Rss

National South Season Preview Part Three

Ebbsfleet United

National South League Performance (last 2 years):
P18 W8 D4 L6 Pts28 (PPG 1.56) – Ranking 5th

F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round
F.A Trophy: 3rd Round

The way in which Ebbsfleet United returned to the National South after three seasons away was agonising for the club. Relegated by the tinniest of margins on points per game sent the Fleet down and last season they were on course for a playoff push ending as one of the form teams. In the summer the club tried a cheeky attempt at getting their National League place back so the division above would return to a 24-team competition. It was worth a shot, but the Kent club will have to earn promotion on the pitch during their 75th year anniversary instead.

Manager: Dennis Kutrieb

In recent years German managers have been well sought after in the professional game and Kutrieb is flying the flag in the National South. Appointed just over a year ago, the Fleet were alerted to Kutrieb’s progress through the German football publication Kicker. He has connections with Tennis Borussia Berlin who he represented as a player then as a coach. Kutrieb led the German side to the Berlin Cup Final and second in the fifth tier. The following season he had his former team top before the season was cut short and his side were declared champions winning promotion.

Summer

Last summer the Fleet were busy in the transfer market and they are again this time. Signing from rivals Dartford, the Fleet have snapped up Elliott Romain who provides hard work up front. Michael West spent ten years at Stonebridge Road and returns to the club from Eastbourne Borough. Kreshnic Krasniqi signs from fellow Ken side Maidstone United with Tom Hadler moving the other way. Replacing Hadler in goal will be former Concord Rangers goalkeeper Chris Haigh. Burnley under 23 midfielder Christian N’Guessan moves to Stonebridge Road along with Sido Jombati from Oldham Athletic, Craig Tanner and Alex Finney from Aldershot Town, Joe Martin from Stevenage and St Lucia international Kieran Monlouis from Horsham.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 66 / Ebbsfleet United wins: 55 / Draws: 33

Previous Meetings (last six)

Dartford 0 – 0 Ebbsfleet United (02/01/2021 – National South)
Ebbsfleet United 1 – 0 Dartford (01/01/2017 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 1 Ebbsfleet United (26/12/2016 – National South)
Ebbsfleet United 1 – 1 Dartford (28/03/2016 – National South)
Dartford 0 – 1 Ebbsfleet United (31/08/2015 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 0 Ebbsfleet United (29/10/2013 – F.A Cup)

  • Dartford have won six of their last nine home league games against Ebbsfleet United, drawing two and losing the other
  • The Darts last won an away league game against the Fleet in March 1979, since then their local rivals have won five and drawn five
  • The 0-0 draw in January was Dartford’s first league clean sheet against the Fleet since the 5-0 New Years Day victory in 1992

Hampton and Richmond Borough

National South League Performance (last 2 years):
P50 W23 D7 L20 Pts76 (PPG 1.52) – Ranking 7th

F.A Cup: 1st Round
F.A Trophy: 2nd Round

Another club celebrating an anniversary, the Beavers have a new revamped badge for their centenary campaign. Apart from a mid-table finish in 2018/2019, Hampton and Richmond Borough have been consistent since winning the Isthmian Premier just over five years ago. The Middlesex club reached the playoffs in consecutive seasons after promotion and narrowly missed out in the 2019/2020 campaign. Last time out Hampton and Richmond Borough were sitting in sixth before the season ended. Comfortable against teams in the bottom half of the table, the Beavers were inconsistent against those around them, but they did pick up draws at home to the top two.

Manager: Gary McCann

A manager who knows what it’s like to be around a club for a long time, McCann has just agreed a three-year deal and has been manager of Hampton and Richmond Borough since May 2018. Those three years seem relatively short in comparison to his previous managerial job at Hendon, where he also played as a goalkeeper in the nineties. McCann led his former club, Hendon to the Isthmian Premier League playoff final in his thirteenth campaign as boss, before the Beavers came calling. Whilst at the Beveree, McCann has improved in each season finishing fifteenth, eighth and ended last term in sixth.

