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Concord Rangers v Dartford

The Darts are back in action this weekend chasing their first away win of the season against fifth place Concord Rangers.

Tony Burman will remain in the hotseat as interim manager, until the club find a suitable candidate to replace previous joint managers Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle. Last weekend, Burman began his stint in charge in defeat as seven goals were shared with newly promoted Dorking Wanderers.

Angonisingly the final six minutes at Princes Park proved pivotal as the Darts tried to hold on to a crucial lead. Two changes were made to the starting elevn after the 3-2 loss at Tonbridge Angels, Charlie Sheringham replaced Norma Wabo to start with striker Adam Cunnington for the first time and Jordan Wynter returned to the line up with loanee Rob Howard stepping aside. Although the Darts started brightly, the visitors were in front after 12 minutes when Niall McManus hit a brilliant long range effort beyond Mark Smith. Dartford went ahead with Ben Greenhalgh’s quick fire brace, his first goals of the campaign. However, in first half stoppage time Dartford conceded a penalty and former Dart, Jason Prior equalised.

The second half had more goals in store, Ryan Hayes and Luke Allen combined well before Hayes put in a delightful cross for Sheringham to score. In the closing stages during a six minute spell the match turned dramatically, former Woking striker Guiseppe Sole levelled with a brilliant free-kick, Lee Noble was harshly sent off and with two minutes on the clock James McShane grabbed Dorking Wanderers a winner.

Burman praised his side work ethic, he spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk and said: “I was delighted with the effort the players put in”, before questioning some important decisions from the match officials, he added: “The penalty decision against us I can say is a poor goal in respect of the way we defended. Was it a penalty? I honestly don’t think it was”, he continued: “No-one thought it was a sending-off other than their bench. I wouldn’t say they got him sent-off but their reaction wasn’t good and it shouldn’t be like that. It was a poor decision”. Aside from getting the rub of the green, Burman also pinpointed where the Darts can improve, he exclaimed: “I have to question a few of them who haven’t played. I thought the fitness was down from what it should be. That’s no disrespect to anybody, I’m just giving an honest opinion”.

Around the club there has been plenty of focus off the pitch including the role Burman has with the first team, he commented: “The long-term is not for me”, he added: “I am happy with what I do at the club in the academy during the daytime and that’s my goal now”. Whoever the successful applicant is in however long it takes to find the right boss, they will need to strengthen a defence that has conceded the most goals in the division. In contrast to the previous season at least the Darts are starting to put the ball in the oppositions net with more frequency, scoring five in their last two defeats.

Burman was pleased with Sheringham’s performance last weekend and Greenhalgh made it in the National South’s team of the week. Luke Wanadio was out injured, Sam Blackman is starting to do fitness work and Mark Onyemah is getting closer to a return. Adam Cunnington is banned for one game after picking up too many cautions and Lee Noble starts a three match suspension after his red card.

Concord Rangers have started their campaign brightly building on their success last term under Sammy Moore. The Beachboys reached the playoff places but were unable to participate due to league rules. Moore left in the summer and his replacement Danny Scopes has kept the momentum going. The Essex club won their opening three matches to top the table, but then suffered three defeats in four picking up a single point. Concord Rangers have recovered since are currently unbeaten in their last three matches beating Welling United and Hampton and Richmond Borough either side of a draw against local rivals Braintree Town.

In their last two games the Essex club have scored vital late goals, Marcel Barrington scored a brace to help his side win 3-2 last weekend. Barrington was in the Braintree Town side along with Dartford’s Josh Hill, Billy Crook and Luke Allen that beat the Darts in the playoffs just over a year ago. After the victory, defender Joe Claridge commented via the club’s Twitter account: “It’s a great three points…it wasn’t ideal going behind but it shows the character of this set of players, even though we were 2-1 down the management team still believed we could get three points”, he continued: “We are ten games in and in a good place, not only looking at the table and on the pitch, but as a team”.

Billy Roast will return to Princes Park, the defender made seven appearances for the Darts last term after he followed Adam Flanagan from the Beachboys to Dartford, but this summer he made his return to Concord Rangers via Maldon and Tiptree. Roast was in the Dartford team that lost to Concord Rangers last term, whilst Ryan Hayes was lining up against the Darts alongside Sam Blackman. The Beachboys won 2-0 with former Dart, Alex Wall scoring as well as D’Sean Theobalds. The return fixture ended 1-1 at Princes Park with former Concord Rangers midfielder, Greenhalgh opening the scoring and Jack Midson equalising from the spot.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Concord Rangers wins: 2 / Draws: 3

