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Dartford v Whitehawk

Dartford hope to end a three match winless run against Whitehawk this weekend, in a bid to keep in touch with the playoff race.

The Darts host a Whitehawk side in freefall and without victory on the road for three months. Having played two games more than fifth place Truro City, Dartford are three points adrift of the playoffs.

Slip ups against Weston-Super-Mare, Hayes and Yeading United and Concord Rangers means the Darts have taken one point from the last nine available.

Last weekend, a controversial match with Weston-Super-Mare ended in a 2-1 defeat, a mass brawl, Elliot Bradbrook being dismissed and penalty shouts turned down. Despite being two down and reduced to ten men George Sykes scored which turned out to be a consolation goal. On another sour note, defender Callum McNaughton fractured his foot and is likely to miss the rest of the season.

On Tuesday night, the Darts reached the Kent Senior Cup final by beating Greenwich Borough 2-1.  Dartford took the lead in the first half when Barry Cogan’s free kick was flicked on by former Dart, Peter Sweeney and into the path of Ronnie Vint who coolly finished. George Sykes scored the second before Borough pulled a goal back. Tony Burman fielded a strong team and tried out Danny Harris and Kaka Dembele at full back in the second half. The decision may have been influenced by McNaughton’s injury and with the pending suspension of Elliot Bradbrook in mind.

Burman’s hope of a F.A Trophy run was ended by Whitehawk, in the last meeting between the two sides at Princes Park. Mark Onyemah’s handball gifted Whitehawk a penalty which Sam Deering scored. Three minutes later Ryan Hayes’ corner was turned in by a Hawk’s defender. The Sussex side grabbed the winner when Danny Stevens scored from the edge of the box.

Whitehawk have fallen from fourth to eighteenth since Dartford last played them in December. The Darts won at the Enclosed Ground thanks to an Andy Pugh goal in the first half. For the Hawks, defeat was the start of nine matches without victory in the National South, leaving them two points above safety.

After the loss at home to Eastbourne Borough, Steve King was sacked and now interim manager Pablo Asenio is in charge. Asenio drew his first match but witness his side get a 6-0 drubbing against relegation threatened St Albans City.

Last weekend they were beaten 3-2 by Bishop’s Stortford with all five goals coming in the first half. Sam Rents and top scorer were on hand for the Hawks to overturn a 1-0 deficit. The Hawks conceded twice to lose from a winning position.

On Tuesday night, Whitehawk took on Hayes and Yeading United and went ahead in the second half through Deam Leacock. The lead was short lived when United equalised with Ashley Lodge’s twenty yard strike. Elliot Benyon then nodded Hayes and Yeading United in front and Ismael Ehui made it 3-1. In their last nine games, The Hawks have taken just two points from 27 available.

The squad has had a mini facelift over the past week, Sam Deering signed for Ebbsfleet for undisclosed fee, the midfielder played 75 scored 28 for the Hawks. In return they welcome back defender Craig Braham-Barrett and Michael West, who scored against the Darts in August 2010 for Ebbsfleet Utd. Rents also joined Whitehawk from Margate, the defender has already played the Darts earlier in the season in Gates 2-0 defeat.

Former Dartford midfielder and fans favourite, Dave Martin is still with the Hawks. The winger made 71 starting appearances for the Darts scoring 16 times. Meanwhile, Paul Lorraine has left Whitehawk after a 14 month battle with injury, the central defender once signed by Tony Burman played just 14 times for the Sussex club.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / Whitehawk wins: 1 / Draws: 0

Current League Form

Dartford (LDLWDW) Whitehawk (LLLDLL)
Weston-Super-Mare  A  1-2 Hayes & Yeading Utd  H  1-3
Hayes & Yeading Utd  A  2-2 Bishop’s Stortford  H  2-3
Concord Rangers  H  1-2 St Albans City  A  0-6
Gosport Borough  A  3-1 Havant & Waterlooville  H  1-1
Eastbourne Borough  A  1-1 Eastbourne Borough  H  1-2
St Albans City  H  2-0 Chelmsford City  H  3-4

Previous Meetings (* – F.A Trophy)

19.12.2015 Whitehawk 0 Dartford 1
28.11.2015* Dartford 1 Whitehawk 2

Stats

3 – In Whitehawk’s four previous trips to Kent they have won three and drew one. Picking up seven points from nine and knocking Dartford out of the F.A Trophy.

5 – Dartford have won all five games against teams in the bottom seven. Weston-Super-Mare were the first bottom eight team to beat the Darts home or away this season.

13 – number of goals in Whitehawk’s last two away games. A 4-3 loss to Chelmsford City and 6-0 defeat to St Albans City.

26 – number of goals Dartford have scored at home, only Sutton United (30) and St Albans City (27) have scored more home goals this term.

On This Day

Dartford’s last victory on 12 March was nineteen years ago in the Southern League Southern Division. The Darts travelled to Buckingham Town to clinch a 1-0 win , a fourth consecutive clean sheet on this day following 1-0 and 2-0 Kent League triumph’s over Slade Green in 1994 and 1996 respectively. Since, Dartford have lost 1-0 to Chelmsford City in 2001 and were thrashed 6-1 by Barking and East Ham United, both in the Southern League Division One East. The most recent fixture was five years ago when the Darts drew 2-2 at the Camrose. Basingstoke Town took an early lead only for Ryan Hayes then Danny Harris to put Dartford ahead, Delano Sam-Yorke scored his second to share the spoils.

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