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Dartford v Welling United

There will be no time for New Year sentiment for joint manager Jamie Coyle when his Dartford side host his former club Welling United to kick off 2019.

The former Wings boss spent one season at Park View Road leading them to tenth last term before stepping down. It will be the first time the 35 year old has faced his old team. A year ago he watched the Darts beat his Welling United side twice with the fixture at Princes Park finishing 4-1.

However, it’s not been a great Christmas for Coyle so far. On Boxing Day he watched the Darts fall to a 2-0 defeat against Welling United in the away fixture. The former Dartford defender stated that his side lost the key battles and to rub salt into the Dartford wound to former players scored. Josh Hill nodded his first goal for the Wings from a Nassim L’Ghoul corner and in the second half Danny Mills secured victory.

On Saturday, Coyle was sent off for dissent at East Thurrock United during the 2-2 draw. Charlie Sheringham gave the Darts an early lead which was swiped out when Tom Derry equalised for the Rocks. To make matters worse Lee Noble was red carded leaving the Darts down to ten on the pitch, a minute later Derry scored again. A man down, Dartford rallied and were rewarded when Elliot Bradbrook levelled with fifteen minutes remaining. One point from the last two outings has pushed the Darts down to tenth, two points shy of a playoff place and three behind Welling United.

In the festive clashes last time Andy Pugh and Alfie Pavey came back to haunt the Wings, both players previously had spells with Dartford’s local rivals. On New Year’s Day, a deflected Ryan Hayes shot found its way past Ryan Sandford in the Wings goal to give the hosts the lead, which lasted just five minutes. Elliot Romain equalised when he headed past Deren Ibrahim from close range, then Andy Pugh put Dartford in front before the interval. Alfie Pavey was introduced to the action and the substitute had time to add a brace to earn the Darts a festive double over the Wings.

Last year’s Boxing Day fixture served up a festive treat thanks to Pavey’s last minute wonder goal. The Darts threw away a two goal advantage created by Pugh’s third minute strike and his second goal early in the second half. Welling United halved the deficit when Callum Driver, now at the Darts scored an excellent free-kick. Another set piece made it 2-2 with Jeff Monakana’s penalty levelling the local derby. In the final minute Pavey scored the winner, scissor kicking a shot from the edge of the box for a stunning finale to a thrilling game.

Dartford have enjoyed the upper hand at home against Welling United in the league, losing just once which was five years ago. In 2016, the Darts enjoyed a 2-1 victory with goals by Alex Brown and Elliot Bradbrook and in 2014, Max Cornhill and Harry Crawford helped Dartford win by the same scoreline.

This season Welling United have been challenging at the summit thanks largely to the manager Steve King. Appointed in the summer, King has used his contacts with former clubs Whitehawk and Macclesfield Town. One of those former Whitehawk players was part of Dartford’s squad last term. Danny Mills netted an impressive 58 goals in two season’s under King at Whitehawk building up a decent reputation as a striker. Trying his luck at Ebbsfleet United didn’t quite go to plan and when the Fleet sent him on loan to the Darts his spell divided opinion. In a Dartford shirt he managed six goals in 26 appearances, but made his mark on Boxing Day.

On the weekend, the Wings were beaten by Concord Rangers, only their second home defeat of the campaign. The winner was scored after just a minute when Dean Wilks parried the ball for former Dart, tyrone Sterling to score. The loss leaves Welling United in fourth, ten points behind top spot.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 19 / Welling United wins: 8 / Draws: 10

Current League Form

Dartford (DLWDLW) Welling United (LWDLLW)
East Thurrock United A 2-2 Concord Rangers H 0-1
Welling United A 0-2 Dartford H 2-0
Hungerford Town H 2-1 Hemel Hempstead Town A 1-1
Slough Town H 1-1 Hampton & Richmond A 1-2
Torquay United A 0-2 Torquay United A 1-3
Hampton & Richmond A 1-0 Hungerford Town H 3-1

Previous Meetings

26.12.2018 Welling United 0 Dartford 2
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

Stats

Dartford have won their last four home games against Welling United, their best home run against the Wings

The Darts have won 6, drew 1 and lost 1 of their last eight matches at home versus their local rivals.

