Dartford’s search for their first league win of the season takes them to unbeaten table toppers Weston-Super-Mare on Saturday.
The Darts have had a challenging opening to their campaign with six injuries, two red cards and just three points taken. Without victory, Dartford have managed draws at home to Wealdstone, Gosport Borough and away to Chelmsford City.
Tony Burman remains upbeat ahead of their fifth game against Weston-Super-Mare and feels victory is just around the corner, he told www.kentonline.co.uk: “I’ve never known anything like it. We’re all disappointed with our points tally because it could so easily have been a lot more, but I’m not disappointed at all with the effort and the way the team is shaping up, in respect of what we’ve had to do and what’s happened to us”.
Elliot Bradbrook is the only definite player unavailable through injury whilst Keaton Wood is suspended. Striking pair, Andy Pugh and Duane Ofori-Acheampong will have to prove their fitness and Ronnie Vint could take part with a protective cast on his wrist. Lee Noble has been managing agroin injury and has featured more than expected this term.
Dartford last visited the Woodspring Stadium in March and were involved in a feisty affair with the Somerset club. For only the second time, the Darts lost to their opponents going down 2-1 and ending with ten men. Elliot Bradbrook was dismissed after a mass brawl on a tense afternoon. The Seagulls were two goals up before George Sykes netted a consolation.
Weston-Super-Mare grew in confidence last term having been relegation candidates in November. A run of five wins from their last seven fixtures made sure of a sixteenth place finish. The Seagulls’ form has continued into this campaign with three straight victories before Tuesday night’s 0-0 draw with Southern Premier League champions Poole Town.
Leading the National South on goal difference, Ryan Northmore’s side defeated Whitehawk 3-1 on the opening day followed by two away triumphs. Bath City were beaten 2-1 and Welling United 2-0 as the Seagulls set the early season pace.
Shawn McCoulsky has scored four for Weston-Super-Mare so far with only two players netting more in this campaign. The South Londoner was plucked from Dulwich Hamlet when he signed for Bristol City and now he is on loan in the West Country.
The Darts will hope to repeat their opening day victory at the Woodspring Stadium five years ago. Tom Bonner was amongst the scoring that day along with Elliot Bradbrook and a brace from Charlie Sheringham.
Head to Head
Dartford wins: 4 / Weston-Super-Mare wins: 2 / Draws: 4
Dartford have kept three clean sheets in five visits to the Woodspring Stadium.
The Darts have lost their first and last meetings away to Weston-Super-Mare, the only defeats against the Somerset club.
Elliot Bradbrook, Ryan Hayes and Luke Wanadio are the only goalscorers for Dartford this term, all midfielders.
Weston-Super-Mare has the joint best defence from the opening four games conceding two goals.
Ten points from twelve is the Seagulls best league start for twelve years. In 2004, Weston-Super-Mare drew their opener then won three in a row.
On This Day
Dartford have won their last three fixtures on 20 August, the most recent being four years ago at home to Hampton and Richmond Borough. A 2-1 win put the Darts top of the National South thanks to a Charlie Sheringham penalty and header by Elliot Bradbrook. In the Southern League Division One East, Dartford beat Stamford Town 2-1 in 2005 and Burgess Hill Town 1-0 in 2003.