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Dartford v Kingstonian

Steve King’s reign as Dartford manager begins with this weekend’s F.A Cup fourth qualifying round tie against Isthmian Premier League side Kingstonian.

The new Dartford boss can guide the Darts to their fifth first round appearance in seven years with victory and a chance to play a Football League club. King arrives at Princes Park knowing how to embark on a F.A Cup run, he led Macclesfield Town to the fourth round six years ago losing to eventual winners Wigan Athletic.

Last season, King managed local rivals Welling United to third in the National South and a playoff final. Starting his managerial career at Lewes, he guided the Sussex club to three titles taking them from the Isthmian Division One South to the National League in five years. Whilst at Farnborough, King won the Southern Premier League and lost the National South playoff the next season. Another spell at Lewes before his stint with Macclesfield Town was followed by keeping Whitehawk in the National South and another playoff final defeat. King moved to Dagenham and Redbridge, but soon returned to Whitehawk in an attempt to keep them safe from relegation. King arrives at Princes Park with plenty of experience at this level.

Dartford’s new boss was appointed last week, however Tony Burman remained in charge for Saturday’s 1-0 win at Oxford City. The Darts have now won four consecutive away games in all competitions for the first time in over a year. Burman made three changes to the side that beat Blackfield and Langley in the previous round of the F.A Cup. Cameron Brodie was named on the bench and Rob Howard returned to full back, Darren McQueen replaced the injured Charlie Sheringham and Andy Pugh was recalled from East Thurrock United to take the place of departed striker Adam Cunnington.

Winner of Dartford’s September Player of the Month, Ben Greenhalgh followed up that accolade with the winning goal. Darren McQueen had already tested Oxford City’s goalkeeper Craig King, but just past the half hour mark Greenhalgh curled the ball beyond the shot stopper into the net. The hosts came closest in the second-half when Reece Beckles-Richards hit the post. The Darts defended well and relied on the counter attack eventually holding out for the win.

King will select his first matchday squad this weekend but will be without Sheringham, the striker dislocated his shoulder and Sam Blackman, who is on the mend from a long-term injury. Mark Onyemah will be available, the full back made his first appearance since March coming on as a late substitute against Oxford City.

Dartford will have fond memories of playing Kingstonian in the Isthmian Premier League, but the last meeting between the two sides was in the F.A Trophy almost seven years ago. Marcus Bettinelli saved an early Andre McCollin penalty before the Darts went on to win the first-round tie 4-0. Jacob Erskine opened the scoring at Kingsmeadow and when Simon Huckle was dismissed for the hosts, the Darts took full advantage. Second-half goals from Elliot Bradbrook, Danny Harris and Nathan Collier secured a passage into round two.

However, the two Isthmian Premier League clashes during the 2009/2010 season were even more memorable. The Darts clinched the title at Kingsmeadow in style thrashing a Kingstonian side second in the league at the time. Elliot Bradbrook finished of a fine team goal and Ryan Hayes smashed home from long range. Huckle halved the deficit for the hosts, but Danny Harris headed in Dartford’s third. Bradbrook added his second of the afternoon capitalising on Rob Tolfrey’s mistake, then Bobby Traynor made it 4-2. Dartford stretched their lead further with another strike from Hayes and Lee Burns made it six.

Previously that season, Lee Burns netted a hat-trick in the last meeting between the two sides at Princes Park. Bradbrook started the rout, Burns netted two and Hayes scored one before Burns eventually completed his hat-trick after missing from the spot earlier.

Kingstonian started their F.A Cup campaign last month in the first qualifying round hosting Southern League Premier South side Walton Casuals. Second-half goals from Ollie Cook and Louie Theophanous was enough to see the K’s set up a tie with March Town United. The Surrey side comfortably negotiated their way past the Eastern Counties League club winning 3-0, Dan Bennett notched a brace before his replacement Yousef Bamba added a third in the last minute.

This month, Hayden Bird’s side required a replay to overcome Weston-super-Mare in the third qualifying round. Reece Hall put the K’s ahead and when Jerry Puemo was sent off the K’s had to try and hold on with ten men and Kingstonian almost did it, only to concede a last-minute penalty which Scott Laird scored. The replay was more straightforward, Fabio Saraiva’s goal was cancelled out by Weston-super-Mare’s George Dowling. Puemo made amends for his red card in the first game by putting Kingstonian ahead then Hall and Theophanous wrapped up the 4-1 victory.

