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Dartford v Billericay Town

Dartford have the chance to leapfrog Billericay Town in the National South league standings this weekend with victory at Princes Park.

The Darts brought forward their fixture with the Essex club in which is now the only National South fixture this Saturday. Following early F.A Trophy exits from both clubs the game was moved to this weekend in hope of a larger crowd.

A win for Dartford will move them a point ahead of the Blues, so manager Steve King would like to see a repeat of the last meeting between the two sides at Princes Park. Almost eight months ago, in the penultimate game of the season, both teams were chasing a playoff spot. Tom Murphy became the hero with two late goals to overturn Jake Robinson’s strike for Billericay Town.

Dartford approach Saturday’s game on the back of five games without a win in all competitions with three draws and a couple of defeats. Their last outing saw the return of Jordan Wynter from injury and a new addition in Tyrique Hyde. Wynter made his first appearance since his injury almost three months ago. Hyde joined the Darts on loan from League Two side Colchester United and made his debut.

King made four changes to the team that lost 3-0 at Bath City, as well as Wynter and Hyde, Billy Crook returned to the starting eleven and so did Darren McQueen. However, Andy Pugh (broken hand) and Kyjuon Marsh-Brown (hamstring) were the latest casualties to appear on the Dartford injury list which included six others. The Darts looked good value in the second half, even though they went behind through Christian Smith’s free-kick. The equaliser came with fifteen minutes left when Elliott Romain won a penalty then scored from the spot, the striker now has five goals in eight games for the Darts.

After the game, King spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk and said: “I thought we were the better side for the majority of the game”, he added: “We had a central midfield made up of a full-back who hasn’t played for two or three months, Billy Crook who has been out for a month and Tyrique Hyde, who has just come in from Colchester. They never knew each other but the difference was that we had legs in there. I was worried about their central midfield area, I thought they would overpower us but the three boys in there did a magnificent job”.

Full back, Liam Gordon extended his loan spell with the Darts before the match and spoke to DFCTV after the 1-1 draw, he commented: “We could have taken more out of the game, the boys worked hard, but again it’s an away point”. Enjoying his loan spell at Dartford, Gordon is looking forward to the next two home fixtures against Billericay Town and Concord Rangers, he exclaimed: “We need to make the home ground a tough place to play at. We need teams to fear us when they are coming to our ground and most importantly for us to get the three points”.

Billericay Town have often been in the headlines over recent years under the ownership of Glen Tamplin, but all that has now changed. The former owner quit the Essex club in September and around the same time manager Harry Wheeler was replaced by former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Jamie O’Hara, despite the club being in seventh place. O’Hara has one National South victory as manager of the Blues, however he did guide the club to the F.A Cup first round after victories over Basildon United, Bath City and Sutton United, in which former Dartford goalkeeper Alan Julian scored the goal to force a replay.

On the weekend, O’Hara watched his side throw away a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 against Tonbridge Angels. The match featured a Dartford loanee and two former Darts, and all were involved amongst the goals in some part. Femi Akinwande made five appearances for Dartford having come through the academy system, the striker opened the scoring on seven minutes and ten minutes later Billericay Town doubled their lead through Odysseus Alfa. In the second-half Tonbridge Angels staged a comeback with former Dartford keeper Julian conceding three. Khale Da Costa pulled a goal back and two minutes later, Dartford loanee Ben Greenhalgh set up Tom Derry for the equaliser. Da Costa scored his second of the afternoon to complete the turnaround and condemn Billericay Town to their fifth away defeat of the campaign.

The two goals scored by Billericay Town on the weekend ended Jake Robinson’s run as the only Blues goalscorer since late October. The striker scored all seven of Billericay Town’s goals in the six competitive matches leading up to the 3-2 loss. Robinson has scored ten goals in his last nine appearances and nine in the National South so far, putting him second in the National South’s goalscoring charts.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 3 / Billericay Town wins: 2 / Draws: 1

Current League Form

Dartford (DLDWWD) Billericay Town (LDWLLD)
Dulwich Hamlet A 1-1 Tonbridge Angels A 2-3
Bath City A 0-3 Weymouth H 1-1
Maidstone United H 2-2 Dulwich Hamlet A 1-0
Hampton and Richmond A 2-1 Maidstone United A 1-2
Eastbourne Borough A 2-0 Slough Town A 1-3
Chippenham Town H 1-1 Dorking Wanderers H 2-2

Last Six Meetings

22.04.2019 Dartford 2 Billericay Town 1
15.09.2018 Billericay Town 1 Dartford 1
06.03.2010 Dartford 1 Billericay Town 4
02.02.2010 Billericay Town 1 Dartford 0
14.02.2009 Dartford 2 Billericay Town 0
04.10.2008 Billericay Town 0 Dartford 1

Stats

Dartford are unbeaten in their last two matches against Billericay Town.

The Darts have gone seven games without a home win in all competitions (D3, L4) and have won just one in ten this season at Princes Park (W1, D5, L4)

On This Day

At the time, nine years ago Dartford were paired with the biggest team in non-league when they were drawn against Crawley Town in the F.A Trophy first round. After an epic 3-3 draw in which the Darts were denied victory in stoppage time, the two sides played out the replay on 14 December 2010. Against the odds Dartford caused an upset under the floodlights of Princes Park and on that day three of the current squad were involved. Ryan Hayes, Tom Bonner and Charlie Sheringham played their part, but the hero was Tom Champion who scored in the 92nd minute to knock out the Sussex club led by manager Steve Evans, who labelled the Darts a ‘poor side’ after the game.

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