Almost a year ago Dartford were on the wrong end of a F.A Cup upset, now the Darts hope to progress in their tough draw against Chelmsford City.
Only a month has passed since Dartford visited Melbourne Park and came home with a point. The National South fixture ended all square when Luke Wanadio’s header was cancelled out by Shaun Jeffers.
Having been knocked out at this stage last term to Southern League Division One Central side Uxbridge, Tony Burman will be desperate to avoid another early exit, he told www.kentonline.co.uk: “Last year we had a dream draw but it backfired for us. This year we’ve got a team in the same division as ourselves away from home. You don’t want to be playing a team in your own league and they have got home advantage but we want to stay in the FA Cup and that’s what we’ll try to do”, he added: “We all know the financial rewards that are on offer but it’s a tough draw and I am sure they think the same. We’ll both be looking forward to it. It’s a one-off game. Nothing else matters and we’ll look to do our best and progress”.
The Darts can look forward to the cup tie having stretched their unbeaten run to four in the league at Margate. Leaving it fairly late, Dartford scored twice in the final fifteen minutes to record their second away win of the season. Andy Pugh scored his first of the campaign following up a rebound from Danny Harris’s effort. Elliot Bradbrook made sure of the three points by scoring a penalty.
Tony Burman almost has a full squad to choose from and is hoping Ronnie Vint is cleared to play. The defender has suffered with a broken wrist but match officials have ruled him out because of the cast he has to wear.
Dartford last played Chelmsford City in the F.A Cup seven years ago when the Darts were in the Istmian Premier league. Two of the players in the current squad, Elliot Bradbrook and Lee Noble started that game which ended 4-1 to the Clarets. The Essex side inflicted the first home defeat of that campaign on the Darts with two goals coming from Antonio Murray and the others by Ricky Holmes and Dave Rainford, Adam Flanagan scored the only goal for Dartford.
Chelmsford City will provide another stern test in the cup, the Clarets are fourth in the National South, five points behind top spot. The Essex club are unbeaten at home with four wins and two draws, their only defeats this campaign came back to back against current league leaders Maidenhead United and third place St Albans City.
The Clarets saw the end of their five game winning streak on Monday when they drew at home with East Thurrock United. The 2-2 stalemate was the first points dropped by Rod Stringers’ side since losing at Maidenhead United. Jeffers earned a point for his team with a stoppage time equaliser as the Clarets fell behind twice in the game.
Chelmsford City’s winning run started with three clean sheets against Oxford City, Welling United and Weston-super-Mare followed by wins over Ebbsfleet United and Whitehawk. Top of the form table, the Clarets look set to challenge for promotion after three years of mediocrity.
In last season’s F.A Cup, the Clarets won a replay against Ebbsfleet United before losing to a struggling Basingstoke Town team. The last time the Essex club reached the proper rounds was when they last reached the playoffs in 2012.
Head to Head
Chelmsford City wins: 50 / Dartford wins: 35 / Draws: 90
Chelmsford City (DWWWWW)
Drew 2-2 v East Thurrock United (H)
Won 1-0 v Whitehawk (A)
Won 2-1 v Ebbsfleet United (A)
Won 1-0 v Weston-super-Mare (A)
Won 2-0 v Welling United (A)
Won 2-0 v Oxford City (A)
Won 2-0 v Margate (A)
Drew 1-1 v East Thurrock United (A)
Won 2-1 v Welling United (H)
Drew 0-0 v Maidenhead United (H)
Lost 1-4 v Hampton & Richmond Borough (A)
Won 2-0 v Hungerford Town (H)
Previous Six Meetings
Chelmsford City 1 Dartford 1 (13/08/2016)
Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 1 (02/01/2016)
Chelmsford City 0 Dartford 1 (26/12/2015)
Dartford 0 Chelmsford City 0 (07/04/2012)
Chelmsford City 0 Dartford 0 (27/08/2011)
Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 2 (03/01/2011)
F.A Cup Stats
Over the last ten years Chelmsford City have reached the proper rounds on four occasions compared to Dartford’s three times
Dartford have made it past the second qualifying round on seven occasions in the last ten years compared to Chelmsford City’s eight.
Dartford reached the third round two years in a row in 1935/36 and 1936/37, the furthest they have got in the F.A Cup
The Clarets made the second round three years in a row between 2011 and 2013
Chelmsford City’s best F.A Cup came in 1938/39 when they reached the fourth round
On This Day
John Bartley scored four times including a 20 minute hat-trick against Flackwell Heath in the F.A Cup first qualifying tie 28 years ago. The Darts went on to win 7-1 at Watling Street and reach the first round proper. The 1988 F.A Cup tie was the last victory Dartford recorded on 17 September and since then they have lost 3-0 to Chatham Town in the Kent League (1994), 4-1 to Corby Town in the Southern League Division One East (2005), 2-1 to Farnborough in the National South (2011) and 3-0 to Luton Town in the National League (2013).