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Truro City v Dartford

In form Dartford make the long trip to Plainmoor in Devon to face Cornwall opponents Truro City and it’s likely to be Deren Ibrahim’s last game for the club.

Ibrahim announced he’s leaving Princes Park after an opportunity at Charlton Athletic came up. A full time position as a goalkeeping coach was too good to refuse, so a win in what will be the 27-year-old’s 180th game for the Darts will be the perfect way to sign off.

Despite one favourite going another one came home last Friday, but he was ruled out in bizarre circumstances. Crowd favourite Ryan Hayes returned to Dartford for a second spell, however an accident at work left the creative winger with a broken hand and stitches in his leg after falling down a hole.

The Darts approach their fourteenth league game of the season on the back of a three match winning streak in the competition. Consecutive 2-1 victories over Weston-super-Mare, Chippenham Town and Dulwich Hamlet have propelled Dartford up to sixth and into the playoff places.

With just two National South fixtures going ahead last weekend, Dartford took full advantage to climb the table after coming from behind to beat Dulwich Hamlet, in front of the biggest home crowd at Princes Park this season. The South Londoners took the lead when Afolabi Akinyemi’s powerful shot beat Ibrahim on nineteen minutes. Just before half-time the Darts were level as in form striker Jamie Philpot scored, his fourth in as many league games. The winner came from the spot and Charlie Sheringham stepped up to earn Dartford another three points. Going slightly under the radar, Daniel Johnson who was signed from Bromley made his debut at full back.

Dartford had a mixture of results against the White Tigers last season losing in their last visit to Treyew Road. With the Darts topping the table at the time it was a surprise to see them three down inside nineteen minutes. Tyler Harvey scored a penalty, Cody Cooke made it two in as many minutes and then added a third, Ronnie Vint found the net half way through the first half, but the game ended 3-1. 

The reversed fixture went Dartford’s way with a comfortable 4-1 triumph at Princes Park in February. Andy Pugh, Alex Brown, Danny Mills and an own goal helped the Darts to victory. If it’s goals you’re looking for then this could be the fixture, Dartford managed to score five on both occasions against Truro City the season before last, winning 5-0 at Treyew Road and 5-3 at home. 

It’s not been plain sailing since Truro City’s rise up the non-league pyramid. The 2007 F.A Vase winners won five promotions in six seasons to reach the National South in 2011. In their second campaign at this level they were relegated and faced financial problems. It took the Cornwall club four years to get back and they have managed to reach the playoffs twice in the last three years. 

The club have ambitions to play at a Stadium for Cornwall and this off field activity is starting to impact the White Tigers. Developers, Helical Retail announced they intended to start the development of Treyew Road and asked Truro City to vacate their home nine days before the start of this season.  

Presently, supporters face a 180-mile trip to watch their side play at Torquay United’s Plainmoor ground. Now the situation has changed and realistically according to Jonathan Cox, representative of Helical Retail, work on a new stadium will not start until May 2019, therefore Truro City chairman Peter Masters is looking for the club to be back at Treyew Road this season, and for the groundshare with Torquay United to be back in place when work is due to begin. 

This term, the White Tigers are struggling lying second from bottom with just one win in all competitions. Former manager, Lee Hodges left two games into the campaign after a 4-0 defeat to newcomers Billericay Town and a 1-1 draw with bottom club Weston-super-Mare. Midfielder, Ben Harding temporarily took charge and took two points from his six games. 

New boss, Leigh Robinson started off to a flyer winning his first game beating Gloucester City 2-0, but no points have been collected in the league since. The former Taunton Town manager did manage a 0-0 draw in the F.A Cup second qualifying round against Hereford only to lose the replay 4-3 after extra time. The 37-year-old spent six years at Taunton Town winning the Southern League West Division with just one defeat from 42 League games. 

Truro City have struggled this season and only Weston-super-Mare stand between them and the bottom of the table. The White Tigers have picked up just six points with only one of those coming at Plainmoor, their temporary home. 

