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Bath City – Season Preview 2019/2020

Bath City

2018/19 Season

National South: 9th

F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Round

County Cup: Semi-Final

League Top Scorer: Tom Smith (10 goals) / Average Attendance: 702

Chairman, Nick Blofield was happy with his club’s performance last season stating that reaching the playoffs was another step in the right direction. He can be also pleased with average attendances at Twerton Park being at their highest for forty years and the club’s best finish in seven seasons. The club has also requested permission to redevelop their home to safeguard the club’s future, manager Jerry Gill stated on the club’s official website: “The redevelopment of Twerton Park will not only give us, the Football Club, a brand new, fit for purpose and state of the art facility, but also a hub for the local community to use on a regular basis”. 

Even more reason to be optimistic is the fact the Romans signed Tyler Harvey from Truro City. Despite experiencing relegation last season he finished as the third highest scorer in the National South. In 2016, Harvey scored six goals in eleven appearances for Bath City during a loan spell. Bath City have also signed last season’s top scorer for the club, Tom Smith. The 21-year-old can’t get enough of Twerton Park, he has already made 58 appearances for Bath City over three loan spells, and has now signed a two year contract joining from Cheltenham Town. Other new players will include right back Ashley Harper and centre back Matt Bower from relegated Weston-super-Mare, Connor Riley-Rowe also from Truro City and midfielder Jordan Simpson from Forest Green Rovers. The most notable departure over the summer was ever-present centre back Robbie Cundy who moved back to full time football securing a deal with Championship side Bristol City.

The Manager – Jerry Gill

Appointed manager of Bath City in October 2017, Gill took over from Gary Owers who had left for Torquay United. The appointment marked the return of the former defender who played over 200 times for the Romans in the nineties. His playing career included a League Cup Final and promotion to the Premier League with Birmingham City and a League Two playoff triumph with Cheltenham Town. Gill started managing eight years ago with Weymouth, but he resigned after 44 days with the club struggling financially. Since then he has held coaching roles at Bristol Rovers, Birmingham City and Kidderminster Harriers as well as with Norwich City’s and Wolverhampton Wanderers’ academies.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 33 / Bath City wins: 40 / Draws: 19

Last Six Meetings

09.02.2019 Dartford 3 Bath City 0
04.08.2018 Bath City 1 Dartford 2
21.04.2018 Dartford 2 Bath City 0
24.10.2017 Bath City 1 Dartford 2
04.03.2017 Dartford 2 Bath City 0
22.10.2016 Bath City 0 Dartford 1

Facts

Dartford have won the last seven games against Bath City with an aggregate score of 16-3. For the past three seasons the Darts have completed the double over the Romans.

Bath City last beat Dartford on 7 April 1990 at Watling Street in the Southern Premier League.

Last Ten Years

Next Meetings

Saturday 30 November 2019 at Twerton Park

Saturday 28 March 2020 at Princes Park

Dartford v Bath City

Dartford face yet another side aiming for a promotion challenge when they host an in form Bath City in the National South this weekend.

The Darts last four league games have been against teams pushing for the playoffs or the league title. A result on Saturday will see a decent return from those fixtures, especially off the back of Tuesday’s dramatic victory over title contenders Woking. Ronnie Vint headed home a 97th minute winner at the Kingfield Stadium to record Dartford’s first win at the Cards home and move his side into seventh.

In fact it was a game of cards with the hosts finishing the game with just nine men. Ben Gerring was sent off after the official was reminded he had already booked the Woking defender by the Darts management team. Then Armani Little was given a straight red card for striking Lee Noble. Sensing the advantage the Darts pushed for a goal and were rewarded when Vint headed into the Woking goal at the far post.

After the excellent win, Vint spoke to www.kentonline and said: “I got a bit of stick in the first half down in that corner so I thought ‘do you know what, 90th minute, I’m going to give a little bit back here’ and it was nice to see it go in”, he added: “The gaffers have been on my case about getting on the end of things and what a time to get my first header of the season. I’m delighted for the boys”.

The central defender praised his teammates and exclaimed: “It was a proper Dartford performance and we deserved three points.It’s a massive result for us. We’ve been in and out of the play-offs but we’re going in the right direction now”, he continued: “Recently the boys have been brilliant. Everyone’s getting on, they’re gelling and it’s a pleasure to be in the changing-room. When we get results like this, it can only help us going forward. We’re back in the play-offs now and we’ve got to stay in there”.

The Darts won the previous encounter against the Romans on the opening day of the season in dramatic circumstances. At Twerton Park, Dartford had to leave it late to come from behind and secure a 2-1 victory. Bath City’s summer recruit Adam Mann scored after ten minutes, but his strike was cancelled out by Elliot Bradbrook’s header in first half injury time.

