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Chelmsford City v Dartford

Dartford are involved in another clash against playoff hopefuls this weekend when they visit Chelmsford City on Saturday in the National South.

Over previous campaigns there has not been much between the two sides in where they have finished in the National South. The Clarets may have had the better in head to head matches, but the Darts are often better off come the end of season.

Dartford have won one of the last seven meetings, but have not finished below the Essex side in the football pyramid since 2011. Last time out Elliot Bradbrook separated the teams as the Darts triumphed 1-0, stopping Chelmsford City making it five consecutive wins at Princes Park. In a niggly contest, which saw managers from either side, Adam Flanagan and Rod Stringer sent off, Bradbrook’s looping header thirteen minutes from time claimed the three points for the hosts.

Joint manager, Jamie Coyle praised former captain Elliot Bradbrook when speaking to www.kentonline.co.uk, he commented: “He’s so important, he’s a leader and he led by example”. Coyle also highlighted the contribution made by Roberts, he added: “I’m really pleased for Phil Roberts. He was electric, unplayable, and he’s taken his goal brilliantly at the end – it was worthy of winning the game”, he continued: “He’s worked so hard to get sharp and to get match fit. It was always going to be a bedding-in phase with him but he’s shown the quality he’s got”.

Away from home, the Darts have claimed just one league win in the last nine attempts when visiting the Essex club. That triumph came four years ago on Boxing Day 2015, Andy Pugh getting the goal that mattered. Dartford’s only other victory in the last 21 years was an F.A Cup tie in September 2016 which ended 3-2. Last season, Chelmsford City ran out 1-0 winners with a goal from Michael West. The Clarets had to hold on for seventy minutes with ten men when Kudus Oyenuga, now a Dart, was sent off. Oyenuga could have the chance to face some of his former colleagues if selected.

Last weekend, Dartford started the day in ninth against a St Albans City side aiming for the top seven. Phil Roberts, formerly of Chelmsford City scored his first goals for the Darts in an entertaining 3-2 win. Bradbrook’s stunning 25-yard strike put the hosts in front, but Zane Banton levelled for the Hertfordshire club. Roberts slid in from close range to regain Dartford’s lead, but once more St Albans City struck back on half time through Sam Merson. Roberts calmly lobbed Dean Snedker with two minutes to go and help the Darts to victory, which moved his side into sixth place.

Roberts will want to continue his goal scoring antics when he comes up against one of his former goalkeepers. Whilst at Braintree Town, the striker played in the same team as Nathan McDonald, now at Chelmsford City. Roberts went on to sign for Hemel Hempstead Town before moving to Dartford last month.

Another Dart, Billy Crook was also in the Braintree Town team with McDonald, the midfielder made an impressive debut for Dartford on the weekend against St Albans City. Coyle told www.kentonline.co.uk: “Crooky had a brilliant debut considering he hasn’t played for weeks. He’s a player that is so comfortable on the ball and he can make you tick and build through the thirds. I’m really pleased for Billy. We knew he’s got quality and he’s only going to get better. He’s not fit at the moment and he got through 90 minutes because we’ve had another injury with Ronnie Vint so he’s only going to improve. It’s exciting times ahead”.

Vint was replaced at half-time following an injury to his knee, Lee Noble was out through suspension and will serve the last game of his ban at Chelmsford City, whilst Mark Onyemah was an unused substitute after recovering from injury. and Andy Pugh is on the road to recovery.

Meanwhile, Chelmsford City who had hit some good form with four consecutive league wins suffered a defeat versus Slough Town. Joe Anderson was back in the side after recovering from injury and top scorer Rhys Murphy was rested, but manager Rod Stringer did include midfielder Chez Isaac, who made 12 appearances for Dartford this term. With the help of a deflected shot, Slough Town’s Simon Dunn scored the decisive goal to end Chelmsford City’s winning streak. With the way results went, the Darts are now just two points shy of the Clarets with a game in hand.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 37 / Chelmsford City wins: 55 / Draws: 21

Current League Form

Chelmsford City (LWWWWL) Dartford (WDWDLW)
Slough Town A 0-1 St Albans City H 3-2
Hampton & Richmond H 2-0 Wealdstone A 1-1
Billericay Town A 1-0 Welling United H 1-0
Hemel Hempstead Town H 2-1 East Thurrock United A 2-2
Billericay Town H 5-1 Welling United A 0-2
Bath City A 0-2 Hungerford Town H 2-1

Previous Meetings

07.08.2018 Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 0
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

Stats

Dartford are the only team in the top half of the National South to have a negative goal difference.

Only Torquay United (7) have conceded fewer goals than Dartford (8) in the last half hour of matches.

Chelmsford City are the most potent in the last half hour of the first half scoring 18 times, more than any other side in the league. Along with Woking the Clarets have scored the most in the first half (23).

The Clarets have top scorer Rhys Murphy, Scott Fenwick and Thomas Wraight in their ranks. Between them they have scored 32 league goals, one more than the entire Dartford team this season.

