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Dartford v Bath City

After a week off, Dartford host West Country side Bath City for the first time in 26 years this weekend.

If the match is anything like the last four meetings between the two sides, then there will be very little between the Darts and the Romans. However, Bath City have the upper hand, with Dartford winning just one of their last 19 matches against the Romans.

Earlier this season, Dartford travelled to Twerton Park to face the then league leaders, who had only dropped two points prior the fixture. With four senior players unavailable, the Darts earned an excellent 0-0 draw against the in form opponents.

Only two goals have been scored in the last four meetings. Both clubs recorded 1-0 wins at Watling Street, back in 1989 and 1990.

In December, Dartford dropped just two points and they started 2016 with a draw at home to Chelmsford City. A last gasp Tom Bradbook header cancelled out Billy Bricknell’s 80th minute goal, however Burman felt his side should have made home advantage count, he said: “When you’re playing at home you want to take three points. We’ve got one and we were a bit fortunate to get that at the death. We’re disappointed to drop two points in a home fixture”.

The Dartford boss was satisfied by his player’s spirit, he added: “The players have got a never-say-die attitude, which is a massive plus for us. It’s pulled us back into games which we looked like we were going to lose”.

After the stalemate with Margate, the draw with Chelmsford City means consecutive 1-1 draws. Mark Onyemah has impressed during his loan spell which ended after last weekend’s match versus the Clarets. Burman is keen to make a new agreement with managerless Luton Town to keep Onyemah for longer. Meanwhile, midfielder Lee Noble and full back Lee Burns have recently been kept out by injury.

Meanwhile, the progress of academy starlets Ebou Adams and Ronnie Vint has been catching the eye of professional clubs. Co-chairman, Steve Irving told www.kentonline.co.uk: “Both of them are outstanding prospects. With the supporters’ hat on, you want them to be with us for years to come, grow with us and succeed and win trophies and medals. But the financial hat says these boys are good enough to go on to full-time careers”.

Bath City were fast out of the blocks winning their opening six National South games this campaign. The Romans scored thirteen and conceded just three in that time. Dropped points away to West Country rivals Weston Super-Mare meant Bath City topped the division at the end of the first month.

The Romans went on to record another two draws with Dartford and Hemel Hempstead Town before sliding to eleventh position. The West Country club, have won just twice since against Chelmsford City and at league leaders Ebbsfleet United, but they have picked up just eight points from the last 39 available.

Lee Howells’ side travel to Princes Park on the back of two consecutive home defeats without scoring. However, they will have fond memories of the last trip to Kent ending a four month winless away run. A Kaid Mohamed goal was enough to beat Ebbsfleet United in a tight encounter. Mohamed has since left the club, just in time to represent Eastleigh and help them almost upset Bolton Wanderers last weekend.

Continuing from last term, Frankie Artus and David Pratt remain influential in the Bath City side. Artus won last season’s Player of the Year and Pratt top scored, the same players lead the scoring charts for Bath City this time around with 13 goals between them in all competitions. Howells’ also puts his trust in summer signing and experienced goalkeeper Steve Phillips, Dan Ball and Andy Gallinagh who have all played more than 20 times this campaign.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 26 / Bath City wins: 40 / Draws: 19

Current League Form

Dartford (DDWWWW) Bath City (LLWLLD)
Chelmsford City  H  1-1 Maidstone United  H  0-2
Margate  H  1-1 Truro City  H  0-3
Chelmsford City  A  1-0 Ebbsfleet United  A  1-0
Whitehawk  A  1-0 Hayes & Yeading Utd  H  2-3
Basingstoke Town  A  1-0 Wealdstone  A  0-2
Havant & Waterlooville  H  4-2 Margate  A  1-1

Last Meeting at Watling Street

7 April 1990 – Dartford 0 Bath City 1
With both sides challenging for league title, Bath City put a serious dent in Dartford’s hopes. After the Darts lost to Chelmsford City, the visitors to Watling Street went home with all three points. Bath City would fall short by finishing runners up, one place above Dartford.

Previous Six Meetings

05.09.2015 Bath City 0 Dartford 0
07.04.1990 Dartford 1 Bath City 0
09.09.1989 Bath City 0 Dartford 0
28.01.1989 Dartford 0 Bath City 1
03.12.1988 Bath City 4 Dartford 2
19.04.1986 Dartford 1 Bath City 2

League Stats

Over the last ten games Dartford are the form side with six wins and four draws.

If Dartford avoid defeat they will join Ebbsfleet United, Truro City and Oxford City, who all went 11 games unbeaten, the longest undefeated runs this season.

Only Chelmsford City have a worse league record than Bath City, since the Romans lost their first game on 15 September. Since then, Bath City have won two, drawn two and lost nine.

The last time Dartford played out three successive league draws was ten years ago. The Darts drew with Dover Athletic, Metropolitan Police and Walton Casuals back in December 2006, during the Isthmian Division One South campaign.

On This Day

You have to go back 16 years since Dartford last played on the 16 January. In an F.A Trophy third round tie, the Darts, then in the Southern Leaage Division One East took on Heybridge Swifts, of the Isthmian Premier League. The Swifts won 2-1 knocking Dartford out of the trophy. The Darts last win on this day was 28 years ago when they beat Burton Albion 4-1 in the Southern Premier League.

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