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Dartford v Truro City

Dartford can stretch their unbeaten home run in the National South to ten this weekend when they host relegation threatened Truro City.

It’s normally a fixture that guarantees goals with the last six meetings producing almost five a game. Earlier in the season the Darts were on the receiving end of a 3-1 defeat in front of just 87 spectators at Plainmoor in Torquay, a repeat of the score line from the campaign before. The White Tigers enjoyed a 12-minute spell at the end of the first half which resulted in three unanswered goals, to the dismay of goalkeeper Bailey Vose making his second debut for the Darts. Tyler Harvey arrived at the far post to score the first, then added a second a minute before the break and Nick Grimes increased Truro City’s advantage in first half stoppage time. Dartford’s consolation came in the final minute when substitute Kudus Oyenuga headed past Corey Harvey.

Dartford have won their last two home games against the White Tigers scoring nine times in the process. Last season Andy Pugh’s link up play made the forward line click and it was the striker who volleyed the Darts ahead. Alex Brown doubled the lead in the second half and Danny Mills curled in a cross which evaded the Truro City goalkeeper and into the net. An own goal made it four before Niall Thompson scored in stoppage time for the visitors, past another goalkeeping debutante Berti Schotterl.

The season prior the 4-1 victory saw the Darts hit five at home in an entertaining encounter. Pugh scored twice and Duane Ofori-Acheampong set up three, but it was the Cornishmen who took the lead through Andrew Neal. Pugh headed the equaliser from Ofori-Acheampong’s good work, then Elliot Bradbrook scored a cracker from 25 yards. In the second half Neal levelled the match before Luke Wanadio put the Darts in front once more. The scores were even yet again when Jamie Richards headed in a corner, but Dartford put distance between themselves and Truro City with goals from Pugh and Tom Murphy. The final goal was Dartford’s tenth versus the White Tigers in that campaign following a 5-0 away triumph at Treyew Road, goals from Keaton Wood, Pugh, an Ofori-Acheampong brace and Brown. At Princes Park, Truro City have enjoyed their fair share of wins despite their last two visits. The White Tigers beat the Darts 2-1 in 2011 and 1-0 in 2015.

Dartford’s unbeaten home streak just about remained intact last weekend when Darren McQueen rescued a point against Hampton and Richmond Borough. The Darts twice came from behind to earn a draw, first conceding when the match was seven minutes old through Oliver Sprague’s volley. Lee Noble won a second half penalty which Charlie Sheringham put straight down the middle, but the visitors regained the lead from a Chris Dickson strike. Into injury time at the end of the game, McQueen’s deflected shot made it 2-2 and there was even time for Sheringham to almost snatch victory.

Joint manager, Adam Flanagan felt his side gave an assured performance despite the lack of chances created in the game, he spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk after the win and said: “It was the best we’ve been in possession. We didn’t create the chances we’d have wanted to but I felt we put the ball into good areas. “We managed to pin them back, especially in the second half, and overall there were more positive than negatives”.

The draw means the gap between remaining in the playoff places and dropping out is now slender. Dartford are now three points ahead of eighth place Wealdstone, but the Stones have a superior goal difference. On paper, although the Darts have an easier fixture this weekend, Flanagan will want to keep his players focused and avoid complacency, he commented: “When you look at the fixtures they’re favourable but you can’t take anything for granted in this league. It’s going to be a challenge so we need to apply ourselves the right way and if we do that then we’ve got good quality in the team”, he added: “Our bench is looking strong and we believe in the players that we can secure a playoff place”.

Truro City are perilously close to relegation and are hovering a place above the bottom three with a one point advantage over Hungerford Town. The Cornish side are winless on the road in 2019 failing to win in their last six away games. The season has been tough for Truro City with former manager Lee Hodges resigning after two games, followed by a temporary move to Torquay United’s Plainmoor. In September, Leigh Robinson was appointed boss and although he oversaw a six game unbeaten run towards the start of his spell in charge, the White Tigers have recorded just five more wins since that run, they have currently won once in their last nine outings home and away. That current form has led to the departure of Robinson this week.

Taking over the managerial post is Paul Wilkinson until the end of the season with a remit of keeping Truro City in the National South. Wilkinson made over 650 professional appearances and scored over 150 goals. The 54-year-old started his career at Grimsby Town before joining Everton in 1985 winning the old First Division. He went on to play for Nottingham Forest, Watford, Middlesborough, Barnsley, Millwall and Northampton Town. After a decent playing career, Wilkinson has stayed involved and his only managerial role was as caretaker boss at Grimsby Town.

