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Dartford v Wealdstone

League leaders Wealdstone are next to visit Princes Park as the Darts search for a first home win against the Stones since the early nineties.

Dartford have won just two of their previous 15 meetings against Wealdstone since their last home victory against them in 1991, in that time they have drawn five of their last seven when hosting this weekend’s opponents.

A difficult task awaits Steve King’s side when they take on a side who convincingly defeated the Darts on the opening day. Ross Lafayette’s brace book ended Josh Hill’s equaliser, a Dennon Lewis deflection and a goal by Connor Stevens. However, plenty has changed at Princes Park since the 4-1 reverse at Grosvenor Vale, a new manager and playing style as well as wholesale changes to the squad has seen the Darts climb the National South ladder. Meanwhile, Wealdstone have looked down at the rest of the league occupying top spot for the majority of the season.

The Darts were in Kent Senior Cup action on Tuesday night which gave King a look at the rest of his squad. Josh Hill and Liam Nash were the only survivors from the starting eleven that beat Eastbourne Borough, whilst Billy Crook, Jordan Wynter and Amrit Bansal-McNulty turned substitute appearances into starting appearances. Mark Smith, Sanchez Ming, Miloud Djouahaer, Ronnie Vint, Tyrique Hyde and Giovanni McGregor were all called upon as the Darts progressed to the semi-final.

Nash scored the opener before Hyde netted a penalty as Dartford led Folkestone Invicta by two at the break. Crook added the Darts third, his first goal for the club and Elliott Romain, who returns from suspension came off the bench to score his 13th goal for the Darts.

In the league Dartford are in seventh place, three points clear of Hampton and Richmond Borough who beat the Darts three weeks ago. However, King’s side bounced back with a 2-1 victory over Eastbourne Borough. Two new signings made their debuts, Noor Husin from Stevenage and Jake Jebb, who played nine times for Wealdstone this season. Jebb started his Dartford career off by scoring a sublime free-kick and although Alhaji Sesay’s goalkeeping error was costly when the Sports levelled, Darren McQueen scored from the spot yet again to clinch all three points.

King explained that changes in midfield were necessary as he started with a different three against the Sports. The Dartford manager pointed out a lack of goals from the middle of the park and in recent weeks standards had dipped. On Tuesday night in the Kent Senior Cup, Crook and Hyde responded with a couple of goals.

In the same evening Wealdstone were in action when they hosted Chelmsford City. The Stones missed the chance to extend their lead at the summit losing 1-0, the first time they failed to score on their own patch. Former Dartford loanee, Tom Knowles netted the only goal of the game. Defeat ended a streak of five consecutive league wins and an unbeaten run of seven games in all competitions.

During their recent good form, the Stones hit seven goals in back to back games beating title challengers Bath City 7-0, a week after beating another challenger Havant and Waterlooville 4-2. In the match that followed the Bath City triumph, Wealdstone beat Staines Town 7-1 in the Middlesex Senior Cup. Moses Emmanuel and Dennon Lewis also found form in front of goal in that spell scoring four each.

Dartford may be aiming for a return to the National League via the playoffs after a five year absence, Wealdstone are hoping to reach the same destination as champions, returning to the top flight of non-league for the first time in 32 years.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 13 / Wealdstone wins: 15 / Draws: 14

Current League Form

Dartford (WLWWLW) Wealdstone (WWWWWL)
Eastbourne BoroughH2-1Chelmsford CityH0-1
Hampton & RichmondH1-2Dorking WanderersH3-1
Chippenham TownA5-1Billericay TownH3-0
Dulwich HamletH1-0Bath CityH7-0
Slough TownA0-1Havant and WaterloovilleA4-2
Oxford CityH3-0Welling UnitedH1-0

Last Six Meetings

03.08.2019Wealdstone4Dartford1
05.01.2019Wealdstone1Dartford1
18.08.2018Dartford0Wealdstone3
17.02.2018Wealdstone1Dartford2
21.11.2017Dartford3Wealdstone3
28.01.2017Wealdstone0Dartford4

Stats

Dartford are top of the form guide in the last 8 games. Wealdstone have lost three of their last eight.

