfie Pavey to champions Havant and Waterlooville, the creativity of Ryan Hayes who made 580 appearances for the club and the experience of Danny Harris, who appeared 400 times in a Darts shirt, Flanagan and Coyle have had to rebuild.

However, the duo did manage to retain the likes of former captain Elliot Bradbrook, Deren Ibrahim, who has been publicly backed as the number one goalkeeper, Lee Noble, Andy Pugh and Tom Bonner. Mark Onyemah, Ronnie Vint, Tom Murphy and Alfie Cue will also be part of this season’s squad.

Dartford prepared for the new season with friendly wins at Aveley, Sevenoaks Town, Thamesmead Town and Folkestone Invicta and three defeats to Football League clubs Millwall, Gillingham and Colchester United. Noble has had limited time on the field during pre-season but hopes to be fit for the opening game of the campaign, the midfielder has been struggling with a minor calf injury.  Unfortunately, Pugh’s double leg break against Colchester United will rule him out for the long term. The striker has scored 50 goals for the Darts in 159 appearances and his intelligent play will be missed.

Coyle highlighted his concerns when he spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk, he said: “It’s upsetting because we had really high hopes for him this year. He’s been training well, looking sharp and we were expecting him to have a good season. He’s a strong character and with his mentality, he’ll be back as quick as anyone else”, he continued: “We’ll support him as much as we can. He’s a huge player for the club and has been for the last few years. It’s a real concern because if Pughy stayed fit this year, it’s almost a guarantee of 25 goals. Trying to find someone to fill that void is very difficult”.

The Darts completed a league double over Bath City last term, Alfie Pavey’s brace was enough to secure the three points at Twerton Park last time, although the Romans did equalise just before half-time through Tom Smith. The reverse fixture at Princes Park ended 2-0 back in April, this time Danny Mills and Pavey scored in either half.

Jerry Gill will start his first full campaign as Bath City boss having replaced Gary Owers ten months ago. The Romans manager is pleased with preparations which include friendly wins over Reading and Bristol City’s under 23 teams, Keynsham Town and Street, as well as a Bristol Rovers XI, Evesham United and Weymouth. The only defeat for the Romans was against Exeter City.

After a ninth-place finish last season Gill has added some attacking options which include John Mills from Hereford F.C, who netted 140 goals in three seasons with the Bulls. Ross Stearn comes in from Sutton United, where he scored twice against the Darts almost two years ago and Adam Mann from Evesham United, where he scored 24 goals in the Southern League Division One West. Gill also welcomes Ryan Clarke in goal from Bristol City, Ryan Brunt from Exeter City, Robbie Cundy from Gloucester City and Joe Raynes from Frome Town. Other players to feature regularly during pre-season who were part of the squad last term include Kevin Amankwaah, Frankie Artus, Dan Ball, Jack Batten and Matt Richards.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 31 / Bath City wins: 40 / Draws: 19

Previous Meetings

21.04.2018 Dartford 2 Bath City 0
24.10.2017 Bath City 1 Dartford 2
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 0

Stats

Dartford have won their last five matches against Bath City, scoring 11 and conceding two.

The Darts are six games unbeaten against the Romans last losing in 1990, when Bath City won 1-0 at Twerton Park.

Dartford last won their opening game of the season five years ago, when they beat Alfreton Town 1-0 at Princes Park. Since then they lost two in a row and drew in the previous two campaigns.

The Darts last away win on the opening day was 4-0 against Weston-super-Mare back in 2011.

This season will be the earliest Dartford have ever started a new league campaign.

National League South Season Preview 2018/2019 – Part Four

Truro City |Wealdstone | Welling United | Weston-super-Mare | Woking

Truro City

Founded: 1889 / Ground: Plainmoor

Seven years ago, Truro City propelled themselves up the football pyramid reaching the National South for the first time in their history. Since then they have had financial problems, relegation back to the Southern Premier and a return to the National South. A much more stable club now, the White Tigers reached the playoffs for a second time in three seasons losing to Hampton and Richmond Borough after extra time. At late notice Truro City will groundshare with Torquay United this season as they plan for a new stadium. They also reached the F.A Cup first round for the first time in their history last season, putting in a credible performance against Charlton Athletic in their 3-1 defeat.