For a side battling relegation their attacking prowess could keep them up, Truro City with the help of Tyler Harvey up front have outscored the Darts this season. Harvey has 19 of Truro City’s 54 goals and whilst the striker is only behind three others for the National South’s Golden Boot, the White Tigers are eighth top scorers in the division. However, Wilkinson will have to find a way of tightening up the defence, which is the worst in the league.

Last weekend, Truro City added three more to the goals against column taking their total up to 75 for the campaign. A home defeat at the hands of Chelmsford City was compounded by the fact the hosts were reduced to ten men, Corey Harvey being dismissed after he conceded the penalty that led to the Clarets third goal. That means the White Tigers have lost three last three games letting in three goals in each of those fixtures, Dulwich Hamlet won 3-2 and fellow relegation battlers East Thurrock United won 3-1. If it hadn’t of been for a 1-1 draw at Bath City then Truro City would be approaching this weekend’s match on the back of a five game winless streak.

Also this week, Truro City added Brandon Diau from Southern Counties East side Tunbridge Wells. The midfield has been strengthened with the signing of Chris Regis, the 22 year old is a former under 17 England international and comes in from Torquay United. Ben Harding, who was interim manager earlier in the season has now left by mutual consent.

Head to Head

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

Current League Form

Dartford (DLWWLW) Truro City (LLLDLD)
Hampton & Richmond Borough H 2-2 Chelmsford City H 0-3
Torquay United A 0-2 Dulwich Hamlet A 2-3
Gloucester City H 2-0 East Thurrock United H 1-3
Hemel Hempstead Town A 2-1 Bath City A 1-1
Dulwich Hamlet A 0-2 Woking H 0-1
Woking H 2-0 St Albans City A 2-2

Previous Meetings

27.10.2018 Truro City 3 Dartford 1
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

League Stats

Dartford have beaten five of the current bottom six at home, with only Truro City to play.

Truro City have lost six out of eight against the current top nine, with only Dartford to play.

The home team has scored three or more in the last four meetings between the two sides.

There has been 129 goals in games featuring Truro City this season, the highest in the division.

Truro City have scored the most goals in the first fifteen minutes (11) and conceded the most (12) in the first 15 minutes of games.

On This Day

Dave Cunningham and Alan Payne scored to put Dartford on the verge of reaching Wembley 45 years ago. Cunningham’s 51st minute goal in the F.A Trophy semi-final at Macclesfield Town and Payne’s 68th minute strike gave the Darts a 2-1 advantage from the first leg, Macclesfield Town netted in the last minute to keep the tie alive. Dartford have won 11 of their last 12 games played on the 30 March drawing the other match as recently as 2013, when they drew 0-0 away at Newport County. A year ago, Alfie Pavey’s last minute winner on a Princes Park mud-bath gave the Darts a crucial home win over title contenders Hampton and Richmond Borough. The Darts last defeat on this day came in 1959 against Sittingbourne in the Kent Senior Shield semi-final, an unbeaten run of 13 games in total.

Dartford v Hampton & Richmond Borough

Almost a year on from their mud bath played out last season, Dartford are at home this weekend against Hampton and Richmond Borough.

A week shy from the anniversary of the corresponding fixture last season, the Darts will be hoping to return to winning ways and extend their unbeaten home run in the National South to nine. A year ago, both teams were challenging for the title, but Dartford’s last-minute victory on Good Friday all but ended Hampton and Richmond Borough’s hopes. The treacherous conditions made for an extremely scrappy clash, which was decided when Alfie Pavey calmly finished a one on one chance in the final minute.

This season Dartford have taken time to adapt to their summer of change but sit in sixth place. Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle took their Dartford team to Devon last weekend to take on arguably the best team in the National South. With Torquay United challenging Woking for the title, it was always going to be a tough afternoon for the Darts without the suspended Elliot Bradbrook and Lee Noble in the heart of midfield. That meant Joe Healy made his third start for the club and Jordan Wynter made his first start in a month after returning from injury. Meanwhile, Callum Driver kept his place at full back ahead of Mark Onyemah.

Dartford gained an early advantage when the hosts had defender Jean-Yves Koue Niate sent off in the 14th minute. Niate pushed over Darren McQueen when through on goal resulting in the red card. However, the Gulls struck first through top goalscorer Jamie Reid whose low strike deflected beyond Bailey Vose to give Torquay United a half-time lead. The striker netted his 25th league goal of the season in the second half following up Saikou Janneh’s strike to clinch a vital three points for the Devonshire club.