Both teams have scored in this fixture in 14 of the last 16 meetings, the exceptions being a 0-0 draw in February 2017 and on Boxing Day

On This Day

Dartford’s 4-1 win on New Year’s Day last season against Welling United was the first home match on 1 January for the Darts since 1999, a 0-0 draw with Margate in the Southern League South. Two years later Dartford thrashed Sittingbourne 5-2 away from home, which started a run of seven consecutive away fixtures on New Year’s Day. The victory in 2001 was the only one until last season, Dartford went on to lose five and draw one, including a 2-1 loss at Park View Road in 2011.

 

East Thurrock United v Dartford

Dartford know completing a double over East Thurrock United this weekend could propel them back in the playoff places in the National South.

The Darts won the corresponding fixture back on Bank Holiday August beating the Rocks 2-0 at Princes Park, victory ended a run of three consecutive losses at the time. Tom Bonner fired the ball home at the far post in the first half before Higgins had his penalty saved by Deren Ibrahim. The three points were wrapped up in the second half when Ben Greenhalgh’s diving header doubled the advantage.

It was the second win in a row against East Thurrock United following on from the 1-0 triumph in April. Dartford visited Rookery Hill during their title run in and needed victory to add pressure on Havant and Waterlooville. It took until the 78th minute for the Darts to break the deadlock. Ryan Hayes worked his way down the right-wing, delivered early into the box and Danny Mills arrived with a brilliant diving header to clinch the win. Coincidentally, in the season before, Hayes was the goalscorer in the same minute to earn a 1-1 draw in Essex.

Mills came back to haunt the Darts on Boxing Day as two former players scored for rivals Welling United in the Kent derby. Goals in either half from Josh Hill and Mills earned the Wings bragging rights and pushed Dartford down to ninth place in the National South. The two sides will meet again on New Year’s Day.

Joint Manager, Jamie Coyle spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk and commented: “It was disappointing, in the end we flattered to deceive a little bit. The first half was a bitty game, it was fiercely contested, especially in the middle of the park, and outside a free header from a set piece, it was a 0-0 game going in at half-time”, he continued: “We got into great positions in the final third, especially the first half, and our quality was really poor. That was the reason we couldn’t build any momentum. We have to do better. We had plenty of the ball in the first half and we just didn’t capitalise on it”.

Coyle justified putting Lee Noble, Ryan Hayes and Elliot Bradbrook into the five man midfield to provide vital experience, however the ploy didn’t come off, he added: “We put players in the team that know the importance of these derby games, that have been in it before and have got success. It wasn’t just them, as a collective we weren’t anywhere near the standards that we’ve set and individually Welling shaded the battles and that’s the reason they won the game”. Defeat was Dartford’s third in five competitive matches.

East Thurrock United are relying on their home form to keep in touch with the teams above them. On their travels they have picked up just one point from eleven games, yet at Rookery Hill they have collected 13 points. On Boxing Day, John Coventry’s side were beaten 2-0 by local rivals Concord Rangers conceding goals to Alex Wall and Danny Green.

Leading up to their Boxing Day loss the Rocks had lost consecutive fixtures 3-1 against Oxford City then Slough Town. However, they did take a scalp in an Essex derby early in December beating Chelmsford City 2-0 at home thanks to first half goals from Ben Marlow and Sam Higgins. At the start of the month East Thurrock United lost to Hampton and Richmond Borough in a game that saw former Dart, Danny Harris red carded.

Harris joined East Thurrock United in the summer from the Darts where he made 400 appearances and scored 75 goals. He has played the majority of the season alongside Lee Burns, another former Dartford favourite.  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. Sam Higgins is the one the Rocks look towards for goals, the striker top scored in the National South last season with 25 goals and is leading the way for the Essex club this term with five so far.