Manager Hayden Bird spoke to www.kingstonian.com after the replay victory at Weston and can’t wait for this weekend’s fixture, he said: “I’m quite excited about the draw, it’s what the fourth qualifying round is about. You don’t really get free passes when you get to that level of the competition”, he added: “With respect to Dartford I would say it is very winnable and if we play like we did (at Weston) then we will have a great chance. I want to be playing Dartford in the league, hopefully when we play them we will be looking into our future a little bit”.

In league and F.A Cup, Kingstonian are now unbeaten in four matches. Either side of their F.A Cup exploits against Weston-super-mare, the K’s beat Haringey Borough 1-0 with Puemo netting the decisive goal and drew 2-2 on the weekend at Carshalton Athletic. Kingstonian let a two goal lead slip after Theophanous and Hall put the K’s in command, however the hosts scored twice in seven second-half minutes to secure a draw.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Kingstonian wins: 1 / Draws: 1

Current Form (* – F.A Cup)

Dartford (WWLWWL) Kingstonian (DWDWLW)
Oxford City A 1-0 Carshalton Athletic A 2-2
Blackfield & Langley* A 4-1 Weston-super-Mare* A 4-1
Slough Town H 2-3 Weston-super-Mare* H 1-1
Horsham* A 2-0 Haringey Borough A 1-0
Concord Rangers A 2-0 Worthing A 1-2
Dorking Wanderers H 3-4 March Town United* H 3-0

Previous Meetings (* – F.A Cup / ^ – F.A Trophy)

24.11.2012^ Kingstonian 0 Dartford 4
10.04.2010 Kingstonian 2 Dartford 6
25.08.2009 Dartford 5 Kingstonian 0
07.04.2007 Kingstonian 1 Dartford 1
26.08.2006 Dartford 1 Kingstonian 0
06.10.1973* Dartford 1 Kingstonian 3

Stats

Dartford have played Kingstonian in the F.A Cup once back in 1973. The Darts lost 3-1 in the second qualifying round, the K’s were knocked out of the competition in the next round.

Dartford have scored six and conceded one from their two F.A Cup games this season. The K’s have scored ten in four F.A Cup games conceding just twice.

Kingstonian last reached the fourth qualifying round in 2001 and in that season,  they went on to reach the fourth round of the F.A Cup. The K’s beat Devizes Town 5-2 in the fourth qualifying round, then knocked out Brentford (3-1), Southport (2-1), Southend United (1-0) before losing to Bristol City in a replay (1-1, replay 0-1).

On This Day

Matthew Godden netted a Princes Park hat-trick six years ago in an entertaining 4-3 victory over Hyde. The loanee put the Darts two goals up within 15 minutes with a tidy finish and a header from Ryan Hayes’ cross. A penalty and a close range effort from Scott Spencer brought Hyde level before the break and a long-range shot from Louis Almond put them ahead. Substitute George Monger’s 25-yarder levelled things up, but Godden struck late on to seal the points. Dartford are unbeaten in seven on this day stretching back to 1991 recording three wins and four draws. The Darts last played on 19 October in 2015 when they beat Welling United in the first round of the Kent Senior Cup. George Sykes and Callum McNaughton gave the Darts a two goal cushion before Kurtis Cumberbatch netted for the Wings. Dajon Golding secured the cup victory in the final minute to put Dartford in the hat for round two.

Oxford City v Dartford

Celebrating Non-League Day, the Darts are back in National South action this weekend taking on Oxford City at Marsh Lane.

Dartford’s playoff ambitions ended at Saturday’s venue six months ago on the final day of last season. Ronnie Vint’s goal put fate in Dartford’s hands as they moved into the playoff places. Then in an eight-minute second half spell Zac McEachran and Kabongo Tshimanga ended Darts’ hopes of finishing in the top seven.

This time the Darts approach their trip with more confidence having won three of their last four matches in all competitions. A couple of 2-0 victories over Concord Rangers in the league and Horsham in the F.A Cup was followed up by a 3-2 reverse at home to Slough Town. On the weekend, Dartford continued their progress in the F.A Cup comfortably beating Southern Premier South side Blackfield and Langley to record their third consecutive away victory.

In charge of the third qualifying round tie, Tony Burman opted to play Cameron Brodie at right back to replace the departed Alex Flisher. Returning from suspension, Lee Noble was back in the team alongside Luke Allen and Tom Bonner came in at left back. Up front Darren McQueen made way for Adam Cunnington.

Charlie Sheringham almost opened the scoring after just three minutes, but his effort was ruled out for offside. However, the striker only had to wait a little longer when he linked up with Cunnington to score from close range. Luke Allen netted his second F.A Cup goal in as many games after a well worked move and just before half-time Mark Smith’s stunning save kept the score at 2-0. In the second-half, Allen won a penalty which Sheringham converted and despite the hosts pulling a goal back, Cunnington headed in the fourth which was to be his last for the club after he left by mutual consent this week.

