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Wealdstone v Dartford

Dartford face the tough prospect of taking on Wealdstone this weekend on the back of three straight defeats.

The Darts were shocked to have been knocked out of the F.A Cup last Saturday against Uxbridge. The Reds, two divisions below Dartford visited Princes Park and caused an upset, winning 1-0 with a fifteenth minute goal by Jon-Jo Bates. The achievement earned Uxbridge ‘team of the day’ on BBC Radio Five Live.

After losses at Oxford City and at home to Truro City, Burman’s frustrations increased during a disappointing week and a half. The Dartford boss told www.kentonline.co.uk: “In that last third, you’ve got to have that desire and commitment to will the ball in”, he added: “We got behind them enough times but we had a lot of people looking for a pass backwards rather than a pass going across the goal”, he continued: “It’s obviously confidence, especially after the last couple of games. They’ve done everything they should have done but we haven’t put the ball in the back of the net and that’s why we’re in the position now that we are”.

Once again, a run of poor results has put the Darts and Burman under pressure. However, with the board backing their man the club is looking to a more positive future by bringing through academy players.

The last cup upset experienced by the Darts was against this weekend’s opponents Wealdstone. In February 2012, the Stones took Dartford to a F.A Trophy replay and won 1-0 at the Vale Stadium. The Middlesex club went on to reach the last four.

It’s been 14 years since the Darts got the better of Wealdstone, the 4-1 Southern Premier League win is the only triumph the Darts have managed against the Stones in the last eleven attempts. During that time the two sides have drawn seven, including all four contests in the Isthmian Premier League era.

A lack of goals has made Dartford fans suffer of late with four blanks in the last six fixtures. It hasn’t been much better for Wealdstone who have scored only nine times this term, only Basingstoke Town have netted fewer.

For Dartford, Tom Wynter is a new addition to the squad having signed from Dover Athletic last week. The 25 year old full back made his debut in Saturday’s cup defeat replacing the injured Mark Onyemah. Lee Noble also missed the loss to Uxbridge due to personal reasons. Tom Gardiner will be available for selection despite his red card on Saturday, the central defender was dismissed for two cautions meaning he will miss the home match against Hemel Hempstead Town on 17 October. Jack Simmons also returned to action making his first appearance of the month last weekend.

Combined Tony Burman and Wealdstone boss, Gordon Bartlett have almost 34 years managerial experience for their current clubs. Bartlett, who signed a two year contract at the start of August has been in charge for the last twenty years. The 59 year old has guided the Stones to four promotions and hopes to keep Wealdstone in the National South.

A credible twelfth place finish last season, their first in the National South has been difficult to follow this term. The Stones sit in the bottom three and have become draw specialists of late. One point from their opening six fixtures left the Middlesex club playing catch up, however they are unbeaten in four league games.

Wealdstone’s first victory came at the end of August when they beat Bishop’s Stortford 3-1, since then three consecutive draws against Hayes and Yeading United, Chelmsford City and Basingstoke Town has taken their points tally to seven. Defensively, the Stones have tightened up by keeping four clean sheets in their last six outings.

The Stones themselves were almost on the end of a cup upset last weekend when they were held 1-1 by Biggleswade Town in the F.A Cup. Wealdstone were pegged back by their opponents from the Southern Premier League. The replay three days later ended in more comfortable fashion as goals from Jefferson Louis and Shaun Lucien saw the Stones progress.

Wealdstone will be without left back Ryan Watts who has sustained a foot injury and will be out for a few weeks. Matt Lowe has been signed on a month loan from League Two side Cambridge United.

Head to Head

Wealdstone wins: 11 / Dartford wins: 11 / Draws: 11

Last Meeting at the Vale Stadium

21 February 2012 – Wealdstone 1 Dartford 0 – attendance 770

Darts lineup – Louis Wells, Matt Jones, Adam Green, Tom Bonner, Tom Champion, Jon Wallis, Lee Burns, James Rogers, Jacob Erskine, Elliot Bradbrook, Danny Harris (subs used: Lee Noble, Tony Garrod, Richard Graham)

Current League Form

Wealdstone (DDDWLL) Dartford (LLWDLW)
Basingstoke Town  A  1-1 Truro City  H  0-1
Chelmsford City  H  0-0 Oxford City  A  1-2
Hayes & Yeading United  A  0-0 Weston-Super-Mare  H  2-1
Bishop’s Stortford  H  3-1 Bath City  A  0-0
Sutton United  A  2-5 Ebbsfleet United  H  0-1
Ebbsfleet United  H  1-2 Margate  A  2-0

Previous Six Meetings (* – F.A Trophy)

21.02.2012* Wealdstone 1 Dartford 0
14.02.2012* Dartford 2 Wealdstone 2
20.04.2010 Wealdstone 1 Dartford 1
29.08.2009 Dartford 1 Wealdstone 1
11.04.2009 Wealdstone 0 Dartford 0
30.08.2008 Dartford 2 Wealdstone 2

Stats

The 1974/75 season saw both teams record their biggest wins against each other. The Darts won 5-0 in the MSFL, a feat that was repeated in the 1989/90 Southern League Cup second round second leg tie. The Stones won 4-1 in the Southern Premier League in a campaign where Dartford were relegated.

Dartford’s last win at Wealdstone was in the first leg of the Southern League Cup second round match in 1989, the Darts went on to win 9-0 on aggregate and reach the final of the competition, losing to VS Rugby.

Away from Princes Park Dartford have the fifth best away defence but have struggled in attack with just six goals.

On This Day

Dartford have won their last four matches on 3 October beating Harrow Borough 2-0 in 2009, Croydon Athletic 4-2 in 2001, Folkestone Invicta 2-1 in 1998 and Corby Town 2-1 in 1987. The last defeat came 34 years against Scarborough in the 1981/82 Alliance Premier season.

Wealdstone have won three of their last four on 3 October defeating Canvey Island 1-0 in 2009, Grays Athletic 2-1 in 2004, drawing 0-0 with Newport Isle of Wight in 1998 and beating Gravesend and Northfleet 3-0 in 1992. The Stones last reverse was in 1987 against Kettering Town during a Conference Premier campaign.

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