With only Weston-super-Mare below the Rocks in the table, the Essex club are four points from safety. Manager, John Coventry outlined his thoughts in East Thurrock United’s matchday programme on Wednesday, he said: “No one at the club has given up on staying in this league, but the problems of working with a small budget are showing”. He added: “I’m not one to bang on about money, we are what we are and have to live within the means we know we have, but it does make a difference when talking to players. There are certainly some inflated wage structures in this division”, he continued: “Of course, when you’re getting a thousand coming through the turnstiles, it makes a world of difference. I have been making changes to the squad for varying reasons, and have brought in some new players who, I have to admit I did not know a great deal about”.

Head to Head

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

Current League Form

East Thurrock United (LLLWLD) Dartford (LWDLWW)
Concord Rangers H 0-2 Welling United A 0-2
Slough Town A 1-3 Hungerford Town H 2-1
Oxford City A 1-3 Slough Town H 1-1
Chelmsford City H 2-0 Torquay United H 0-2
Hampton and Richmond A 0-1 Hampton and Richmond A 1-0
Weston-super-Mare A 1-1 Oxford City H 3-2

Previous Meetings

27.08.2018 Dartford 2 East Thurrock United 0
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

On Boxing Day, Elliot Bradbrook, Lee Noble and Ryan Hayes all featured in Dartford’s starting eleven for the first time since the final day of last season at Bognor Regis Town.

Dartford’s competitive record in 2018 stands at…

Total – Won 25 Drawn 7 Lost 13 Scored 75 Conceded 55

Home – Won 15 Drawn 3 Lost 6 Scored 41 Conceded 27

Away – Won 10 Drawn 4 Lost 7 Scored 34 Conceded 28

On This Day

Dartford are unbeaten in their last five matches on 29 December, last playing out a 1-1 draw with Cambridge United in 2012. Harry Crawford’s goal for the Darts was cancelled out by Michael Gash at Princes Park. In 2009, Dartford swept aside Canvey Island 5-2 with two goals from Lee Burns and one each for Jamie Coyle, Rob Haworth and Danny Harris. The Darts drew 2-2 away to Aveley in 2007 and beat Bashley 1-0 at home in 2001 and defeated VS Rugby 2-0 at Watling Street in 1990.

Welling United v Dartford

One half of Dartford’s management team will be returning to his old stomping ground on Boxing Day to take on his former club in the National South.

Joint Manager, Jamie Coyle led Welling United to tenth last season in his only campaign as manager of the Wings. In the summer he joined forces with Adam Flanagan to manage the Darts. It will be the first time the former Dartford defender faces the club he left at Park View Road.

Last term, Dartford completed the double over Welling United with Coyle backing the Darts for the National South title after the festive double header. The Boxing Day fixture a year ago was the first of Dartford’s two victories and is remembered for Alfie Pavey’s sensational last minute winning goal. Ryan Hayes set up an early chance for former Welling United striker Andy Pugh, who scored from close range. The pair combined again ten minutes into the second half to put the Darts two up and in control. The hosts fought back when Callum Driver, now at Dartford scored a well taken free-kick and Jeffrey Monakana netted a penalty with three minutes left. With the local derby heading for a draw, in injury time Pavey produced a stunning volley from the edge of the box to win the match. It was the first Dartford league win against Welling United at Park View Road since 1983. The return fixture on New Year’s Day ended 4-1 to the Darts with goals from Hayes, Pugh and two from Pugh.

Coyle has set a target over the Christmas and New Year schedule when Dartford will be involved in five games over a 15 day period, he spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk and said: “We want to get out of Christmas and the New Year still in the play-offs because it would give us something to build on for the second half of the season”, he added: “I still think there’s so much more to come from us. We’ve done okay and we’ve won games but we’re still sitting there thinking there’s so much more we need to improve on. The players know that”.

