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Dartford v Hemel Hempstead Town

Dartford will be determined to protect their perfect start to the National South campaign when they host Hemel Hempstead Town this weekend.

The Darts started their campaign with a 2-1 away win at Bath City and followed up the win with a rare triumph over Chelmsford City. Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle made one change to the starting line up giving Delano Sam-Yorke his first start for the club at the expense of Kudus Oyenuga, who was out injured and hopes to be fit soon.

In an end to end first half with very few clear cut chances, the most notable moment caused controversy. Joint manager, Adam Flanagan and Clarets boss Rod Stringer squared up over an incident and were both sent off. Dartford began the second-half brighter and two chances fell to Jamie Philpot who hit the post then came close four minutes later. The Darts were rewarded with fifteen minutes to go when Elliot Bradbrook’s looping header secured a first home victory against Chelmsford City in 18 years.

Last time Dartford hosted Hemel Hempstead Town back in March, Andy Pugh produced two moments of quality. On a snowy afternoon with the ‘Beast from the East’ in full flow, the striker helped the Darts to leave it late and snatch victory.

Against the run of play Pugh put Dartford ahead with a curling effort which took the slightest of deflections and into the top corner. Despite the hosts taking the lead with fifteen minutes of the half remaining, it was the visitors who went into the break in front. First, Jordan Parkes hit a 35 yarder past goalkeeper Berti Schotterl, then David Moyo scored just before half-time.

The second half remained a struggle for Dartford, but Pugh’s quality showed with ten minutes left on the clock. The striker produced a delightful chip over Laurie Walker to level the match setting up a dramatic finale. In the final minute Nathan Collier put in a cross for Alfie Pavey to nod home and give the Darts a 3-2 victory and a double over the Hertfordshire club. Earlier in the campaign Elliot Bradbrook scored two penalties and Pavey the other in a 3-0 win.

Last season’s home win kept up Dartford’s unbeaten Princes Park record against the Tudors. In the previous two campaigns the Darts picked up four points from their opponents. Danny Harris and Luke Wanadio both scored in a 2-0 triumph back in November 2016. Whilst the year before that, Ryan Hayes scored a curling last-minute equaliser in a 2-2 draw, which saw Dartford come back from two down.

Hemel Hempstead Town finished fifth last season and lost on penalties to Braintree Town in their playoff match. Manager, Dean Brennan will hope his side can challenge again this term and after their opening day victory over Chippenham Town, the Tudors have also made a great start.

Karl Oliyide’s double helped Hemel Hempstead Town to a 4-2 win, his first goal came after four minutes. After Jordan Parkes hit a free kick against the post, Chippenham Town went ahead after Karnell Chambers scored twice. The Tudors were level five minutes before the break, new signing Steve Cawley equalised and after the interval Oliyide restored the host’s lead. The three points were secured in the final two minutes when the Tudors broke away for Alex Osborn to score.

On Tuesday night, Hemel Hempstead Town scored an injury time winner against Hampton and Richmond Borough. The Tudors made three changes to the starting eleven. Former Watford defender Lloyd Doyley replaced Joe Howe, Tom Hamblin was in for former Millwall and Crystal Palace defender Darren Ward and Connor Dymond was selected ahead of Scott Shulton. Two goals within a five minute first half spell left the two sides level at the break. Hampton and Richmond Borough took the lead through experienced striker Chris Dickson, however Kyle Connolly equalised for the Tudors. In the final minutes of second-half stoppage time, former Arsenal winger Sanchez Watt scored the winner to earn Hemel Hempstead Town six points in their opening two fixtures.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Hemel Hempstead Town wins: 1 / Draws: 2

Previous Meetings

17.03.2018 Dartford 3 Hemel Hempstead Town 2
26.08.2017 Hemel Hempstead Town 0 Dartford 3
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

Stats

Dartford are unbeaten in five matches against Hemel Hempstead Town and unbeaten in three at Princes Park against the Tudors.

Hemel Hempstead Town’s only win against Dartford was on the opening day of the 2015/2016 season. Since then this fixture has seen 18 goals in five meetings at 3.6 goals a game.

Elliot Bradbrook has scored two goals in as many games, the last time the midfielder scored in consecutive matches was on the 2nd and 5th September 2017 against Hampton and Richmond Borough and Whitehawk respectively.

The attendance of 1220 against Chelmsford City on Tuesday night was Dartford’s biggest home crowd in August since 2015. The Darts attracted 2551 for the local derby against Ebbsfleet United on 31 August 2015.

On This Day

An early goal from Tom Bradbrook gave Dartford a 1-0 win over Eastbourne Borough. In the first home game of the 2015/2016 season, Jack Simmons whipped in an excellent cross which was finished by Tom Bradbrook’s header. The victory came three days after losing to Hemel Hempstead Town on the opening day of the campaign. Newly promoted, Dartford hosted Tamworth in the National League six years ago. Peter Till scored for the visitors and Adam Cunnington’s superb doubled their lead. Elliot Bradbrook netted a free-kick before Cunnington added another delightful finish. Harry Crawford pulled a goal back for Dartford to set up a tense ending to the 3-2 defeat.

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