Despite the 2-0 loss at Torquay United, the Darts didn’t lose too much ground on those above them. Woking, Bath City, Chelmsford City and Welling United all drew, whilst Billericay Town who are a place below Dartford lost. Regardless of the result this weekend, Dartford will remain in the playoff places come the full-time whistle and realistically end the day in fourth.

Dartford’s home form has certainly aided a promotion push via the playoffs, the Darts have won six of their last seven league games at Princes Park and are unbeaten in the National South at home in 2019. They will have to host their next opponents Hampton and Richmond Borough without the suspended Bradbrook, who will serve the last of his two-match ban. However, Lee Noble will be available after completing his suspension.

Last season’s playoff finalists Hampton and Richmond Borough have struggled to get over their disappointment of missing out on promotion. Just like Dartford, the summer brought about many changes at the club with a new manager and a squad rebuild. The Middlesex club sit down in sixteenth place, seven points clear of the drop zone and are likely to play next term in the National South.

Initially the Beavers started their campaign in decent form reaching third after ten games, but since then they have won just four of their next 25 fixtures in the National South. Last weekend, Gary McCann’s side fell to a second successive defeat at the hands of playoff chasers Concord Rangers. Hampton and Richmond went behind when Jack Midson scored an early penalty, but the Beavers equalised with a spot kick of their own. Chris Dickson netted his 15th league goal of the season to make sure the scores were level at the interval. The Middlesex side struggled in the second half and in the end Concord Rangers ran out 4-1 winners when Daniel Green, Midson and Juan Prados added to the scoreline.

Away from the Beveree, Hampton and Richmond Borough lost their last outing narrowly to Bath City. However, they did go to Oxford City and record an entertaining 5-3 victory three days prior. The eight-goal thriller was the Beavers first away win in ten stretching back to mid-September.

At Princes Park in November, Charlie Sheringham’s headed goal was enough to beat Hampton and Richmond Borough at the Beveree. In recent years Dartford have had the better of the Beavers, last season Pavey scored the winner and in the away fixture, the Darts fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 thanks to goals from Andy Pugh and Elliot Bradbrook. Dartford have won the last three at Princes Park, Bradbrook, Alex Brown and Ronnie Vint scoring in a 3-1 win in 2017. Whilst Sheringham and Bradbrook also scored in the home clash eight years ago, which Dartford won 2-1.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 6 / Hampton and Richmond Borough wins: 4 / Draws: 1

Current League Form

Dartford (LWWLWD) Hampton & Richmond (LLWDDL)
Torquay United A 0-2 Concord Rangers H 1-4
Gloucester City H 2-0 Bath City A 0-1
Hemel Hempstead Town A 2-1 Oxford City A 5-3
Dulwich Hamlet A 0-2 Eastbourne Borough H 0-0
Woking H 2-0 East Thurrock United A 0-0
Slough Town A 2-2 Gloucester City H 0-1

Previous Meetings

17.11.2018 Hampton & Richmond Borough 0 Dartford 1
30.03.2018 Dartford 1 Hampton & Richmond Borough 0
02.09.2017 Hampton & Richmond Borough 2 Dartford 2
17.04.2017 Dartford 3 Hampton & Richmond Borough 1
29.08.2016 Hampton & Richmond Borough 4 Dartford 1
21.01.2012 Hampton & Richmond Borough 1 Dartford 3

Stats

The Darts have lost one of the last seven meetings with Hampton and Richmond Borough (W5, D1, L1), but have failed to win on their last two visits to the Beveree (D1, L1).

Only Gloucester City (2) have scored fewer goals than the Beavers (9) in the opening 30 minutes of league matches.

Hampton and Richmond Borough have also conceded the most in the first half hour (24) and the most first half goals (32). Only two teams have conceded fewer than Dartford (9) in the first half hour, but the Darts have let in the most in the 15 minutes leading up to the interval (13).

Chris Dickson has scored 15 (40%) of Hampton and Richmond Borough’s 38 league goals. The highest portion of a club’s overall total in the division.