As well as Brodie racking up more minutes, two other academy players featured as substitutes and were introduced. Alfie Evans showed promise in midfield and Jay Bacon replaced the injured Sheringham, who will now be out with a dislocated shoulder. In other team news, Rob Howard will be available for selection after missing the F.A Cup fixture to prevent getting cup tied. Jordan Wynter and Sam Blackman and  are moving towards full recoveries, Mark Onyemah could be fit after a knee injury. .

Oxford City beat the Darts twice at home last term also winning a F.A Cup fixture 4-1, Tshimanga’s hat-trick was the highlight of the cup tie. Since Dartford’s return to the National South in 2015, the Darts have only managed a single victory at Marsh Lane in five attempts. Elliot Bradbrook and Tom Murphy scored the goals to secure a 2-0 win back in March 2018.

Under the guidance of Mark Jones, Oxford City are level on points with Dartford with the same goal difference. Where the Darts have outscored Saturday’s opponents, the Hoops have a stronger defence. Winless in five league games, the Oxfordshire club last tasted victory in the National South on August’s Bank Holiday, their only home win and only other league triumph came two weeks earlier.

The latest reverse came in their last league fixture against Braintree Town. A first-half penalty was scored by Braintree Town’s Ade Cole and was enough to condemn the Hoops to their sixth defeat of the campaign. Either side the National South loss, Oxford City have progressed through to the F.A Cup fourth qualifying round scoring nine times without reply. Southern League Division One Central side north Leigh were beaten 7-0, goals coming from six different players and an own goal.

Jones’ side will take more confidence from last weekend’s third qualifying round win, especially as it was against fellow National South side Hampton and Richmond Borough. In a six minute second-half spell Nana Owusu netted from the spot and McEachran added a second to earn a fourth qualifying round tie with Margate.

Head to Head

Oxford City wins: 2 / Dartford wins: 4 / Draws: 2

Current League Form

Dartford (LWLLDD) Oxford City (LDLDLW)
Slough Town H 2-3 Braintree Town A 0-1
Concord Rangers A 2-0 Billericay Town H 2-2
Dorking Wanderers H 3-4 Wealdstone A 0-1
Tonbridge Angels A 2-3 Weymouth H 0-0
Hemel Hempstead Town H 1-1 Havant & Waterlooville H 0-3
Hungerford Town A 2-2 Bath City A 2-1

Last Six Meetings

27.04.2019 Oxford City 2 Dartford 1
13.11.2018 Dartford 3 Oxford City 2
06.10.2018 Oxford City 4 Dartford 1
24.03.2018 Oxford City 0 Dartford 2
19.08.2017 Dartford 7 Oxford City 1
25.02.2017 Oxford City 1 Dartford 1

Stats

Dartford are on a three game winning run in all competitions, the last time they won for four straight away matches was from 17 February 2018 to 4 August 2018. The Darts won their last five away games in the 2017/2018 campaign and the opening away match last season.

The Darts have scored two or more goals in each of their last six outings, they last managed that in September 2017. They last managed two or more goals in seven consecutive games the year before during September and October of 2016

The Darts have lost their last two games at Marsh Lane and have won once in their last five attempts at Oxford City.

On This Day

Dartford last tasted defeat on 12 October in 1963 and since then they have played six, won three and drew three. The last two fixtures on this day ended all square in normal time with the most recent six years ago against Hereford United. The National League match finished 2-2 with Lee Noble opening the scoring before Kevin Krans and Ross Dyer put the hosts ahead. A point was rescued when Uche Ibemere’s late goal made sure of the draw. Nine years ago, a dramatic evening saw Dartford beat Canvey Island on penalties after playing out an enthralling 3-3 F.A Cup third qualifying round replay. Danny Harris, Carl Rook and Paul Goodacre put the Darts 3-1 up, but they let the lead slip as Canvey Island forced extra time then penalties, the shoot-out finished 9-8.

Blackfield and Langley v Dartford

Dartford can go one step further than last season in the F.A Cup with victory at Blackfield and Langley this weekend.

The Darts travel to the New Forest to take on the Southern Premier South side, who have won back to back league titles. Under Tony Burman’s leadership, the Darts reached the first round in his last two campaigns before defeat at this stage last term under Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle.