Current League Form

Dartford (LLDDWL) Concord Rangers (WDWLLD)
Dorking Wanderers H 3-4 Hampton & Richmond H 3-2
Tonbridge Angels A 2-3 Braintree Town A 2-2
Hemel Hempstead Town H 1-1 Welling United H 3-0
Hungerford Town A 2-2 St Albans City A 1-2
Braintree Town H 2-1 Maidstone United H 0-1
Weymouth A 1-3 Dulwich Hamlet A 2-2

Last Six Meetings

26.01.2019 Dartford 1 Concord Rangers 1
14.08.2018 Concord Rangers 2 Dartford 0
06.01.2018 Concord Rangers 1 Dartford 1
15.08.2017 Dartford 2 Concord Rangers 0
11.03.2017 Concord Rangers 1 Dartford 1
24.09.2016 Dartford 2 Concord Rangers 1

Stats

For the first time, last season Dartford failed to beat Concord Rangers in at least one of their league games against them.

Concord Rangers are unbeaten in their last three games against Dartford, their longest unbeaten run versus the Darts.

Dartford have picked up one point out of their last nine away games, drawing one and losing eight going back to March last season.

In nine of Dartford’s ten games this season both teams have scored, the exception being on the opening day at Wealdstone.

On This Day

Louis Moult scored a brace to defeat Dartford six years ago at Princes Park, the striker’s double helped Nuneaton Town to a 2-1 victory in the National League, Elliot Bradbrook scoring a consolation for the Darts. In 2003, Dartford progressed in the F.A Cup with a 3-0 home victory over Peacehaven and Telscombe, the Darts went out in the next round against Bromley. A home friendly at Summer’s Meadow, Lowfield Street versus Pickwicks way back in 1895 saw Dartford rack up ten goals without reply on this day.

Dartford v Dorking Wanderers

Dartford’s era without Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle begins this weekend when they welcome Isthmian Premier League champions Dorking Wanderers to Princes Park, in the first ever clash between the two sides.

Tony Burman will be back in the dugout for the first time since he quit as manager fourteen months ago. The 61-year-old takes over on an interim basis for the third time and has previously led the Darts to two league titles, a playoff promotion and a couple of Kent Senior Cup triumphs. Since Princes Park opened in 2006, Burman guided Dartford from the Isthmian Division One to the National League, experienced relegation back to the National South and agonisingly missed out on a third league title before leaving as manager.

Ahead of Tuesday night’s game Flanagan reflected on his team’s performance, the joint manager expected a points tally good enough for a top seven spot, but the club has fallen short, he told www.dartfordfc.com: “It has been a frustrating August for everyone involved at the club and our points return hasn’t been to the level we had set”. By the end of Tuesday night, the Darts were looking for their first away win and a new manager.

Defeat at Tonbridge Angels signalled the end of the management duo, who left by mutual consent following the 3-2 loss at Longmead. Continuing from last season Dartford were beginning to rely on home form and searching for improvements, with only two wins from their last 17 league games. The Kent derby against Tonbridge Angels, who were also in the bottom three, became a great opportunity to find that elusive away victory. In came Norman Wabo to the starting eleven, after his three goals in four substitute appearances, Ryan Hayes and Ben Greenhalgh, replacing Darren McQueen, Luke Wanadio and the injured Tom Bonner.

Tonbridge Angels took the lead from the penalty spot, Joe Turner putting his shot past Mark Smith. Falling a goal behind livened Dartford up for the final fifteen minutes of the first half. The Darts were rewarded with an equaliser when Josh Hill pounced on a clearance to make it all square. However, almost straight from the restart the Angels regained their advantage through Turner once more. Charlie Sheringham came on for the second half and made an impact later on with a headed goal, however the Angels edged in front with five to play, Tom Derry scoring the winner.

After the disappointing result, co-chairman Dave Skinner spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk about Flanagan and Coyle’s resignation, he explained: “They’re both stalwarts of the club and have got the club at heart – the same as we have”, he added: “They had a target to meet and they haven’t reached the target. We changed the squad from last season. On paper the squad is very good but somehow it just hasn’t worked. For the quality of the squad we’ve got, we’d expect to be higher up than we are”.

As well as Bonner picking up a groin injury against Hemel Hempstead Town, Sam Blackman remains out with a broken ankle and Mark Onyemah is fairly close to a return after his summer operation, former boss Flanagan commented last week: “Mark has completed one full training session which is a real positive and the hope is that he will be ready to get some match minutes in the next two or three weeks”. Andy Pugh and Billy Crook are out on loan at East Thurrock United, unfortunately the pair picked up injuries in their opening couple of matches for the Essex club.

Jason Prior returns to Princes Park and could lead the line for Dorking Wanderers, the striker top scored for the Surrey club in their title winning season and leads the way this term. The 30-year-old caused heartbreak for Darts fans almost 18 months ago. Prior played 24 times for Dartford during 2013 and scored twice, five years later he scored a dramatic last-minute winner for Havant and Waterlooville, snatching the National South title away from the Darts on the final day.