On This Day

Dartford have an excellent record in games played on 23 March winning 11 of their last 13 going back to 1964. The most recent victory was a 3-0 home win against Gateshead six years ago in the National League. Ryan Hayes came off the bench and influenced the final half an hour with two well taken goals and an assist for Charlie Sheringham. In 2010, Dartford lost 1-0 to Margate in the Isthmian Premier League, but before that slip up Dartford won five in a row against Fleet Town (3-0 in 2004), Sittingbourne (2-0 in 2002), Northwich Victoria (1-0 in 1985), Romford (3-2 in 1976) and Chelmsford City (2-0 in 1974). A draw in the Kent Floodlit Cup with Gravesend and Northfleet in 1971 prevented Dartford winning 11 in a row on this day. Prior that draw the Darts also beat Folkestone Town (2-0 in 1970), Gloucester City (1-0 in 1968), Erith and Belvedere (6-2 in 1966), Gravesend and Northfleet (3-0 in 1965) and Ramsgate Athletic (3-1 in 1964).

Torquay United v Dartford

Dartford make their second trip to Plainmoor on the weekend, this time taking on title challengers and second place Torquay United.

The Darts hope to record their first ever win against the Gulls and if they do so they could end the day in third place. Torquay United were leading the National South last weekend on goal difference, however a mid-week Woking win means the Devonshire club will be playing catch up, three points behind with a game in hand.

The attendance for Dartford’s last visit to Plainmoor was a mere 87 when they played Truro City, it’s safe to say a far bigger crowd will be watching this weekend. The hosts are looking to complete a double over the Darts after winning the reverse fixture in December 2-0. Gary Johnson’s side had to work hard for the victory after a much improved display from Dartford, who had the better chances in the first half. Those missed opportunities came back to haunt Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle’s side when Ruairi Keating volleyed into the roof of the net and Jamie Reid doubled the lead two minutes from time.

Elliot Bradbrook and Lee Noble were part of the squad last time Dartford played Torquay United at Plainmoor almost four years ago, although Noble was an unused substitute in the 0-0 draw. This year the duo will miss out through suspension after picking up too many yellow cards. The absence of Noble in Dartford’s previous fixture meant Joe Healy played his second game for the Darts in last weekend’s victory.

Dartford beat a struggling Gloucester City side at Princes Park thanks to a stunning Phil Roberts volley and a Charlie Sheringham penalty. Stretching their unbeaten run at home to eight, the Darts moved up to fifth in the National South despite not be at their very best. As well as Healy making his home debut, Callum Driver returned to the starting eleven for the first time since August replacing Mark Onyemah. Dartford took the lead just before the interval when Ryan Hayes found space on the right and picked out Roberts with a floating cross, Roberts watched the ball come down and hit a first time volley back across the goal into the far corner. Then seven minutes from time, the Darts won a penalty which Sheringham scored to make sure Dartford earned all three points.

Coyle praised his team after the game, the joint manager spoke to www.kentonlikne.co.uk and said: “I’m pleased with the result because it was tough conditions today. It wasn’t a good game of football to watch for the neutral but it was a real professional performance from the boys. We were a little bit scrappy in the first 10 minutes of the second half and they had a couple of half-chances where we switched off but overall it was a good collective performance”. After three games in a week, Coyle was also grateful that he could call up Healy in central midfield, he commented: “You could see there were a few tired legs out there, we’ve had three games in a week and some of the boys are pushing on 31, 32 but Joe Healy freshened it up for us. He’s come in, given us a hand again and done really well, got man-of-the-match”.

An unbeaten February helped Flanagan and Coyle to the Manager of the Month award, in that time they guided the Darts to three wins and two draws beating Woking twice along the way. March may have started with an away defeat to Dulwich Hamlet, but back to back victories mean the Darts have won five of their last seven.

In the home dugout Gary Johnson has got Torquay United back on track since taking over in September. The experienced boss has lifted the Gulls from fourteenth to second, as the Devonshire club bids to return to the National League at the first attempt. Torquay United climbed the table after going sixteen games unbeaten, which included a ten game winning streak. Since then pressure to claim the National South title could be playing its part in a few surprise results recently.

In the last eight games the Gulls have lost three times against Bath City, Welling United and in their last home outing versus bottom of the table side Weston-super-Mare. However, in that spell they have notched up impressive victories along the way including a 7-2 hammering of Oxford City and a 5-2 thrashing of Dulwich Hamlet. Despite the shock loss at home to Weston-super-Mare, Johnson’s side bounced back last weekend with a 2-0 win at Billericay Town, Jamie Reid scoring again to take his league tally to 23 for the campaign. Reid is on course for the Golden Boot, but Torquay United have plenty of firepower in their ranks top scoring in the division with 74 goals.

