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Wealdstone v Dartford

The Darts aim to keep the pressure on the top two this weekend when they visit Wealdstone in the National South.

In recent times, Dartford have found the Stones a thorn in their side last recording a win against their opponents in 1991, and have to go back a further two years for the last away triumph. On the opening day of this season, the Darts came extremely close but were denied victory conceding a last minute goal.

The 2-2 draw back in August was an entertaining affair with Elliot Bradbrook scoring on the stroke of half time. Elliot Benyon levelled for the Stones early in the second half, but the Darts regained the from Ryan Hayes’ penalty eight minutes from time. Just as it looked like Dartford had earned three points Eddie Oshodi headed an injury time equaliser.

In the league, Dartford have bounced back from their heavy defeat against Maidenhead United with three consecutive victories. Even better, in those games the Darts have scored 12 times with ten different goalscorers. In that time, Duane Ofori-Acheampong, Alex Brown and Andy Pugh have all missed games for various reasons, Brown will be the only one of the trio to definitely miss out this weekend because of his suspension. Lee Noble who scored against Eastbourne Borough on Tuesday night, picked up a knock and could be ruled out.

After back to back 3-2 victories, the latest in foggy conditions at Eastbourne Borough, the Darts remain third in the league standings. Tony Burman again highlighted the belief in the squad to catch rivals Ebbsfleet United and league leaders Maidenhead United. He told www.kentonline.co.uk: “If people don’t want to take us seriously, then that’s fine,” he added: “But we’ve been in a really good run of form since September.The players are believing in what we tell them. There’s a feelgood factor around the place at the moment”.

Wealdstone’s last three league games have come against the top two and their win over Maidenhead United on Boxing Day helped out the Darts. However, the Stones lost the reverse fixture in the New Year and recently lost to Ebbsfleet United. In between the league fixtures, the Middlesex club have enjoyed a run to the F.A Trophy’s last 16 where they face Brackley Town next weekend.

The Stones are sitting comfortably in mid-table and owe a lot to experienced striker Elliot Benyon, who has scored 15 of the club’s 34 goals this term. However, Benyon has picked up a shoulder injury which could see him sidelined on the weekend.

Dartford’s last visit to Vale Stadium ended in a 2-1 defeat. Goals either side of half time by Tom Hamblin and Shaun Lucien made the afternoon difficult for Burman’s side. Tom Bradbrook headed a consolation in off the crossbar with fifteen minutes remaining.

Head to Head
Wealdstone wins: 13 / Dartford wins: 11/ Draws: 11

Current League Form
Wealdstone (LLWDWL)
Lost 2-4 v Ebbsfleet United (H)
Lost 0-2 v Maidenhead United (A)
Won 2-1 v Maidenhead United (H)
Drew 1-1 v Poole Town (A)
Won 1-0 v East Thurrock United (H)
Lost 0-2 v Hungerford Town (A)

Dartford (WWWLWL)
Won 3-2 v Eastbourne Borough (A)
Won 3-2 v Weston-super-Mare (H)
Won 6-1 v East Thurrock United (H)
Lost 0-1 v Ebbsfleet United (A)
Won 2-1 v Ebbsfleet United (H)
Lost 0-5 v Maidenhead United (A)

Previous Six Meetings
Dartford 2 Wealdstone 2 (06/08/2016 – National South)
Dartford 2 Wealdstone 2 (26/01/2016 – National South)
Dartford 1 Wealdstone 2 (03/10/2015 – National South)
Wealdstone 1 Dartford 0 (21/02/2012 – F.A Trophy replay)
Wealdstone 2 Dartford 2 (03/04/2012 – F.A Trophy)
Dartford 1 Wealdstone 1 (20/04/2010 – Isthmian Premier)

Stats
Dartford have not beaten Wealdstone on their own patch in the last seven attempts, drawing four.

The Stones have gone nine games unbeaten against the Darts with three wins and six draws.

The Darts have won just one in the last 13 against the Middlesex club

Dartford’s last victory over Wealdstone in 1991, was the last time more than two goals were scored by one of the teams in this fixture

On This Day
Ryan Hayes celebrated his 300th appearance for the Darts in style. The midfielder was involved in Dartford’s 6-0 thrashing of Thurrock. Elliot Bradbrook scored a brace and Danny Harris, James Rogers, Lee Burns and Tony Garrod netted the others. The Darts are unbeaten in six matches on the 28 January stretching back almost 40 years. In 2006, Barton Rovers were defeated 2-1 in the Southern League Division One East and in 1995 Greenwich Borough were beaten 3-0 in the Kent League. A Southern League Cup draw with Dover Athletic was recorded in 1992 and three years earlier Bath City visited Watling Street and lost 1-0, with future Southampton full back Jason Dodd in their starting eleven.

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