On Saturday, the Darts were at home to struggling Hungerford Town and gave Phil Roberts his first start for the club. With the absence of Charlie Sheringham, the new striker partnered Jamie Philpot who also returned to the starting line up. Ben Greenhalgh was drafted back in meaning Kudus Oyenuga and Dan Darbyshire also missed out. Philpot rewarded the managers choice by heading in the opener over goalkeeper Jake Weaver. Lee Noble doubled the lead in the second half thumping home with twenty minutes to go, then the visitors pulled a goal back towards the end. Victory moved Dartford into sixth place to move within a point of their Boxing Day opponents and end a run of four games without a win in all competitions.

Similarly to Dartford, their local rivals changed manager over the summer replacing Coyle with the experienced Steve King. Looking towards former teams, King made plenty of changes by signing players who previously played for him at Whitehawk and Macclesfield Town. One of those players is former Dart, Danny Mills who spent half of last season at Princes Park scoring six goals in 26 appearances. The striker had a spell at Whitehawk under King where he netted an impressive 58 goals over two campaigns. Adding attacking options to the frontline, Brendan Kiernan came in from Hampton and Richmond Borough and has netted seven times for the Wings this term, Bradley Goldberg is another option and he is currently on five goals.

Welling United started with Mills and Kiernan on the bench on Saturday, but the starting eleven did include Matthew Paterson, who was signed from Oxford City in October and can be a goal threat. The Wings visited Hemel Hempstead Town on the weekend hoping to end a run of two consecutive defeats. Hope turned to disappointment with twenty minutes to go when Hemel’s Scott Shulton scored, but the Wings equalised with four minutes left when Gavin McCallum scored in off the post.

The Wings have topped the National South at times this season, but have dropped to fourth after Saturday’s draw. A nine game unbeaten run from mid-August to nearly the end of October has given Welling United some good foundations, with their highlight coming at Concord Rangers where they won 5-0. Most recently they have lost three of their last eight, but have tasted defeat just once at Park View Road this season.

Head to Head

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

Current League Form

Welling United (DLLWWD) Dartford (WDWWWL)
Hemel Hempstead Town A 1-1 Hungerford Town H 2-1
Hampton and Richmond A 1-2 Slough Town H 1-1
Torquay United A 1-3 Hampton and Richmond A 1-0
Hungerford Town H 3-1 Oxford City H 3-2
Weston-super-Mare H 3-1 Gloucester City A 2-1
Wealdstone H 1-1 Truro City A 1-3

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

Stats

Dartford are unbeaten in nine competitive meetings against Welling United and seven at Park View Road in all competitions.

In the league the Darts have beaten the Wings just twice away from home, in 1983 and last season. Welling United have won twice in the league at home and the other four meetings ended level.

On This Day

It will be the eighth year in a row Dartford has played on Boxing Day and three of those fixtures have been against Welling United. In 2011, the sides drew 1-1 at Park View Road and two years later the Wings beat the Darts 2-1 at Princes Park. A year ago, Dartford threw a two goal lead away before snatching victory in the final minute. The Darts have also beaten Ebbsfleet United twice, 3-1 in 2012 and 2-1 in 2016, defeated Chelmsford City 1-0 three years ago meaning they have won their last three Boxing Days games. The only other team to get the better of the Darts in the last seven matches on this day was Braintree Town in 2014.  Since reforming the standout Boxing Day clash was in 2007 when Dartford thrashed Canvey Island 6-1 in the Isthmian Division One North.

Dartford v Hungerford Town

Dartford could have been playing Hungerford Town for a second weekend in a row, instead they will just meet in the National South after a week away from competitive action.

Following exits from the F.A Trophy, both sides would have drawn each other in the next round had they not lost to Eastbourne Borough and Dorchester Town. Whilst Dartford booked themselves a friendly at Tonbridge Angels to fill up last weekend, their opponents kept their schedule free.