The league title is still in their hands, but with a run in which includes seven teams in the top half, including an away trip to league leaders Woking, it could go down to the wire and Dartford fans will know all about that.

Head to Head

Torquay United wins: 1 / Dartford wins: 0 / Draws: 2

Current League Form

Torquay United (WLWWLW) Dartford (WWLWDW)
Billericay Town A 2-0 Gloucester City H 2-0
Weston-super-Mare H 1-2 Hemel Hempstead Town A 2-1
East Thurrock United A 2-1 Dulwich Hamlet A 0-2
Dulwich Hamlet H 5-2 Woking H 2-0
Welling United A 0-2 Slough Town A 2-2
Hemel Hempstead Town A 4-1 Bath City H 3-0

Previous Meetings

04.12.2018 Dartford 0 Torquay United 2
04.04.2015 Torquay United 1 Dartford 1
23.08.2014 Dartford 0 Torquay United 0

Stats 

Phil Roberts has scored four goals in his last four games and since being at Dartford he’s managed eight goals in 13 starts for the club.

A Dartford win will make it three in a row for the first time since November, when they last won consecutive away league games.

Jamie Reid has scored ten goals in his last ten league games.

The Gulls have scored in each of their last 11 home games, but have conceded two or more in their last three matches at Plainmoor.

On This Day

Dartford’s last win on 16 March was fifteen years ago when they beat Sittingbourne 1-0 in the Southern League Division One East. Since then the Darts have lost their last two, in 2010 Boreham Wood won 2-1 in the Isthmian Premier with Dartford’s goal coming from Lee Burns. Three years later in the National League, Dartford were beaten 3-0 at Hyde. The Darts have not won away from home on this day since 1963 against Merthyr Tydfil, a run of three defeats and a draw.

Dartford v Gloucester City

Dartford will aim to make it three consecutive home wins this weekend when they host a reformed Gloucester City battling against the drop.

The Darts have scored five without reply in their last two outings at Princes Park beating playoff contenders Bath City 3-0 and title challengers Woking 2-0. Unbeaten in their last seven home matches, Dartford have dropped just four points in that run and another victory will follow on from Tuesday night’s dramatic away triumph at Hemel Hempstead Town.

Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle made one change on Tuesday night to the team that were beaten at Dulwich Hamlet. Ryan Hayes who missed the weekend’s fixture returned, whilst Charlie Sheringham who has been out with an ankle injury was named on the bench against one of his former sides. The Darts edged a frustrating first half, but arguably the best chance fell to Hemel Hempstead Town’s central defender Darren Ward. The deadlock was finally broken with ten minutes remaining when the former Tudors striker Phil Roberts scored his sixth of the season. The hosts were awarded a penalty with three minutes to go and their top scorer Jordan Parkes made it count. With the game heading for a draw, Roberts popped up again a minute later to snatch three vital away points, a seventh goal in just thirteen appearances.

Tuesday’s result moved Dartford into sixth above Bath City and now they are just a couple of points behind third place Chelmsford City, whose match with Torquay United was postponed.  Pressure from teams trying to break into the top seven came from Wealdstone, who trounced Weston-Super-Mare and Concord Rangers who also left it late to beat Gloucester City.

Gloucester City went in one up at half time on against Concord Rangers thanks to Luke Russe’s stunning strike. On loan from Bristol Rovers until the end of the season, the midfielder let fly from distance to give the Tigers the lead. Manager, Mike Cook has been facing a goalkeeping crisis this week. In the 0-0 draw with Wealdstone, Cook was forced to bring in 38 year-old Tom King to make his National South debut, he was was brought in because loanees Jojo Wollacott and Freddie Lapworth were recalled by their parent club’s. For the game against Concord Rangers on Tuesday, Will Henry on loan from Swindon Town for the rest of the season made his debut. Henry was credited with an own goal leading to Concord Rangers’ equaliser and in the last minute Lee Minshull completed the comeback for the Essex club.

Dartford came back from a goal down in the earlier league meeting with Gloucester City back in November. The Tigers took the lead three minutes before the break when Joe Hanks’ free kick was crossed on to the head of Sam Avery who headed the ball past Bailey Vose. The lead didn’t last long because on the stroke of half-time Charlie Sheringham struck a low shot to level the game. After the interval, the game was settled three minutes into the second half. Sheringham turned provider when he squared the ball across goal for Ben Greenhalgh to tap in.

