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Dartford v Concord Rangers

Dartford may be unbeaten this season but they are also without a win, Concord Rangers are next up at Princes Park in the Darts second home match of the campaign.

Injury hit Dartford have struggled in front of goal and on the weekend drew another blank, although a second clean sheet earned the Darts an away point at Havant and Waterlooville. The scoreline was a repeat of Dartford’s season opener at Princes Park, when they drew 0-0 with Hungerford Town. Sandwiched between those results, Dartford came from two goals down to earn a point at Braintree Town, with goals from Tom Murphy and Elliot Bradbrook.

The noticeable absentees of strike duo Duane Ofori-Acheampong and Andy Pugh has seen the Darts score just twice in the first three games. At the back, Ronnie Vint is out with injury and Keaton Wood has been recovering. Burman also mentioned knocks taken by Lee Noble, Alex Brown and Tom Bonner, whilst Tom Murphy was taken off at Braintree Town after netting his goal. Down to the ‘bare bones’ an opportunity has opened up for young Alfie Cue who has come through the Dartford academy.

Concord Rangers have managed a win, draw and loss this season starting with a defeat away to Wealdstone. New summer signing Jordan Cox’s equaliser wasn’t enough for the Beachboys to get anything from the game. Stephen Cawley’s winner at home to Hemel Hempstead Town got the Essex club off the mark with a first win, and on the weekend they recorded their first draw in dramatic fashion.

Returning to the club Lewis Taafe put Concord Rangers ahead early in the second half, but the match really took off in the final six minutes. Truro City turned the game on its head with goals from Noah Keats and Stewart Yetton in the 84th and 87th minutes. The Beachboys tried their best to throw the points away but were rescued in the final minutes thanks to Taafe’s second of the day.

When the Darts hosted Concord Rangers nearly a year ago, Duane Ofori-Acheampong’s fledgling Dartford career started to take off. The striker, netted his first for the club and put in an impressive performance. Danny Harris made it 2-0, but the Beachboys pulled a goal back with five minutes on the clock. The result was the exact reverse of the campaign before when Concord Rangers won their only fixture against the Darts, memorable for former Dartford midfielder James White scoring a wonderful goal. The last meeting between the two sides ended 1-1 at Thames Road just five months ago.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 3 / Concord Rangers wins: 1 / Draws: 1

Previous Meetings

11.03.2017 Concord Rangers 1 Dartford 1
24.09.2016 Dartford 2 Concord Rangers 1
27.02.2016 Dartford 1 Concord Rangers 2
18.08.2015 Concord Rangers 2 Dartford 3
27.01.2009 Concord Rangers 1 Dartford 3

Stats

Dartford last drew their first three league games of the season back in 1965. The opener at home to Cheltenham Town ended 1-1 and four days later the Darts drew 1-1 at home to Guildford City. The sequence was completed in a 2-2 stalemate away to Hereford United in Southern Premier League.

If the Darts draw a fourth consecutive game it will be the first time they have opened their campaign with four draws since 1965. It will also be a repeat of last term when Dartford drew their first two home games. A year ago, Wealdstone and Gosport Borough went home with a point from Princes Park.

It’s been almost two years since Dartford failed to score in consecutive games. In September 2015, the Darts lost 1-0 at home to Truro City before the shock F.A Cup exit to Uxbridge by the same score.

On This Day

Eight years ago, Elliot Bradbrook started his Dartford career by scoring a brace against Horsham on the opening day of the 2009/10 season. Although the Sussex club took the lead with a well taken free kick, Bradbrook had the Darts level. Now manager of Concord Rangers, Adam Flanagan scored from the spot and Bradbrook increased the lead. Horsham grabbed a consolation in the final few minutes. The Darts went on to win the Isthmian Premier League, eighteen points ahead of Sutton United. Two years ago, Dartford played the U’s in the National South and although it was Sutton United’s turn to turn into champions, the Darts drew 2-2 with both goals from Tom Bradbrook.

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