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Chippenham Town v Dartford

Dartford begin February with a trip to relegation threatened Chippenham Town this weekend in the National South.

When the sides met back in October it was Steve King’s first league game at the helm and a late goal rescued a draw for the Darts. Elliott Romain was signed the day before the match and made his debut, and since then he has scored twelve times in his seventeen appearances. The striker has struck up an excellent partnership with Darren McQueen, but it was defender Josh Hill who came off the bench that day to calmly curl the equaliser into the Chippenham Town net with three minutes to go.

A fortnight ago, the Darts suffered a setback against fellow playoff contenders Slough Town in a 1-0 defeat. Last weekend, it was Dartford’s turn to secure a single goal win when McQueen smashed home a first-half winner at home to Dulwich Hamlet.

With competition for places all over the pitch, Steve King recently praised goalkeeper Alhaji Sesay for keeping his place ahead of Mark Smith, the Dartford boss told www.kentonline.co.uk: “We’re on a great run and he’s kept five clean sheets. He is part of that back five which has kept those clean sheets so at the moment he deserves the shirt”.

One player Dartford will be missing is Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong who has been recalled by his parent club Aldershot Town after a successful loan spell, the midfielder scored twice in six appearances. His return to Hampshire may lead to a search for a replacement, King commented: “We haven’t got anything like him. We’ve got other midfield players in the club, but we need to find another Jacob”, he continued: “We haven’t got another Jacob in the building, so we’ll be actively looking for another central midfield player that is like that”.

Dartford have won nine times in fourteen National South outings since they last played Chippenham Town propelling themselves from eighteenth to seventh in the league. What looked like a battle to avoid relegation has now become a promotion push via the playoffs.

Chippenham Town have travelled in the opposite direction since the last meeting in October. The Bluebirds were sitting in twelfth after the 1-1 draw with the Darts and now they are second from bottom. However, they do have a respectable home record of four wins and five draws from thirteen played and the seventh best defensive record in the division, the problem is in front of goal where the Wiltshire club are the lowest scorers.

A solitary win in twelve outings contributed to the departure of former manager Mark Collier in early January. Since then the Bluebirds have drawn away at Dulwich Hamlet and at home to title chasers Havant and Waterlooville making it three consecutive draws for Chippenham Town. Leading the team will be temporary manager, Michael Cook who has been given the task of staving off relegation. The former Gloucester City manager will be in charge until the end of the season.

The Bluebirds rode their luck in their 0-0 draw with Havant and Waterlooville last weekend when the Hawks hit the woodwork four times. However, it was Chippenham Town’s Luke Hopper who missed the best opportunity failing to score a one on one with goalkeeper Ross Worner. In Cook’s first game though, the Bluebirds were denied victory in the last minute, Callum Gunner put Chippenham Town ahead, but his goal was cancelled out by Dulwich Hamlet’s Shamir Mullings.

Last time the Darts visited Hardenhuish Park the winning goal came from an unlikely source. Jamie Philpot netted the opener in the first half and Nat Jarvis equalised on the stroke of half-time. The winner came from goalkeeper, Derren Ibrahim who scored from a free-kick inside his own half.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 2 / Chippenham Town wins: 1 / Draws: 2

Current League Form

Dartford (WLWWWW) Chippenham Town (DDDLLL)
Dulwich Hamlet H 1-0 Havant & Waterlooville H 0-0
Slough Town A 0-1 Dulwich Hamlet A 1-1
Oxford City H 3-0 Hemel Hempstead Town H 2-2
Dorking Wanderers A 3-2 Tonbridge Angels A 2-3
Welling United H 4-0 Bath City H 1-3
Tonbridge Angels H 3-0 Dorking Wanderers H 0-2

Last Five Meetings

26.10.2019 Dartford 1 Chippenham Town 1
13.04.2019 Dartford 0 Chippenham Town 1
13.10.2018 Chippenham Town 1 Dartford 2
20.01.2018 Chippenham Town 2 Dartford 2
09.09.2017 Dartford 3 Chippenham Town 0

Stats

Romain and McQueen have scored 19 of the 28 league goals scored under Steve King. Romain has gone three league goals without a goal, his longest barren spell in the league since joining the Darts. McQueen has scored nine goals in his last ten starts.