Last Season

National South: 7th

F.A Cup: 1st Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Round

League Top Scorer: Cody Cooke (13 goals)

Average Attendance: 469 (15th in National South)

The Manager – Lee Hodges

In his second spell as manager of Truro City, Lee Hodges has taken the White Tigers to the playoffs in two of the last three campaigns. In his first spell he won the Southern Premier League with the club to complete the Cornwall club’s rise from the Western League, their fourth title in five seasons. As a player he won two league titles with Plymouth Argyle and the promotion to the Football League with Torquay United through the playoffs. Finishing his playing career at Truro City, Hodges first spell as manager ended due to financial problems the club faced, two years ago he returned to Treyew Road to finish off a job.

The Summer

The White Tigers will be pinning their goal scoring hopes on new striker Jared Lewington. A target for manager Lee Hodges last summer Lewington joins from Southern Premier League side Tiverton Town. Midfielder Lloyd Gardner moves from Buckland Athletic whilst Truro City welcome back Louis Rooney from Linfield, who was on loan at Treyew Road in 2016/2017. The Cornwall club have lost some decent players in the process including Cody Cooke to St Mirren, goalkeeper Tom McHale and Ben Gerring to Billericay Town. Fletcher Williams, River Allen and Stewart Yetton have also been released. Alex Hartridge and Max Smallcombe sign on loan from Exeter City, defender Cameron Kelly arrives from Buckland Athletic and goalkeeper Corey Harvey will be on dual registration with Bodmin Town. Hodges has managed to secure the services of Bristol City youngsters Jojo Wollacott and Tom Richards on loan. Wollacott spent time on loan last season with club. Paul Bignot will provide football league experience and has been capped by England at C level.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 3 / Truro City wins: 4 / Draws: 1

Previous Meetings

24.02.2018 Dartford 4 Truro City 1
11.11.2017 Truro City 3 Dartford 1
18.03.2017 Dartford 5 Truro City 3
08.10.2016 Truro City 0 Dartford 5
05.04.2016 Truro City 3 Dartford 0
19.09.2015 Dartford 0 Truro City 1

Next Meetings

Saturday 27 October 2018 at Treyew Road

Saturday 30 March 2019 at Princes Park

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Wealdstone

Founded: 1889 / Ground: Vale Stadium

On 21 August 2017 a monumental change happened at Wealdstone. A generation of supporters would only know the club with Gordon Bartlett at the helm, he stepped down after twenty-two years. A big change after Bartlett managed one win in the five games at the start of the season. In came Bobby Wilkinson from Hungerford Town who led the Stones to their obligatory mid-table position come the end of the season. The new regime started in good form with one defeat in twelve games and then Wealdstone returned to their norm. This summer has seen a major overhaul of players and so after four campaigns in the National South, the Stones will be looking at a playoff place.

Last Season

National South: 11th

F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: Semi-Final

County Cup: Semi-Final

League Top Scorer: David Pratt (14 goals)

Average Attendance: 880 (3rd in National South)

The Manager – Bobby Wilkinson

It came as a shock when Bobby Wilkinson quit Hungerford Town early last season, after all he had spent seven seasons improving the Crusaders. He led the Berkshire club to promotion through the Southern League South & West playoffs and went on to win the Southern Premier playoffs. In Hungerford Town’s first campaign in the National South he guided them to an impressive sixth, missing out on the playoffs due to ground grading requirements. Wilkinson also got the Crusaders to the F.A Trophy last eight on two occasions during his time there. This summer is the first with the Stones for the new boss and has seen many changes to the playing personnel.