With the game heading for a draw Robbie Cundy conceded a dubious penalty only for Bradbrook to miss the target. A couple of minutes later the Darts were awarded a second spot kick which was clear cut decision, this time new signing Delano Sam-Yorke stepped up and scored the winner.

Dartford did host Bath City in April during last season’s title push and on that occasion, it was a tenser affair. Although the Darts took a first half lead when Danny Mills headed in at the far post, the hosts had to wait until seventy minutes to secure the points through Alfie Pavey, who pounced on Brown’s shot across goal and keep up the decent home form versus the Romans.

In March 2017, Dartford recorded the same score with goals from Bradbrook and Duane Ofori-Acheampong and in January 2016, Dartford won 4-1. Andy Pugh’s brace and goals from Ryan Hayes and Callum McNaughton helped the Darts to victory, David Pratt scored for the visitors.

Bath City have finished ninth in the previous two campaigns and during pre-season manager Jerry Gill was confident the Romans would be challengers this term. The Romans have moved up the standings since the festive period and are currently on a nine-match unbeaten league run. Sitting in fourth place, six points behind league leaders Torquay United, Bath City have not lost on the road in the National South since 1 September.

The West Country side have yet to taste defeat in 2019 and their last outing ended in a 0-0 draw against Gloucester City. Without Kebin Amankwaah and Sean Rigg due to injury, the Romans had to settle for a point. Goalkeeper, Ryan Clarke saved a first half penalty to deny their opponents of their best chance, whilst Fredrick Hinds had the ball in the back of the net for Bath City, only for his effort to be ruled out for offside.

Since the back end of December, the Romans have been on form winning six and drawing three. Notably the Somerset club have thrashed Chippenham Town 5-0 and recorded excellent results by beating Torquay United 3-2 and Chelmsford city 2-0.

Although he has not scored in his last four matches Ross Stearn can be a threat up front, the 28-year-old has scored nine league goals this season. The striker has netted a brace against the Darts before at Princes Park during a 6-3 F.A Cup defeat to Sutton United. Ryan Brunt and Anthony Straker have also been amongst the goals this season with eight and seven scored respectively.

Since the opening day of the season, Dartford’s squad has seen numerous changes in contrast to the last starting eleven Bath City selected. On Tuesday night, the Darts fielded six players who had joined or rejoined the club after the opening day (Bailey Vose, Daniel Johnson, Jordan Wynter, Charlie Sheringham, Phil Roberts and Ryan Hayes, including substitutes used then Andre Coker can be added to that list). Bath City selected just three new players compared to the last encounter with the Darts, all of which were loanees added to the squad last month.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 32 / Bath City wins: 40 / Draws: 19

Current League Form

Dartford (WDLWDW) Bath City (DWWDWW)
Woking A 1-0 Gloucester City A 0-0
Concord Rangers H 1-1 Torquay United A 3-2
Chelmsford City A 1-2 East Thurrock United H 1-0
St Albans City H 3-2 Slough Town H 0-0
Wealdstone A 1-1 Dulwich Hamlet A 2-0
Welling United H 1-0 Chippenham Town H 5-0

Previous Meetings

04.08.2018 Bath City 1 Dartford 2
21.04.2018 Dartford 2 Bath City 0
24.10.2017 Bath City 1 Dartford 2
04.03.2017 Dartford 2 Bath City 0
22.10.2016 Bath City 0 Dartford 1
16.01.2016 Dartford 4 Bath City 1

Stats

Dartford have recorded six straight wins against Bath City completing a double in the past two campaigns.

The Romans last defeated the Darts back in 1990 when they won 1-0 in the Southern Premier League.

Dartford have kept four clean sheets in the previous six meetings against Bath City.

Bath City have kept seven clean sheets from their last nine fixtures.

Tuesday’s hero, Vint can make his 150th Dartford appearance if selected this weekend.

On This Day

Brendon Cass controversially scored a ‘ghost goal’ against AFC Sudbury to rescue a point and keep the Darts on top of the Isthmian Division One North table. The top two went head to head eleven years ago and it was John Guest who headed Dartford in front. The hosts fought back to lead with two goals from Jamie Rowe. On the stroke of half-time Cass had a shot saved by goalkeeper only for the ball to ricochet of the striker’s leg towards goal, an AFC Sudbury defender slid and cleared the ball off the line but the official awarded a goal to the Darts. The game ended up 2-2 contributing to the 89 points Dartford accrued to win the title, AFC Sudbury finished runners up.

Bath City v Dartford

New management, new squad, new season, Dartford’s summer of change is put to the test for the first time this weekend against Bath City.

The Darts open their 2018/2019 National South campaign at Twerton Park where they won 2-1 last term. Only half of the squad that featured on that October evening remain at Dartford for the forthcoming season.

Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle will select their first competitive squad which will include seven new signings. Callum Driver will be familiar with the Darts having had a spell with the club previously. The new management team have made use of their contacts by signing Ben Greenhalgh, Billy Roast and Manny Igahore from Flanagan’s former club Concord Rangers, whilst Driver arrives from Coyle’s old team Welling United. Delano Sam-Yorke joins the strike force from Maidstone United, Kudus Oyenuga from Chelmsford City and Sam Mensah from Whitehawk.

Three days before the opening game, Dartford announced the signing of Chez Isaac. The 25 year old midfielder spent last season at Woking and has played for Braintree Town, Boreham Wood and Watford. The news came a day after striker Alex Wall was released even though he only signed this summer. The Darts also brought in Jamie Philpot from Millwall where he made nine first team appearances. He has had previous spells at Woking and Coyle’s former club Welling United.

With the loss of top scorer and National South’s Player of the Year, Alfie Pavey to champions Havant and Waterlooville, the creativity of Ryan Hayes who made 580 appearances for the club and the experience of Danny Harris, who appeared 400 times in a Darts shirt, Flanagan and Coyle have had to rebuild.

However, the duo did manage to retain the likes of former captain Elliot Bradbrook, Deren Ibrahim, who has been publicly backed as the number one goalkeeper, Lee Noble, Andy Pugh and Tom Bonner. Mark Onyemah, Ronnie Vint, Tom Murphy and Alfie Cue will also be part of this season’s squad.

Dartford prepared for the new season with friendly wins at Aveley, Sevenoaks Town, Thamesmead Town and Folkestone Invicta and three defeats to Football League clubs Millwall, Gillingham and Colchester United. Noble has had limited time on the field during pre-season but hopes to be fit for the opening game of the campaign, the midfielder has been struggling with a minor calf injury.  Unfortunately, Pugh’s double leg break against Colchester United will rule him out for the long term. The striker has scored 50 goals for the Darts in 159 appearances and his intelligent play will be missed.

Coyle highlighted his concerns when he spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk, he said: “It’s upsetting because we had really high hopes for him this year. He’s been training well, looking sharp and we were expecting him to have a good season. He’s a strong character and with his mentality, he’ll be back as quick as anyone else”, he continued: “We’ll support him as much as we can. He’s a huge player for the club and has been for the last few years. It’s a real concern because if Pughy stayed fit this year, it’s almost a guarantee of 25 goals. Trying to find someone to fill that void is very difficult”.

The Darts completed a league double over Bath City last term, Alfie Pavey’s brace was enough to secure the three points at Twerton Park last time, although the Romans did equalise just before half-time through Tom Smith. The reverse fixture at Princes Park ended 2-0 back in April, this time Danny Mills and Pavey scored in either half.

Jerry Gill will start his first full campaign as Bath City boss having replaced Gary Owers ten months ago. The Romans manager is pleased with preparations which include friendly wins over Reading and Bristol City’s under 23 teams, Keynsham Town and Street, as well as a Bristol Rovers XI, Evesham United and Weymouth. The only defeat for the Romans was against Exeter City.

After a ninth-place finish last season Gill has added some attacking options which include John Mills from Hereford F.C, who netted 140 goals in three seasons with the Bulls. Ross Stearn comes in from Sutton United, where he scored twice against the Darts almost two years ago and Adam Mann from Evesham United, where he scored 24 goals in the Southern League Division One West. Gill also welcomes Ryan Clarke in goal from Bristol City, Ryan Brunt from Exeter City, Robbie Cundy from Gloucester City and Joe Raynes from Frome Town. Other players to feature regularly during pre-season who were part of the squad last term include Kevin Amankwaah, Frankie Artus, Dan Ball, Jack Batten and Matt Richards.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 31 / Bath City wins: 40 / Draws: 19

Previous Meetings

21.04.2018 Dartford 2 Bath City 0
24.10.2017 Bath City 1 Dartford 2
04.03.2017 Dartford 2 Bath City 0
22.10.2016 Bath City 0 Dartford 1
16.01.2016 Dartford 4 Bath City 1
05.09.2015 Bath City 0 Dartford 0

Stats

Dartford have won their last five matches against Bath City, scoring 11 and conceding two.

The Darts are six games unbeaten against the Romans last losing in 1990, when Bath City won 1-0 at Twerton Park.

Dartford last won their opening game of the season five years ago, when they beat Alfreton Town 1-0 at Princes Park. Since then they lost two in a row and drew in the previous two campaigns.

The Darts last away win on the opening day was 4-0 against Weston-super-Mare back in 2011.

This season will be the earliest Dartford have ever started a new league campaign.

