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Dartford v Havant & Waterlooville

Dartford play their fifth consecutive home game this weekend when they host Havant and Waterlooville in the National South.

The Darts have been getting back on track after a six match unbeaten run in all competitions. However, last weekend Tony Burman’s side suffered a setback, losing their F.A Trophy tie against Whitehawk. Defeat leaves Dartford out of both major cup competitions and a chance to concentrate on the league and Kent Senior Cup.

In the league, Dartford need to make their two games in hand count if they are to challenge for a playoff spot. Currently eight points adrift, the Darts know two victories will bring them within touching distance. In the meantime, the club need to keep pace and stretch their unbeaten league form to five matches.

Last time out in the National South, an Elliot Bradbrook equaliser earned Dartford a point against Kent rivals Maidstone United. The draw followed consecutive league wins over Bishop’s Stortford then Hayes and Yeading United. Elliot Bradbrook will be hoping to keep his goalscoring run going having scored in each of his last three league appearances.

Tony Burman has backed his on loan defender Mark Onyemah this week, the full back’s mistake was vital in Whitehawk knocking Dartford out of the F.A Trophy, Burman told www.kentonline.co.uk: “He’s a more than strong enough character to put that behind him. He has been outstanding for us since he’s been here. He was nearly the hero when he went through and hit the bar, then he was penalised for handball and he should have done better when he got closed down (for the second goal)”. The Dartford boss also felt his side struggled to get into ‘top gear’ after a two week break.

A return to National South action starts against Hampshire side Havant and Waterlooville, who have only won once on their travels in the league this campaign. The Hawks finished last season in the playoffs losing in the semi final to the promoted Boreham Wood. This term fortunes have turned with Lee Bradbury’s side in nineteenth, five points clear of the bottom two.

Bradbury may have pedigree as a Football League player and his short managerial career has been promising. Now, the 40 year old faces an unfamiliar challenge at the wrong end of the table after two victories in the last dozen league games. Back to back 3-1 wins at Oxford City and home to Maidenhead United have been a brief respite from eight defeats and two draws they have recorded since the end of August.

Dartford last played Havant and Waterlooville during their National South playoff winning campaign. In March 2012, Sam Pearce put the Hawks ahead and Scott Jones missed a penalty, which only served to stir the Darts into action. Dartford bounced back with three goals without reply, with the first coming from Lee Noble. With nine minutes remaining Danny Harris bundled in the second and to seal victory Luke Wilkinson scored his first for the Darts. A 3-1 triumph was added to the comprehensive 4-1 win achieved at Westleigh Park two months prior, completing a double against the Hampshire side.

In the previous campaign, the two sides met on the opening day in an entertaining 2-2 draw. Dartford, just promoted as Isthmian Premier earned a point with a stoppage time Ryan Hayes penalty. Earlier, Danny Harris headed the first goal from a Hayes free kick before the Hawks went ahead through Bobby Hopkinson’s penalty and Wes Fogden’s strike two minutes from time.

The Darts won’t return to Princes Park until the end of the month to close out the year.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 2 / Havant and Waterlooville wins: 3 / Draws 2

Current League Form

Dartford (DWWDLL) Havant & Waterlooville  (LLWWLD)
Maidstone United  H  1-1 Weston Super Mare  A  2-3
Hayes & Yeading  H  2-0 Sutton United  A  0-3
Bishop’s Stortford  A  2-1 Maidenhead United  H  3-1
Hemel Hempstead Town  H  2-2 Oxford City  A  3-1
Wealdstone  A  1-2 Margate  A  1-4
Truro City  H  0-1 St Albans City  H  1-1

Previous Meeting at Princes Park

17 March 2012 – Dartford 3 Havant and Waterlooville 1 – attendance 1087 – view highlights 

Goalscorers: Noble (23), Harris (81), Wilkinson (87); Pearce (8)

Dartford lineup: Wells, Jones, Green, Bonner, Wilkinson, Champion, Noble, Wallis, Erskine, Bradbrook, Harris (Subs used: Hayes, Garrod, Burns)

Previous Meetings (* – F.A Cup)

17.03.2012 Dartford 3 Havant & Waterlooville 1
07.01.2012 Havant & Waterlooville 1 Dartford 4
18.04.2011 Havant & Waterlooville 1 Dartford 0
14.08.2010 Dartford 2 Havant & Waterlooville 2
15.10.2000* Dartford 0 Havant & Waterlooville 4
29.04.1999 Havant & Waterlooville 1 Dartford 1
06.03.1999 Dartford 0 Havant & Waterlooville 2

 

Stats

At home, Dartford have won three out of three against teams below them in the league

The Dartford defence at home ranks sixth in the league on average conceded per game. However, only two teams home and away (Ebbsfleet United and Maidstone United) have conceded fewer.

Havant and Waterlooville have the leakiest defence having conceded 39 times, they have shipped in 25 goals on their travels.

 

On This Day

Dartford’s last win on 5 December came 34 years ago in the top flight of non league. A 5-0 home win against Yeovil Town. Since then, in 1987 the Darts picked up a goaless away draw with Nuneaton Borough in the Southern Premier League. Following relegation to the Southern Division Dartford lost a year later, 3-2 away to Baldock Town.

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