Dartford have won 10, drawn 5 and lost 2 against sides currently in the lower half of the table. The Darts have drawn all three games against those in the bottom three.

Chippenham Town have picked up 5 points out of a possible 30 against sides currently in the top seven.

On This Day

Dartford have won their last three matches played on 1 February and all three home games were won 1-0. Nine years ago, Elliot Bradbrook scored the only goal at Princes Park to record a rare victory over Braintree Town in the National South. In 1999, the Darts beat Chelmsford City and two years earlier Cinderford Town both in the Southern League Southern Division. Dartford’s last away day on this day was a 2-0 defeat in the Southern Premier League versus Worcester City. The last time both teams scored on 1 February was in 1986 when the Darts beat Altrincham at Watling Street in what is now the National League.

Dartford v Dulwich Hamlet

Dartford enter the last third of the season chasing a playoff spot and this weekend they hope to start a new winning run at home to Dulwich Hamlet.

Although King’s side experienced defeat on the weekend they have won six out of eight since the 1-1 draw with Dulwich Hamlet to move into the last playoff place. Unbeaten in three home games, the Darts have rattled in ten without reply, last conceding at Princes Park in the 1-0 loss against Concord Rangers just over a month ago.

The Darts drew with their opponents at the beginning of December rescuing a point at Champion Hill. Hamlet went ahead through Christian Smith’s free-kick, but Elliott Romain won then scored the equaliser from the penalty spot. Steve King had to patch up the midfield that day with Tyrique Hyde making his debut for the Darts. A lot has happened since then with the squad taking shape and Dartford getting in their grove.

After the 3-0 win against Oxford City in the Darts last home game, King named an unchanged team when they travelled to Slough Town last weekend. However, it was a Dan Roberts that scored the only goal of the game to give the Rebels their first win of 2020. Late on Sanchez Ming, who was already cautioned earlier in the match showed his frustration at a linesman and was sent off with a straight red card, however the red card has been overturned and the defender will be available for selection.

On Tuesday night more changes were made to give game time to others, only defenders Ming and Josh Hill remained in the side with King utilising the squad he has built. Mark Smith was back in goal after a spell out injured, whilst Craig Braham-Barrett and Liam Nash made their first starts for the club. Lee Noble was back in the side after his long term injury and Sam Blackman played his first game since his successful loan spell. Ronnie Vint, Charlie Sheringham and Kyjoun Marsh-Brown all got minutes as did Marcel Barrington who made an appearance as a substitute. A new face was introduced to the squad, Michael Onovwigun was part of the Dulwich Hamlet squad that won promotion to the National South and recently played for Carshalton Athletic and Lewes in the Isthmian Premier League, the midfielder started for the Darts. Marsh-Brown came up with the winner when his first half strike was the only goal of the game before Maidstone United’s Lewis Knight was sent off on the stroke of half-time.

Whilst Dartford were progressing to the last eight of the Kent Senior Cup, Dulwich Hamlet were in National South action against title chasing Havant and Waterlooville. The South Londoners were unbeaten in 2020, but were unable to keep that run going when the Hawks ran out 3-1 winners. It looked as though things were going Dulwich Hamlet’s way when Havant and Waterlooville missed a first-half penalty and former Dart, Danny Mills scored six minutes into the second-half. However, the visitors came back scoring three in the final fifteen minutes. Sam Magri scored from the spot, Bradley Tarbuck put the Hawks ahead with eight minutes to play and Alfie Rutherford made sure of an away win in the last minute.

Defeat ended a run of four games unbeaten which included a 3-0 victory over Hampton and Richmond Borough and an impressive 6-0 win over Braintree Town. Hamelt’s nine goals without reply was follwed up by a pair of 1-1 draws against Weymouth then Chippenham Town before Tuesday night’s loss.