On This Day

Dartford last played on this day eleven years ago when they traveled to Great Wakering Rovers and won 2-0 in the Isthmian Division One North. A first half double by Ryan Hayes put the Darts four points clear at the top, the side also included Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle at the back. The only other fixture played on 19 January since Dartford reformed was back in 2002 when they lost 3-1 against Spalding United in the Southern League Division One East.

Dartford v St Albans City

Dartford will need to extend their unbeaten home run to four this weekend to be in with a chance of leapfrogging fellow playoff chasers St Albans City.

Victory will move the Darts above the Saints who hold a one point advantage leading up to the National South fixture. The Hertfordshire club already got one over Dartford this term by claiming a 2-0 triumph at Clarence Park in September. Solomon Sambou and Khale Da Costa scored the goals to earn St Albans City three points and earn a fourth win in five over the Darts.

However, the last meeting at Princes Park went Dartford’s way partly due to a former player and last season’s National South Player of the Year. Alfie Pavey found the back of the St Albans City net and unfortunately so did defender Tom Bender to score an own goal. It wasn’t the first time Bender had scored in Saints shirt at Princes Park, during the 2016/2017 campaign he scored at the right end past Bailey Vose, who was making his league debut for the Darts in his first spell with the club, Sam Merson netted the other as the Darts fell to a 2-0 defeat. In February 2016, Andy Pugh was on hand twice to give Dartford a 2-0 home victory.

Dartford were denied all three points last weekend in second half injury time. Visiting an out of form Wealdstone without the suspended Lee Noble, the injured Charlie Sheringham and Mark Onyemah, the Darts called in Jamie Philpot up front, Ryan Hayes in midfield and Jordan Wynter at the back. Former captain, Elliot Bradbrook scored a header with twenty minutes remaining, but his seventh goal of the campaign was not enough as Wealdstone’s Eoin McKeown equalised very late on. The draw extended Dartford’s unbeaten run to three as they look towards the playoff places.

This week, Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle have added another member to the squad by signing 28-year-old midfielder Billy Crook from Braintree Town. A statement from the joint managers said: ”Billy showed last season against Dartford, what a great player he is and this was recognised by getting in the team of the year. He was a major part in the success Braintree had and after not being able to do something in the summer it was good to finally be able to bring him to the club”. Crook caused heartbreak to Dartford in May when his goal knocked the Darts out of the National South playoffs.

St Albans City travel to Princes Park on the back of a seven game unbeaten run. Their best sequence of the season has lifted the Saints towards the playoffs after previously losing three in a row. Four wins by a single goal margins and three draws have earned Ian Allinson’s side 15 points from the last 21 available.

The Saints top scorer this season, David Moyo netted the winner last weekend against Oxford City to record his tenth goal of the campaign. Moyo joined the club in the summer after leaving Hemel Hempstead Town. Tom Bender is still plying his trade with the Hertfordshire club, the defender played 20 times for the Darts during the 2014/2015 campaign.

Despite victory over Oxford City, Ian Allinson thought his side was second best and needed some luck, he told www.hertsad.co.uk: ““We haven’t played well. I can’t blame the players for their commitment and endeavour and work rate but the quality was poor”, he added: ““We can’t play well every week and sometimes you have to dig deep and we’ve done that. You have to ride your luck at times and we’ve picked up 13 points from the five games”.

Head to Head

St Albans City wins: 5 / Dartford wins: 7/ Draws: 4

Current Form

Dartford (DWDLWD) St Albans City (WDWWWD)
Wealdstone A 1-1 Oxford City H 1-0
Welling United H 1-0 Hemel Hempstead Town A 1-1
East Thurrock United A 2-2 Billericay Town H 2-1
Welling United A 0-2 Hemel Hempstead Town H 2-1
Hungerford Town H 2-1 Eastbourne Borough A 2-1
Slough Town H 1-1 Wealdstone H 0-0

Previous Meetings

01.09.2018 St Albans City 2 Dartford 0
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

Stats

Dartford have only lost one at home to St Albans City which was in November 2016, however the Darts have won one and lost four of the last five meetings.

The Darts have failed to score in four of the last five matches against St Albans City.

However, the Darts were unbeaten for the first ten games against the Saints winning six and drawing four up until the recent run of four defeats in five.

All but one of Elliot Bradbrook’s goals this season (his last six) have come in the last 20 minutes of matches.

Former Dart, Tom Bender has scored in his last two visits at Princes Park, one for St Albans City and the other an own goal.

The Saints have scored the most goals (5) in 90+ minutes of games. They have scored 30% of their goals in the final 15 minutes of matches.

On This Day

Dartford have scored 12 goals in their last three home games on 12 January with the most recent match played six years ago against Bromley in the F.A Trophy third round. Dominic Green scored his only two goals for the club in a loan spell that spanned five appearances, Lee Burns and Harry Crawford scored the others in a 4-2 win. In 2008, Dartford trounced Ilford in the Isthmian Division One North. Brendon Cass scored twice, Jay May, John Guest and Steve Norman to complete the 5-0 rout. Another cup tie took place on this day in 1988 with the Darts beating Hastings Town 3-0 in the Southern League Cup third round.