Wealdstone top the scoring charts with 66 goals and have the best goal difference of +33.

The Darts have gained just four points from 24 against clubs currently in the top six.

Mark Smith, Josh Hill, Tom Bonner and Luke Wanadio are the only four players to have started in the opening day defeat and have made over 20 appearances this season.

On This Day

In the season of Dartford’s greatest ever F.A Cup run, when they went out to top flight Derby County in the third round, Dartford also recorded their last victory on the 29 February. In 1936 the Darts beat Bath City 4-2 in the Southern League Central Section. In their only other win on this day, the Darts beat Cray Wanderers by the same score in the Dartford and District League in 1908. Since then they have been beaten 1-0 in 1952 against Weymouth in the Southern League and in the same league drew with Margate 1-1 in 1964. The last fixture Dartford played on this day was in 1992 when they lost 1-0 to Halesowen Town, also in the Southern Premier League. Whilst the first game the Darts played on 29 February was in 1896 and ended in a dismal 7-3 Kent League defeat to local rivals Northfleet.

Dartford v Folkestone Invicta

Dartford are in Kent Senior Cup action on Tuesday night when they host Folkestone Invicta in the last eight.

Steve King will probably use the quarter-final tie to give game time to players on the fringes of first team selection, especially as the Darts are chasing down a playoff place and face league leaders Wealdstone on the weekend.

In the previous round, Dartford beat rivals Maidstone United after making a host of changes to their starting eleven, only two players played the league game prior the second round match. King handed first starts to Craig Braham-Barrett and Liam Nash, whilst Marcel Barrington and Michael Onovwigun made rare starts. The only goal of the game was scored by Kyjoun Marsh-Brown to put the Darts into the last eight of the competition.

On Saturday, after a two week break Dartford beat Eastbourne Borough 2-1 with two more new players added to the squad. Jack Jebb got off to a flying start to his Dartford career scoring on his debut from an exquisite free-kick. The midfielder joined from league leaders Wealdstone and was part of King’s Welling United team that reached the playoff final. Noor Husin also made his debut, the 22-year-old was playing for Stevenage up until January and made 26 appearances for Notts County last term, the midfielder is an Afghanistan international.

The Darts last played Folkestone Invicta nine years ago in the Kent Senior Cup. The second round tie finished 4-1 to Dartford with Tom Bonner, Lee Noble and Ryan Hayes the only players of this current squad involved in that victory. In fact, Bonner found himself on the scoresheet after Jacob Erskine netted Dartford’s first, Richard Graham grabbed a brace. Victory ended a nine game winless run against Invicta which included eight defeats in a row, including a 6-1 reverse in the Southern League Division One East back in 2004.

Folkestone Invicta are chasing down Worthing at the top of the Isthmian Premier League, but suffered a setback on the weekend losing 1-0 to Wingate and Finchley. What made the result more disappointing is that it came off the back of beating the league leaders by the same scoreline just over a week ago. Invicta are now six points behind with a game in hand.

Invicta boss Neil Cugley has connections with Dartford having played for the Darts in two spells. His first spell was in 1978-1980 and second in 1986-1987, starting out as a defender he converted to a striker and even has a road named after him at the old Watling Street site. Cugley has been in charge of Folkestone Invicta for what is now his 23rd season.

Ira Jackson Junior has netted 23 goal in all competitions whilst fellow striker Johan Tor Horst has scored five in this season’s Kent Senior Cup and 12 this term. Tor Horst impressed clubs at a higher level and earned a move to Hull City where he spent three season’s.

So far, Folkestone Invicta have negotiated two rounds scoring eight over those county cup ties. In round one they beat Hythe Town 5-1 with a brace from Josh Vincent, one for Sam Hasler and two scored by Tor Horst, the striker then went on to net a hat-trick in the next round as Invicta defeated Tonbridge Angels 3-1.