Last season at Princes Park, Dartford came from behind to win 2-1. The South Londoners took the lead when Afolabi Akinyemi’s powerful shot beat goalkeeper Derren Ibrahim on nineteen minutes. Just before half-time the Darts were level courtesy of Jamie Philpot and in the second half Charlie Sheringham scored a penalty to claim victory. The reverse fixture finished with Hamlet winning 2-0 at Champion Hill.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / Dulwich Hamlet wins: 3 / Draws: 3

Current League Form

Dartford (LWWWWW) Dulwich Hamlet (LDDWWL)
Slough Town A 0-1 Havant & Waterlooville H 1-3
Oxford City H 3-0 Chippenham Town H 1-1
Dorking Wanderers A 3-2 Weymouth A 1-1
Welling United H 4-0 Braintree Town H 6-0
Tonbridge Angels H 3-0 Hampton & Richmond A 3-0
Welling United A 3-0 Maidstone United A 1-4

Last Six Meetings

07.12.2019 Dulwich Hamlet 1 Dartford 1
02.03.2019 Dulwich Hamlet 2 Dartford 0
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

Stats

Dartford are unbeaten at home against Dulwich Hamlet winning one and drawing the other two.

The Darts have won four of their last five home games in the National South, they had previously won one of their opening eight league matches at Princes Park this campaign.

Dartford had scored 13 goals at home in their opening eight league fixtures, they have managed 13 in their last five league games at Princes Park.

On This Day

Dartford came back from two goals down to almost record an upset against Cambridge United six years ago. The Darts fell behind with two early goals at Princes Park when Ryan Bird scored a brace on his debut. Elliot Bradbrook scored a penalty and Max Cornhill equalised before half time, then after the break Danny Harris had the Darts ahead. Alan Julian saved a penalty, however Dartford were denied victory ten minutes from time by Luke Berry in an entertaining National League encounter. Harris also found the net three years earlier helping Dartford beat Tonbridge Angels 2-0 in the Kent Senior Cup first round, Sheringham scored the other and Dartford went on to win the competition beating Bromley 4-1 in the final.

Maidstone United v Dartford

The two most successful clubs in the history of the Kent Senior Cup go head to head, when Dartford visit the Gallagher Stadium to take on Maidstone United for the fourth time this season.

Dartford have claimed the title eleven times with the last triumph in the competition in 2016. The Stones are the current holders after winning the county cup for the eighteenth time last season. The pair have already played each other in the National South and twice in the F.A Trophy and on each occasion, it has been a tight affair.

In November, the F.A Trophy draw produced one of those coincidences pairing the two rivals together with the fixture taking place a week after their league encounter. With the F.A Trophy match ending in a draw, the replay took place three days later. meaning for the first time since 1957 Dartford played three consecutive games against the same opponents.

Steve King’s side have shown plenty of spirit in their contests with Maidstone United. Still building a squad and filling in holes from an extensive injury list, the Darts came from two down with four minutes remaining to take a point at Princes Park in the National South two months ago. After a goalless first half, two quickfire goals from Dan Wishart and Ibby Akanbi had the visitors in control. However, Dartford hit back late on when Tom Bonner headed one back from close range, then Darren McQueen followed up his own effort with the equaliser.

The final score was repeated the following week in the F.A Trophy with Dartford equalising twice at the Gallagher Stadium. Wishart found the net again for the Stones and Justin Amaluzor put the hosts ahead for a second time. Former Maidstone United striker, Elliott Romain kept Dartford in the hat by netting a brace in an entertaining tie. The replay went the way of the Stones who finally got the better of the Darts when Iffy Allen finished off a counter attack.

On the way to taking the Kent Senior Cup title last term, the Stones knocked Dartford out at the quarter-final stage. In fact had this year’s meeting been a day later it would be exactly a year since Maidstone United went through on penalties. The game is mostly remembered for Ben Greenhalgh’s heroics in goal after Bailey Vose had been sent off. Charlie Sheringham scored a penalty before the Stones missed one of their own. Then early in the second half Vose received his marching orders leaving Greenhalgh between the sticks for almost the entire second half. An inspired performance by Greenhalgh kept the score at 1-0 until nine minutes from time when Elliott Romain, now a Dart equalised. After 15 perfect spot kicks Maidstone United goalkeeper Josh Strizovic saved Daniel Johnson’s effort, sending the Stones on their way.

