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Truro City v Dartford

In form Dartford make the long trip to Plainmoor in Devon to face Cornwall opponents Truro City and it’s likely to be Deren Ibrahim’s last game for the club.

Ibrahim announced he’s leaving Princes Park after an opportunity at Charlton Athletic came up. A full time position as a goalkeeping coach was too good to refuse, so a win in what will be the 27-year-old’s 180th game for the Darts will be the perfect way to sign off.

Despite one favourite going another one came home last Friday, but he was ruled out in bizarre circumstances. Crowd favourite Ryan Hayes returned to Dartford for a second spell, however an accident at work left the creative winger with a broken hand and stitches in his leg after falling down a hole.

The Darts approach their fourteenth league game of the season on the back of a three match winning streak in the competition. Consecutive 2-1 victories over Weston-super-Mare, Chippenham Town and Dulwich Hamlet have propelled Dartford up to sixth and into the playoff places.

With just two National South fixtures going ahead last weekend, Dartford took full advantage to climb the table after coming from behind to beat Dulwich Hamlet, in front of the biggest home crowd at Princes Park this season. The South Londoners took the lead when Afolabi Akinyemi’s powerful shot beat Ibrahim on nineteen minutes. Just before half-time the Darts were level as in form striker Jamie Philpot scored, his fourth in as many league games. The winner came from the spot and Charlie Sheringham stepped up to earn Dartford another three points. Going slightly under the radar, Daniel Johnson who was signed from Bromley made his debut at full back.

Dartford had a mixture of results against the White Tigers last season losing in their last visit to Treyew Road. With the Darts topping the table at the time it was a surprise to see them three down inside nineteen minutes. Tyler Harvey scored a penalty, Cody Cooke made it two in as many minutes and then added a third, Ronnie Vint found the net half way through the first half, but the game ended 3-1. 

The reversed fixture went Dartford’s way with a comfortable 4-1 triumph at Princes Park in February. Andy Pugh, Alex Brown, Danny Mills and an own goal helped the Darts to victory. If it’s goals you’re looking for then this could be the fixture, Dartford managed to score five on both occasions against Truro City the season before last, winning 5-0 at Treyew Road and 5-3 at home. 

It’s not been plain sailing since Truro City’s rise up the non-league pyramid. The 2007 F.A Vase winners won five promotions in six seasons to reach the National South in 2011. In their second campaign at this level they were relegated and faced financial problems. It took the Cornwall club four years to get back and they have managed to reach the playoffs twice in the last three years. 

The club have ambitions to play at a Stadium for Cornwall and this off field activity is starting to impact the White Tigers. Developers, Helical Retail announced they intended to start the development of Treyew Road and asked Truro City to vacate their home nine days before the start of this season.  

Presently, supporters face a 180-mile trip to watch their side play at Torquay United’s Plainmoor ground. Now the situation has changed and realistically according to Jonathan Cox, representative of Helical Retail, work on a new stadium will not start until May 2019, therefore Truro City chairman Peter Masters is looking for the club to be back at Treyew Road this season, and for the groundshare with Torquay United to be back in place when work is due to begin. 

This term, the White Tigers are struggling lying second from bottom with just one win in all competitions. Former manager, Lee Hodges left two games into the campaign after a 4-0 defeat to newcomers Billericay Town and a 1-1 draw with bottom club Weston-super-Mare. Midfielder, Ben Harding temporarily took charge and took two points from his six games. 

New boss, Leigh Robinson started off to a flyer winning his first game beating Gloucester City 2-0, but no points have been collected in the league since. The former Taunton Town manager did manage a 0-0 draw in the F.A Cup second qualifying round against Hereford only to lose the replay 4-3 after extra time. The 37-year-old spent six years at Taunton Town winning the Southern League West Division with just one defeat from 42 League games. 

Truro City have struggled this season and only Weston-super-Mare stand between them and the bottom of the table. The White Tigers have picked up just six points with only one of those coming at Plainmoor, their temporary home. 

Dartford’s last visit to Plainmoor in April 2015 was in the National League when the game ended 1-1 against Torquay United. Jordan Chiedozie’s goal earned Dartford a point, but it was too little too late to save the Darts from relegation that season. 

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 3 / Truro City wins: 4 / Draws: 1

Current League Form

Truro City (LLLWLL) Dartford (WWWDDL)
Hemel Hempstead Town H 1-2 Dulwich Hamlet H 2-1
Concord Rangers A 0-3 Chippenham Town A 2-1
Hampton & Richmond H 0-2 Weston-super-Mare H 2-1
Gloucester City A 2-0 Billericay Town A 1-1
Weadlstone A 0-3 Eastbourne Borough H 2-2
Hungerford Town H 2-3 St Albans City A 0-2

Previous Meetings

24.02.2018 Dartford 4 Truro City 1
11.11.2017 Truro City 3 Dartford 1
18.03.2017 Dartford 5 Truro City 3
08.10.2016 Truro City 0 Dartford 5
05.04.2016 Truro City 3 Dartford 0
19.09.2015 Dartford 0 Truro City 1

Stats

Jamie Philpot has scored in each of his last four league games. Danny Mills was the last Dartford player to do that in the final four league games of last season.

Only St Albans City (5) have conceded more goals in the opening 15 minutes of games than Truro City (4). The White Tigers have also let in 12 goals between 60-75 minutes, seven more than anyone else.

Only Dulwich Hamlet and Hungerford Town (7) have let in more goals than Dartford (5) in first 15 minutes of the second half.

Dartford have won their last three league games 2-1, the last time the Darts recorded three consecutive 2-1 victories was in 1994 against Faversham Town, Cray Wanderers and Folkestone Invicta in the Kent League.

With the departure of Deren Ibrahim confirmed only Ben Greenhalgh and Tom Bonner will be on course to play in every National South game this season.

On This Day

Two of the current squad scored against Ashford Town (Middlesex) nine years ago in a 4-1 away win. Lee Noble and Ryan Hayes scored the first two Dartford goals, Danny Harris and Jay May added two more in the Isthmian Premier League encounter. Two years before the Darts also hit four this time against Potters Bar Town, one more Jay May found himself on the scoresheet alongside Brendon Cass, Junior Kadi and Tom Bradbrook.

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