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Dartford v Eastbourne Borough

Four defeats in five games have left Dartford needing goals and much needed points, when they host Eastbourne Borough at Princes Park this weekend.

The Darts have struggled in front of goal this season and have failed to find the net in five of their last six National South outings. After the 2-0 reverse last weekend away to St Albans City, Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle will want their side to make the most of home advantage against this weekend’s opponents Eastbourne Borough, the Sports have started their campaign well and are third in the league.

Improving the attacking options has been a priority and the management duo took some steps in addressing the lack of firepower. Charlie Sheringham started his third spell with the Darts making his debut on Saturday, the striker who was with Hemel Hempstead Town last term spent some time in Bangladesh. The 30 year-old made 61 starting appearances and scored 41 times during his previous two spells with the Darts.

Also making his debut was Cambridge United winger Tom Knowles who signed a one month loan deal with Dartford. Jamie Philpot, who came off injured in the East Thurrock United win didn’t take part in the defeat at St Albans City and Callum Driver was also missing from the squad.

The latest addition to the squad is Amadou Ba, the on loan French striker from Southend United will be available for selection. The 20 year-old has made five appearances for the Essex club and was part of Le Havre’s reserve team before moving across the Channel.

Dartford are not in the best of form and so Coyle has called on his players to match opponents on their work ethic, something that was done against East Thurrock United, he spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk after their previous home triumph and commented: “We have been disappointed because not only have we not got the results but the performances have been poor and that’s been a concern”, he added: “If we lose games, we can’t lose them when we’ve been outworked by the opposition and that’s happened recently”.

Statistics point towards a low scoring afternoon and much of Eastbourne Borough’s success has been built on a solid back line. However, if previous meetings between the two sides are anything to go by then the low scoring trend could well be broken.

Former Dartford favourite Dave Martin may have scored the match winner in their last game against Weston-super-Mare, but a fourth clean sheet in eight shows how tough it’s been to breach the Sports defence, which includes former Darts, Marvin Hamilton and Tom Gardiner.

Martin earned a move to Crystal Palace after impressing at Princes Park, where he scored 16 goals, some of them memorable in 71 starting appearances. The winger enjoyed spells at Millwall and Southend United before returning to non-league, which included a loan spell back at the Darts in 2013 where he made a further 11 appearances.

Gardiner joined the Sports from St Albans City and whilst the defender was at Dartford he played 75 times. Marvin Hamilton spell at the Darts was very brief, the 29 year-old made just one substitute appearance.

Unbeaten away from home, Jamie Howell’s side have won two and drawn two on their travels. Their only defeat so far came against the league leaders Woking on Bank Holiday Monday, ending a six game unbeaten run which included wins over Welling United, East Thurrock United and Chippenham Town.

The Sports’ squad includes former Ebbsfleet United and Dover Athletic defender Ian Simpemba, ex Ebbsfleet United midfielder Michael West as well as the experienced Sergio Torres and Dean Cox.

A year ago, the two sides met at Princes Park in a contest that had a major talking point. It was one way traffic in the first half as Alex Brown had Dartford ahead going into the break. Ryan Hayes, on his 400th appearance for the club set up Alfie Pavey on the hour with his corner and Elliot Bradbrook’s header four minutes later made it 3-0. Jamie Taylor pulled a goal back with six minutes remaining, but shortly afterwards it was 4-1. A quick free-kick was taken by the Sports which rebounded off the grounded Hayes, who was a few yards away. The referee controversially played on as the ball broke to Tom Murphy who scored. Eastbourne Borough managed a late consolation when Lee Noble scored an own goal. Victory secured a double over the Sussex club, Danny Mills scored the only goal at Priory Lane in April.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 10 / Eastbourne Borough wins: 4 / Draws: 2

Current Form

Dartford (LWLLLD) Eastbourne Borough (WLDWWD)
St Albans City A 0-2 Weston-super-Mare A 1-0
East Thurrock United H 2-0 Woking H 1-2
Hungerford Town A 0-1 St Albans City A 1-1
Wealdstone H 0-3 Chippenham Town H 2-1
Concord Rangers A 0-2 East Thurrock United A 1-0
Hemel Hempstead Town H 0-0 Truro City H 2-2

Previous Meetings

14.04.2018 Eastbourne Borough 0 Dartford 1
12.09.2017 Dartford 4 Eastbourne Borough 2
08.04.2017 Dartford 4 Eastbourne Borough 3
16.08.2011 Eastbourne Borough 2 Dartford 3
20.02.2016 Eastbourne Borough 1 Dartford 1
11.08.2015 Dartford 1 Eastbourne Borough 0

Stats

Dartford are unbeaten in their last ten matches against Eastbourne Borough stretching back to 2011 (W8, D2). The Darts have won the last four against the Sussex club.

Under the guise of Eastbourne Borough, the Sports won their first four meetings against the Darts between 2001 and 2003.

The Darts have won their last five home matches against the Sussex club, scoring eight and conceding five in the last two meetings at Princes Park.

Games involving Dartford and Eastbourne Borough this season have been low scoring. The Darts have totalled 14 goals in their fixtures (scored 5 conceded 9) whilst the Sports have seen just 15 (scored 9 conceded 6).

Only East Thurrock United (3) have scored fewer then Dartford this term.

On This Day

Dartford last won on 8 September way back in 2001 when they beat Grantham Town 1-0 in the Southern League Division One East. The last home win was even further back in 1979, the Darts beat Hastings United 3-0 in the Southern League Southern Division. The last match Dartford played on this day ended in a 2-0 defeat away to Gateshead in the National League six years ago.

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