His latest club has been on the rise winning promotion five times in nine seasons to propel themselves up from the Sussex League Division Three to the National South. Momentum has been with the Wanderers and as recently as July 2018 they moved in to the refurbished Meadowbank Park, formerly home of the disbanded Dorking F.C. Manager, Marc White matches the club’s ambitions of going further up the football pyramid and is a founder member of the club.

White’s side started their first ever campaign in the National South how they finished their championship winning season. Three straight victories at Slough Town and at home to Hemel Hempstead Town, then Tonbridge Angels had the newcomers joint top, the winning streak continuing from last term was stretched to nine consecutive league wins.

However, the Wanderers came down with a heavy bump losing 6-0 to Havant and Waterlooville, the beginning of a winless run. Although Dorking Wanderers bounced back with a point at St Albans City they fell to defeats at home to Hampton and Richmond, then away to Braintree Town. Last weekend they drew 0-0 with Dulwich Hamlet and on Tuesday night they ended their winless streak with victory at home against Chippenham Town, Matthew Briggs netting the winner.

Injuries haven’t helped the Surrey club recently, with last season’s Player of the Year and Club Captain Sami-El Abd rupturing a cruciate ligament, ruling him out for the rest of the campaign. Manager, White was devastated at the news, he told www.dorkingwanderers.com: “Sami is absolutely gutted as is everyone involved in the club. He is our on-the-pitch leader and will be a huge loss for us this season”. Ed Harris and Luke Moore are likely to be out for a couple more weeks and Lewis Taylor for longer with a groin injury.

Current League Form

Dartford (LDDWLL) Dorking Wanderers (WDLLDL)
Tonbridge Angels A 2-3 Chippenham Town H 1-0
Hemel Hempstead Town H 1-1 Dulwich Hamlet H 0-0
Hungerford Town A 2-2 Braintree Town A 2-3
Braintree Town H 2-1 Hampton & Richmond H 0-1
Weymouth A 1-3 St Albans City A 1-1
Chelmsford City A 0-4 Havant and Waterlooville A 0-6

Stats

Dartford have made their worst league start in five years picking up just seven points from nine games. In 2013, the Darts picked up six points in the National League after nine matches (W1, D3, L5).

The Darts are four games unbeaten at home this season (W1, D3) and have lost just once in the league at Princes Park since early December 2018 (W8, D7, L1).

Under Flanagan and Coyle, Dartford’s home record in the National South was Won 9, Drawn 9, Lost 3, but the away form reads Won 6, Drawn 5, Lost 15. In all competitions Dartford Won 20, Drew 15, Lost 21.

Dartford used 47 players in all competitions during Flanagan and Coyle’s fourteen months in charge.

On This Day

The last time a goal was scored in a Dartford game on 7 September was 22 years ago. The Darts beat Clevedon Town 3-1 in the Southern League South Division. The last two fixtures on this day have ended 0-0 both away from home, Fleet Town in 2002 and Chester six years ago in the National League. Currently Dartford are on an unbeaten run of six matches on 7 September stretching back to 1987 when they lost 3-0 away to Chelmsford City in the Southern Premier League. The last home defeat on this day was back in 1964 against Margate, a Southern League Cup tie.

Tonbridge Angels v Dartford

In search for a their first away victory of the campaign, Dartford travel to Longmead Stadium on Tuesday night to take on Tonbridge Angels.

It will be the first Kent derby in a league fixture between the two sides in seven years, although in that time they have met in the F.A Trophy and F.A Cup. The Darts will be hoping that their current form against the Angels will count for something as both sides are struggling to pick up victories this term. Dartford have won eight in a row in all competitions against the Isthmian Premier League playoff winners of last season.

Most recently, Dartford recorded a pair of 3-0 cup victories over the Angels. Three years ago, Alex Brown, Andy Pugh and Elliot Bradbrook put the Darts into the F.A Cup first round and in 2012, Harry Crawford, Bradbrook and Jon Wallis helped Dartford into the F.A Trophy third round.

Dartford last visited Longmead Stadium in the league in March 2012, Tom Champion scored the winner. The Darts beat Tonbridge Angels three times in that season, winning 4-2 after extra-time in the Kent Senior Cup last eight, goals from Jack Pallen, a brace from Richard Graham and one from Lee Burns. Whilst at Princes Park in September 2011, Dartford ran out 3-1 winners goals courtesy of Bradbrook, Danny Harris and Charlie Sheringham with the visitors grabbing a consolation goal when striker Frannie Collin scored from the penalty spot.

The Darts picked up a second successive draw on the weekend against Hemel Hempstead Town, once again Norman Wabo came of the bench to score. With the departure of promising young full-back Luke Warner-Eley, Dartford started captain Tom Bonner at left back and Ronnie Vint returned to the starting eleven after he had recovered from being ill over the Bank Holiday.