The Darts completed the double over Gloucester City last term with the last meeting at Princes Park finishing in a comfortable 4-1 victory. Warren Mfula opened the scoring after the striker wriggled free of his marker and stuck his shot into the far corner. The lead was doubled when Lyle Della-Verde tapped into an empty net, the winger netted again in the second half with an assured curling finish. Alfie Pavey made it four before Jamie Edge scored a consolation. Pavey was on hand again last April when he scored the winner in a tighter 1-0 away triumph.

After Marc Richards left the managerial role to take charge of Hereford, Gloucester City appointed Chris Todd as their manager in early October. The former Eastleigh boss lost his first six league games. Under pressure, the Tigers picked up just four points under Todd in twelve outings failing to pick up a win. After three months Todd left by mutual consent leaving the Tigers second from bottom and was replaced with Mike Cook.

Cook has managed to get Gloucester City out of the relegation zone and after two defeats at the start of his reign, the were unbeaten in seven before Tuesday night’s loss against Concord Rangers. The Tigers have tightened up their defence since the New Year with Cook making his side difficult to breakdown. The Tigers have kept six clean sheets in their last eight National South outings, but are four points and a place above the relegation zone.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 28 / Gloucester City wins: 12 / Draws: 10

Current League Form

Dartford (WLWDWW) Gloucester City (?WWLLD)
Hemel Hempstead Town A 2-1 Concord Rangers H 1-2
Dulwich Hamlet A 0-2 Wealdstone H 0-0
Woking H 2-0 Chelmsford City H 0-0
Slough Town A 2-2 Hampton & Richmond A 1-0
Bath City H 3-0 Slough Town A 2-1
Woking A 1-0 Bath City H 1-0

Previous Meetings

03.11.2018 Gloucester City 1 Dartford 2
10.04.2018 Gloucester City 0 Dartford 1
18.11.2017 Dartford 4 Gloucester City 1
07.03.1992 Gloucester City 0 Dartford 0
26.10.1991 Dartford 2 Gloucester City 0
16.03.1991 Dartford 2 Gloucester City 1

Stats

Dartford are unbeaten in six against Gloucester city (W5, D1), their last defeat against the Tigers was in the Southern Premier League 29 years ago.

The Darts have won their last four home meetings versus Gloucester City including a 6-2 win in the Southern Premier League back in 1990. Dartford’s last home defeat against the Tigers was in 1984.

Dartford are unbeaten at home against teams currently lower than eighth in the table (W6, D4).

Gloucester City have scored the fewest goals in the league, just 22 and have lost all eight games against sides in the top ten.

The Tigers have also recorded eight 0-0 draws this term helping them to the most clean sheets in the division (13). It also means they have failed to score more than any other club (16 times).

On This Day

Princes Park was rocking when Elliot Bradbrook scored a last minute winner against Wrexham six years ago. The Darts fell behind to a Danny Wright goal but equalised through Jack Evans. In stoppage time, Bradbrook headed in from a corner for a famous scalp. Both Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle missed out on a Kent derby win in 2010, the defensive duo were unavailable as the Darts beat local rivals Maidstone United 1-0, Lee Burns netting the winner. The two games prior that victory also ended 1-0 to Dartford, in 1996 Dean Bowey’s goal versus Furness in the Kent Trophy semi-final sent the Darts through to the final which they won, and in 1991 Bashley were beaten in the Southern Premier League. Dartford have won their last five games on 9 March and the run started in 1987 when Nuneaton Borough were beaten 3-1 in the F.A Trophy lquarter-final. The Darts have not tasted defeat on this day since 1964, a run of nine matches.

Hemel Hempstead Town v Dartford

Dartford are back in action on Tuesday night when they visit Hemel Hempstead Town and hope to put the weekend’s defeat behind them.

Despite a loss at Dulwich Hamlet, the Darts remain in seventh place thanks to the top six struggling to get positive results too. On Tuesday night the picture could easily change, a win will move Dartford into sixth, whilst defeat and a Wealdstone victory will see the Darts drop out of the playoff places.

Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle were unable to select Ryan Hayes on the weekend allowing Lee Noble to play out wide with Billy Crook coming in to the starting eleven. Jordan Wynter (arm) and Charlie Sheringham (ankle) were unavailable through injury, whilst in form strikers Darren McQueen and Phil Roberts were paired together up front again. Unfortunately, the form showed by McQueen and Roberts of late failed to materialise and for the first time since Boxing Day the Darts failed to find the net. Instead, new Dulwich Hamlet signing Jamie Mascoll opened the scoring in the first half and in the final minute Decarrey Sheriff sealed the win for the hosts at Champion Hill.

