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Tonbridge Angels v Dartford

For the second time this season Dartford travel to Longmead on Saturday to take on mid table Tonbridge Angels in a Kent Derby.

Elliot Bradbrook opens the scoring in the last league meeting against The Angels

The Darts have enjoyed much success against rival Kent teams in 2011/2012 and have already beaten the Angels twice this season. At Princes Park Dartford won a fourth consecutive Conference South match in September by defeating Tonbridge 3-1.

Elliot Bradbrook opened the scoring ten minutes into the league meeting capitalising on a Scott Kinch slip. Harris doubled the lead blasting a shot from the dge of the box. Charlie Sheringham scored another on 77 minutes to wrap up the game but The Angels managed to pull one goal back from the spot when Frannie Collin scored four minutes from time.

In the Kent Senior Cup Quarter Final at the end of January The Darts staged a superb come back at Longmead to win 4-2 after extra time. Chris Piper and Nathan Korenteng put The Angels two in front but Jack Pallen and Richard Graham sent the game into extra time. Lee Burns scored a third and Graham completed his brace and Dartford’s fourth to earn a semi-final tie with Charlton Athletic.

The Angels were promoted via the playoffs last season and on route to winning the County Cup Dartford were triumphant again in 2010. The two sides also met in the Isthmian Premier League four times between 2008 and 2010 with The Darts winning two, a draw and The Angels last victorious in 2008.

To add to Dartford’s unbeaten record of six matches against The Angels, The Darts have not lost in the Conference South to a Kent club this season winning four and drawing two. Tonbridge have yet to win against a Kent club drawing four times and losing twice.

Since the defeats to Woking and Wealdstone, The Darts managed back to back wins beating Salisbury City 2-0 and Basingstoke Town 4-1. The win closes the gap on Woking to nine points with a game in hand but Tony Burman is delighted the two recent wins have helped his side pull away from sixth place.

Burman spoke to PURE DFC after Monday night’s game and was pleased with the second half performance in particular, he said: “Teams have come here and played very well in the first half against us. Basingstoke made it very difficult for us. We knew it was going to be really tight. I think we won the battle in the first half, although it’s not very great on the eye we won the battle”, he added: “We said at half time we feel we’re a fit side and in the second half they have put a lot of effort into it. We felt the game would open up in the second half, and it did”.

Danny Harris celebrates one of his 44 goals for The Darts

Danny Harris has a superb goalscoring record against The Angels and he will on a high after claiming a hat trick on Monday. In a Man of the Match performance he has now reached 44 goals for the club, which includes scoring four times in his last five appearances against Tonbridge. Three of those appearances were when Harris came on as a substitute.

Burman is faced with a dilemma because whilst he wants Paul Goodacre to get match fit if he goes out on loan he cannot be recalled for 28 days. Coupled with Lee Burns struggling for fitness the Dartford boss was keen to get his squad ‘in house’. The loan signing of Luke Wilkinson helped, he said: “We watched him at Boreham Wood a couple of times and thought he was a decent player and I thank Dagenham and John Still for letting us take him on loan. The lad wants to play and he is decent, that is why he is a professional with Dagenham and Redbridge”.

The Darts manager eagerly awaits Saturday’s fixture against Tonbridge, he commented: “It will be a league game so it’s different. We look forward to going there on the back of two wins. We were well down in the dumps last Tuesday night because of what happened over at Wealdstone so to come back from that shows great character”.

Tonbridge Angels enter Saturday’s Conference South clash having had a steady début season so far. In twelfth position and one defeat in seven at home they look in good shape. Tommy Warrilow’s side have earned back to back home wins against Eastbourne Borough (5-1) and Weston Super-Mare (3-0), however their form overall has seen four draws in the last seven fixtures.

One player to watch is striker Frannie Collin who leads the goalscoring chart for the league with 22, six more than any other player. His impressive league tally includes a four goal haul just over a month ago against Eastbourne Borough.

Team News

James Rogers will be available before serving a three match suspension from 6 March 2012. Elliot Bradbrook has missed the last four matches through injury. Paul Goodacre who has been returning from injury has been rested recently with loan signing Luke Wilkinson stepping in at centre back. Matt Jones returned to action on Monday night.

Statistics (league only)

Dartford (2nd) v Tonbridge Angels (11th)

Current Form

Last five Tonbridge Angels matches at home Last five Dartford matches away
Drew 1-1 v Boreham Wood Lost 0-1 v Woking
Lost 2-3 v Farnborough Won 4-1 v Staines Town
Drew 1-1  v Hampton and Richmond Won 3-1 v Hampton and Richmond
Drew 2-2 v Bromley Won 4-1 v Havant and Waterlooville
Lost 0-2 v Salisbury City Drew 1-1 v Welling United

Previous Meetings (KSC – Kent Senior Cup / CS – Conference South / IPL – Isthmian Premier)

31 January 2012 KSC Tonbridge Angels 2 Dartford 4
24 September 2011 CS Dartford 3 Tonbridge Angels 1
21 December 2010 KSC Dartford 2 Tonbridge Angels 0
13 February 2010 IPL Tonbridge Angels 1 Dartford 4
13 October 2009 IPL Dartford 2 Tonbridge Angels 0
28 March 2009 IPL Dartford 2 Tonbridge Angels 2
18 November 2009 IPL Tonbridge Angels 4 Dartford 1

Attendances

Tonbridge Angels average home attendance: 629 (9th)

Highest home attendance: 922 v Woking/ Lowest: 464 v Eastleigh

Dartford average away attendance: 911 (2nd)

Highest away attendance: 2528 v Woking/ Lowest: 378 v Staines Town

Did you know…

The Darts have scored the most second half goals in the league this campaign with 38

Tonbridge Angels have conceded the most league goals (18) in the opening 15 minutes, more than any other team

Apart from Truro City, The Angels have scored the most league penalties with eight

Tonbridge Angels have been amongst the goals at Longmead with 60 goals being scored for and against, the highest for one venue in the league. They have not failed to score at home in the Conference South this season.

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