Dartford v Farnborough

The two in form sides of the Conference South go head to head on Saturday when The Darts host Farnborough.

Dartford will search for their fourth successive league win on the weekend as they crank up the pressure at the top. Chasing an automatic promotion place The Darts have won 24 points from the last 27 available, the only defeat against the league leaders Woking.

Tom Champion takes the plaudits

Only fourteen months ago Dartford fans will recall an extraordinary match which began to turn their season around. Up against Farnborough at Princes Park, The Darts were struggling amongst the bottom three whilst The Boro were on the rampage in an attempt to catch league leaders Braintree Town.

Lee Noble was upended in Farnborough’s penalty box on 12 minutes and Charlie Sheringham scored. The lead lasted just eight minutes when the then in form striker Bradley Bubb, now in form at Eastleigh blasted in the equaliser. At 1-1 the enthusiastic Noble collided with goalkeeper Michael Jordan and was subsequently sent off and The Darts were reduced to ten men.

Adversity galvanised Dartford and three minutes after the restart Sheringham drove a shot low and hard into the bottom corner from nineteen yards. A third goal came in the 63rd minute when the head strapped Tom Champion hit a stunning volley into the top corner of the net. To wrap up an unexpected result Danny Harris nodded in the fourth ten minutes later to secure a 4-1 win for Dartford.

Earlier this season The Darts won 2-1 at Cherrywood Road back in September. Sheringham opened the scoring on 22 minutes and Lee Burns doubled the advantage on the stroke of half time. The Boro pulled a goal back courtesy of Jordan Merriman just after the hour but Dartford defended well enough to edge out Farnborough.

Dartford have had to put in a mixture of attacking and defensive performances over recent weeks and recently managed to grind out a 1-0 victory to continue their excellent form against Kent sides, The Darts have now won five and drawn two of thier seven Kent derbies.

Tony Burman spoke to PURE DFC after the game and was pleased with the result, he said: “It was a massive result because we knew it was going to be tough. It wasn’t the most pleasant game on the eye,it was an awful game of football but having said that we battled away” he added: “If you keep clean sheets then you win games and we’ve done that, I thought the players were superb”.

Burman still has a close eye on proceedings at the top of the table as well as the playoff spots, he commented: “I never give up believing, the win makes it interesting now. That’s what happens, you should never take anything for granted in football. The teams that are on good runs will be in there or thereabouts”, he continued: “We’ve got our targets, the players know what our targets are and we still got to reach them. We’ve done ever so well and all I ask them to do is look at sixth and seventh place and make that gap wider”.

Fourteen months on from the 4-1 win against the Hampshire club the tables have turned. Tony Burman’s side are closing the gap on league leaders Woking which is now just six points. Whilst it is Farnborough who have recently started to turn their season around. The Boro have now won 21 points from the last 24 available having won 1-0 on Tuesday night against Eastbourne Borough. An injury time winner by Phillip Page secured Farnborough’s sixth 1-0 league win of the season.

From September to mid November the club were in free fall having taking one point out of 27 including a seven match losing streak. During this period The Boro suffered back to back thrashings losing 8-2 at Truro City and 5-0 at Havant and Waterlooville. The defeat in Truro is this seasons biggest and at half time they were incredibly 7-1 down.

Lee Burns nets against The Boro back in September

The Hampshire club parted company with Garry Haylock and looked towards Southern League Division One Central side Chertsey Town to get their replacement. Spencer Day accepted the managerial role and has re-hauled The Boro squad by taking no less than six players with him. Goalkeeper Tom Lovelock, defenders Ollie Treacher and Miles Smith, midfielder Troy Ferguson and strikers Daniel Bennett and Phillip Page all followed Day to Cherrywood. Day has also extended the loan signing Doug Berqvist from Aldershot Town this month and signed Richard Orlu from Staines Town.

The Boro manager has improved Farnborough’s fortunes who were languishing in the last relegation spot when he took control. Ten wins, a draw and four defeats later propelled the club up to tenth until a recent five point deduction will leave them four places worse off.

Team News

Tony Garrod could face his former club, all three goals the striker scored for The Boro came in a 5-1 win against Tonbridge Angels back in September. James Rogers will start his three match suspension due to his sending off against Wealdstone in the F.A Trophy defeat. Louis Wells was injured against Tonbridge Angels so Deren Ibrahim could deputise depending on the extent of the injury, which is yet to be confirmed. Elliot Bradbrook and Lee Burns could be available for selection and Paul Goodacre is looking to regain fitness after time on the sidelines. Lee Noble will hopefully recover from flu after missing the last league match.

Statistics (league only)

Dartford v Farnborough

Current Form

Last five Dartford matches at home Last five Farnborough matches away
Won 4-1 v Basingstoke Town Won 1-0 v Eastleigh
Won 2-0 v Salisbury City Won 1-0 v Thurrock
Won 6-0  v Thurrock Won 2-1 v Staines Town
Won 1-0 v Welling United Lost 0-1 v Welling United
Drew 1-1 v Dorchester Town Lost 2-5 v Weston Super-Mare


Dartford average home attendance: 1245

Highest home attendance: 2559 v Welling United/ Lowest: 783 v Basingstoke Town

Farnborough average away attendance: 712

Highest away attendance: 3014 v Woking/ Lowest: 218 v Thurrock

Did you know…

The Darts have played Farnborough 8 times winning twice, drawing twice and have lost four

Dartford’s clean sheet away at Tonbridge means The Darts are the only side in the league left who have scored in every Conference South home game this season

Farnborough have gone 241 minutes without conceding away from home

Farnborough’s seven consecutive league defeats from 24 September 2011 to 12 November 2011 has only been matched by Maidenhead United this season. However, on Tuesday they managed to equal the most wins in a row this campaign with six

The Boro were involved in the biggest attendance of the season when 3014 supporters watched Woking v Farnborough on Boxing Day

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