Summer

Jorome Slew made his name in the 2019/2020 F.A Cup with an amazing solo goal for Maldon and Tiptree against Leyton Orient. Since then he has been at Wealdstone and after an impressive trial signs for the Beavers. Hampton and Richmond Borough have retained most of the squad from last season including former Dartford goalkeeper Alan Julian. Guyana international, Kadell Daniel moves to the Beveree from Kingstonian and returning to the club after a previous loan spell, Ryan Gondoh arrives from Wealdstone. Myles Anderson impressed on loan last term and has agreed to come back for this season, whilst David Fisher returns on loan once more from AFC Wimbledon.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 7 / Hampton and Richmond Borough wins: 5 / Draws: 3

Previous Meetings (last six)

Hampton & Richmond Borough 0 – 0 Dartford (10/10/2020 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 2 Hampton & Richmond Borough (08/02/2020 – National South)
Hampton & Richmond Borough 1 – 2 Dartford (05/11/2019 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 2 Hampton & Richmond Borough (23/03/2019 – National South)
Hampton & Richmond Borough 0 – 1 Dartford (17/11/2018 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 0 Hampton & Richmond Borough (30/03/2018 – National South)

  • Dartford have lost just one of the last eight games against Hampton and Richmond Borough, winning four and drawing three of the other matches
  • Hampton and Richmond Borough are unbeaten in their last two games against the Darts, their longest streak since winning three in a row between 2008 and 2010
  • The 0-0 draw in the last meeting ended a run of ten consecutive games in which the Darts scored against the Beavers, a run stretching back to those three consecutive defeats

Havant and Waterlooville

National South League Performance (last 2 years):
P48 W25 D12 L11 Pts87 (PPG 1.81) – Ranking 1st

F.A Cup: 2nd Round
F.A Trophy: 5th Round

Over the seven years preceding last season’s unfinished campaign, Havant and Waterlooville have had something to play for right until the end. The Hawks missed out on the playoffs on goal difference, reached the playoff semi-finals, suffered a final day relegation, won promotion straight back up, then claimed a consecutive title. Havant and Waterlooville managed just one season in the National League before returning to the National South, where they finished runners up. In the 14 matches they played last term they won six, drew two and lost six so this summer has given the Hawks a chance to regroup for another challenge at the top.

Manager: Paul Doswell

A successful non-league manager, Doswell was given the challenge to lead Havant and Waterlooville back into the National League after relegation in 2019. In his first campaign with the Hawks he came close finishing runners up and losing the playoff semi-final against Dartford. Slightly off the pace last term, Doswell has pedigree at this level to get the Hawks back on track. He spent eleven years at Sutton United winning the Isthmian Premier and National South titles and guided the U’s to the fifth round of the F.A Cup losing to Arsenal. At Eastleigh he took them from the Wessex League to the National South.

Summer

Former Dartford player, Alex Wall scored the goal that took Concord Rangers to Wembley, the striker joins Havant and Waterlooville for this campaign. Forward, James Roberts and experienced Joe Oastler sign from Oxford City, whilst league top scorer in 2019/2020 Joe Iaciofano leaves the Hawks for the Hoops. Havant and Waterlooville made a double signing from Dover Athletic by capturing the signatures of defenders Josh Passley and Paul Rooney. Also, in defence, 19-year-old Joe Newton arrives from Coventry City’s under 23 side. Paul Doswell looked towards two of his former clubs by bringing in Abdulai Bell-Baggie and Jamie Collins from Eastleigh and Jamie Collins from Sutton United, Collins returns to the Hawks after 12 years away. Jake McCarthy has been taken from National League side Weymouth and Charlie Searle arrives from Wessex League side Baffins Milton Rovers. Departing Westleigh Park, Josh Taylor joins Dorking Wanderer’s promotion bid and Roarie Deacon moves to Maidstone United.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 7 / Havant and Waterlooville wins: 3 / Draws: 4

Previous Meetings (last six)

Dartford 2 – 1 Havant & Waterlooville (31/10/2020 – National South)
Havant & Waterlooville 1 – 2 Dartford (25/07/2020 – National South Playoff)
Dartford 1 – 1 Havant & Waterlooville (10/08/2019 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 0 Havant & Waterlooville (13/01/2018 – National South)
Havant & Waterlooville 0 – 0 Dartford (12/08/2017 – National South)
Havant & Waterlooville 0 – 2 Dartford (19/03/2016 – National South)

  • Dartford are unbeaten in nine games against Havant and Waterlooville wining seven and drawing two
  • The Darts are six matches unbeaten at home versus the Hawks
  • Havant and Waterlooville’s last win over the Darts came in 2011, their last match of a five game unbeaten sequence against Dartford in which they won three and drew two

Hemel Hempstead Town

National South League Performance (last 2 years):
P52 W18 D10 L24 Pts64 (PPG 1.23) – Ranking 12th

F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round
F.A Trophy: 3rd Round

Another steady club in the National South now approaching their eighth season in the division. Hemel Hempstead Town won promotion from the Southern League in 2014 and since then they have mainly finished in the top half. In their second campaign at this level they narrowly missed out on a playoff place, but they have made one appearance in the end of season competition losing falling at the first hurdle three years ago. Last term the Hertfordshire club lost ten out of the 18 matches completed, picking up just one home win, but they managed to win just over half of their away fixtures.