National League South Season Preview 2018/2019 – Part One

 Bath City | Billericay Town | Chelmsford CityChippenham Town | Concord Rangers

Bath City

Founded: 1889 / Ground: Twerton Park

Over the last four years you cannot fault Bath City for consistency. The Romans left the National League via the relegation trapdoor six years ago, since then they have gone through off field transition. The Somerset club turned to filmmaker and fan Ken Loach, who campaigned for a community owned club, the appeal was successful and last summer the transition was completed. During that period, Bath City finished successive seasons in fourteenth followed by back to back ninth place finishes. Hoping to benefit from the playoff places being extended to seventh, the Romans had to settle for the top ten last term, even with the disruption of manager Gary Owers leaving in September for Torquay United.

Last Season

National South: 9th

F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Round

County Cup: Semi-Final

League Top Scorer: Tom Smith (10 goals)

Average Attendance: 702 (6th in National South)

The Manager – Jerry Gill

Appointed manager of Bath City in October 2017, Gill took over from Gary Owers who had left for Torquay United. The appointment marked the return of the former defender who played over 200 times for the Romans in the nineties. His playing career included a League Cup Final and promotion to the Premier League with Birmingham City and a League Two playoff triumph with Cheltenham Town. Gill started managing eight years ago with Weymouth, but he resigned after 44 days with the club struggling financially. Since then he has held coaching roles at Bristol Rovers, Birmingham City and Kidderminster Harriers as well as with Norwich City’s and Wolverhampton Wanderers’ academies.

The Summer

With Bath City’s golden boot winner Jack Compton signing for Chippenham Town, Gill swooped to sign John Mills from Hereford FC. The striker scored 140 goals in three seasons with the Bulls and before that he netted 57 in one campaign with Didcot Town. Ross Stearn makes the move from Sutton United a permanent one, he will be back at Twerton Park for a third time after two loan spells in 2013 and 2015. Also, Adam Mann joins the Romans after scoring 24 goals with Evesham United in the Southern League Division One West last term. Defender Robbie Cundy arrives from National South rivals Gloucester City, Ryan Brunt from Exeter City and goalkeeper Ryan Clarke from Torquay United. Having impressed during pre-season The Romans signed midfielder Joe Raynes from Frome Town. Bath City also welcome the return of James Morton on loan from Bristol City until the end of January 2019. Miles Welch-Hayes was named in the National South’s Team of the Year and returns to the Football League with promoted Macclesfield Town. Ryan Case, Nat Jarvis and George Rigg have also left the club with the latter two moving to rivals Chippenham Town.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 31 / Bath City wins: 40 / Draws: 19

Previous Meetings

21.04.2018 Dartford 2 Bath City 0
24.10.2017 Bath City 1 Dartford 2
04.03.2017 Dartford 2 Bath City 0
22.10.2016 Bath City 0 Dartford 1
16.01.2016 Dartford 4 Bath City 1
05.09.2015 Bath City 0 Dartford 0

Next Meetings

Saturday 4 August 2018 at Twerton Park

Saturday 9 February 2019 at Princes Park

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Billericay Town

Founded: 1880 / Ground: New Lodge

An ambitious club under owner and former manager Glenn Tamplin, Billericay Town delivered under the pressure of high expectations. The Essex club have attracted old Premier League stars such as Jamie O’Hara and Paul Konchesky and signed players who should be playing higher up the pyramid. With financial allure, the Blues built a squad who should have won the Isthmian Premier League and they did, as well as the League Cup. Billericay Town also reached the F.A Cup first round for only the fourth time in their history and were F.A Trophy quarter-finalists last season. Ricay’s last and only foray in the National South ended in relegation five years ago, expectations are higher this time.

Last Season

Isthmian Premier: 1st

F.A Cup: 1st Round

F.A Trophy: Quarter-Final

County Cup: Winners

League Top Scorer: Jake Robinson (34 goals)

Average Attendance: 1057 (2nd in Isthmian Premier)

The Manager – Harry Wheeler

At 23-years-old, Harry Wheeler beat a record set by Andre Villas Boas when he became the youngest person to gain a UEFA A-License. Joining from Welling United in April 2017 he led the Blues to success last term winning the Isthmian Premier League and League Cup. Wheeler played for Stevenage, Hampton & Richmond Borough and St Albans City before moving towards a coaching career. He ran the reserve team at Potters Bar Town, managed St Albans City at 26-years-old and was head of Professional Development at Dagenham and Redbridge for two years. This summer he added owner Glenn Tamplin as his assistant, who was also Wheeler’s predecessor.

