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Dartford v Hampton & Richmond

Dartford will be determined to maintain their 100% record and avenge the double defeat of last season in their second successive league match at home on Saturday.

The Beavers enjoyed an emphatic 4-0 away victory in February which ended their fifteen match winless streak. Dean Wells, Ian Hodges and Lawrence Yaku’s brace inflicted Dartford’s first defeat in seven at the time. Tony Burman is keen to put the losses of last season right, he told PURE DFC, “they deserved the points last season but we’ll have a training session on Thursday night to see where we can improve and hopefully we’ll put that into practice on Saturday. Hopefully we can gain another three points”.

Charlie's nets his third of the season

The Darts opened their campaign with two wins out of two after defeating Eastbourne Borough 2-1 on Tuesday night. A superb mid week turnout saw Charlie Sheringham score his third of the season and new signing Adam Green net his first Dartford goal.

Burman was pleased with the performance but feels improvements in front of goal can be made, he said, “the guys have worked hard and it’s come off for them tonight I think with a bit clinical finishing the scoreline should have been a little bit more”, he added, “we’ve got six points out of two games and I think we thoroguhly deserved them points. We were the better side on Saturday and we were the better side tonight but I felt we played a bit too much football around the box rather than being a little bit more clinical”.

Going into Saturday’s fixture James Rogers and Jack Pallen are on the road to recovery but are not likely to be back yet, Burman commented, “James has had a bad ten days but he feels much better and his done a bit of training. He’ll come in and train on Thursday but there is no pressure to force him back in, he was excellent in pre season. Jack will be back, by the end of next week he’ll be okay”.

Hampton and Richmond lost both their openers 2-1 against Bromley due to a last minute goal and Woking who scored a late winner. It’s been a tough start for the Middlesex club who didn’t have the best 2011/2012. Last season The Beavers struggled finishing five points clear of safety. Between October 2010 and February 2011 Mark Harper’s men could not find a win, until they won at Princes Park. Hampton and Richmond have had mixed fortunes since joining the Conference South in 2007, in their first two seasons they suffered playoff heartbreak but in recent years they have finished in the lower realms of the league.

The Beavers have since lost the services of two of the goalscorers in last season’s 4-0 victory. Hodges joined Falmouth and Yaku was signed by Boreham Wood. However, last seasons joint top league scorer for the Middlesex club Charlie Moone has remained part of Mark Harper’s squad.

Mark Harper: Hampton and Richmond boss

Mark Harper knows his side need to improve to avoid any mid season slumps and to help he has taken a chance with lower league signings like James Simmonds from Carshalton Athletic, Ricky Machel from Northwood and Billy Jeffreys from Ashford Town (Middlesex). In return for Jeffreys Ashford Town (Middlesex) have taken Takahiro Kirihara, Pietro Palladino and Jack Mullan on loan.

Added to the lower league signings he has brought in a few players with higher league experience like Matt Ruby on a free, Callum Stewart from Histon and like many other clubs he raided Hayes and Yeading for Lewis Ferrell. In the other direction Barrie Matthews joins up with Yaku at Boreham Wood and Craig Tanner left the club due to work commitments.

A win for Dartford will not only put last seasons results against Hampton and Richmond to bed but also the 1-0 defeat in the F.A Cup Second Qualifying Round three years ago.

Did you know…

Hampton and Richmond inflicted Dartford’s first ever Conference South defeat. A goal by Dean Wells was enough for The Beavers after The Darts were reduced to ten men.

If Dartford win on Saturday it will be their longest winning streak in the league since joining the Conference South. The Darts ended last season with victories against Dover Athletic, Maidenhead United and opened this season with wins against Weston Super-Mare and Eastbourne Borough.


 

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