Dartford’s last visit to Plainmoor in April 2015 was in the National League when the game ended 1-1 against Torquay United. Jordan Chiedozie’s goal earned Dartford a point, but it was too little too late to save the Darts from relegation that season. 

Head to Head

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

Current League Form

Truro City (LLLWLL) Dartford (WWWDDL)
Hemel Hempstead Town H 1-2 Dulwich Hamlet H 2-1
Concord Rangers A 0-3 Chippenham Town A 2-1
Hampton & Richmond H 0-2 Weston-super-Mare H 2-1
Gloucester City A 2-0 Billericay Town A 1-1
Weadlstone A 0-3 Eastbourne Borough H 2-2
Hungerford Town H 2-3 St Albans City A 0-2

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

Stats

Jamie Philpot has scored in each of his last four league games. Danny Mills was the last Dartford player to do that in the final four league games of last season.

Only St Albans City (5) have conceded more goals in the opening 15 minutes of games than Truro City (4). The White Tigers have also let in 12 goals between 60-75 minutes, seven more than anyone else.

Only Dulwich Hamlet and Hungerford Town (7) have let in more goals than Dartford (5) in first 15 minutes of the second half.

Dartford have won their last three league games 2-1, the last time the Darts recorded three consecutive 2-1 victories was in 1994 against Faversham Town, Cray Wanderers and Folkestone Invicta in the Kent League.

With the departure of Deren Ibrahim confirmed only Ben Greenhalgh and Tom Bonner will be on course to play in every National South game this season.

On This Day

Two of the current squad scored against Ashford Town (Middlesex) nine years ago in a 4-1 away win. Lee Noble and Ryan Hayes scored the first two Dartford goals, Danny Harris and Jay May added two more in the Isthmian Premier League encounter. Two years before the Darts also hit four this time against Potters Bar Town, one more Jay May found himself on the scoresheet alongside Brendon Cass, Junior Kadi and Tom Bradbrook.

Dartford v Dulwich Hamlet

Just over eleven and half years ago current joint manager Jamie Coyle was lining up against Dartford for Dulwich Hamlet, now the Darts boss will lead his side out against the South Londoners this weekend.

In the last meeting between the two clubs Coyle had an impact when his assist helped Hamlet go home with a point. The Isthmian Division One South fixture in March 2007 yielded just a goal apiece, although the attacking prowess of the two teams that season led to an entertaining clash.

Links between the two teams do not stop there because in that game current Dulwich Hamlet striker, Jay May scored for the Darts after just seven minutes. Hamlet equalised late on when Coyle set up Phil Williams to lash home, Williams later went on to have a spell with Dartford. May went on to make 117 appearances for the Darts scoring 51 times and was part of the Isthmian Division One North and Isthmian Premier League winning sides.

By the end of that campaign Dartford finished in seventh, a point above Dulwich Hamlet. The two sides also ended up as the top scorers in the division. The earlier meeting in the 2006/2007 season finished with Hamlet winning 3-2.

Having been knocked out of the F.A Cup a fortnight ago, the Darts managed to fill the fixture void by bringing the game against Dulwich Hamlet forward. Dartford managed to bounce back from the poor display at Oxford City with an away victory by an unlikely source.

If scoring from inside your own half once is rare then the chances of it happening again are slim. When Dartford goalkeeper Deren Ibrahim stepped up to take a free-kick, well inside his own half, he probably didn’t expect to record his second career goal. His long-range effort in the second-half turned out to be the winner, after Jamie Philpot’s goal was cancelled out by the hosts equaliser just before half-time.

Joint manager Adam Flanangan was serving a touchline ban, but he was pleased with Dartford’s performance, he told www.kentonline.co.uk: “It was a very solid, hard-working performance away from home, which is what we needed. It was always going to be difficult coming to Chippenham. They’re doing very well at home this season”, he continued: “Off the back of the defeat against Oxford, we needed a performance from the players and I think we got that”.

Victory extended Dartford’s unbeaten National South run to four having drawn with Eastbourne Borough, Billericay Town before beating Weston-super-Mare then Chippenham Town. In a tightly congested table, the Darts are now only two points from a playoff spot down in thirteenth. A first ever win over Dulwich Hamlet could propel Dartford further up the standings.