The Summer

High ambitions and a step up in non-league football means plenty of change for Billericay Town. Simon Walton will bring experience to the team having played for Sutton United last season, Walton has played in the Football League with Leeds United, Cardiff City, Ipswich Town, Hull City and Plymouth Argyle. Promoted with Dulwich Hamlet in May, Ricky Hayles switches allegiances to Ricay, apart from a short stint with Welling united the defender has spent most of his career in Essex with the likes of Tilbury, Thurrock and East Thurrock United. Wheeler has also persuaded former Truro City captain Ben Gerring to join his side as well as England C international Jake Howells from Dagenham and Redbridge, former Bromley striker Moses Emmanuel, left back Callum Kennedy from AFC Wimbledon and winger Connor Hunte from Greenwich Borough via Kingstonian. Between the sticks, 18-year-old Josh Strizovic comes in as back up after spells with Waltham Forest and Burnham Ramblers. Scott Doe made over 300 appearances for rivals Dagenham and Redbridge, the 29-year-old joins after spells with Whitehawk and Boreham Wood. Adam Coombes showed his potential at Welling United two years ago scoring 31 goals which included four hat-tricks. The striker moved to Sutton United, but injury hampered his progress, so he returned to the Wings. The 27-year-old will now be playing in Essex again with Billericay Town. There have also been notable departures including Rob Swaine going back to local rivals Chelmsford City, Billy Bricknell who scored 105 goals for the club in 184 appearances, Rob Evans and Josh Urquhart both played over 50 times last season. Goalkeeper Jack Giddens leaves for East Thurrock United, Leo Chambers and Louie Theophanous both join Kingstonian and Kevin Foley was released. Olly Sprague, Liam Hughes, Byron Lawrence, Luke Rooney, Sanchez Watt, Nick Wheeler and Charlie Cole are also no longer part of Wheeler’s plans.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 2 / Billericay Town wins: 2 / Draws: 0

Previous Meetings

24.04.2010 Dartford 1 Billericay Town 4
07.11.2009 Billericay Town 1 Dartford 0
02.05.1981 Dartford 2 Billericay Town 0
13.12.1980 Billericay Town 0 Dartford 1

Next Meetings

Saturday 15 September 2018 at New Lodge

Monday 22 April 2019 at Princes Park

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Chelmsford City

Founded: 1878 / Ground: Melbourne Stadium

Last season, the Clarets celebrated a tenth consecutive campaign in the National South. The Essex side will think that’s not worth celebrating simply because they are desperate for a crack at the National League. With an exception of a three-year mediocre spell, Chelmsford City have made regular appearances in the playoffs reaching the end of season finale six times in the last decade, losing the final two years ago. Joint favourites to win the National South last term, The Clarets made a solid start and were amongst the front runners, but they dropped off the pace only to frustratingly lose another playoff semi-final.  The Essex club have spent the summer talking of a takeover and hope this to be resolved fully soon.

Last Season

National South: 3rd

F.A Cup: 1st Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: Runner Up

League Top Scorer: Philip Roberts (18 goals)

Average Attendance: 897 (2nd in National South)

The Manager – Rod Stringer

When Rod Stringer took over two years ago Chelmsford City had spent the previous three seasons outside of the playoffs. Joining from rivals Bishop’s Stortford he has turned the Clarets into title contenders finishing fourth and third since his arrival. He has a proven track record of getting teams challenging for promotion winning the Isthmian Division One North with Aveley, then taking them to the Isthmian Premier League playoffs. Stringer moved to Braintree Town and in his only season at Cressing Road he won the Isthmian Premier League. A spell at Bishop’s Stortford wasn’t as successful as previous roles, but Stringer has brought optimism and consistency back to the Essex club.

The Summer

Rod Stringer has looked across the county border this summer bringing in a number of players from Kent sides. Joe Anderson and Tom Wraight join from Maidstone United, Anderson spent four years at Bromley before playing for the Stones whilst Wraight only managed 26 appearances last season off the back of a decent record at East Thurrock United where he scored 43 times across two seasons. Another former Maidstone United man, Alex Akrofi scored 34 goals in 68 appearances for Tonbridge Angels and is now a Claret. Joining from Gillingham is striker Rhys Murphy, who impressed on trial in pre-season, he has also played in the Netherlands for Telstar in 2012 as well as Dagenham and Redbridge, Oldham Athletic and Forest Green Rovers. Amos Nasha moves from local rivals Concord Rangers, experience goalkeeper Ross Worner comes in from Sutton United and 30-year-old defender Rob Swaine returns to the club for a second spell. Familiar with Stringer at Braintree Town, Jai Reason teams back up with the Chelmsford City boss after spells at Eastleigh and Boreham Wood. Stringer also managed to convince prolific striker Scott Fenwick to stay and move down from the North East. The Clarets have picked up Jordan Chiedozie who netted 29 times in 39 appearances for Margate last term. The striker had a spell with Dartford on loan in 2015 and has featured for Concord Rangers, Poole Town and Cambridge United in the past. Kudus Oyenuga leaves Melbourne Park for Princes Park for a new chapter with Dartford, Michael West moves south to Eastbourne Borough and goalkeeper Sam Beasant is now at Concord Rangers. The experienced Chris Dickson has left to continue his career at Hampton and Richmond Borough.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 36 / Chelmsford City wins: 55 / Draws: 91