Four months on from defeat at Bulpit Lane, the Darts hope to avoid a second defeat against the Crusaders this season. Back in August, Dartford lost 1-0 to the Berkshire club when Conor Lynch scored the winner just before the hour. Only three of the current regulars were in the line-up that day, Tom Bonner, Ronnie Vint and Mark Onyemah. The single goal victory for Hungerford Town was their second in a row against the Darts having won by the same score just over a year ago.  

Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle will be hoping to notch Dartford’s second ever win against the Crusaders. The corresponding fixture last term came on the opening day with the match ending up goalless. In the campaign before, the match at Princes Park made headlines when goalkeeper Deren Ibrahim scored from a free-kick inside his own half. The Darts claimed their only victory over the Berkshire club when Alex Brown extended the lead with his first for the club.

In comparison to last season, after the same number of league games, Dartford have accrued four fewer points. Although defensively they have conceded only two more, the Darts were 20 goals better off in the attacking department, an area of improvement both managers have singled out recently. 

In attempt to address the lack of goals, Dartford gave a debut to Phil Roberts in their last league outing. The striker made a substitute appearance in the 1-1 draw with Slough Town at Princes Park and is yet to make his first competitive start. Released by Arsenal five years ago, Roberts spent his early career in Scotland at Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Falkirk, Dundee and Alloa Athletic. The 24-year-old had a loan spell at Sligo Rovers in Ireland before joining Chelmsford City and Chesham United on dual registration. At Braintree Town, he scored 17 goals in 30 appearances, his most prolific spell before Chelmsford City brought him back. Dartford signed Roberts from Hemel Hempstead Town where he failed to make an appearance. 

A second league game without a win, following the 2-0 defeat at home to Torquay United, the Darts had won the previous three in the National South. With all the F.A Trophy action last weekend, Dartford are in seventh, the last playoff place.

Hungerford Town lost the services of manager Bobby Wilkinson last season and his replacement, Ian Herring guided them to safety on the final day. The Crusaders are competing in their third campaign at National South level and have a relegation battle on their hands once more. Hungerford Town have picked up fifteen points from twenty games so far, which includes just four wins. One of those wins was in their last league outing over Chippenham Town.

A stunning late strike from Darren Foxley completed a 2-1 triumph at Bulpit Lane against ten men Chippenham Town, in which the hosts had to come from behind. Nick McCootie scored an early goal for the visitors, Rhys Kavanagh equalised from a rebound and in the final minute Foxley curled his shot into the top corner to snatch victory.

The win ended a five game winless streak for Herring’s men stretching back to the back end of October. On their travels the Crusaders have to look back to Bank Holiday August for their last and only away victory, their only other positive result on the road was a draw and they have lost eight of their last ten away fixtures. The league’s second leakiest defence, Hungerford Town are also third from bottom in the goalscoring charts, the Darts have only scored three more though.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / Hungerford Town wins: 3 / Draws: 1

Current League Form

Dartford (DLWWWL) Hungerford Town (LWDLLW)
Slough Town H 1-1 Chippenham Town H 2-1
Torquay United H 0-2 Welling United A 1-3
Hampton & Richmond A 1-0 Billericay Town H 2-2
Oxford City H 3-2 Eastbourne Borough A 1-3
Gloucester City A 2-1 Weston-super-Mare H 0-1
Truro City A 1-3 Woking A 0-3

Previous Meetings

25.08.2018 Hungerford Town 1 Dartford 0
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 have conceded the fewest goals in last half hour of league matches this season (5)

Hungerford have scored the fewest number of first half goals (7) and conceded the most second half goals (25) in the division

The Darts have used 26 different players in league matches this season compared with 24 at the same stage last term

Dartford are one of two teams in the top 12 with a negative goal difference

Hungerford Town have the worst goal difference (-24) in the National South

The away side has never scored in this fixture after five attempts.