Earlier in the season, the Darts drew with Hemel Hempstead Town 0-0 at Princes Park and had a golden opportunity to win. With ten minutes to go the Darts won a penalty which Jamie Philpot blasted over the bar. The stalemate extended the Darts unbeaten run over the Tudors to six, which included a double over the Hertfordshire club last term.

Elliot Bradbrook will have fond memories of his last trip to Vauxhall Road, the midfielder’s brace of penalties either side Alfie Pavey’s goal gave the Darts a 3-0 victory. At Princes Park, it was Andy Pugh’s turn to score twice and help Dartford come from a goal down to win 3-2, Pavey was on hand again with a last minute winner, nine minutes after Pugh had equalised. In April 2017, Bradbrook scored another penalty at Vauxhall Road against the Tudors in a 2-2, Luke Wanadio was Dartford’s other scorer that day.

The only defeat tasted by the Darts against Hemel Hempstead Town came in 2015 on the opening day of the season. The Darts had just been relegated to the National South, whilst the Tudors finished a respectable ninth in their debut season at National South level. The game was settled by Oliver Hawkins, who now plays for Portsmouth in League One.

Hemel Hempstead Town have won just won of their last twelve National South games, but they have managed to pick up six draws in that time. On the weekend the Tudors fell to a single goal loss at Slough Town where Lee Togwell’s goal was enough to condemn Joe Deeney’s team to defeat. Deeney has been in charge at Vauxhall Road since the departure of Dean Brennan, who left to take the Billericay Town managerial role. The former assistant manager at Oxford City took charge in November and has recorded just four league wins in seventeen outings.

The Tudors last won at home almost three months ago and their last game at Vauxhall Road finished in a 2-2 draw with Concord Rangers. In fact they have drawn three of their last four home games, the only exception was the 4-1 loss against Torquay United.

Head to Head

Hemel Hempstead Town wins: 1 / Dartford wins: 4 / Draws: 3

Current League Form

Hemel Hempstead Town (LDLDLD) Dartford (LWDWWD)
Slough Town A 0-1 Dulwich Hamlet A 0-2
Concord Rangers H 2-2 Woking H 2-0
Woking A 1-3 Slough Town A 2-2
Dulwich Hamlet A 3-3 Bath City H 3-0
Torquay United H 1-4 Woking A 1-0
Chippenham Town A 1-1 Concord Rangers H 1-1

Previous Meetings

11.08.2018 Dartford 0 Hemel Hempstead Town 0
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

Stats 

Dartford last failed to score in two consecutive away games back on matchday six, the Darts lost 2-0 to Concord Rangers on 14th August and 1-0 to Hungerford Town on 25th August. The barren spell lasted one more away game in a 2-0 loss at St Albans City on 1st September.

Hemel Hempstead Town have managed one win in eleven against teams in the top seven. At home they have managed two points from the top nine out of the 21 available.

The Tudors had scored in 14 consecutive league games before their blank on the weekend, the Darts had scored in ten games in a row before the 2-0 reverse at Dulwich Hamlet.

On This Day

Dartford last won on this day eight years ago when they left it late to beat Maidenhead United at Princes Park. With the game goaless until the seventieth minute, Ryan Hayes cross found Charlie Sheringham to give the Darts the lead. In the final four minutes Elliot Bradbrook scored twice to put the result beyond doubt. Since then, Dartford drew 1-1 with Stockport County in 2013, the National League fixture finished level after Danny Harris rescued a point for the hosts. The last outing on 5 March ended in defeat at Weston-super-Mare in which a mass brawl saw Elliot Bradbrook sent off. The Darts were two down by the time George Sykes pulled a goal back before half-time, but early in the second half the dismissal left Dartford with ten men for the final 53 minutes.

Dulwich Hamlet v Dartford

Dartford’s fixture this weekend has the potential to pull in a big crowd at Champion Hill where the Darts visit Dulwich Hamlet, last season’s Isthmian Premier Playoff winners.

The Darts make the short trip to South East London on the back of beating title challengers Woking and on a run of just one defeat in their last ten National South games. Victory last weekend completed a fantastic double over the Cards without conceding against the team looking to get back up into the National League.

Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle had to shuffle the defence slightly with Jordan Wynter ruled out through injury, Mark Onyemah replaced the full-back and performed as if he had never been away from the starting eleven. With Charlie Sheringham still not fit, the front two of Phil Roberts and loanee Darren McQueen proved their worth. Both strikers found the back of the net in a 2-0 win, Roberts has now scored five in his last seven league appearances, whilst McQueen has two goals in his first two games for the club.