The Summer

Bobby Wilkinson went early with transfers this summer having had the majority of last season to assess his players. Plenty of players departed including defender Ian Gayle to Woking, and a squad worth arrived. Former Dartford defender Tom Gardiner will be a Wealdstone player, signed from St Albans City he made 75 appearances for the Darts between 2015 and 2017. Ebbsfleet United missed a trick when they didn’t give Yado Mambo the number five shirt, he will certainly be wearing that number with the Stones. A superb F.A Cup hat-trick put Matthew Lench in the limelight last term, the midfielder joins having scored 15 times for Slough Town last season. Wadah Ahmidi and Sam Hatton follow each other from Staines Town, the same goes for Rhys Tyler, Stefan Brown and James Clark from Wilkinson’s former club Hungerford Town and Godfrey Poku and Freddie Grant from Oxford City. Montel Agyemang from East Thurrock United, Marvel Ekpiteta from Bishop’s Stortford, Jake Sheppard from Reading’s academy team and Connor Stevens from Watford U23’s all join the Stones. Bradley Hudson-Odoi returns to the club, the Stones Junior Player of the Year in 2015/2016 has been away with Hampton and Richmond Borough, Sutton United, Eastleigh and Maidstone United. Goalkeeper Callum Thomas impressed Bobby Wilkinson during pre-season and joins from Charlton Athletic. Striker, Joe White rejoins the Stones on loan from Stevenage, he previously scored six goals in 17 appearances for Wealdstone.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 13 / Wealdstone wins: 13 / Draws: 13

Previous Meetings

17.02.2018 Wealdstone 1 Dartford 2
21.11.2017 Dartford 3 Wealdstone 3
28.01.2017 Wealdstone 0 Dartford 4
06.08.2016 Dartford 2 Wealdstone 2
26.01.2016 Dartford 1 Wealdstone 2
03.10.2015 Wealdstone 2 Dartford 1

Next Meetings

Saturday 18 March 2018 at Princes Park

Saturday 5 January 2019 at Vale Stadium

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Welling United

Founded: 1963 / Ground: Park View Road

A new start for the Wings who finished tenth last season, out goes new Dartford boss Jamie Coyle and in comes former Whitehawk manager Steve King. Welling United have plenty of experience in the top two tiers of non-league football going back to the late seventies. The Kent side were amongst the front runners in the first three months of last season thanks to a six-game winning streak. A drop of form in November and December as well as a poor end to the season left the Wings eight points shy of the playoffs. Since relegation from the National League, Welling United have stabilised in the National South and will be pushing for the playoffs under new management.

Last Season

National South: 10th

F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: 2nd Round

League Top Scorer: Bradley Goldberg (10 goals)

Average Attendance: 541 (10th in National South)

The Manager – Steve King

Nothing but a top seven finish will be acceptable for Steve King at Welling United. The ambitious manager was appointed this summer after he departed Whitehawk. To be fair his task of keeping the Hawks up last term was difficult considering the ground he had to make up, despite improvements they still went down. In his first spell at Whitehawk life was rosier, King kept the Hawks up, reached a playoff final and made it to the F.A Cup second round, almost earning a tie with Everton. He had spells managing Lewes, Northwich Victoria and Farnborough before he took Macclesfield Town to the F.A Cup fourth round in 2013.