Steve King indicated prior the 1-0 defeat at Slough Town on the weekend that players looking to build up match fitness are likely to start. Lee Noble, Sheringham and Sam Blackman are possibilities, however Jordan Wynter could be a few weeks from a return.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 44 / Maidstone United wins: 45 / Draws: 19

Kent Senior Cup Head to Head

Dartford wins: 6 / Maidstone United wins: 5 / Draws: 3* (* Maidstone United have won two on penalties)

Last Six Meetings

26.11.2019^ Dartford 0 Maidstone United 1
23.11.2019^ Maidstone United 2 Dartford 2
16.11.2019 Dartford 2 Maidstone United 2
22.01.2019* Dartford 1 Maidstone United 1
09.04.2016 Maidstone United 1 Dartford 2
14.11.2015 Dartford 1 Maidstone United 1

* – Kent Senior Cup, Maidstone United won 8-7 on penalties / ^ – F.A Trophy

Slough Town v Dartford

Dartford will be aiming for a sixth straight victory this weekend when they take on playoff contenders Slough Town at Arbour Park.

After the festive games in which the Darts took maximum points, the following three fixtures were singled out as tests against sides in the playoffs or in top form. That test continues at fourth place Slough Town and so far, Dartford have passed with flying colours. Another win will put Steve King’s men level on points with their opponents.

Oxford City were comfortably beaten 3-0 at Princes Park despite Dartford ‘not being at their best’ according to Luke Wanadio. The winger told DFCTV after the game: “It shows progression since the gaffer has come to the club, it shows we’re united as a team and it shows that we can grind out results even when we’re not at our best, it’s brilliant we just need to keep the wins coming”.

Prior the Oxford City game, King urged his players not to let standards slip and signed two more players who were named on the substitute’s bench. Defender, Craig Braham-Barrett is a Montserrat international and previously worked with King at Welling United, Whitehawk, Farnborough and Macclesfield Town. Liam Nash is a striker and like Braham-Barrett joined the Darts from Hemel Hempstead Town. Nash scored seven league goals in the first three months of this season for the Tudors. Meanwhile, Cameron Brodie has gone out on loan with Isthmian Division One South East side Sittingbourne.

There was only one change to the line-up that beat Dorking Wanderers, Tyrique Hyde celebrated his loan extension by returning to the starting eleven after recovering from injury, the midfielder replaced Kyjoun Marsh-Brown. Just before half time Darren McQueen scored his fourth penalty in five games and third in a row to give the Darts the lead. Due to a lengthy stoppage earlier in the half, when Oxford City’s Finn Tapp suffered a head injury, Dartford scored a second in injury time through Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong, his second for the club. A third was added just before the hour mark when Billy Crook sprayed a wonderful cross field ball to Wanadio who fired his shot goalward to wrap up a 3-0 victory. The run of five consecutive wins has included 16 goals scored and only two conceded and now King’s side are topping the form table.

The away trip to Slough will be another measure of Dartford’s potential, King told www.kentonline.co.uk: “These are the games where I start to see where we are actually at, like the Dorking game”, he added: “Slough is a tough place to go. They are a solid outfit with some bits of quality in the side”.

Tony Burman was in temporary charge during the reverse fixture back in September when the Darts threw away a two-goal lead. Slough Town came back to claim their first ever win over Dartford after Darren McQueen and Josh Hill scored within two minutes of each other. The rebels pulled a goal back before the break through Dan Roberts and in the second half Matthew Lench and Ben Harris completed the turnaround.

McQueen made his Dartford debut the last time the club visited Arbour Park and he found the back of the net in a 2-2 draw. The striker put the Darts ahead after Ben Greenhalgh’s opener was cancelled out by Ben Harris, but Slough Town’s Ben Fraser scored an equaliser to leave the game all square.

If joint managers failed to work at Dartford it’s quite the opposite at Slough Town. Jon Underwood and Neal Baker have been in charge for almost seven years and in that time, they have won two promotions, a county cup and reached the F.A Cup second round twice and first round once. This season the duo has turned the Rebels into playoff contenders after their eleventh-place finish last term.

The Berkshire club lost their opening three games but took 24 points from the next 30 available in a ten-match unbeaten run. The Rebels may have lost to Oxford City to end that sequence, but they started another one by winning five and drawing two of their next seven. However, Slough Town approach their home fixture with the Darts on the back of four games without victory, picking up three draws in the process.

