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Hemel Hempstead Town v Dartford

Dartford will aim to maintain their unbeaten record in the National South this weekend when they travel to Hemel Hempstead Town.

The Darts hope to earn their maiden away victory of the season after two consecutive draws on the road, and inflict a first home defeat of the campaign on the Tudors, who have a perfect record at Vauxhall Road this term.

Tony Burman’s side should be brimming with confidence though after the brilliant 7-1 home win last weekend against Oxford City. Warren Mfula’s hat-trick helped Dartford to their biggest win for 29 years, but it could have been more as the visitors were reduced to nine men before the full-time whistle blew. Richard Sho-Silva scored his first for the club with a ninth minute header, Lyle Della-Verde netted from outside the box six minutes later, Alfie Pavey scored his first since returning to the Darts and Lee Noble scored the goal of the match from distance half hour into the rout. Oxford City were reduced to ten men before the break when Freddie Grant was dismissed.

Warren Mfula opened his goal scoring account for the Darts with a second half hat-trick, not only did the striker take home the match ball he earned the man of the match award. Oxford City grabbed a consolation on 50 minutes to deny Dartford another clean sheet. The visitors had Mo Fofana stretchered off with no more Oxford City substitutes left to use, leaving the Oxfordshire club with nine players. The win followed up the 2-0 triumph over Concord Rangers in which Della Verde also scored in.

Dartford’s previous two away games have ended in draws against Braintree Town, relegated from last season’s National League and Havant and Waterlooville, promoted from the Isthmian Premier.

Deren Ibrahim is available for selection before he joins up with the Gibraltar national squad. The Darts goalkeeper will miss out on the home game against east Thurrock United and the away fixture at Hampton and Richmond Borough. Andy Pugh and Keaton Wood have returned to action; the duo were named on the bench last weekend. New signing Toby Ajala made his first appearance in a Dartford’s shirt and pushed for his first start. Striker Duane Ofori-Acheampong remains out with injury.

Since Hemel Hempstead Town’s promotion to the National South, the Darts have found their opponents tough failing to win both games at Vauxhall Road. Last season ended in a 2-2 draw as Dartford failed to take advantage of the extra man. Elliot Bradbrook scored from the spot before former Dart, Charlie Sheringham equalised. The Hertfordshire club were reduced to ten men prior Dartford’s second goal from Luke Wanadio. However, Hemel Hempstead Town fought back when Tony Diagne levelled the match again. The previous year the Tudors caused an upset winning the opening game of the campaign 1-0 with an Ollie Hawkins header.

Hemel Hempstead Town manager, Dean Brennan has assembled a decent squad including former Darts, Callum Driver and Charlie Sheringham. Driver played 26 times for Dartford whilst Sheringham scored 41 goals in 71 games. Jordan Parkes was prolific in his first spell with the club and is back partnering Sheringham after the pair struggled to hold down a place at Ebbsfleet United. Experience also comes in the form of Ismail Yakubu in defence, whilst tom Hamblin provides creativity in midfield. Brennan has also recently signed Rowan Liburd, a 24 year old striker from Stevenage on loan, Jerome Federico and teenage goalkeeper Danny Boness.

Head to Head
Dartford wins: 2 / Hemel Hempstead Town wins: 1 / Draws: 2

Current League Form

Hemel Hempstead Town (LWWLW) Dartford (WWDDD)
Gloucester City A 0-1 Oxford City H 7-1
Hampton & Richmond Borough H 1-0 Concord Rangers H 2-0
Hungerford Town A 2-0 Havant & Waterlooville A 0-0
Concord Rangers A 0-2 Braintree Town A 2-2
Whitehawk H 3-0 Wealdstone H 0-0

Previous Meetings

01.04.2017 Hemel Hempstead Town 2 Dartford 2
12.11.2016 Dartford 2 Hemel Hempstead Town 0
17.10.2015 Dartford 2 Hemel Hempstead Town 2
08.08.2015 Hemel Hempstead Town 1 Dartford 0
16.09.1972 Hemel Hempstead 2 Dartford 9

Stats
Last weekend, Dartford recorded their biggest win since 1988 when the thrashed Flackwell Heath 7-1 in the F.A Cup first qualifying round. John Bartley grabbed four including a hat-trick in the first 20 minutes.

Since the F.A Cup win 29 years ago, the Darts have twice hit seven goals in a game. A pair of 7-2 victories ten years ago against Burgess Hill Town during the 2006/07 campaign and Witham Town the following season.

It’s been six years since Dartford went five games unbeaten at the start of a season. The run stretched to six in 2011 and at the end of the National South campaign the Darts were promoted via the playoffs.

On This Day
Dartford have won their last two matches on 26 August beating Tamworth 2-0 four years ago. Danny Harris opened the scoring on three minutes and Kenny Clark scored midway through the first half. Jay May scored the winner against Kingstonian in 2006 during a Isthmian Division One South fixture, almost three months before Princes Park opened.

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