The Summer

It seems to be theme that managers are looking towards their former clubs and it’s no different for Steve King. The new Welling United boss has brought in goalkeeper Daniel Wilks, Jordon Gibbons and Nassim L’Ghoul from relegated Whitehawk. King is also familiar with John Paul Kissock who also had a spell with the Hawks before joining Southport, the pair also worked together at Macclesfield Town and will both be working wioth each other once more. Former Canadian international, Gavin McCallum won the Supporters Player of the Year with Eastbourne Borough last term, scorer of 15 goals in 39 games the midfielder will be a Welling United player this season. Richard Orlu has been signed from Woking, the former Dover Athletic defender could pair up with Anthony Acheampong, who joins the Wings for his third spell after signing from Dulwich Hamlet. Ben Jefford and Jack Parkinson have left Park View Road along with Director of Football, Tristan Lewis. French centre-back Thierry Audel worked with King at Macclesfield Town. Since leaving the SIlkmen he played for Crewe Alexandra, Notts County and Barrow. King also once got the best out of Danny Mills when at Whitehawk, the striker scored 58 goals over two seasons there. Signed from Ebbsfleet United, he went out on loan last term to Dartford where he scored six in 26 games. David Ijaha is another from Whitehawk, the midfielder includes St Albans City, Harrow Borough and Wealdstone as former clubs. Guinea-Bissau international Arnaud Mendy will also be part of the Wings squad this season and has represented Luton Town, Macclesfield Town, Lincoln City and Whitehawk. Hampton and Richmond Borough’s Player of the Season, Brendan Kiernan moves to Park View Road, the 25-year-old has played for Ebbsfleet United, Bromley and AFC Wimbledon in the past.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 19 / Welling United wins: 7 / Draws: 10

Previous Meetings

01.01.2018 Dartford 4 Welling United 1
26.12.2017 Welling United 2 Dartford 3
28.02.2017 Welling United 0 Dartford 0
22.11.2016 Welling United 2 Dartford 2
06.09.2016 Dartford 2 Welling United 1
19.10.2015 Dartford 3 Welling United 1

Next Meetings

Wednesday 26 December 2018 at Park View Road

Tuesday 1 January 2019 at Princes Park

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Weston-super-Mare

Founded: 1887 / Ground: Woodspring Stadium

The longest serving club currently in the National South, the Seagulls recorded their highest finish since 2014 and it could have been better. The Somerset club were always chasing the playoff spot without really threatening to break into the top seven. At home, Weston-super-Mare took advantage of those clubs below them in the table tasting defeat just once. They swept aside Eastbourne Borough and Wealdstone 5-1 but were also capable of losing to struggling Whitehawk by the same score line. Those inconsistencies cost the Seagulls a better campaign and when they lost eight of their last eleven fixtures, the Somerset club knew a fifteenth consecutive season in the National South would beckon.

Last Season

National South: 12th

F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 2nd Round

County Cup: Winners

League Top Scorer: Gethyn Hill (19 goals)

Average Attendance: 492 (14th in National South)

The Manager – Marc McGregor

Formerly a player and assistant manager at Weston-super-Mare, Marc McGregor took the step up last summer. He already had experience as a player coach with Worcester City and played for Oxford United and Notts County. The former England C international moved to Forest Green Rovers and was there until Ian Holloway took him on at Queens Park Rangers. Injury forced McGregor to quit playing full time and so he had spells with Tamworth and Hinckley. He guided the Seagulls to a County Cup triumph in his first campaign and the club’s highest finish since 2014 when they ended up in twelfth.

The Summer

Jamie Lucas joins permanently after two loan spells with the club. The striker scored 12 in 21 for Weston-super-Mare at the age of 19. Outside of his spells with the Seagulls, the striker has played for Gloucester City, Boreham Wood, Woking, Bath City and F.A Trophy finalists Brackley Town. He has also made four appearances for Bristol Rovers. Former Dart, Ben Swallow has joned from Bognor Regis Town, the midfielder made 11 appearances for Dartford in 2014. Danny Greenslade has left the Somerset club for Hereford F.C. Tristan Plummer has decided to move onto pastures new, signing with Bitton A.F.C. After a successful trial with the Seagulls, Eli Phipps signs from Colchester United.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 8 / Weston-Super-Mare wins: 3 / Draws: 4

Previous Meetings

07.04.2018 Dartford 3 Weston-super-Mare 1
23.09.2017 Weston-super-Mare 3 Dartford 0
17.01.2017 Dartford 3 Weston-super-Mare 2
26.11.2016 Weston-super-Mare 2 Dartford 4
20.08.2016 Weston-super-Mare 1 Dartford 2
05.03.2016 Weston-super-Mare 2 Dartford 1