Last weekend, the Rebels took the lead twice with Lench’s goal cancelled out by Billericay Town’s Odysseus Alfa, then George Wells restored Slough Town’s lead only for Ronnie Henry’s last-minute equaliser to deny Underwood and Baker another victory. Despite the current winless streak, just one team has come away with all three points when visiting Arbour Park this campaign and that was Dorking Wanderers on the opening day. Twelve home matches later, the Berkshire club have picked up eight more home victories and four draws.

Sam Blackman returns to the Dartford squad after a successful loan spell at Hythe in the Isthmian Division One South East, the midfielder scored four goals in his spell there. Rowan Liburd’s loan spell with the Darts ‘didn’t work out’ so the striker has returned to Hereford. Luke Allen remains injured and is likely to be out for longer than expected.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 3 / Slough Town wins: 1 / Draws: 2

Current League Form

Dartford (WWWWWL) Slough Town (DDLDWW)
Oxford City H 3-0 Billericay Town A 2-2
Dorking Wanderers A 3-2 Eastbourne Borough H 1-1
Welling United H 4-0 Wealdstone A 1-2
Tonbridge Angels H 3-0 Hemel Hempstead Town A 1-1
Welling United A 3-0 Wealdstone H 2-1
Concord Rangers H 0-1 Braintree Town H 1-0

Last Six Meetings

28.09.2019 Dartford 2 Slough Town 3
16.02.2019 Slough Town 2 Dartford 2
08.12.2018 Dartford 1 Slough Town 1
01.10.2016 Slough Town 2 Dartford 3
29.10.1988 Slough Town 1 Dartford 2
10.01.1981 Dartford 4 Slough Town 1

Stats

Dartford last won five league games in a row at the end of the 2017-18 season when they agonisingly finished runners up on goal difference. The Darts finished their campaign with nine straight victories and the following season they won their opening two, taking the total to 11 wins in a row.

The Darts have kept four clean sheets in their last five games, their best defensive spell since that winning run at the tail end of 2017-18. Dartford kept six clean sheets in seven back then, and including the two opening games the following season made it seven clean sheets in ten league matches.

Dartford have won six penalties in their last nine league games, scoring five.

Only league leaders Wealdstone (33) have picked up more home points than Slough Town (28). Only Havant and Waterlooville (27) have picked up more away points than Dartford (20).

On This Day

Dartford’s last away win on 18 January came in 1992 when they beat Waterlooville in the Southern Premier Division. It was the second 5-0 victory in three league games after the Darts thrashed rivals Gravesend and Northfleet on New Year’s Day. Since then Dartford have claimed one victory on this day in five more attempts, the 1-0 home win against Sittingbourne in the Southern League Division One East, 17 years ago. Sandwiched between the two triumphs the Darts lost 1-0 to Newport Isle of Wight in the Southern League South in 2003 and two years later were beaten 2-1 by Folkestone Invicta, in the Kent Senior Cup second round. Dartford’s last home game on 18 January ended with James White scoring a late leveller in a 1-1 National South draw against Staines Town in 2011. The last away fixture was three years later when the Darts were defeated 1-0 by Salisbury City in the National League.

Dartford v Oxford City

The Darts have been making big strides recently and hope to continue moving forwards when they host Oxford City this weekend in the National South.

Dartford completed their fourth consecutive victory in their last match beating playoff hopefuls and Isthmian Premier League champions Dorking Wanderers. In an eventful afternoon, the Darts went two up with more goals from Darren McQueen and Elliott Romain. Dartford ‘dominated the game until 2-0’, but ‘switched off’ according to manager Steve King. The home side hit back with goals from Jimmy Muitt and Luke Moore setting up an exciting finale in which both sides hit the woodwork in the final ten minutes. Then eight minutes into injury time McQueen won a penalty, dusted himself off and netted the winner.