Previous Meetings

10.02.2018 Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 2
21.10.2017 Chelmsford City 1 Dartford 0
07.05.2017 Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 2
03.05.2017 Chelmsford City 0 Dartford 0
18.02.2017 Dartford 0 Chelmsford City 1
14.01.2017 Dartford 0 Chelmsford City 1

Next Meetings

Tuesday 7 August 2018 at Princes Park

Saturday 19 January 2019 at Melbourne Stadium

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Chippenham Town

Founded: 1873 / Ground: Hardenhuish Park

Competing at their highest level in the football pyramid didn’t faze Chippenham Town last season. Having gained confidence by winning the Southern Premier League with a record number of points, the Bluebirds settled in the National South with a mid-table finish. To add a touch of gloss to their debut campaign the Wiltshire club also won the Wiltshire Premier Shield. Chippenham Town made the most of their home form losing just four times at Hardenhuish Park, comparative to teams in the playoffs. However, they did lose the most away games in the league, the same amount as relegated Whitehawk. Overall a solid start for the Bluebirds’ life in the National South.

Last Season

National South: 13th

F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: Winners

League Top Scorer: Rhys Healey (6 goals)

Average Attendance: 600 (8th in National South)

The Manager – Mark Collier

Chippenham Town had hit a low point in 2013 when they lost 9-0 to Stourbridge. Mark Collier was on holiday in Egypt at the time and when he was asked to become manager he obliged. Year on year Collier has improved the Bluebirds league position and just over a year ago he won the Southern Premier League with his side recording 103 points. Last season was his first in the National South and the Wiltshire club finished in a respectable thirteenth. Prior his appointment at Chippenham Town, Collier famously led Swindon Supermarine to the F.A Cup second round, where they lost 1-0 to Colchester United.

The Summer

When Chippenham Town take on rivals Bath City on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day three new signings will be up against their former club. Jack Compton scored 12 times for the Romans last term, George Rigg made 25 appearances and Nat Jarvis have all joined from Bath City. The Bluebirds add experienced 31-year-old Yan Klukowski from Torquay United, the midfielder also played for Forest green Rovers, Newport County and York City. Goalkeeper, Will Puddy comes in from Hereford FC to take Jared Thompson’s place, who returned to parent club Chelsea. Whilst left back Kieran Parselle makes his move from Gloucester City.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / Chippenham Town wins: 0 / Draws: 1

Previous Meetings

20.01.2018 Chippenham Town 2 Dartford 2
09.09.2017 Dartford 3 Chippenham Town 0

Next Meetings

Saturday 13 October 2018 at Hardenhuish Park

Saturday 13 April 2019 at Princes Park

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Concord Rangers

Founded: 1967 / Ground: Thames Road

The Beachboys retained their status in the National South in their penultimate game of the season. Concord Rangers won a relegation six pointer against Hungerford Town to stay up. Even with safety confirmed, the Essex club still had a massive say in where the title would end up. On the final day they were two down against Havant and Waterlooville then fought back to level. In the final minute they conceded the goal that sent the title to Hampshire. The Essex club have now completed five seasons in the National South, the new management team will be hoping the sixth campaign will be less of a battle at the wrong end of the table.

Last Season

National South: 17th

F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: Quarter-Final

League Top Scorer: Steve Cawley (14 goals)

Average Attendance: 263 (22nd in National South)

The Manager – Sammy Moore

New to the management game, 30-year-old Sammy Moore has had one year’s experience as a manager which was at Leatherhead. He was part of Ipswich Town’s F.A Youth Cup winning side in 2005 and went on to play for Brentford and Stevenage Borough. The midfielder won the Isthmian Premier League with Dover Athletic nine years ago, then made it into the Football League with AFC Wimbledon through the playoffs two years later. Moore had a spell with Leyton Orient before returning on loan to Dover Athletic. A year ago, he was appointed Player Manager at Leatherhead and impressed enough to replace Adam Flanagan at Concord Rangers this summer.

The Summer

New manager Sammy Moore set his stall out early in the transfer window and made wholesale changes. After ** years at Dartford, Ryan Hayes will be showing his skills with Concord Rangers next term, the winger played 580 times for the Darts and scored 108 goals. Another former Dart, Tyrone Sterling was a F.A Trophy finalist last season with Bromley he will be reunited with Hayes. The former Leatherhead boss, Moore raided his old club by bringing over Frazer Shaw, the experienced Sean Clohessy and midfielder Sam Blackman. The exciting signing of Billy Knott, ex Bradford City, Sunderland, AFC Wimbledon and Gillingham plus a host of other Football League clubs has provided quiet optimism amongst the Beachboys. Lee Minshull will link up again with Moore and Jack Midson, Jack Parkinson joins from Welling United as a player coach, Kojo Awotwi signs from VCD Athletic and Nana Boakye-Yiadom from Dulwich Hamlet. Concord Rangers will also welcome Danny Green on the wing and 30-year-old goalkeeper Sam Beasant from Chelmsford City. On the way out, last season’s top scorer Steve Cawley moves to Hemel Hempstead Town, Ben Greenhalgh joins Dartford, Khale Da Costa switches to St Albans City and Steve King leaves after ten years. Billy Roast and Lewis Knight were also released.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Concord Rangers wins: 1 / Draws: 2