Charlton Athletic loanee, Kenneth Yao returned to the starting line-up last weekend after he missed the cup defeat with concussion. However, ever present full back Mark Onyemah was ruled out with injury missing his first game of the season. Callum Driver is now in training and Andy Pugh is recovering from a broken leg. Ronnie Vint and Tom Murphy came back into the first eleven, whilst Philpot replaced the recalled loanee Amadou Ba, who has returned to his parent club Southend United.

Ibrahim hasn’t been the only goalkeeper making headlines over the last fortnight. In a friendly with Crystal Palace, Preston Edwards had the distraction of keeping goal whilst an announcement went out informing him that his car was being towed away. There were no such distractions last weekend though when Hamlet won their third league game in a row, their fifth win in six games in all competitions.

Hamlet’s latest triumph was away at Hungerford Town in what was described as a scrappy win. The hosts led at half-time through Danilo Orso-Dadamo’s excellent 25-yard strike. Dulwich Hamlet were forced to come from behind with goals from former Dart, Nathan Green and Kingsley Eshun. Green appeared for Dartford 15 times during the 2014/2015 campaign scoring two goals.

Gavin Rose’s side have hit form in the National South after a difficult introduction to the league. Hamlet who were promoted via the Isthmian Premier League playoffs last term won one of their first six games. Since their slow start they have recorded four wins and a draw in their last six league outings including a 2-1 away victory over Woking a month ago.

The only blip from the South Londoners over the last six weeks was the 4-3 F.A Cup defeat to Eastbourne Borough. An appalling first half left Hamlet four down with ten men, but they battled through the second half, almost completing an unlikely comeback with three goals in the final fifteen minutes.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 0 / Dulwich Hamlet wins: 2 / Draws: 2

Current League Form

Dartford (WWDDLW) Dulwich Hamlet (WWWDLW)
Chippenham Town A 2-1 Hungerford Town A 2-1
Weston-super-Mare H 2-1 Chippenham Town H 2-0
Billericay Town A 1-1 Woking A 2-1
Eastbourne Borough H 2-2 Wealdstone H 1-1
St Albans City A 0-2 Hampton & Richmond H 0-2
East Thurrock United H 2-0 Slough Town A 2-1

Previous Meetings

31.03.2007 Dartford 1 Dulwich Hamlet 1
19.09.2006 Dulwich Hamlet 3 Dartford 2
09.12.1996 Dulwich Hamlet 3 Dartford 1
04.12.1996 Dartford 0 Dulwich Hamlet 0

Stats

Dulwich Hamlet have scored five times in the final 15 minutes of league games this season, only St Albans City, Torquay United and Woking have scored more (7). Hamlet have yet to concede a goal during that same period.

Only Hungerford Town (7) have conceded more goals in the opening 15 minutes of the second half than Dulwich Hamlet (6) and Dartford (5).

On This Day

It has been 37 years since the last home game on 16 October, Dartford beat Barnet 2-1 in what is now called the National League. In the last four matches involving Dartford on 16 October only four goals have been scored. The previous two games were cup ties with the most recent a 1-1 draw against Forest Green Rovers in the F.A Cup fourth qualifying round six years ago. In 2007, the Darts drew 0-0 in the F.A Trophy first qualifying round away to AFC Hornchurch. Burnham were beaten 1-0 in the Southern League Division One East in 2001 and in 1998 the Darts were knocked out of the Kent Senior Cup in a 1-0 defeat to Folkestone Invicta.

Chippenham Town v Dartford

Dartford are left to concentrate on the National South for now with their main focus on an away trip to take on Chippenham Town this weekend.

The Darts crashed out of the F.A Cup last weekend when they went down 4-1 at Oxford City. A return to league action on Saturday gives Dartford the chance to extend an unbeaten run in the National South to four games. The third qualifying round of the F.A Cup is where it ended for Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle’s side with a performance that led to the captain apologising to the travelling faithful.

