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Dartford v East Thurrock United

Dartford are in action on Bank Holiday Monday with a home National South fixture against Essex side East Thurrock United.

After a slow start to the season Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle will be searching for their second home win, versus a side Dartford have had contrasting fortunes against in their last two meetings at Princes Park.

A year ago, East Thurrock United caused an upset by visiting the home of the Darts and coming away with a 1-0 win. On loan goalkeeper, Jordan Beeney could only tip Reece Harris’ free kick onto the crossbar for last season’s National South top scorer Sam Higgins to score the rebound, it was Dartford’s first home defeat of the campaign. At the time the Rocks were flying high in the league as they went ten unbeaten, but they ended up the campaign in fifteenth.

In the home match a season before, the Darts trounced the Essex club 6-1. Clinical in front of goal, six different scorers found the net starting with a second minute Tom Bonner header. Alex Brown expertly hit a twenty yard volley to double the lead and by half-time the Darts were 4-1 up. Tom Murphy scored on his home debut before Tom Wraight pulled a goal back and Andy Pugh scored from close range. The second half yielded two more goals, one from Ryan Hayes and the other an Elliot Bradbrook spot kick.

Two players that will get a Princes Park welcome will be former Darts Lee Burns and Danny Harris. The pair followed suit starting out as attacking players with Burns top scoring in the Isthmian Premier League title winning campaign and winning Player of the Year at Dartford. The former striker moved to right back until he left the Darts in 2016 after 278 appearances and 33 goals. Danny Harris joined East Thurrock United and he started out at Dartford on the right wing before taking Burns’ place at full back, the hard working Harris made 400 appearances and scored 75 goals.

Dartford made four changes in their last game against Hungerford Town to the team that were beaten 3-0 at home to Wealdstone. Chez Isaac, Billy Roast, Kudus Oyenuga and Delano Sam-Yorke were all put on the bench and in came Simon Mensah, Alfie Cue, Elliot Bradbrook and Jamie Philpot, the latter two returning from injury. Even so, the Darts were unable to prevent a third straight loss without scoring as Hungerford Town picked up their first win of the season. Cue, Philpot and Ben Greenhalgh all had chances, but it was the home side that clinched victory after 58 minutes with a Conor Lynch strike.

East Thurrock United lost their opening five games and took on newly promoted Slough Town on the weekend. John Coventry’s side won their first of the season to get their points tally moving upwards,.The Rocks in some sense were unlucky in their first two outings by conceding last minute goals which condemned them to defeat. On the opening day, the Essex club faced a difficult match with recently relegated Woking, which was decided by a 90th minute Max Kretzschmar penalty. Dulwich Hamlet who had won promotion last term to the National South, beat East Thurrock United when Afolabi Akinyemi netted a final minute winner.

Another team joining the National South from the division above, Torquay United beat the Rocks thanks to two Rauri Keating goals. John Coventry’s side were then beaten 1-0 by Eastbourne Borough and Gloucester City before their maiden win on Saturday. In their clash with the Tigers, East Thurrock United had the experienced former England international Paul Konchesky and Ashley Miller sent off, Konchesky has since left the club after just five games.

Dartford’s last game against East Thurrock United was just four months ago. Chasing the league title, the Darts won 1-0 when Danny Mills headed in the winner twelve minutes from time.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 2 / East Thurrock United wins: 3 / Draws: 1

Current Form

Dartford (LLLDWW) East Thurrock United (WLLLLL)
Hungerford Town A 0-1 Slough Town H 1-0
Wealdstone H 0-3 Gloucester City A 0-1
Concord Rangers A 0-2 Eastbourne Borough H 0-1
Hemel Hempstead Town H 0-0 Torquay United A 0-2
Chelmsford City H 1-0 Dulwich Hamlet A 1-2
Bath City A 2-1 Woking H 0-1

Previous Meetings

17.04.2018 East Thurrock United 0 Dartford 1
28.08.2017 Dartford 0 East Thurrock United 1
07.01.2017 Dartford 6 East Thurrock United 1
10.09.2016 East Thurrock United 1 Dartford 1
30.04.2005 Dartford 0 East Thurrock United 3
28.08.2004 East Thurrock United 2 Dartford 1

Stats

The home side have failed to score in half of the meetings between Dartford and East Thurrock United, whilst the away team have always managed at least a goal.

Princes Park has hosted five August Bank Holiday matches with the Darts winning two, drawing one and losing two. Aveley were beaten 4-0 in 2007 and three years later Dartford drew 1-1 with Ebbsfleet United. Bromley were defeated 3-1 in 2011, Ebbsfleet United won 1-0 at Princes Park three years ago and East Thurrock United won 1-0 last term.

Dartford have failed to score in their last four games for the first time since 1985. The last time they went five games without a goal was in February 1975.

On This Day

Deren Ibrahim grabbed national headlines when he scored a free kick from inside his own half. Two years ago, the goalkeeper opened the scoring at home to Hungerford Town setting up a 2-0 win, Alex Brown scored the second goal. Unbeaten in the last five games on 27 August, the Darts have enjoyed this day in recent years. In 2012, Dartford famously beat Cambridge United when Nathan Collier’s deflected shot turned out to be the winner at the Abbey Stadium. Danny Harris scored a lucky goal to open the scoring, but his goal was cancelled out by Cambridge United’s James Jennings. In 2007, Jay May scored a Princes Park hat-trick as the Darts beat Aveley 4-0. Brendon Cass scored the other goal and Dartford went on to win the Isthmian Premier League title that season. Seventeen years ago, Dartford won a local derby 4-0 against then rivals Erith and Belverdere in the Southern League Division One East. Only Chelmsford City have taken points off Dartford on the 27 August in the last 24 years and that was a 0-0 draw in 2011.

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