In the previous round an away victory at Horsham saw the Darts progress to the third qualifying stage for the tenth time in the last eleven seasons. In both halves the Darts had to leave it late to find the back of the Horsham net and with the excellent goalkeeping performance of Mark Smith avoided a cup upset. Darren McQueen acrobatically opened the scoring three minutes before the interval, whilst Luke Allen secured victory towards the end of the cup tie in a 2-0 win.

Burman, who guided Dartford to five first round appearances can draw experience on playing lower league opposition. Four years ago, his side were knocked out by Uxbridge despite sitting two divisions below the Darts. Since then Dartford have won their last seven against lower league teams, but none of them carried the momentum gained by Blackfield and Langley in recent years.

Since the second qualifying round win a fortnight ago, Dartford were back in National South action at home to Slough Town. Jordan Wynter was ruled out with an injury, so Rob Howard returned to the starting eleven, the only other change was Luke Wanadio coming in for Luke Allen. A first half spell saw three goals in four minutes, but the Darts will be disappointed in the fact they threw away a two-goal lead to lose 3-2. Darren McQueen guided Charlie Sheringham’s header into the net to score his third goal of the season and a minute later Josh Hill headed home a free-kick. Slough Town hit back through Dan Roberts and in the second half they completed a comeback with goals from Matthew Lench and Ben Harris.

Howard was not permitted to play in the last round being on loan from Southend United, Lee Noble returns from suspension, Mark Onyemah and Sam Blackman are still recovering from long term injuries, a return is getting closer. Stand in full back, Alex Flisher has left the club to join Steve Watt’s Hythe Town, the striker was forced to play at full back this term after recovering from a dislocated shoulder in pre-season. Flisher made nine appearances for the Darts scoring his only goal in the 2-0 win at Concord Rangers three weeks ago.

Blackfield and Langley will equal their best performance in the competition if they cause a cup upset and will be one game away from a debut appearance in the first round. The Watersiders have already negotiated three rounds starting in August.

In the preliminary round Blackfield and Langley were drawn against the 2007 F.A Vase runners up AFC Totton. A second half brace from top scorer Lerone Plummer made sure the Watersiders advanced. The striker opened the scoring before Fatah Makhloufi missed a penalty to double the lead. AFC Totton levelled the tie through Craig Feeney, but Plummer scored the winner with four minutes to play.

The New Forest side made light work in the first qualifying round breezing past Mangotsfield United securing a 5-0 victory. Shaquille Gwengwe scored either side of Charlie Gunson’s effort and Hisham Kasimu netted from the spot to give Blackfield and Langley a 4-0 half-time lead. Devane Bongou added a fifth late in the second half to earn the Watersiders a second qualifying round tie against Dorchester Town.

It took Gunson’s spectacular long-range shot was enough to see Blackfield and Langley see off the Magpies. With the game heading to a replay, Gunson unleashed a shot eleven minutes from time which ended in the top corner. The Hampshire club had the chance to make victory certain from a spot kick, but Plummer’s shot was saved then he blasted his rebound over.

Since their last F.A Cup game, the Watersiders have lost consecutive Southern Premier South fixtures including a 3-1 loss at Harrow Borough in which former Dart, Luke Warner-Eley grabbed a goal for Borough. A 2-0 reverse at Beaconsfield Town was followed by a League Cup triumph over AFC Totton once again.

Current Form (all competitions * – F.A Cup / ^ – League Cup)

Dartford (LWWLLD) Blackfield & Langley (WWWDLW)
Slough Town H 2-3 AFC Totton^ H 2-1
Horsham* A 2-0 Beaconsfield Town A 0-2
Concord Rangers A 2-0 Harrow Borough A 1-3
Dorking Wanderers H 3-4 Dorchester Town* H 1-0
Tonbridge Angels A 2-3 Farnborough H 2-0
Hemel Hempstead Town H 1-1 Mangotsfield United* A 5-0

On This Day

Andy Pugh and Duane Ofori-Acheampong helped Dartford come from behind in their last cup tie on 5 October. The Kent Senior Cup first round fixture with Cray Wanderers ended 2-1 three years ago. In 2002, the Darts went out of the F.A Trophy at the preliminary stage losing at Salisbury city 2-0. The defeat in Wiltshire was sandwiched between two league losses on this day, in 1996 Dartford were beaten 5-3 versus Weymouth in the Southern League South and six years ago 2-0 at Gateshead in the National League. One notable victory was Dartford’s 5-0 triumph in National League over Kidderminster Harriers back in 1985, whilst the last F.A Cup tie the Darts played on the 5 October was the 2-1 second qualifying round win at Dagenham in 1968.