Previous Meetings

06.01.2018 Concord Rangers 1 Dartford 1
15.08.2017 Dartford 2 Concord Rangers 0
11.03.2017 Concord Rangers 1 Dartford 1
24.09.2016 Dartford 2 Concord Rangers 1
27.02.2016 Dartford 1 Concord Rangers 2
18.08.2015 Concord Rangers 2 Dartford 3

Next Meetings

Tuesday 14 August 2018 at Thames Road

Saturday 26 January 2019 at Princes Park

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Dartford v Bath City

Dartford will head into their final home game of the season against playoff hopefuls Bath City with a clear lead at the top of the National South.

The Darts recorded their third 1-0 victory in a week on Tuesday night to give themselves a three point advantage over title rivals Havant and Waterlooville, shifting the pressure onto the Hawks for their final three games of the season.

Leading up to the East Thurrock United game, Tony Burman gave an interview with www.kentonline.co.uk and is feeling a positive vibe, he said: “We’re in a real good place. I’ll tell you now, the group are really together and they’re believing. They’ve worked really hard all season and that work now has got to be carried out in the right manner. Also, the supporters are behind them and there’s a feelgood factor, which is nice, but all we do is take it into the next game”.

Now that vibe is getting stronger thanks to Danny Mills’ 78th minute header on Tuesday night earning Dartford their seventh straight victory. Although the Darts have not been as free scoring as earlier in the campaign, they have now recorded four clean sheets in a row on their travels and five in the last six outings home and away. If the Darts can take their winning streak to eight this weekend then potentially they could lead by six points going into the final week of the season.

Earlier this term Dartford won at Twerton Park and could repeat last season’s double over Bath City with victory at Princes Park. Back in October, the Darts ended up with ten men when Andy Pugh was red carded with the scores at 1-1, but Alfie Pavey pounced to score the decisive goal. The game started with Ryan Hayes trying his luck straight from kick-off and hitting the crossbar and with just over half hour played Pavey opened the scoring. Before the break Bath City’s Tom Smith equalised before Pavey netted the winner with almost ten minutes remaining. The last meeting at Princes Park was just over a year ago when Elliot Bradbrook scored a penalty and Duane Ofori-Acheampong added a second.

Bath City have hopes of their own in trying to reach the National South playoffs. A top seven place will qualify the Romans for a chance to return to the National League after a six-year absence.

Last weekend, the Romans pulled of a comprehensive 5-0 home win over Hungerford Town. Matt Richards scored from the spot early on and Opi Edwards made it 2-0 before the break. Second half goals from Andy Watkins, Jack Batten and Nat Jarvis secured back to back five goal hauls at home.

Manager, Jerry Gill spoke to somersetlive.co.uk after the game, he said: “Once we got into the game and scored the first goal I thought we were massively in the ascendancy”. The Bath City boss still believes a playoff place is possible, he commented: “It keeps us in the hunt, doesn’t it? In the race. A few results have gone with us, people will be getting twitchy at this stage of the season and we might be the ones that come late”, before adding: “”We really believe in this dressing room, as a staff and players, we can make it”.

Sandwiched between the 5-1 win against Gloucester City and the rout over Hungerford Town, the Somerset club lost on the road to Wealdstone. Gill’s side threw away the lead given to them by Richards, his first goal for the club. The Stones left it late to overturn the deficit and take three points from Bath City.

The Somerset club have been on the fringes of the playoffs all season, but have been unable to take the leap above that dotted line. Gill looked back to a number of good performances specifically picking out the narrow defeats to the Darts back in October and the losses to Braintree Town and Havant and Waterlooville in February and March respectively.

One player who caused Dartford some problems in the 6-3 F.A Cup defeat to Sutton United last term was Kevin Amankwaah, the full back joined Bath City in September and returned to action on Saturday, coming off the bench to replace the influential Dan Ball, who was substituted as a precaution due to a minor ankle injury. The Romans have also missed other key players like Frankie Artus and Sean Rigg to injuries.

On Tuesday night, the Romans went out of the Somerset Premier Cup on penalties against Weston-super-Mare. Bath City fielded a first team, but Andy Watkins’ brace only helped Bath City to a 2-2 draw. Their opponents went through to the final with a 4-3 shoot-out win.