Last Six Meetings

07.12.2011*Folkestone Invicta1Dartford4
12.09.2006^Dartford2Folkestone Invicta2
18.01.2005*Dartford1Folkestone Invicta 2
13.03.2004Folkestone Invicta 1Dartford0
24.02.2004Dartford1Folkestone Invicta 6
19.11.2002 Folkestone Invicta 1Dartford0

* – Kent Senior Cup / ^ – Isthmian League Cup

Dartford v Eastbourne Borough

Dartford are hoping to get back to winning ways this weekend by completing a double over Eastbourne Borough in the National South.

Storm Dennis caused havoc across the country last weekend resulting in both Dartford and Eastbourne Borough getting a ‘winter break’ of their own. The Darts were scheduled to take on Billericay Town, whilst the Sports were due to host league leaders Wealdstone, only for both fixtures to be called off because of the extreme weather conditions. So it has been a fortnight since both sides last played with Dartford losing their last outing at home against a Hampton and Richmond Borough side aiming for the playoffs. Eastbourne Borough picked up a draw versus Weymouth, another club aiming for a top seven finish.

When the Darts last met Eastbourne Borough, Steve King recorded his first victory as boss back in November. King handed a debut to Kyjoun Marsh-Brown and Liam Gordon, who has since returned to his parent club after a successful loan spell. Norman Wabo made a rare appearance under the current Dartford boss and opened the scoring after just four minutes, but the goal of the day was Elliott Romain’s thirty yard strike against his former club. The striker who has scored 12 goals in 19 games for the Darts will be suspended this weekend for his red card against Hampton and Richmond Borough. However, Amrit Bansal-McNullty returns from his suspension after his dismissal at Chippenham Town and new signing Giovanni McGregor is available after making his debut during Dartford’s last outing.

A fortnight ago, despite taking an early lead through Luke Wanadio’s sixth minute header, the Darts lost 2-1 to Hampton and Richmond Borough and manager Steve King was disappointed, he told DFCTV after the match: “We didn’t play at our level, we played nowhere near what we’re capable of and when you do that in this division and when you’re against a good side challenging for the playoffs you end up losing”. However, the Darts boss was impressed by Wanadio’s performance and believes there is more to come from the winger, he told www.kentonline.co.uk: “He’s been one of the better players since I’ve come to the club. He wants to learn, he’s always listening and we’re only touching the iceberg. There’s a lot more to come”, King added: “There’s more goals to come from Luke. There was the year when he was at Dartford before and he scored 15 or so goals and then he got a move to Bromley. The only thing missing has been goals”.

Although there were some questionable decisions in the Hampton and Richmond Borough match, when Tom Bonner and Sanchez Ming ended up on the wrong side of challenges that may have seen a red card, King believes ultimately it was down to the team’s performance, he explained: “They were incidents that may change games, but that’s not the reason we’ve lost the game because we were not good enough”. Danilo Orsi-Dadamo and Ryan Hill were on target for the Beavers as the visitors took their chances, King believed ‘costly errors’ and a ‘lack of control in midfield’ were the main factors behind the defeat.

Eastbourne Borough have become draw specialists lately ending their last six league games all square. The run stretches back to New Years Day when they beat Dorking Wanderers and so the Sussex club are eight unbeaten and without defeat in 2020. The Sports under Danny Bloor, have become tougher to beat and are looking for ways to turn draws into victories. Their last stalemate was a last minute 2-2 draw with Weymouth in which the first half was a cagey affair. Eastbourne Borough’s Greg Luer put the hosts in front only for Abdulai Baggie and Jake McCarthy to give the Terras a one goal advantage. However, deep into stoppage time Charlie Walker grabbed an equaliser to extend the Sports unbeaten run.