Next Meetings

Saturday 29 September 2018 at Princes Park

Saturday 6 April 2019 at Woodspirng Stadium

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Woking

Founded: 1945 / Ground: Enclosed Ground

Relegated from the National South after six years, the Cards needed one more goal entering the last minute of the season. Poised at 1-1 with Dover Athletic and needing victory, Woking conceded instead ending their stay in the National League. The Surrey club were promoted to the top non-league division as champions in the season Dartford went up with them. The Cards held their own until last term and looked to be doing the same again at the end of November. After victory against Ebbsfleet United on 21 November 2017, Woking won just three more games as they slumped towards the bottom four. A win in their penultimate fixture gave them hope but it wasn’t to be for the Cards.

Last Season

National League: 21st

F.A Cup: 2nd Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Round

County Cup: 1st Round

League Top Scorer: Charlie Carter (12 goals)

Average Attendance: 2024 (8th in National League)

The Manager – Alan Dowson

Alan Dowson represented Millwall, Fulham, Bradford City and Darlington before non-league football came calling. He spent time at Slough Town, Gateshead then Waltham and Hersham, where he got his break as a manager. Staying in Surrey, Dowson then took charge of Kingstonian where he won the Isthmian Division One South. He was unveiled as Hampton and Richmond Borough’s manager in 2014 and two years later led the Beavers to the Isthmian Premier League title. Dowson made his former club contenders for promotion to the National League losing last season’s playoff final. Now he will start a new challenge back in Surrey to get Woking back to the National League at the first attempt.

The Summer

Top scorer in a struggling season, Charlie Carter attracted the attention of Chesterfield and moved to the newly relegated National League side. Josh Staunton also makes the step up a division by switching to FC Halifax Town. With a new boss at the helm many more have arrived, mainly from his former side Hampton and Richmond Borough and last season’s runners up Dartford. Nathan Collier worked with Dowson at Hampton and Richmond Borough and now has his man back, Collier joins from Dartford having made 21 appearances for them last season. Struggling with injury, striker Duane Ofori-Acheampong only managed six starts for the Darts last term and along with the impressive goalkeeper Berti Schotterl, who kept six clean sheets in 13 outings the total of former Dartford players reaches three. Dowson has taken Charlie Wassmer with him from his old club, the defender was namesd in the National South’s team of the season and after over 150 appearances for Hampton and Richmond Borough, Josh Casey follows. Jack Cook formed a partnership with Wassmer with the Beavers last term and they will team up again. Ian Gayle adds more strength to the back line from Wealdstone and winger Nicky Wheeler comes in from Billericay Town. Christian Jolley was given his break in 2009 by Alan Dowson at Kingstonian, they now pair up again. Jolley went on to play for AFC Wimbledon, Newport County, Forest Green Rovers, Grimsby Town then Margate. Max Kretzschmar returns to the Cards after one season with Hampton and Richmond Borough, where he scored 14 goals in 39 league appearances last season. Striker, Jake Hyde made 130 appearances in the Football League for Barnet, York City, and Stevenage. Last season Hyde played for Maidenhead United in the National League. Former Burgess Hill Town striker, Greg Luer spent more than three years with Hull City making eight appearances. Loan spells in League One with Port Vale and Scunthorpe United, and League Two with Stevenage followed and now he is at Woking.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Woking wins: 5 / Draws: 2

Previous Meetings

03.03.2015 Dartford 1 Woking 3
12.08.2014 Woking 1 Dartford 1
18.02.2014 Dartford 5 Woking 1
12.11.2013 Woking 3 Dartford 0
01.04.2013 Dartford 4 Woking 1
14.08.2010 Woking 1 Dartford 0

Next Meetings

Saturday 1 December 2018 at Kingsfield

Saturday 23 February 2019 at Princes Park

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