The Darts have not had much luck with injuries this season, but manager Steve King has been able to quickly plug the holes when necessary. Prior the 3-2 win at Dorking Wanderers, Jordan Wynter hurt his knee in the warm up allowing Kyjoun Marsh-Brown to step in at late notice. Steve King had already brought in full back Nick Arnold from Wealdstone before the game and he explained his decision to DFCTV, he said: “I’ve always wanted at least three full backs. I’ve worked with him before, he’s a very talented boy who started his career at Reading, played at Wycombe Wanderers and went to Whitehawk with me and played in two playoff finals. He signed for Aldershot Town, won a cap for the England C team and more recently played for Wealdstone”.

Wynter joins a list of players who have recently suffered from injury including goalkeeper Mark Smith, midfielder Luke Allen and loanee Tyrique Hyde, who has extended his stay for another month. King has used the loan market to his benefit by bringing players to the club, equally he is using the loan system to benefit current squad members. This week Ryan Hayes went out on dual registration to Sevenoaks Town and Norman Wabo loaned to Cheshunt. Sam Blackman is already at Hythe Town and the Dartford boss intends to send Lee Noble and Cameron Brodie out on loan to build up his match fitness and gain experience in Brodie’s case.

Ahead of the Oxford City game, King stated: “We will see what bodies we’ve got available and we will prepare properly as we always do. We’ve got a good harmony going on here”. It’s that harmony that has seen Dartford make ‘good strides’, King added: “We’ve scored at least three goals four times in a row. We’re going in the right direction because sides are playing us now and they realise it’s not the Dartford it was, it’s now a completely different Dartford and they know they’re going to be in a game”. He continued: “Whoever we play now that’s the level I wanted to get to, where nobody could come and roll us over and I think we’re getting close to that level”.

The form of Romain and McQueen has been extraordinary with the duo responsible for 17 of the 24 league goals scored by the Darts since King has been in charge. A better brand of football and tighter defence in recent weeks has moved the Darts away from looking to maintain their National South status to thinking about gate-crashing the playoffs. The positivity of Dartford’s form is starting to be mirrored off the pitch, King commented: “The mindset has completely changed for the fans, the boys have done brilliantly to change that. Fans are now coming to games excited about what is going to happen”.

It was an end of an era for two managers last time Dartford played Oxford City. Tony Burman led the Darts out for the last time during his interim spell and Mark Jones was in charge for his last league game as Oxford City’s boss. Equal on points before kick-off, Dartford moved three points ahead by full-time as they secured a 1-0 away victory courtesy of Ben Greenhalgh’s curling effort which found the top corner. Greenhalgh has spent the last two months on loan at Tonbridge Angels and the goal he scored at Oxford City turned out to be his last for the Darts, the midfielder left this week by mutual consent after 62 Dartford appearances and seven goals since joining in at the beginning of last season.

Although Jones led Oxford City to a cup win a weekend later, he left the club by mutual consent after failing to win a league game for two months. Since then, Andy Ballard and Justin Merritt have taken charge. Ballard was assistant manager to Jones and has a 20-year affiliation with the club, Merritt is the Director of Football and managed the Hoops between 2014 and December 2016.

Defensively, Oxford City have been vulnerable but since Jones’ departure they have scored with more frequency turning defeats into valuable points. The interim duo has improved Oxford City’s form with six wins, two draws and two defeats. They got off to a brilliant start winning four and drawing one of their first five matches.

Last weekend, Oxford City followed in Dartford’s footsteps by taking a two-goal lead, letting it slip before finding a winner. Only the Hoops managed their 3-2 victory by stunning table toppers Wealdstone. Joe Oastler and Elliot Benyon helped Oxford City go 2-0 ahead before Jacob Mendy and Adam Coombes levelled the match. Finn Tapp headed the decisive goal to secure Oxford City’s third win in their last four outings.

The Hoops other two victories completed a festive double over Hungerford Town with Kyran Lofthouse scoring the winner in a 2-1 victory on New Year’s Day. In the reverse fixture on Boxing Day, Oxford City netted three times in a 22-minute spell eventually winning 3-2. Sandwiched between those two triumphs, the Hoops lost 2-1 at Weymouth.