Despite the change at the back, Dartford still conceded early on when Sam Ashford lofted an effort over Mark Smith on just nine minutes. The Darts won a penalty just past the half hour mark when Adam Cunnington was fouled in the box, the striker dusted himself off to take the spot kick but was denied by Tudors goalkeeper Sam Beasant. Shortly afterwards Bonner was forced off through injury and replaced by Ben Greenhalgh. Dartford improved in the second half, even more so in the final twenty minutes and with six minutes remaining Wabo equalised, his third of the campaign to maintain Dartford’s unbeaten home run.

Bonner will have to see if his fit for Tuesday night’s fixture at Tonbridge Angels, but at least defender Jordan Wynter will return from his three match suspension. Sam Blackman is still out with a long term injury, whilst Luke Warner-Eley and Amos Nasha have left the club.

Tonbridge Angels moved off the foot of the table in their last home match with a 1-1 draw against Weymouth. Prior the match manager, Steve McKimm spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk about the position his side are in since winning promotion almost four months ago, the Angels boss is not prepared to press the panic button at such an early stage, he commented: “After 20 games we’ll assess where we are and what we need to do”, he added: “Make no bones about it, if we are in desperate trouble I know this club will be able to find some resources for me to be able to go and keep us afloat. We haven’t worked hard for five years to get to this level to go straight back down and the club haven’t either”.

In a gritty performance, the Angels added a point to their league total, however the second half was just three minutes old when Weymouth’s Brett Williams put the Terras in front. Steve McKimm’s side won a disputed penalty and after they eventually decided Joe Turner should take the spot kick, he had his effort saved. A second penalty was awarded with five minutes to go and this time Ade Yussuf had a go, after his first spot-kick was ruled out for encroachment he put his second attempt away. Afterwards, McKimm told www.tonbridgeangels.co.uk: “I’m very pleased with the performance, we passed the ball much better today, and cut out the errors. Perhaps I’m a little disappointed we didn’t take all the points but all the players did really well and once again have shown we can compete at this level”.

Life back in the National South started with three straight defeats for the Angels until they recorded their maiden win against Concord Rangers at Longmead. A creditable draw away to Bath City was followed up by no points over the Bank Holiday period, McKimm’s side lost to Havant and Waterlooville then the Kent derby at Welling United. However, the draw with Weymouth was their fifth point, two behind the Darts.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 67 / Tonbridge Angels wins: 37 / Draws: 24

Current League Form

Dartford (DDWLLD) Tonbridge Angels (DLLDWL)
Hemel Hempstead Town H 1-1 Weymouth H 1-1
Hungerford Town A 2-2 Welling United A 2-4
Braintree Town H 2-1 Havant & Waterlooville H 1-3
Weymouth A 1-3 Bath City A 0-0
Chelmsford City A 1-4 Concord Rangers H 1-0
Havant and Waterlooville H 1-1 Dorking Wanderers A 1-3

Last Six Meetings

15.10.2016 Tonbridge Angels 0 Dartford 3
15.12.2012 Dartford 3 Tonbridge Angels 0
03.03.2012 Tonbridge Angels 0 Dartford 1
31.01.2012 Tonbridge Angels 2 Dartford 4
24.09.2011 Dartford 3 Tonbridge Angels 1
25.01.2011 Dartford 2 Tonbridge Angels 0

Stats

The Darts have not conceded in this fixture in the last three meetings and have won the last eight versus the Angels.

Dartford top scorer, Norman Wabo has scored all three of his goals after starting as a substitute.

Tonbridge Angels last beat the Darts in November 2008 and have never won at Princes Park since it opened.

Only bottom side Hungerford Town (-10) has a worse goal difference than Dartford and Tonbridge Angels (-8).

Only Chippenham Town (6) have scored fewer goals than the Angels (7) in the National South.

On This Day

Dartford last won a league game on the 3 September back in 1997 when they beat Baldock Town 2-1 in the Southern League Southern Division. The Darts have managed to win a couple of cup ties, in 2000 they beat Deal Town in the F.A Cup Preliminary Round (MORE?) and six years ago they defeated Welling United in the Kent Senior Cup 3-2. Mohamed Eisa scored for the Darts and since then he has made his name in the Football League at Cheltenham Town and now at Peterborough United, Adam Woodyard who also moved up the football pyramid netted as did Brima Daramy. Between those two victories Dartford had lost three in a row at Carterton in a F.A Cup replay seventeen years ago, away to Boreham Wood in the Southern League Division One East in 2005 and six years later at Basingstoke Town in the National South. The last game on this day was a 0-0 draw at home to eventual National South champions Maidenhead United in 2016.