Goals have not been in short supply in the last four meetings against Eastbourne Borough at Princes Park. The Darts have scored 12 and conceded ten in that time with the Sports winning 3-2 in their last visit in a F.A Trophy third qualifying round replay. Even though Andre Coker and Taylor Fisher scored two goals in as many minutes right at the end of the game, the visitors went straight down the other end to score an even later winner. In the last league meeting at Princes Park, Elliot Bradbrook scored a last minute equaliser, whilst Charlie Sheringham scored on his return to the club and got sent off. Often an entertaining affair between the two clubs, the Darts won the previous two matches at Princes Park 4-2 in September 2017 and 4-3 five months earlier.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 11 / Eastbourne Borough wins: 6 / Draws: 4

Current League Form

Dartford (WWLWWL) Eastbourne Borough (DDDDDD)
Hampton & Richmond H 1-2 Weymouth A 2-2
Chippenham Town A 5-1 Hemel Hempstead Town H 1-1
Dulwich Hamlet H 1-0 Concord Rangers H 2-2
Slough Town A 0-1 Chelmsford City A 1-1
Oxford City H 3-0 St Albans City H 3-3
Dorking Wanderers A 3-2 Slough Town A 1-1

Last Six Meetings

12.09.2017 Eastbourne Borough 0 Dartford 2
20.04.2019 Eastbourne Borough 6 Dartford 0
27.11.2018 Dartford 2 Eastbourne Borough 3
24.11.2018 Eastbourne Borough 1 Dartford 1
08.09.2018 Dartford 2 Eastbourne Borough 2
14.04.2018 Eastbourne Borough 0 Dartford 1

Stats

There has been 17 goals in the last three home games in the National South against Eastbourne Borough, an average of 5.66 goals per game.

Dartford have kept six league clean sheets in their last nine games. Billericay Town have gone 13 league games without a clean sheet.

Over the last eight matches Dartford have picked up 2.25 points per game, the joint best with league leaders Wealdstone.

Eastbourne Borough’s eight game unbeaten run is the best run since they won the National South title back in 2007/08.

On This Day

Lee Noble has scored in his last two games on 22 February, and both times the midfielder netted the second goal in a 2-0 victory. In 2011, conditions were poor in a hard earned 2-0 away win on a cold Tuesday night at Dorchester Town. Danny Harris opened the scoring when his persistence paid off with twelve minutes to go, Noble secured the win by calmly slotting the ball beyond the Dorchester Town goalkeeper. History repeated itself three years later when Noble wrapped up another 2-0 win, this time at home to Hereford United in the National League. Alex Wall had earlier put the Darts in front and with twenty minutes remaining Noble blasted a shot in after his own free-kick had been partially cleared.

Dartford v Hampton and Richmond Borough

Two teams with playoff aspirations go head to head this weekend when Dartford host Hampton and Richmond Borough at Princes Park.

Dartford won the last encounter on Guy Fawkes Night at the Beveree with new signings Kyjoun Marsh-Brown and Elliott Romain scoring in a busy ten-minute first half spell. Marsh-Brown celebrated his first start for the club by getting on the end of Liam Gordon’s pass to open his account, but the lead lasted just two minutes when Sam Deadfield equalised for the hosts. Ten minutes before half-time, Romain won a penalty when felled by Charlie Wassmer, the Darts striker picked himself up and netted the winner from the spot.

The Darts last hosted the Beavers in March last year and a late Darren McQueen strike earned Dartford a point. Hampton and Richmond Borough took an early lead through Oliver Sprague and held the advantage until the hour mark. Lee Noble earned the Darts a penalty which Charlie Sheringham dispatched. With nine minutes remaining, Chris Dickson looked to have won the match for the visitors, but McQueen had other ideas when his deflected stoppage time strike made it 2-2.

Steve King’s side moved up to sixth place last weekend with a resounding 5-1 win over struggling Chippenham Town, their biggest away win in the league since October 2016. Prior the game two signings were announced, attacking midfielder Giovanni McGregor wasn’t available for selection, but will be on loan from Crystal Palace until the end of the season. Instead Amrit Bansal-McNullty made an immediate impact scoring and getting sent off on his debut. The winger on loan from Queens Park Rangers was one of two changes as well as Liam Nash, the pair replaced Luke Wanadio and Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong, who returned to Aldershot Town after his successful loan spell.