Both teams have started to hit form after managerial changes this term, the Darts have the second-best record over the last six games whilst Oxford City have the fourth.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 5 / Oxford City wins: 2 / Draws: 2

Current League Form

Dartford (WWWWLW) Oxford City (WWLWWL)
Dorking Wanderers A 3-2 Wealdstone H 3-2
Welling United H 4-0 Hungerford Town A 2-1
Tonbridge Angels H 3-0 Weymouth A 1-2
Welling United A 3-0 Hungerford Town H 3-2
Concord Rangers H 0-1 St Albans City H 3-3
Billericay Town H 3-2 Maidstone United H 1-4

Last Six Meetings

12.10.2019 Oxford City 0 Dartford 1
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

Stats

Dartford have won their last three home matches against Oxford City including a 7-1 mauling in August 2017.

Dartford under Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle this season

Won 1, Drew 4, Lost 4, Scored 11, Conceded 20, Points per game: 0.77

Dartford under Steve King this season

Won 7, Drew 3, Lost 2, Scored 24, Conceded 12, Points per game: 2.00

Oxford City under Mark Jones this season

Won 2, Drew 4, Lost 7, Scored 11, Conceded 21, Points per game: 0.76

Oxford City under Andy Ballard and Justin Merritt this season

Won 7, Drew 2, Lost 2, Scored 29, Conceded 22, Points per game: 2.09

On This Day

In the summer of 1958 a young Pele helped Brazil win the World Cup, in the same year Dartford won their last game they played on 11 January. The Darts beat a Lovells Athletic side 3-1 at home in the Southern League and are still waiting to win again on this day. Since then, the Darts have played six times all away from home including two F.A Trophy first round ties. Dartford lost to Dover 2-1 in 1975 and drew with Merthyr Tydfil 1-1 in 1992. In 1962 the Darts lost 4-0 against Hastings United in the Southern Premier League and five years later they drew 2-2 with Wisbech Town in the Southern League First Division. Boston United beat Dartford 3-0 in what is now the National League back in 1986 and the last match 23 years ago saw Witney Town thrash the Darts 5-1 in the Southern League Southern Division.

Dorking Wanderers v Dartford

A new ground will be ticked off the list this weekend when Dartford visit Isthmian Premier League champions Dorking Wanderers.

The Darts were in tip top form over the festive period taking maximum points including a convincing double over local rivals Welling United. Hoping to continue the momentum that has lifted Dartford into playoff places, Steve King’s side face a tougher test when they visit Meadowbank.

If the reverse fixture at Princes Park in September is anything to go by, then fans could be in for a treat. Dorking Wanderers ran out victors in a seven-goal thriller, which saw Tony Burman return to the dugout as interim manager. Wanderers scored first when a counter attack was finished from long range by Niall McManus. The Darts took the lead with two Ben Greenhalgh goals in the space of four minutes, then on the stroke of half-time former Dartford striker Jason Prior netted a penalty.

In the second-half, Dartford went in front once again when Charlie Sheringham got on the end of a Ryan Hayes cross. However, in the final six minutes the game swung in Dorking Wanderers’ favour, Giuseppe Sole scored from a free-kick, Lee Noble was sent off and in the final minutes James McShane grabbed the winner.

Dartford managed to score ten goals without reply over the festive season with Elliot Romain and Darren McQueen sharing eight between them. The beginning of a new decade couldn’t have gone any better with the Darts turning over Welling United 4-0 on New Year’s Day. The only change to the starting eleven that beat Tonbridge Angels was Sanchez Ming returning to the side replacing the injured Tyrique Hyde. On loan from Aldershot Town, Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong scored his first Dartford goal in only his second appearance, Elliott Romain added two more to his season’s tally of 11 in 13 games and Darren McQueen scored his tenth of the campaign.

Dartford manager, Steve King told DFCTV that he is pleased with the ‘strides’ his team have taken, but the game versus Dorking Wanderers this weekend could provide more answers, he said: “The test for me now becomes, can we play a team in the top seven and see exactly where we are or where we’re improving or where we’re short?”. He continued: “It will be a tough game, my friend is the owner and manager and he’s done brilliantly. He’s got a good club and players, they are beating everybody at home and have got themselves up to fourth in the division”. Having been out of work before being appointed Dartford boss, King will already know what Dorking Wanderers are about, he explained: “I know how tough it is going to be, I know their players from when I did a bit of commentary work there at the start of the season”.