On This Day

Dartford have gone seven games without a win on 22 December picking up four draws and three defeats. The last time Dartford played on this day ended in a hiding as Kidderminster Harriers claimed a 5-1 home win. Jacob Erskine had the audacity to equalise for the Darts in 2012, then the Harriers scored four unanswered goals. Rewind back to 1956 and Dartford recorded their last win on this day against…Kidderminster Harriers. A seven goal thriller ended up with Dartford recording a 4-3 Southern League victory.

Dartford v Slough Town

Dartford will be hoping to get back to winning ways this weekend when they host Southern Premier League Playoff winners Slough Town in the National South. 

It’s not often the Princes Park dugouts are going to be slightly crowded, with both sides being guided by joint managers. Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle will be in the ‘black and white corner’ attempting to record a seventh league win in nine games, whilst the visitors will be led by Neil Baker and Jon Underwood. 

The same two managers were in charge of Slough Town when Dartford last played the Rebels in the 2016/2017 season. The Darts drew the Berkshire side in the F.A Cup third qualifying round with the tie played at Arbour Park. On a difficult afternoon, Dartford were made to work for their 3-2 victory with two late goals, against the then leaders of the Southern Premier League. Elliot Bradbrook made amends for his early own goal with an equaliser and his 100th for the Darts. Deren Ibrahim gave a penalty away for James Dobson, scorer of five National South goals this term, to put Slough Town ahead. With seven minutes to go, Bradbrook scored his second of the game and in the final minute Andy Pugh coolly finished a good move to send Dartford through. 

On Tuesday night, Flanagan and Coyle handed a debut to new signing Dan Darbyshire, when Dartford hosted Torquay United. The striker signed a professional contract with Queens Park Rangers in March 2017, but left the London club this summer. Tom Bonner returned from illness and a hamstring injury, Andre Coker was back in the starting eleven, Kudus Oyenuga replaced Charlie Sheringham and Elliot Bradbrook was rested. 

Despite a 2-0 defeat Dartford could find some positives in their performance as they created chances in the first half. However, second half goals from Ruairi Keating and the National South’s top scorer Jamie Reid fired Torquay United to the top of the league. Coyle spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk after the game and said: “The first half was the best we’ve played all season. I don’t think anyone could grumble if we went in three or four up. They cleared two or three off the line, we’ve hit the outside of the post and we had 14 attempts on target in the first half. To do that against a side of their quality, a full-time team, there’s loads of positives to take out of that but unfortunately it summarises our season”. Coyle described the Darts attacking qualities are ‘lacking punch’, he added: “We still need to look at that area because although the boys have given a real good shift and created some brilliant chances, we need to be more ruthless in front of goal”.

Dartford remain in sixth place and are now six points behind the new leaders Torquay United. Prior Tuesday’s fixture the Darts were on good form with six wins in the seven outings leading up to the 2-0 loss.

Last weekend, the Slough Town exited the F.A Cup in the second round for a second year in a row. Hosting Gillingham at Arbour Park they fell to a Darren Oldaker strike, but made a decent account for themselves against a side sitting three divisions higher. It was the eighth time the Rebels reached the second round of the competition in their history. 

It’s been three weeks since Slough Town’s last league game having beat Sutton United on penalties in round one of the F.A Cup, then losing 3-2 against Weston-super-Mare in the F.A Trophy. Focusing on cup competitions means the Berkshire club with up to three games in hand on those above them. 

At the moment, the Rebels are in fourteenth and five points from a playoff place, which is their target this season. Neil Baker spoke on the Non League Football Show podcast last week and commented: “We’re always looking to try and progress so you have to put the target of the playoffs in there. When there is six playoff places up for grabs it gives you an opportunity. You really need to be in and around the mid-table mark after the Christmas period and in touching distance to have that opportunity”, the joint manager added: “We’ve got one or two games in hand on pretty much everyone, we win one of those and we’re right back in touch. We’re delighted on where we are at the moment”.

