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Dartford v Chippenham Town

Steve King takes charge of his first National South game as Dartford manager this weekend when they host Chippenham Town.

In their last league fixture, the Darts made sure they gave interim boss Tony Burman the perfect send off. Since the departure of Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle, Burman has instilled more belief and confidence in the squad winning four of his six games at the helm.

A fortnight ago, Dartford recorded a fourth consecutive away victory in all competitions when they beat Oxford City 1-0. The match marked the return of Andy Pugh, who was recalled from East Thurrock United and Mark Onyemah, who made his first appearance since March. Ben Greenhalgh scored the winner just past the half hour mark curling his shot beyond Craig King in the Oxford City goal.

King has already taken charge of one Darts game in last weekend’s F.A Cup tie versus Kingstonian. The new boss is willing to give players opportunities to impress, he told www.kentonline.co.uk: “I’ve told them that they will all get an opportunity”, however King will not shirk from making improvements to the squad if needed, he explained: “Different managers get more out of some players but if it’s not working then I will make changes that I feel are necessary”.

Dartford took three points off Chippenham Town last term losing the last meeting between the two sides at Princes Park in April. Adriel George scored for the visitors twelve minutes from time to put a dent in Dartford’s playoff hopes. The reverse fixture at Hardenhuish Park, just over a year ago was an unusual affair in that goalkeeper Deren Ibrahim scored the winning goal in a 2-1 victory.

The Bluebirds are now in their third season in the National South and have been very consistent. In their first two campaigns they finished thirteenth and this time they are sitting mid-table. Mark Collier’s side are unbeaten in four National South matches winning their last outing 1-0 at Concord Rangers. Luke Hopper’s second-half penalty was enough to gain three more points for the Bluebirds which had Collier praising his squad’s mentality, spirit and endeavour.

Chippenham Town lost to Dorking Wanderers at the beginning of September before setting off on their unbeaten run. The Wiltshire club beat Tonbridge Angels 2-1 then recorded successive draws against Chelmsford City and Dulwich Hamlet, returning to winning ways by beating Concord Rangers.

Just over two years ago, Dartford hosted Chippenham Town for the first time and ran out 3-0 winners. Two of the current squad found the back of the net that day, Andy Pugh and Ryan Hayes adding to Alfie Pavey’s opener. In the return fixture the match finished 2-2 with the Darts twice squandering the lead. Pavey hit a brace, but both goals were cancelled out first by Dean Evans then by Nick McCootie.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 2 / Chippenham Town wins: 1 / Draws: 1

Current League Form

Dartford (WLWLLD) Chippenham Town (WDDWLL)
Oxford City A 1-0 Concord Rangers A 1-0
Slough Town H 2-3 Dulwich Hamlet H 2-2
Concord Rangers A 2-0 Chelmsford City A 3-3
Dorking Wanderers H 3-4 Tonbridge Angels H 2-1
Tonbridge Angels A 2-3 Dorking Wanderers A 0-1
Hemel Hempstead Town H 1-1 Braintree Town H 1-2

Previous Meetings

13.04.2019 Dartford 0 Chippenham Town 1
13.10.2018 Chippenham Town 1 Dartford 2
20.01.2018 Chippenham Town 2 Dartford 2
09.09.2017 Dartford 3 Chippenham Town 0

Stats

Dartford have lost their last two home games in the league for the first time since February/March 2016, the last time they lost three in a row was in March 2015 whilst in the National League.

The Darts have scored in seven consecutive home games, the last team to keep a clean sheet at Princes Park was Chippenham Town.

Chippenham Town have the best defence in the National South conceding on average a goal a game in their 13 matches.

The Bluebirds have scored the fewest number of goals (5) on the road in the division, only Tonbridge Angels (4) have scored fewer.

Chippenham Town’s last away match in the National South was their first league triumph on the road since beating Dartford in April at Princes Park, ending a run of seven away games without victory.

On This Day

Dartford made a rare television appearance seven years ago and what a memorable Friday night under the Princes Park floodlights it was. Live coverage of the home National League fixture against Mansfield Town ended with the Darts recording a famous 2-0 win. Elliot Bradbrook scored from 20 yards in first-half stoppage time and a minute later a Ryan Hayes special helped move Dartford into third place in the league. The Darts have won their last five home games on 26 October and in 2010 they beat Leiston 3-2 in the F.A Cup fourth qualifying round. Dartford drew the first game 0-0 but made it through to round one with goals from Danny Harris, Carl Rook and Tom Bonner setting up a tie with Port Vale. The last game on this day came against rivals Ebbsfleet United also in the F.A Cup fourth qualifying round, Lee Noble scored after the Fleet missed an earlier penalty and Anthony Cook equalised to force a replay, which the Darts won 1-0 three days later.

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