Dartford’s full back, Liam Gordon has returned to his parent club after ten appearances for the Darts, whilst midfielder’s Lee Noble and Luke Allen may have to wait another two to three weeks before a return. Defender, Josh Hill suffered a dead leg and had his red card successfully appealed against Tonbridge Angels. Hyde has been nursing a bruised heel and Mark Smith will provide competition with in form goalkeeper Alhaji Sesay after recovering from a knee injury.

Dorking Wanderers have risen through the non-league pyramid with five promotions in nine seasons. Founder member of the club, Marc White is the manager and he led the Surrey side to the Isthmian Premier League title last term. This year begun with the Wanderers tasting only their sixth defeat of the season in their first campaign at National South level.

The loss at Eastbourne Borough ended a run of seven consecutive victories in all competitions and their two-month unbeaten run, consisting of seven wins and three draws. During their winning spell they beat playoff challengers Weymouth and Maidstone United, knocked Leatherhead and Bromley out of the F.A Trophy and kept six clean sheets in seven outings.

Looking to complete the double over Eastbourne Borough, following a 4-0 win on Boxing Day against the Sports, White’s side were beaten 3-2 at Priory Lane on New Year’s Day. White made three changes to the side that won 2-0 against Chippenham Town with Sole, McManus and Luke Moore replacing Dan Gallagher, Tom Richards and Jack Barham, who was recalled by Barnet from his loan spell. Matthew Briggs sent Dorking Wanderers 1-0 up at the break, but the second-half belonged to Eastbourne Borough who scored three unanswered goals before Prior grabbed a consolation.

Despite the New Year’s Day setback, Dorking Wanderers are in fourth place a point behind second place and eight adrift of the league leaders. The Surrey club have an exemplary home record taking eight victories from 12. Meanwhile, the Darts are in seventh with an away record of five wins and five defeats from a dozen.

Out of the top ten sides, Dartford and Dorking Wanderers have the worst defensive record, however over the last six matchday’s they have kept seven clean sheets between them, both sides showing signs of improvements at the back. In attack there doesn’t seem to be much of an issue with Wanderers the fourth highest scorers in the National South and the Darts the fifth, helped by Dartford’s Elliott Romain who is joint top of the goalscoring charts and Dorking Wanderers’ Jason Prior who is just two goals behind.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 0 / Dorking Wanderers wins: 1 / Draws: 0

Current League Form

Dartford (WWWLWD) Dorking Wanderers (LWWWWW)
Welling United H 4-0 Eastbourne Borough A 2-3
Tonbridge Angels H 3-0 Chippenham Town A 2-0
Welling United A 3-0 Eastbourne Borough H 4-0
Concord Rangers H 0-1 Maidstone United A 3-2
Billericay Town H 3-2 Weymouth H 1-0
Dulwich Hamlet A 1-1 Welling United H 2-0

Last Six Meetings

07.09.2019 Dartford 3 Dorking Wanderers 4

Stats

Dartford’s 4-0 win against Welling United was the first time the Darts have scored more than three goals in a league game since 24 February 2018 when they beat Truro City 4-1.

The Darts kept a third consecutive clean sheet on New Year’s Day, the first time since April 2018 when they managed four in a row.

Under Steve King, Elliott Romain and Darren McQueen have scored 13 goals in the 9 games when they have both started. The pair have scored 12 in the last 6 in which they were both selected in the starting eleven.

Dorking romped to the league title last season and have settled comfortably in the National South. In 2019 the Wanderers won 31, drew 9 and lost 6 in all competitions.

On This Day

Dartford last won on the 4 January way back in 1986 when they beat Barnet 5-3 at Watling Street, in which is now the National League. The home win rewarded the Darts with two points in the Gola League, bizarrely an away victory was worth three points that season. Victory put some gloss on a difficult period for the club as the financial situation started to unravel, three games later manager John Still resigned. Dartford have played three matches since that triumph, in 1992 they lost 1-0 at Bromsgrove Rovers in the Southern Premier League, were beaten 3-1 at Stamford in the Southern Division One East eleven years later and most recently, lost 2-1 to Kidderminster Harriers at Princes Park five years ago in the National League.