Manager: Lee Bircham

Appointed last summer, Bircham has had under half a season to shape a squad to push Hemel Hempstead Town further up the table. The Tudors are his hometown club and before rocking up at Vauxhall Road, Bircham had managerial success with Berkhamsted, who were top of the Southern League Division One Central with twenty wins from twenty-eight matches before the pandemic hit. He also had a good track record at local club Bovingdon where he won the Hertfordshire Premier Division with an eighteen-point margin and racking up an average of four goals a game.

Summer

Ky Marsh-Brown had two unfinished seasons with the Darts and has left Princes Park for Hemel Hempstead Town. The Tudors have also signed left back, Jack Williams from Hayes and Yeading and Cole Kpekawa from Chelmsford City. Over the last few campaigns Royston Town has been the source of new players for Hemel Hempstead Town, Josh Castiglione joins previously signed duo Gus Scott-Morris and Matt Bateman at the club. Alfie Cerulli, Dominic Morgan-Griffiths and Samir Carruthers have also signed on. Meanwhile former club captain Jake Howells has left the club.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 6 / Hemel Hempstead Town wins: 1 / Draws: 4

Previous Meetings (last six)

Hemel Hempstead Town 1 – 3 Dartford (10/11/2020 – National South)
Dartford 1 – 1 Hemel Hempstead Town (31/08/2019 – National South)
Hemel Hempstead Town 1 – 2 Dartford (05/03/2019 – National South)
Dartford 0 – 0 Hemel Hempstead Town (11/08/2018 – National South)
Dartford 3 – 2 Hemel Hempstead Town (17/03/2018 – National South)
Hemel Hempstead Town 0 – 3 Dartford (26/08/2017 – National South)

  • Dartford are unbeaten in their last nine games against Hemel Hempstead Town, winning five and drawing four
  • The Darts are unbeaten in all five home matches versus the Tudors
  • Hemel Hempstead Town’s only victory in this fixture came on the opening day of the 2015/2016 season when they won 1-0

Hungerford Town

National South League Performance (last 2 years):
P52 W17 D6 L29 Pts57 (PPG 1.10) – Ranking 19th

F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round
F.A Trophy: 2nd Round

Saved from relegation after propping up the table, Hungerford Town went on to begin last season in blistering form winning six of their first eight. The Crusaders had shown that type of form before in their debut National South season in 2016/2017. That time they managed to maintain their decent showing by finishing in the playoffs, but unfortunately, they were denied the chance to participate. For the next three seasons Hungerford Town battled relegation surviving on the final day twice before finishing bottom. So, the start of last term saw a big turnaround influenced by manager Danny Robinson who had his side in seventh place.

Manager: Danny Robinson

A F.A Vase winner with his previous club Thatcham Town, it hasn’t taken long for Robinson to turn Hungerford Town’s fortunes around as well. He started his managerial career at the early age of 21 with Winchester City’s reserves before claiming the Hampshire Senior Cup with Alresford Town. At Thatcham Town, to go with the F.A Vase triumph he won promotion and had them on the verge of another one before the season was halted. So with all the successes achieved, Hungerford Town came calling in May 2020 where he turned the Crusaders into one of the surprise packages last term.

Summer

An important signing for the Crusaders wasn’t that of a new player, but one who decided to stay. Ryan Seager was in top form before the season was cut short and his goals helped Hungerford Town reach the top end of the table, the striker remains at Bulpit Lane with the majority of last season’s squad. Matt Jones and Warren Bentley return to the club, whilst attacking midfielder’s Theo Lewis and Ty Ward also join the Crusaders. Other new signings include Chris Flood and Nana Kyei, defender Henry Lander and midfielder Simo Mbonkwi.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 3 / Hungerford Town wins: 3 / Draws: 3

Previous Meetings (last six)

Dartford 1 – 1 Hungerford Town (16/01/2021 – National South)
Hungerford Town 1 – 2 Dartford (28/11/2020 – National South)
Hungerford Town 2 – 2 Dartford (26/08/2019 – National South)
Dartford 2 – 1 Hungerford Town (22/12/2018 – National South)
Hungerford Town 1 – 0 Dartford (25/08/2018 – National South)
Hungerford Town 1 – 0 Dartford (09/12/2017 – National South)

  • Dartford are four games unbeaten against Hungerford Town, their best sequence versus the Crusaders since the first meeting back in 2016
  • The Darts are unbeaten in all four matches at Princes Park, winning two and drawing two
  • Hungerford Town have conceded in each of the last four games against the Darts having previously kept four clean sheets in a row

Comments are closed.