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Woking v Dartford

Dartford will aim to get off the mark in their first away trip of the season tomorrow night against Woking.

With the exception of two previous meetings this fixture has seen three goals or more scored. Last season, both matches were one sided with the home team triumphing convincingly. At the Kingfield Stadium three unanswered strikes in the space of fourteen second half minutes left Woking in full control. Loan striker from Ipswich Town, Jack Marriott scored his first goal for the Cards, Scott Rendell added another and Joe McNerney sealed the 3-0 win.

Scott Rendell scores against the Darts last season

Scott Rendell scores against the Darts last season

At Princes Park, later in the season Dartford won 5-1 having fallen a goal behind to a Rendell effort. A minute later on loan striker Alex Wall equalised and then the visitors had Joey Jones dismissed. The Darts cashed in on the extra man advantage with four more goals from Wall, a brace from Max Cornhill and a last minute strike by Lee Noble.

The short trip to Surrey has been tricky for Dartford, apart from a 2-2 draw at the Kingfield Stadium in November 2010 the Darts have lost their last three without finding the back of the net. Back to back 1-0 wins for Woking in February and August 2012 arrived in their Conference South title winning campaign then in the early stages of their Conference Premier return.

The Darts lost their opening fixture of 2014/15 on Saturday to Wrexham after falling behind twice. Tony Burman handed first league starts to goalkeeper Jason Brown and Luke Daley. Whilst Rory McAuley, Adam Green, Andy Pugh and Tom Bradbrook all started second spells for the club. New signing Peter Sweeney took some part from off the bench as did striker Harry Crawford.

Wrexham’s new signing of their own, Wes York put the visitors ahead with half an hour played. The former Nuneaton Town man headed in Connor Jenning’s cross. Dartford matched their opponents and deservedly equalised early in the second half, Lee Noble delivered a corner for Tom Bradbrook to open his second goalscoring account for the Darts. With twelve minutes to go another former Nuneaton Town striker Louis Moult put York through on goal who netted his second. Over the past two season’s the pair have been troublesome for Dartford scoring winners for the Boro and now for Wrexham.

Despite defeat the feeling around Princes Park is that of optimism as the performance and squad looks to have improved from a year ago. Tony Burman spoke to kentonline.co.uk after the game and said: “I don’t think we deserved to lose the game. I’m disappointed in respect of the result but I’m pleased with what I saw out there. There were a lot of positives for us”. Kevin Wilkin, the Wrexham boss praised the Darts after the match applauding the fact his side were pushed all the way to the end.

New signing Tom Bradbrook scored on the weekend

New signing Tom Bradbrook scored on the weekend

Woking managed to beat Alfreton Town to kick start their campaign, however they will hope the Alfreton Town curse will not affect them this term. Ever since promotion to the Conference Premier, the team who has beaten the Reds on the opening day has ended up in the relegation season at the end of April.

The Cards also fell behind but this time they managed to turn the tables. Lee Stevenson’s drive put Alfreton Town ahead but the goal was cancelled out by Woking’s débutante Dean Morgan. Rendell continued his goalscoring exploits on from last season and two in the space of eight minuted clinched the three points for the Surrey side. Manager, Garry Hill was delighted with the opening day result and felt is Woking side deserved victory.

Rendell will be the player to contain for the Dartford defence, the 27 year old top scored for the Cards last term which included two against Dartford, one in each match. The former Cambridge United, Wycombe Wanderers and Luton Town striker netted 17 league goals in 2013/14.

Hill believes his current squad is the strongest he has assembled since being in charge at Kingfield. As well as Morgan, over the summer the Woking boss brought back Keiran Murtagh who had played for the Cards in their Conference South title winning campaign. Theo Lewis and James Clarke were signed from Salisbury City, Jake Cole arrived as a back up goalkeeper and Joey Jones, who was red carded against the Darts last time, made his loan spell permanent.

Team News

Elliot Bradbrook who hardly featured in pre season appeared for the full ninety minutes against Wrexham. The captain had been carrying an ankle injury. Ryan Hayes is yet to make a competitive appearance after his long term injury last campaign, the winger was named amongst the substitutes on the weekend.

Head to Head

Woking wins: 4 / Dartford wins: 4 / Draws: 1

Last Meeting at Kingfield Stadium

12 November 2013 – Woking 3 Dartford 0 – Att: 1157

Goalscorers: Marriott (63), Rendell (47), McNerney (77)

Woking Lineup: Beasant, Nutter, Parkinson, McNerney, Newton, Betsy, Payne, Banya, Ricketts, Marriott, Rendell (subs used: Cestor, Goddard, Sole)

Dartford Lineup: Julian, Clark, Fry, Mitchel-King, Noble, Cornhill, Burns, Woodyard, Hayes, Godden, Birchall (subs used: Harris, Sterling, Prior)

Match Stats

woking v dartford stats
Previous Meetings (* – F.A Cup)

18.02.2014 Dartford 5 Woking 1
12.11.2013 Woking 3 Dartford 0
01.04.2013 Dartford 4 Woking 1
14.08.2012 Woking 1 Dartford 0
18.02.2012 Woking 1 Dartford 0
13.12.2011 Dartford 2 Woking 3
09.04.2011 Dartford 3 Woking 2
27.11.2010 Woking 2 Dartford 2
21.10.1972* Dartford 3 Woking 2

 

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