Last season’s Southern Premier League playoff winners started their campaign getting used to their new surrounding picking up two wins and two draws in August from seven games. However, Slough Town excelled in September winning all four league matches beating Chelmsford City, Oxford City, Eastbourne Borough and Hungerford Town. Although they have lost three of their last five in the National South over the last two months, they are still in a healthy position. 

Dartford faced an in-form striker on Tuesday night and this weekend they may have to again. Slough Town’s, Mathew Stevens has scored 11 goals in all competitions having made 19 appearances so far, the 20-year-old has found his goal scoring form since the hat-trick he netted against Eastbourne Borough in September. In the National South, the former Peterborough United striker who signed for Slough Town this summer has scored six in his last seven games.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 3 / Slough Town wins: 0 / Draws: 0

Current League Form

Dartford (LWWWLW) Slough Town (LWDLLW)
Torquay United H 0-2 Woking H 0-1
Hampton & Richmond A 1-0 Concord Rangers H 1-0
Oxford City H 3-2 Hemel Hempstead Town A 1-1
Gloucester City A 2-1 St Albans City A 2-3
Truro City A 1-3 Welling United A 1-2
Dulwich Hamlet H 2-1 Hungerford Town H 2-0

Previous Meetings

01.10.2016 Slough Town 2 Dartford 3
29.10.1988 Slough Town 1 Dartford 2
10.01.1981 Dartford 4 Slough Town 1

Stats

The Darts have a 100% record against Slough Town winning all three meetings.

Dartford’s failure to score on Tuesday night ended a run of scoring in nine consecutive league games.

Slough Town have lost their last four away games in the National South.

On This Day

Dartford came close to causing a F.A Cup upset in 1984 when they drew 1-1 with AFC Bournemouth in the second round. Guided by John Still, the Darts took the lead through Steve Robinson. The Cherries equalised to force a replay which they won 4-1, and so Harry Redknapp’s side went on to earn a dream tie with Manchester United. Aside from the last match Dartford played on 8 December, the Darts have a good record on this day. Defeat at home to Lincoln City in 2012 ended an unbeaten run stretching back to 1962 over eight games. In 2001, Dartford were involved in a nine goal thriller beating Burnham 5-4 in the Southern League Division One East.

Dartford v Torquay United

Dartford’s exit from the F.A Trophy last week leaves them concentrating on the National South and next up is Torquay United at Princes Park. 

It was only twelve years ago since the Darts were competing for the Isthmian Division One North title, whilst Torquay United were battling to keep their Football League status. Although the two sides have met since then, back in the 2014/15 campaign, it’s the first time they have come up against each other in the National South.

The Darts last hosted the Seagulls just over four years ago in the National League. Torquay United were the big draw for the division back then and Dartford managed to draw 0-0, however it could have been better had Elliot Bradbrook not grazed the top of the crossbar from the penalty spot. At the end of that season Dartford were relegated and four years on Torquay United followed.

A week ago, Dartford were knocked out of the F.A Trophy by a former player in a dramatic finale to match. The replay took place after Kudus Oyenuga scored a late equaliser at Eastbourne Borough in a 1-1 draw. Once again Dartford found themselves behind in the tie when Dean Cox’s brace put the Sports in control. In the final minute of the ninety Andre Coker gave Dartford hope and in injury time academy player Taylor Fisher scored on only his second appearance. Heading into extra time, ex Dartford defender Tom Gardiner popped up with a header to knock out his former side.

Taylor Fisher who started the first game against Eastbourne Borough to make his debut, was trusted to come off the bench last week. Joint Manager, Adam Flanagan spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk and praised the academy set up, he commented: “We’ve got some good young lads, it’s trying to build the environment where they can come into the team and perform well”, he added: “Taylor got an opportunity on Saturday and he took it. We’ve got Liam Gillies who is a potential prospect as well. There will be opportunities during the season for him to get minutes”, he continued: “We haven’t got a massive squad so there will be opportunities for these young players and we’ve got the confidence to throw them in”.

