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Concord Rangers v Dartford

Tony Burman will be up against his former captain when Dartford travel to Adam Flanagan’s Concord Rangers.

The two worked together to mastermind the Darts promotion five years ago as Isthmian Premier League champions, this time they will be in opposite dugouts.

Flanagan returned to Concord Rangers as manager having had a spell as a player with the club. The 37 year old replaced Danny Cowley and will have big shoes to fill, Cowley guided the Beachboys through the divisions in an eight year spell. As a manager, Flanagan has already had success with Brentwood Town winning promotion to the Isthmian Premier League via the playoffs.

Thames Road will be hosting a mini reunion, three more former Darts are now representing Concord Rangers this season and have participated in the opening three fixtures. Max Cornhill left only last season, the attacking midfielder was used sparingly since the turn of this year prompting the 28 year old to depart Princes Park after 68 appearances and nine goals.

James White has impressed Concord Rangers since joining the Essex club and he was alongside Flanagan in Dartford’s title winning season, the midfielder made 112 appearances for the Darts.

Tony Stokes was signed by Burman in 2012 on dual registration but didn’t make an appearance, but the talk of the summer has been whether former Dartford midfielder Adam Woodyard remains a Concord Rangers player.

After opening day disappointment away at Hemel Hempstead Town, the Darts have picked up four points from their last two fixtures. A 1-0 home win over Eastbourne Borough was followed up with a 2-2 draw with Sutton United, Tom Bradbrook scoring all the goals in each match.

Signs have been promising that the team is gelling and had the opportunities in front of goal been taken then the points tally could be better. The entertaining draw against Sutton United saw Dartford pegged back twice with Tom Bradbrook heading in the first from a Ryan Hayes free kick. The visitors were level before the break courtesy of Micky Spillane’s volley. A bizarre second put the Darts back in front, an underhit pass forced U’s goalkeeper Ross Worner’s to clear the ball which hit Tom Bradbrook in the face, the striker scored but was forced off. With five minutes remaining Sutton United equalised through Jamie Collins, his second in as many games.

Concord Rangers topped the National League South table after two games but defeat away to Truro City has seen the Beachboys drop to sixth. On the weekend, Tony Stokes started with good news scoring after just three minutes but was later red carded in the final minute. Truro City came from behind at Treyew Road to end Concord Rangers’ perfect record with goals from Shane White and Matt Wright.

Prior their defeat, the Essex club got off to a stunning start to the campaign with a goal after 16 seconds, Tony Stokes’ half volley from 25 yards put Concord Rangers in front. Joe Gardner, Max Cornhill and Steve Cawley added to the score before Weston Super Mare grabbed a consolation.

The Beachboys followed up their 4-1 victory with another three points beating Wealdstone 2-1 away from home. Cornhill netted another which was cancelled out by Elliot Godfrey. Ben Greenhalgh scored the decisive goal early in the second half.

The only competitive meeting between the two clubs came in the Isthmian League Cup encounter six and half years ago. Two Dartford favourites scored the goals to help the Darts progress in the Isthmian League Cup. Brendon Cass and a Cody McDonald brace was enough secure a passage into the next round as Dartford ran out 3-1 winners against the Beachboys.

Head to Head

Concord Rangers wins: 0 / Dartford wins: 1 / Draws: 0

On This Day

On 18 August, the Darts have played five since reforming and winning just once. The most recent fixture three years ago, in the National League, resulted in 2-0 defeat away to Macclesfield Town. Dartford’s only win on this day came six years ago in a formidable 4-0 victory over Margate during the Isthmian Premier league title winning campaign. Jamie Day, Rob Haworth, Lee Burns and Alan Tait netted the goals. On the opening day of the 2007/08 campaign Brendon Cass and Jay May scored to earn a 2-2 draw versus Maldon Town in the Isthmian Division One North whilst in 2001 Stamford won 3-1 in the Southern League Division One East. In what turned out to be crucial result Furness beat the Darts back in the Kent League 2-1 and went on to win the league on the final day, Dartford’s 1-1 draw on the last game of the season wasn’t enough to snatch the title from Furness.

 

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