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Dartford v Dover Athletic

A place in the Kent Senior Cup semi-final is up for grabs when Dartford host Dover Athletic in the last eight of the competition.

The Darts are the highest ranked club left in the cup and victory will secure a tie with Conference South league leaders Bromley. First Tony Burman’s side have to get past a Dover Athletic side who are five places below Bromley and pushing for a playoff spot.

During Dartford’s rise from the Isthmian Division One to the Conference Premier a rivalry has blossomed with The Whites since the 2006/07 season. The last meeting between to the two clubs was back in December 2011 when Dartford triumphed 3-1. Adam Green settled any early nerves scoring from the spot, the penalty was won by Elliot Bradbrook in the sixth minute. The visitors hit back when Agustin Battipiedi rose the highest to head in the equaliser from Barry Cogan’s free kick. It took until just past the hour for the Darts to edge back in front, Ryan Hayes whipped in a dangerous free kick which eluded everyone and ended up in the back of the net. As Dover Athletic pushed for a leveller they were caught out with three minutes remaining, Bradbrook’s neat control was expertly finished with a 25 yard curling effort leaving Mikhael Jamiez-Ruiz stranded.

Four goals were also recorded in the previous two meetings. A 2-2 draw in the same season saw Dover Athletic come from behind twice.  Charlie Sheringham’s quick fire opener was cancelled out by former Dart loanee, George Purcell’s equaliser. Bradbrook’s header put Dartford ahead until Billy Bricknell levelled the match. In the campaign before, the Darts claimed a convincing 4-0 victory at Princes Park with two goals from Sheringham and a goal each for Tom Champion and Danny Harris.

Dartford’s six match unbeaten run came to an end on the weekend when they travelled up to fellow relegation threatened side Southport. Osayamen Osawe caused the Darts defence all sorts of problems in the first half and he turned provider in the twelfth minute. Osawe’s cross gave the Sandgrounders top scorer Danny Hattersley a chance which he took from close range. The Darts showed promise and began to get on top in the match during the second half, but were left with too much to do when Jason Walker added a second for Southport. The game was killed off by the hosts who regained control in the 78th minute as Osawe’s turn and shot made it 3-0 to Southport.

The starting eleven is likely to change as manager Tony Burman has used the Kent Senior Cup to look at some academy and first team squad players. Eight players have started both rounds so far although Ryan Hayes is out injured and will miss the Quarter Final.

Dover Athletic are targeting a return to the Conference Premier after twelve years away. Last season they came close by losing 3-2 in the playoff final, after extra time against Salisbury City. Now managed by Chris Kinnear for the second time, his last spell was between 1985-1995, the Whites are currently ninth in the table two points from the top five. Kinnear is Dover Athletic’s most successful manager leading the club to three titles before reaching the top flight of non league football in 1993, where the club stayed until 2002.

The Darts could welcome back James Rogers, the midfielder joined Dartford from Margate in 2011 and made 103 appearances for under Burman. Rogers left the Darts this season after making seven appearances to rejoin Dover Athletic, where he has spent the majority of his career.

Dover Athletic arrive at Princes Park after hosting this season’s surprise F.A Trophy finalists Gosport Borough. Their visitors, fresh from their semi final win against rivals Havant and Waterlooville, were no match for Dover Athletic who claimed a convincing 3-0 win. Tom Murphy, Barry Cogan and Liam Bellamy scored the goals to move the Whites into sixth position and two points behind the playoffs with games in hand. Victory against the leagues bottom club ended a run of two successive defeats.

Like Dartford, the Whites have often made changes to their starting eleven for the Kent Senior Cup, with nine players involved in both rounds. A trio of  former Ebbsfleet United players have featured in both rounds, Nathan Elder, who netted against the Darts last season, Liam Bellamy and Ashley Carew.