 

Wealdstone v Dartford

Dartford will be hoping consecutive wins will get them back into the playoff places this weekend when they travel to Wealdstone. 

The Darts already enjoyed getting revenge on their local rivals this week and will want to do the same to the Stones, who comfortably won the reverse fixture back in August. Bradley Bubb netted a brace and Jeffrey Monakana scored the other in a 3-0 victory at Princes Park.

On New Year’s Day, Dartford extended their unbeaten home run to three with a win over Welling United. Ronnie Vint claimed the winner four minutes from time, his goal just as scrappy as the game itself. Victory put to bed a defeat against the Wings on Boxing Day, the defender spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk after the game and said: “It’s great to win a local derby and it’s nice for the fans – they deserve it”, he added: “We were poor on Boxing Day. We know the standard that we need to reach and we knew that we weren’t good enough all over the pitch”.

Joint Manager, Adam Flanagan was pleased with his side’s performance, he commented: “I felt we competed a lot better than we did previously and on the day we deserved a goal. We put a lot of good balls into the box, their keeper made a good save in the first half, and I felt we were asking more questions than they were”.

Flanagan also admitted he and joint boss Jamie Coyle learnt from their mistakes on Boxing Day and choose to alter the team formation, he explained: “Analysing ourselves, we missed a trick on Boxing Day. We analysed their home record and we went too defensive on the day, me and Jamie have held our hands up over that”, he continued: “On New Year’s Day, we wanted to give a better account of ourselves, especially going forward, and I think we did that. It was a good performance by everyone, there wasn’t any stand-out player. It was a real collective that worked hard from each other”.

The Darts last league defeat at Princes Park came against league leaders Torquay United, the only other team to take maximum points away with them this term is Wealdstone.

Victory followed on from a determined display at East Thurrock United where the Darts had to rescue a point with ten men. Lee Noble’s sending off means he will miss this weekend’s game against Wealdstone, whilst Mark Onyemah hobbled off on New Year’s Day against Welling United and Andy Pugh is on the road to recovery from his pre-season injury.

Wealdstone also won on New Year’s Day against newly promoted Slough Town. Their triumph was much needed and halted a run of five without a win in all competitions. Connor Stevens popped up with the winner to end a four and half game goal drought for the club. The Stones are now in thirteenth place on 33 points, five behind Dartford in eighth.

The Middlesex club will be without Bradley Bubb, scorer of two goals at Princes Park in August. The striker has been suffering with a knee injury and faces a number of weeks sidelined, Bubb is the Stones top scorer in the league this term on six alongside David Pratt.

Dartford could see the return of Simon Mensah, who only managed two starts and a substitute appearance with the Darts this season. The midfielder started in Wealdstone’s win over Slough Town, in a game that saw a return to the starting lineup for Pratt, Monakana and Bradley Hudson-Odoi.

The Darts have won on their last two trips to Grosvenor Vale, last season leaving late to win 2-1 against ten men. After the Stones had Iffy Allen dismissed they took the lead through Dan Fitchett. However, two goals in three minutes from Danny Mills and Alfie Pavey in the final ten minutes clinched victory. The year before, Dartford ended a run of seven without a win at Wealdstone, goals from Luke Wanadio, Ryan Hayes, Elliot Bradbrook and Andy Pugh clinched a 4-0 win.

Head to Head

Wealdstone wins: 14 / Dartford wins: 13 / Draws: 13

Current League Form

Wealdstone (WLLDLW) Dartford (WDLWDL)
Slough Town A 1-0 Welling United H 1-0
Oxford City H 0-2 East Thurrock United A 2-2
Slough Town H 0-3 Welling United A 0-2
St Albans City A 0-0 Hungerford Town H 2-1
Eastbourne Borough H 0-3 Slough Town H 1-1
Concord Rangers A 3-2 Torquay United H 0-2

Previous Meetings

18.08.2018 Dartford 0 Wealdstone 3
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

Stats

Dartford’s clean sheet on New Year’s Day was their first since mid-November and first at home since Bank Holiday August.

The Darts have conceded 11 goals in the fifteen minutes leading up to half-time, more than anyone else in the league. In that same period Wealdstone have scored just two, the fewest in the National South this season.

Ryan Hayes is looking to score in three consecutive games played for Dartford on 5 January.

On This Day

Jamie Coyle was among the goalscorers eleven years ago in a 4-0 win against Witham Town in the Isthmian Division North. The Darts last away victory on this day included further goals from Eddie McClements, Ryan Hayes and Brandon Cass. There has been only two other matches on 5 January since reforming, in 2002 the Darts lost 2-0 to Histon in the Southern League Division One East and more recently they were defeated six years ago against Alfreton Town. The National League fixture ended 3-2 to the Reds, Hayes was on the scoresheet again as well as Nathan Collier.