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Dartford v Tonbridge Angels

At Princes Park no team have taken points off Dartford this season and next up is Tonbridge Angels on Saturday.

On route to Kent Senior Cup glory the two sides met last season in the first round. The Darts progressed with a 2-0 victory with second half goals coming from Danny Harris and Charlie Sheringham. In Dartford’s title winning season Tony Burman’s side completed a double against The Angels winning 2-0 at Princes Park and 4-1 at Longmead.

Tom Champion scores the winner on Tuesday night

For a few short moments Dartford tasted life at the top of the Conference South on Tuesday night and despite victory finished the evening in second place on goal difference. Tony Burman was happy his team came back from a goal down with ‘a little bit of style’, he told PURE DFC: “We created enough chances and we got the ball in the net a couple of times but they were deemed offside. First half, I felt we were not tight enough to the Staines players so we asked the players to do that. In the second half it was an intelligent performance and we started to play well”.

Tuesday’s 2-1 triumph over Staines Town saw a variety of tactics and formations being used in an attempt to turn the match around. This was helped by the players Burman has available, he added: “The squad is full of quality players and we’ve also got some good players on the bench at the moment. We’ve also got two good players injured so it was asking the question for the first time with (Jon) Wallis and (Paul) Goodacre injured. We were down to fifteen and we brought one of the younger lads in to go on the bench. Having said that we changed it because I have got that in the locker now, I can do that”.

Tonbridge Angels occupy fifteenth spot and whilst they have won once away from home, an impressive 4-0 opening day win against Maidenhead United, they have also lost once. The Angels picked up a credible point on their travels to Dover Athletic and on Monday night they come back from two goals down to share the spoils with Chelmsford City.

Managed by Tommy Warrilow, a former Dart, the summer was fairly quiet for the Conference South new boys. One signing that captured the imagination at Longmead was the return of crowd favourite Jon Main. It will be the second time Main has returned to Princes Park after his loan spell with The Darts, his last visit ended in a 4-0 defeat with his Dover team mates. Dartford will also welcome back The Angels Assistant Manager Alex O’Brien, captain of Dartford’s Isthmian Division One North title winning team.

However the man making all the headlines for Tonbridge is former Dover Athletic striker Frannie Collin. Top scorer last season for The Angels he has managed ten goals in the opening ten fixtures, including four braces.

Burman is determined to make it six consecutive wins at Princes Park but knows Tonbridge will be a tough side to play, the Dartford boss commented: “They’ve come up last year and they have had a decent start to life in the Conference South. They had a win on Saturday and great result at Chelmsford on Monday night, we’re looking forward to it”.

Jon Wallis and Paul Goodacre missed the action on Tuesday evening and will not be risked if they are not fit. The Dartford boss added: “There is a chance they will be in the reckoning but if I think there is any doubt we won’t take a chance. We’ve not got a game mid week next week and for the sake of the game on Saturday if I don’t think they’re right they won’t be involved”.

Regardless of the result Dartford should end next weekend in the top three, when asked if The Darts can sustain a promotion push Burman said: We’re showing that we are capable of doing that. The squad are looking good and they are together which is always a good thing because that earns you a lot of points”.

Danny Harris scores on his début in 2009 against Tonbridge Angels

Last five meetings versus Tonbridge Angels

25.01.2011 – Dartford 2 (Harris 62, Sheringham 88) Tonbridge Angels 0

13.02.2011 – Tonbridge Angels 1 (Booth 39) Dartford 4 (Johnson 51, Harris 72, Bradbrook 81, Haworth 85)

13.10.2009 – Dartford 2 (Tait 57, Harris 85) Tonbridge Angels 0

28.03.2009 – Dartford 2 (Woods-Garness 11, Flanagan 47) Tonbridge Angels 2 (Gooding 3, Booth 19)

18.11.2008 – Tonbridge Angels 4 (Rook 3, 45, 81, Tyne 70) Dartford 1 (McDonald 10)

Did you know…

Dartford have won the most successive home matches in the league this season with five victories in a row.

The Darts have failed to score in the first half in their last three meetings against Tonbridge Angels.

Danny Harris scored on his début against Tonbridge Angels and has scored in all three of his matches against The Angels.

Jon Main scored 44 goals in the 2006/07 season a club record for Tonbridge Angels, his impressive total included seven hat tricks also a seasons best for the club. Main also held the record for the most Conference South goals in a season until Adam Burchell surpassed his total last season.

In the league this season no team has conceded more goals in the opening fifteen minutes than Tonbridge Angels.

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