The game was as good as over by half-time as the Darts rattled in five goals. Darren McQueen won and scored a penalty and the lead was doubled when Nash on his first league start for the Darts. Chippenham Town halved the deficit a minute later through Callum Gunner, but the two-goal cushion was restored when Bansal-McNullty squeezed the ball in from the tightest of angles. The 19-year-old was involved in the fourth when his free-kick was deflected in, and the loanee also won the penalty leading to McQueen’s second spot kick. Bansal-McNullty’s afternoon ended early when he received two yellow cards in a goalless second-half and manager Steve King was also given a red card.

Dartford have now opened up a seven-point gap to rivals Maidstone United in eighth place, although the Stones have three games in hand. Victory made it seven wins from their last eight league outings, whilst at home the Darts have won four National South matches in a row scoring eleven without reply.

If the Darts thought they had racked up the highest score of the weekend, they only had to look as far as their next opponents. Hampton and Richmond Borough hit Hungerford Town with a bigger result, winning 7-1. Striker, Danilo Orsi-Dadomo and Ryan Hill both bagged a brace in the rout with the former opening the scoring on three minutes. However, Hungerford Town were level two minutes later when Zidan Akers picked up a wayward throw from debutant goalkeeper Dion-Curtis Henry before equalising. Ryan Hill scored the first of two Hampton and Richmond Borough penalties, Orsi-Dadamo also netted from the spot just past he half hour mark. Hungerford Town had manager Ian Herring sent off and the afternoon got worse for the side at the foot of the table. Second-half goals from Dean Inman, debutante Niko Muir, a second from Hill and Sam Deadfield completed the comprehensive win for the Beavers.

The Beavers had a slow start to their campaign much like Dartford, the Middlesex club lost their first four and eight of their first eleven. However, they have slowly turned their fortunes around picking up ten wins in their last 16, losing just once on the road in the league since 14 September 2019. The Middlesex club are ninth and level on points with Maidstone United with two games in hand over the Darts.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 7 / Hampton and Richmond Borough wins: 4 / Draws: 2

Current League Form

Dartford (WWLWWW) Hampton & Richmond (WLWWLD)
Chippenham Town A 5-1 Hungerford Town H 7-1
Dulwich Hamlet H 1-0 Slough Town H 1-2
Slough Town A 0-1 St Albans City H 2-1
Oxford City H 3-0 Concord Rangers A 2-0
Dorking Wanderers A 3-2 Dulwich Hamlet H 0-3
Welling United H 4-0 Bath City H 0-0

Last Six Meetings

05.11.2019 Hampton & Richmond 1 Dartford 2
23.03.2019 Dartford 2 Hampton & Richmond 2
17.11.2018 Hampton & Richmond 0 Dartford 1
30.03.2018 Dartford 1 Hampton & Richmond 0
02.09.2017 Hampton & Richmond 2 Dartford 2
17.04.2017 Dartford 3 Hampton & Richmond 1

Stats

Dartford have kept four consecutive clean sheets at Princes Park going 387 minutes without conceding in the league at home.

Darren McQueen’s double against Chippenham Town means he and Elliot Romain are the two top goalscorers in the National South.

The Darts have failed to win at home against those currently in the top ten.

Dartford are unbeaten in six games against Hampton and Richmond Borough (W4, D2).

Hampton and Richmond Borough’s 7-1 win over Hungerford Town was the first time since 1994 that they had scored seven in a match. The last time was a 7-1 win against Leatherhead.

On This Day

Andy Pugh and Lee Noble starred in Dartford’s famous 2-1 win at Wrexham on this day six years ago. Battling relegation the Darts visited the Racecourse Ground and took the lead when Pugh took advantage as goalkeeper Andy Coughlin failed to hold a free-kick, Pugh netted the rebound from close range. Wrexham equalised through Joe Clarke, but on the stroke of half-time Elliot Bradbrook scored the winner. That was Dartford’s third consecutive victory on 8 February, Charlie Sheringham scored the only goal of the game in 2011 as the Darts beat Weston-super-Mare. The last home fixture on this day was won by Dartford back in 2003, the Darts beat Spalding United 2-1 in the Southern League Division One East.