Joint manager, Jamie Coyle was delighted with the performance and told www.kentonline.co.uk: “I’m absolutely over the moon, to play the team at the top of the league and for our keeper not to be bothered apart from one save is testament to the whole team and how well we defended collectively”, he added: “We defended really well and it wasn’t just the back five, it was the whole team. Out of possession, we had brilliant shape, it was hard to break down and we frustrated them”.

Coyle believes his squad have come to terms with the ‘Dartford way’, he said: “We always knew we’ve got some fantastic characters and when they all started to gel together, with the new boys buying into the philosophy of the club, we’re now getting 11 players that are all singing from the same hymn sheet and really driving forward”.

The Darts struggled in front of goal for the majority of the campaign, but now with Phil Roberts and Darren McQueen making good claims to start on the weekend, Charlie Sheringham and Andy Pugh in the squad Dartford’s attacking intent should improve for the run-in to the end of the season.

It has been just under twelve and half years since Dartford last played at Champion Hill in front of 300 supporters. Since then both sides have seen their attendances swell with the Darts returning home in 2006 and Hamlet attracting new fans over recent years. After the Woking game, captain Tom Bonner commented on how the bigger crowds play a part, he commented: “I’ve been here six years and I can’t think of too many games where we’ve been bad when the place is rocking. It just went to show on Saturday; a rocking crowd and we were brilliant”. Hopefully a large number of Dartford fans will be there at Champion Hill too.

When the two sides last met in SE22, Hamlet won 3-2 with Dartford’s goals coming from Dave Martin and Eddie McClements. Eight weeks later Dartford opened their new stadium at Princes Park after fourteen homeless years. The Hamlet have only just recently experienced homelessness even if it was temporary, the Southwark based club were forced to groundshare with Tooting and Mitcham United and after months of wrangling with Meadow Partners they returned home on Boxing Day.

Gavin Rose’s Hamlet side have conceded eight goals in their last two outings, five of which came against new league leaders Torquay United. The South Londoners found themselves brushed aside and were 4-0 down at half-time. The second half improved with goals from Dipo Akinyemi and Nathan Green but that just reduced the deficit to 5-2. Dulwich Hamlet are unbeaten in two at Champion Hill with their last outing there finishing 3-3 with Hemel Hempstead Town. Decarrey Sheriff’s last minute penalty rescued a point for Hamlet as they fought back from a two goal deficit.

Rose gave debuts to three new signings in the heavy loss at Torquay United including former Dart, Luke Wanadio. The winger made 53 appearances during the 2016/2017 season and scored 13 times before joining Bromley. Wanadio joined Dulwich Hamlet on loan from National League strugglers Aldershot Town. Aryan Tajbakhsh and Jamie Mascoll are the other new signings.

Having won promotion last term and starting the campaign away from home, Rose’s side will be content to consolidate their status in the National South. As it stands the South London club are six points above the drop zone in eighteenth place.

Head to Head

Dulwich Hamlet wins: 2 / Dartford wins: 1 / Draws: 2

Current League Form

Dulwich Hamlet (LDWDLD) Dartford (WDWWDL)
Torquay United A 2-5 Woking H 2-0
Hemel Hempstead Town H 3-3 Slough Town A 2-2
Welling United H 2-1 Bath City H 3-0
Concord Rangers A 0-0 Woking A 1-0
Chelmsford City H 1-3 Concord Rangers H 1-1
East Thurrock United A 0-0 Chelmsford City A 1-2

Previous Meetings

20.10.2019 Dartford 2 Dulwich Hamlet 1
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

The Darts have kept three clean sheets in their last four league games. Before that they had only kept two in the previous twenty league matches.

A win for Dartford will complete a third double against a side this season having recently beaten Bath City and Woking.

Dartford have won two away games out of six against sides currently in the bottom half of the table

On This Day

Unbeaten in four games on the 2 March, Dartford last won on this day in 1996, a 3-1 victory over Sheppey United in the Kent League. Since then, the Darts have drawn two in a row at home to Banbury United in 2002 with the Southern League Division One East fixture ending 1-1. More recently, the Darts drew 2-2 away with Southport six years ago. Tom Bonner was on the scoresheet as the Darts were pegged back twice, Harry Crawford scored the opener. The unbeaten run goes back to 1991 when the Darts beat Burton Albion 2-0 in the Southern Premier League.