New loan signing from Maidstone United, Andre Coker made his debut replacing fellow loanee Kenneth Yao, who was ruled out with concussion. With Coker playing out on the wing that meant Chez Isaac slotted in at full back. Charlie Sheringham returned after missing the victory against Weston-Super-Mare replacing Jamie Philpot. Despite alterations to the starting eleven, the Darts found themselves four down allowing lone striker Kabby Tshimanga to score a hat-trick, the fourth was netted by loan signing Bobson Bawling, who joined from Torquay United a few days before kick off. Elliot Bradbrook grabbed a consolation for the Darts when he scored for the third time in five games to take his tally to five this season.

Coyle has called for his players to show a positive reaction, he spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk this week and said: “The players were hurting at the end of the game so we’ve got to pick them up. We’d been on a great run, we were four unbeaten and we had an opportunity to carry that on and build some momentum. We’ve taken a backward step but there’s an opportunity to reset and go again”, he added: “After the second-half performance on Saturday, there has to be a reaction”.

Defeat remain three games unbeaten in the league though, however they have drawn two of those. Two late draws against Eastbourne Borough and league leaders Billericay Town were followed up by victory over Weston-super-Mare, who are bottom of the table. Lee Noble opened the scoring before Gethyn Hill equalised for the Seagulls, but Jamie Philpot found the net in the second half to clinch a much needed win.

Chippenham Town finished their debut season in the National South last term in a respectable thirteenth. This time the Bluebirds are sitting in tenth amongst three other teams on eighteen points. Dartford will know a win at Hardenhuish Park will put them level with their opponents on points. However, the Wiltshire club are a tough prospect on their own patch losing just four at home last season, whilst this term they have won four out of five and lost the other.

Coyle commented: “Chippenham have only lost once at home all season so it’s going to be tough but we’re expecting a huge reaction for everyone at the football club”, he continued: “Me and Adam have been there with Welling and Concord and it’s a tough place to go but I’m looking forward to it”.

Mark Collier has got his side settled into the National South and despite defeat at newly promoted Dulwich Hamlet last weekend, they had just completed three consecutive wins, including an impressive 1-0 victory over Torquay United at Plainmoor. The Bluebirds also inflicted the first defeat on Billericay Town this season winning 2-0 towards the end of August.

The Bluebirds had to wait ten days before starting their October fixture list when they were in F.A Cup action. Their belated third qualifying round tie against Hendon ended 4-1 on Wednesday night. Chippenham Town as good as wrapped up the game before half-time racing into a three-goal lead. Nat Jarvis opened the scoring mid-way through the first half before a Nick McCootie brace. Within ten minutes of the restart George Rigg made it four, but the deficit was reduced when Ricardo German scored a consolation for Hendon.

Collier has added two more players to his squad this week, welcoming back the experienced Andy Sandell from his loan spell at Melksham Town. The Chippenham Town boss has also taken on loan Jordan Edwards from Swindon Town, the 19 year old has been drafted into the squad due to some long term injuries and suspensions. Summer signing Nat Jarvis leads the way in front of goal for the Bluebirds with four in the league so far, the striker signed from Bath City along with Jack Compton and George Rigg.

Last season, the Darts frustratingly came back from Hardenhuish Park with a point. Dartford who were sitting top of the National League were looking to extend their lead, but twice they went ahead only for Chippenham Town to fight back. Alfie Pavey made sure the Darts were in front at the interval only for Dean Evans to equalise early in the second half. Pavey completed a brace to make it 2-1, but once again the Bluebirds levelled, this time through McCootie. Earlier in the season, the Darts ran out 3-0 winners at Princes Park with goals from Pavey, Andy Pugh and Ryan Hayes.

Kenneth Yao should be available for selection again, Callum Driver is back in training and Andy Pugh is still recovering from a broken leg.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / Chippenham Town wins: 0 / Draws: 1

Current League Form

Chippenham Town (LWWWLW) Dartford (WDDLWL)
Dulwich Hamlet A 0-2 Weston-super-Mare H 2-1
Gloucester City H 1-0 Billericay Town A 1-1
Torquay United A 1-0 Eastbourne Borough H 2-2
Concord Rangers H 4-1 St Albans City A 0-2
Hampton & Richmond A 1-2 East Thurrock United H 2-0
Billericay Town H 2-0 Hungerford Town A 0-1

Previous Meetings

20.01.2018 Chippenham Town 2 Dartford 2
09.09.2017 Dartford 3 Chippenham Town 0

Stats

Dartford are aiming to extend their unbeaten league run to four game, which will be their longest unbeaten streak in the National South this season.

