Dartford v Welling United

Dartford host local rivals Welling United for the first time since the Conference South playoff final victory in May 2012.

Since Lee Noble’s fourth minute winner to take the Darts into the Conference Premier, the Wings have joined the top table by taking the Conference South title last season. After an impressive first campaign back, Dartford are now looking up the standings to Welling United who sit eleven places above Tony Burman’s side.

Only four of the current squad started in the 1-0 playoff victory in front of over 4000 spectators. Noble’s accurate long range effort found the back of the net early on and the Darts held on to clinch promotion. Louis Wells was tested by the visitors by Loick Pires, who returned to Welling this summer after a spell at Woking.

The Darts are awaiting their first league points in over two months following Saturday’s loss at Alfreton Town. With 16 minutes played Danny Harris was upended in the box by Darren Kempson to earn the Darts a penalty, Elliot Bradbrook scored from the spot giving the visitors the lead. The Darts were reduced to ten men just after the half hour mark when Lee Noble’s was red carded for the second time this season. It took five minutes into the second half for Alfreton Town to equalise through Paul Clayton and the same player scored eight minutes later. Débutante Ishmail Kamara made a late appearance following his move to the Darts last week.

Burman was left gutted with the result, he told BBC Radio Kent: “That game started okay and we felt we could get something from the game. With ten men the guys worked hard, we conceded two goals from a free-kick of ours and a corner of ours on the break”, he added: “There’s no luck coming our way, there’s none. It’s a bitter pill to swallow”.

Welling United’s return to the Conference Premier after a 13 year absence has been successful so far. Claiming scalps at home to Grimsby Town and Forest Green Rovers as well as earning draws against table toppers Cambridge United and Barnet. The Wings may be in mid table but former Dartford midfielder Jamie Day has led his club to the second round of the F.A Cup for the first time since 1989, bowing out 3-1 to Plymouth Argyle.

The Wings took on an improved Wrexham team on the weekend at Park View Road and went in front courtesy of a Kurtis Guthrie header. The Welsh club were level before the break when Johnny Hunt scored his fifth of the season. The second half ended with no goals leaving the score one apiece.

Over the last three years, the Darts have had the edge over Welling United  winning the last three meetings in three separate competitions, the Conference South, Kent Senior Cup and Conference South Playoffs. This season a mixture of first team and academy players won at Park View Road in the Kent Senior Cup with two late goals. Mohamed Eisa’s first half goal was cancelled out by Loick Pires, but late strikes from Alex Woodyard and Brima Daramy was too much for the Wings despite Loui Fazakerley’s consolation.

Prior the playoff final triumph, the Darts scraped a 1-0 win in the last league meeting between the two clubs at Princes Park. A second half header from Danny Harris was enough for Dartford in a match that was delayed by fifteen minutes due to crowd congestion. Welling United

Team News

New signing Ishmail Kamara waits for his full début, the new signing was on the substitutes bench on the weekend. Signed on a free, the striker has played for Margate  and Dulwich Hamlet before a brief spell at Barnet. Lee Noble will miss the next four games through suspension following his second red card of the campaign. Ryan Hayes is unlikely to return to action until after the festive season.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 15 / Welling United wins: 8 / Draws: 5

Current League Form

Dartford (LLLLLLL) Welling United (DDLDWL)
Alfreton Town A 1-2 Wrexham H 1-1
FC Halifax Town H 1-2 Grimsby Town A 1-1
Barnet A 0-1 Nuneaton Town H 1-2
Barnet H 0-2 Barnet A 0-0
Gateshead H 0-1 Lincoln City H 1-0
Wrexham H 1-5 FC Halifax Town A 0-3

Last Meeting At Princes Park

13 May 2012 – Dartford 1 Welling United 0 – Att: 4088 – Playoff Final

Goalscorers: Noble (4)

The Darts Lineup: Wells, Burns, Green, Bonner, Wilkinson, Champion, Noble, Rogers, Erskine, Bradbrook, Harris
(sub used:  Garrod)

The Wings Lineup: Holloway, Fazakerley, Obersteller, Day, Martin, Parkinson, Cracknell, Clarke, Cumbers, Healy, Pires (subs used:  Acheampong, Baker)

Previous Five Meetings (* – Playoff Final / ** – Kent Senior Cup)

03.09.2013** Welling United 2 Dartford 3
13.05.2012* Dartford 1 Welling United 0
02.01.2012 Dartford 1 Welling United 0
26.12.2012 Welling United 1 Dartford 1
15.02.2011 Dartford 1 Welling United 0
01.01.2011 Welling United 2 Dartford 1

League Stats

3 – Welling United have only failed to score on three occasions in the league, the fewest along with Barnet and Forest Green Rovers.

5 – The Wings are five league games without a win, drawing three and losing two

9 – Dartford have lost their last nine league matches, only bottom club Hyde have experience a worse sequence this tern losing 12 in a row.

11 – Both Dartford and Hyde have also failed to score in the Conference Premier the most times.

304 – Welling United have won 304 fouls this season, only Braintree Town have earned more.


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