Only second defeat in eight competitive games, however they remain the form team in the National South with six wins from the last seven outings. At home in the league, the Darts are five unbeaten picking up 13 points from the last 15 available at Princes Park.
Captain, Tom Bonner is set to return from injury whilst former skipper Elliot Bradbrook returns after missing the F.A Trophy replay due to work commitments. Andy Pugh is still on the road to recovery from his leg break in pre-season.

Torquay United made a slow start to life in the National South and as early as September sacked Gary Owers after defeat to Chippenham Town. In came the experienced Gary Johnson, who is yet to taste a league defeat with his new club. The Gulls have won five and drawn three since Johnson’s appointment and have moved from 14th to third in the table.

Johnson has had international managerial experience with Latvia, won the F.A Trophy, National League and League Two with Yeovil Town then returned to the club to guide them to the Championship for the first time in the Glovers history. The 63 year old also led Bristol City to the Championship and Cheltenham Town back into the Football League.

Dartford boss, Flanagan recognises the influence Torquay United’s new boss has had since joining the Devonshire club, he said: “Since Gary Johnson’s gone there he has improved them. There’s a connection with his son so he’s had a few loans from Bristol City. The feedback is that they are the best team in the league. If you want to be in the mix then you need to challenge yourselves against these teams”.

The Darts will need to watch out for Jamie Reid, the striker has managed 12 goals this term and is the second highest scorer in the National South. The former Exeter City forward has his current total in Torquay United’s last 11 league games, including a hat-trick against Eastbourne Borough. Saikou Jennah has also been hitting the target of late with his trio of goals versus Concord Rangers and brace against Billericay Town recently. On Saturday, Torquay United visited newly promoted Dulwich Hamlet and goals from Reid and Jennah made sure of the three points.

Victory for the Devonshire club moved them into third place and a point behind league leaders Welling United. The Darts moved down to sixth on the weekend because they were without a fixture, but Flanagan and Coyle’s side are only four points from the top of the National League.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 0 / Torquay United wins: 0 / Draws: 2

Current League Form

Dartford (WWWLWW) Torquay United
Hampton & Richmond A 1-0 Dulwich Hamlet A 2-0
Oxford City H 3-2 Concord Rangers H 4-1
Gloucester City A 2-1 St Albans City H 4-1
Truro City A 1-3 Billericay Town H 2-2
Dulwich Hamlet H 2-1 Weston-super-Mare A 2-2
Chippenham Town A 2-1 Wealdstone A 0-3

Previous Meetings

04.04.2015 Torquay United 1 Dartford 1
23.08.2014 Dartford 0 Torquay United 0

Stats

The Darts top the form guide over the last six games, one point ahead of Torquay United in second place.

The Gulls are unbeaten in their last nine away games making them the form team on the road.

Dartford and Torquay United have scored in each of the last nine league matches.

The Darts have scored two or more in their last five league matches at home. Torquay United have scored two or more in their last five away games in the National South.

On This Day

Dartford last won in the league on 4 December back in 1990 when they hosted Cambridge City in a Southern Premier League fixture, the Darts won 2-0. Since then they have been knocked out of the Kent Senior Cup in 1993 losing 5-1 to Folkestone Invicta, drew 0-0 with Dulwich Hamlet three years later in the F.A Trophy and lost 2-1 to Corby Town in the Southern League South in 1999. Since the turn of the millennium, 14 years ago the Darts drew 2-2 with Boreham Wood in the Southern League Division One East, beat Whitstable Town in the Isthmian League Cup in 2007 and lost their last fixture on this day 1-0 away to Nuneaton Town in the National League. In 1989, Dartford did record a comprehensive 5-0 triumph over Wealdstone in the Southern League Cup second round.