Deren Ibrahim, Mark Onyemah, Tom Bonner and Ben Greenhalgh are the only Dartford players to have started every game this season.

On This Day

In Dartford’s last two matches on 13 October they have managed to keep two clean sheets. The last fixture on this day was a bore draw with Barrow in the National League, six years ago. The long trip North West ended 0-0 with only Tom Bonner and Lee Noble from the current squad involved in that match, current England international Marcus Bettinelli also lined up for the Darts. In 2009, Allan Tait and Danny Harris helped see off Tonbridge Angels in the Isthmian Premier League title winning campaign. Before those victories, the Darts lost three in a row without scoring including getting knocked out to Bromley in the 2007 F.A Cup third qualifying round tie, and six years earlier at the same stage of the competition against Gravesend and Northfleet. Dartford’s last away win on 13 October came in 1984 when they beat Scarborough 3-1 in the top flight of non-league football.

Oxford City v Dartford

Dartford are two games away from the F.A Cup first round, but they must overcome Oxford City at Marsh Lane this weekend to progress in the competition. 

The Darts made it through the second qualifying round a fortnight ago leaving victory late against AFC Uckfield Town. The away tie almost ended in an upset when Callum Smith opened the scoring for the Uckers. With ten minutes to go Tom Murphy equalised and shortly afterwards Charlie Sheringham put Dartford in front. In the last-minute Elliot Bradbrook scored his 18th F.A Cup goal for the club to record a 3-1 win.

Oxford City also took on opponents from step five cruising to a 5-0 victory against Southern Counties East side Cray Valley Paper Mills. The headlines belonged to Zac McEachran who took home the match ball with a hat-trick, Kabongo Tshimanga and Oxford City’s top scorer Matthew Paterson netted the others.

It won’t be the first time Dartford have drawn out Oxford City in the F.A Cup, the only other meeting in the competition was back in 1935. That season, the Darts won 5-1 with goals from Robert Patrick, two from Arthur Mercer and one each for George Nicholas and Fred Dell. Victory set up a run to the third round and a famous 3-2 defeat against top flight Derby County, in which the Darts led 2-0.

Last weekend, Dartford recorded back to back victories for the first time since the start of the season. A 2-1 triumph over bottom side Weston-super-Mare gave the Darts their first three-point haul since the end of August.
Joint-Manager, Jamie Coyle praised Lee Noble, who scored the opening goal on 14 minutes, for his role in keeping Weston-super-Mare’s left back quiet, the Dartford boss told www.kentonline.co.uk: “Wherever you ask him to do a job, he does it. Their left-back is one of the main threats they offer and it was a case of stopping him going forward and tracking his movements, and we kept him really quiet”.

The visitors equalised just before the break when Gethyn Hill scored his first of the season from long distance, however Jamie Philpot won the match for Dartford when he got on the end of Bradbrook’s assist, to score his second goal in a Darts shirt.

Content with how his side started the game on the weekend, Coyle said: “It’s one of our best starts to a game this season”, he added: “Amadou Ba was through on goal, if the keeper didn’t handle it outside the area so it was a potential red card (referee showed a yellow card). Then Ben Greenhalgh hit the bar from the free-kick, and then we’ve scored. The positives are we created some really good chances and should have scored more goals”. The Dartford boss also highlighted improvements, he continued: “Defensively we looked a little bit shaky from set pieces and gave away too many free-kicks in the final third”. Unbeaten in four games, Coyle is now hoping that the two draws and two wins will give his players more confidence going forward.