Team News

If featured Lee Noble will make his 250th appearance since joining the club from Brentwood in May 2008, the midfielder has started 176 games, made 73 substitute appearances and scored 35 goals for the Darts. Mat Mitchel-King departed mid way through the first half on Saturday with an ankle injury and Elliot Bradbrook early in the second half with a dislocated finger.

Previous Rounds

Round One

Welling United 2 Dartford 3

Two late goals from the Darts was enough to seal a second round place in a five goal entertainer. 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.

Dover Athletic 8 Margate 0

The Whites cruised into round two equalling the clubs biggest competitive victory. Michael Bakare recorded a hat-trick whilst Ashley Carew added two free-kicks. Nathan Elder and Barry Cogan found themselves on the score sheet and former Dart, John Beales scored an own goal. At least goalkeeper Mitch Walker had something to do when he saved a Margate penalty.

Round Two

Dartford 1 Charlton Athletic 0

The Darts knocked the Addicks out of the Kent Senior Cup for the second time in three seasons. Once again Dartford left it late to scrape into the next round. Despite Charlton Athletic’s dominance for long periods, Dartford’s youth held their nerve and in the final minute Mohamed Eisa’s free kick grabbed victory for the hosts.

Dover Athletic 3 Erith and Belverdere 1

Chris Kinnear’s side edged past Erith and Belverdere, a team two divisions lower. Nathan Elder gave the hosts a lead just before the break. That advantage was extended in the second half with goals from Elliott Charles and Ricky Modeste. The Kent League champions managed to pull a goal back through Mo Conteh, but it was Dover Athletic who progressed to the Quarter Finals.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 31 / Dover Athletic wins: 33 / Draws: 23

Current Form

Dartford (LDWWWD) Dover Athletic (WLLWWW)
Southport A 0-3 Gosport Borough H 3-0
Aldershot Town H 1-1 Weston Super-Mare A 1-2
Hereford United H 2-0 Sutton United H 0-1
Woking H 5-1 Bath City H 2-0
Wrexham A 2-1 Maidenhead United H 2-0
Cambridge United H 3-3 Chelmsford City H 2-2

Last Meeting At Princes Park

3 December 2013 – Dartford 3 Dover Athletic 1 – Att: 1558

Goalscorers: Green (6 pen), Battipiedi (13), Hayes (62), Bradbrook (87)

The Darts Lineup: Wells, Jones, Green, Bonner, Goodacre, Champion, Hayes, Wallis, Burns, Bradbrook, Rogers (subs used: Noble, Graham, Harris)

The Whites Lineup: Jamiez-Ruiz, Starkey, Wynter, Battipiedi, Schulz,  Huke, Cogan, Southam, Walker, Purcell, Redwood (subs used: Bricknell, Baker)

Previous Meetings (* – F.A Trophy)

03.12.2011 Dartford 3 Dover Athletic 1
23.08.2011 Dover Athletic 2 Dartford 2
25.04.2011 Dartford 4 Dover Athletic 0
09.11.2010 Dover Athletic 0 Dartford 2
21.11.2009* Dover Athletic 3 Dartford 2

Stats

Dartford are unbeaten in four matches against Dover Athletic, last losing in the 2009/10 F.A Trophy tie 3-2 at The Crabble.

The last Kent Senior Cup meeting between the Darts and the Whites was in 2007/08. The first round tie ended with the Darts claiming a 2-0 win on 11 December 2007. Elliot Bradbrook’s brother Tom and Junior Kadi scored the goals to send Dartford through.

In the seventies the two sides met in successive Kent Senior Cup finals. The 1970/71 and 1971/72 finals both ended with 3-2 aggregate wins for Dover Athletic. During this period Dartford reached four finals in a row between 1970 & 1973, the Darts won the other two.

Dartford and Dover Athletic have crossed paths on a number of occasions in the last eight years, the graph below charts the progress of both clubs. In 2007/2008, both clubs took the Isthmian Division One title with Dartford winning the Northern section and Dover Athletic the Southern section.

dfc & dafc league progress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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