The Darts have been without Callum Driver through and have drafted in loanee Jordan Wynter from Maidstone United, who made his debut last weekend. Tom Knowles’ recall to Cambridge City has also opened up an opportunity for the three month loan of Andre Coker, also from Maidstone United, Coyle explained to www.kentonline.co.uk: “We needed some pace and directness in wide areas and it also means we can use Ben Greenhalgh on the right. I’ve seen Andre a number of times. He offers something different, he’s really quick and tricky. He always seems to come up with an end product, whether it’s a cross or a shot. It gives us another avenue, we’ve only really got Ben and Tom Murphy that’s pushing for those wide areas so it gives us some competition”.

There’s been plenty of change to the playing personnel at Princes Park and Coker will be the fifth loanee in just two months. Coyle exclaimed: “We’ve still got so much work to do. We’re having to bring new players in to improve what’s gone on so far. It’s always going to take time but we’re 12 games into the season now and we need to start putting a run of decent performances together”.

Oxford City’s victory in the last round of the F.A Cup was there only triumph in September. Mark Jones’ side have lost four consecutive league games with the latest defeat coming at Hemel Hempstead Town. Zac McEachran scored his fourth goal in his last two appearances, but his consolation wasn’t enough for the Nomads.

Prior to the losing streak, Oxford City did go four unbeaten including decent victories against St Albans City and a surprise win over Torquay United at home. Jones’ side is capable of springing a cup shock as they proved last term when they beat Colchester United away in round one, although the Nomads went out to Notts County in the following round it was there best F.A Cup run since 1969/1970.

Recently returning from injury, Rob Sinclair came back after a six weeks out of action. His boss described his return as a ‘big advantage’. The goalscoring threat will come from Matthew Patterson, prolific at Gosport Borough, he joined Oxford City last summer then scored 27 times in his debut season.

Last season goals from Elliot Bradbrook and Tom Murphy at Marsh Lane secured a double over Oxford City. Earlier that season the Darts thrashed their opponents 7-1 which included a Warren Mfula hat-trick.

Head to Head

Oxford City wins: 1 / Dartford wins: 5 / Draws: 3

Previous Meetings

24.03.2018 Oxford City 0 Dartford 2
19.08.2017 Dartford 7 Oxford City 1
25.02.2017 Oxford City 1 Dartford 1
29.10.2016 Dartford 1 Oxford City 0
23.04.2016 Dartford 2 Oxford City 2
15.09.2015 Oxford City 2 Dartford 1

Current Form (all competitions) FAC-F.A Cup

Oxford City (LWLLLW) Dartford (WWDDLW)
Hemel Hempstead Town A 1-2 Weston-super-Mare H 2-1
Cray Valley Paper Mills (FAC) H 5-0 AFC Uckfield Town (FAC) A 3-1
Bath City H 1-2 Billericay Town A 1-1
Slough Town A 0-2 Eastbourne Borough H 2-2
Welling United A 2-3 St Albans City A 0-2
Wealdstone H 3-0 East Thurrock United H 2-0

Stats

Dartford have reached the 4th Qualifying Round or further four times in the last five seasons.

Last season Oxford City progressed beyond the 3rd Qualifying Round for the first time in four years going on to equal their best ever FA Cup run.

The Darts have always managed to score against Oxford City in all of the previous nine meetings.

This will be the fourth cup match between the two sides with Dartford winning three and drawing one. The pair met in the F.A Cup in 1935 and the F.A Trophy in 2008. Ten years ago, the Darts drew 3-3 before winning the replay 4-2.

On This Day

The Darts have won their last four games on 6 October most recently in 2012. Dartford famously went to Blundell Park and beat Grimsby Town 2-0 in the National League. Tom Champion opened the scoring before Adam Birchall completed the upset. In 2001, Dartford beat Ashford Town 3-1 in the Southern League Division One East and in 1990 they overcame Moor Green 2-1 at Watling Street in the Southern Premier. In another National League fixture back in 1984, Dartford beat Northwich Victoria 1-0. Taken from the Princes Among Men book, the first recorded match was on 6 October 1988 when Dartford lost 3-1 to local rivals Erith in a friendly, Alf Mace scored Dartford’s first goal.