Head to Head
Dartford wins: 30 / Bath City wins: 40 / Draws: 19

Current League Form

Dartford (WWWWWW) Bath City (WLWDLW)
East Thurrock United A 1-0 Hungerford Town H 5-0
Eastbourne Borough A 1-0 Wealdstone A 1-2
Gloucester City A 1-0 Gloucester City H 5-1
Weston-super-Mare H 3-1 Hemel Hempstead A 1-1
Hampton & Richmond H 1-0 Havant & Waterlooville H 1-2
Oxford City A 2-0 Poole Town A 4-0

Previous Meetings

24.10.2017 Bath City 1 Dartford 2
04.03.2017 Dartford 2 Bath City 0
22.10.2016 Bath City 0 Dartford 1
16.01.2016 Dartford 4 Bath City 1
05.09.2015 Bath City 0 Dartford o
07.04.1990 Dartford 0 Bath City 1

Stats
Dartford have won the last four meetings against Bath City and are unbeaten against the Romans since returning to the National South in 2015 (W4, D1).

The Darts have kept five clean sheets in the last eight outings against the Romans conceding just three times.

At home, Dartford have won six, drew one and lost one against teams in the top ten.

The last time Bath City scored more than one goal against the Darts was in 1988, when the Romans won 4-2 in the Southern Premier League.

On This Day
The Darts will be playing their eighth home game in a row on 21 April, the previous seven has seen four Dartford victories, two draws and a defeat. The last outing on this day four years ago sealed the Darts relegation to the National South with a 3-2 loss at home to Tamworth, Elliot Bradbrook scored both Dartford’s goals. Six years ago, the Darts drew 2-2 after conceding a last minute equaliser against Boreham Wood, Tony Garrod and Jacob Erskine found the net that day. Lee Noble, Jay May, Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle all scored in Dartford’s final game of the 2008/09 campaign securing a 4-2 home win over Ashford Town (Middlesex). The Darts recorded the same score six years earlier beating St Leonards in the Southern League Eastern Division, and in 2007 drew 0-0 with Walton Casuals in the Isthmian Division One South.

Bath City v Dartford

Dartford could end up top of the table on Tuesday night providing they can beat hosts Bath City in the National South.

The Darts may be down in seventh spot but they are just three points behind leaders Braintree Town. If third place St Albans City lose to Hampton and Richmond, then Tony Burman’s side will head the table once again.

Dartford’s superior goal difference could be the difference and with St Albans City the next team to visit Princes Park, a result over Bath City will hopefully give the Darts momentum. Ending the run of difficult fixtures will be Swindon Town in the F.A Cup first round but for now the attention will be on the league.

On the weekend, Dartford had the chance to beat one of the promotion challengers Chelmsford City. However, an early goal by former Ebbsfleet United midfielder Michael West was decisive enough to earn the Clarets all three points. The Darts failed to break down the Essex club despite playing most the match with an extra player, after Kudus Oyenuga was sent off for Chelmsford City. It was the second defeat in three league games for Dartford.

Last season, the trip to Twerton Park ended successfully for the first time since 1975. After ten attempts Dartford finally recorded an away victory against the Romans but had to leave it late. The only goal of the contest was scored on the counter attack by Luke Wanadio who curled the ball into the Bath City net.

The Romans are eleventh in the National South and a win for them will move them a point behind the Darts. Bath City’s fixture scheduled has also been tough lately but last time out they drew 1-1 with league leaders Braintree Town. George Rigg, who was sent off in the final minutes had the Romans ahead before they conceded with five minutes to go. It could have been better for Bath City had they converted an earlier penalty which was missed by Nat Jarvis. In the previous game the Romans lost 2-0 to St Albans City.

Head to Head
Bath City wins: 40 / Dartford wins: 29 / Draws: 19

Current League Form

Bath City (DLDWWW) Dartford (LWLWWW)
Braintree Town H 1-1 Chelmsford City A 0-1
St Albans City A 0-2 Bognor Regis Town H 3-1
Wealdstone H 0-0 Weston-super-Mare A 0-3
Hungerford Town A 2-1 Eastbourne Borough H 4-2
Concord Rangers A 1-0 Chippenham Town H 3-0
Oxford City H 2-1 Whitehawk A 4-0

Previous Meetings

04.03.2017 Dartford 2 Bath City 0
22.10.2016 Bath City 0 Dartford 1
16.01.2016 Dartford 4 Bath City 1
05.09.2015 Bath City 0 Dartford o
07.04.1990 Dartford 0 Bath City 1
09.09.1989 Bath City 1 Dartford 0

Stats
Dartford’s failure to score on the weekend means they are now joint top scorers in the National South with Braintree Town on 30 goals.

The Darts have won their last three against Bath City, their best run since 1971/72

Dartford have kept five clean sheets in their last seven matches against the Romans.

The Darts have won just one of their last eleven at Twerton Park (D4, L6)

Bath City are the only side in the top half of the table with a negative goal difference (-2)

On This Day
Dartford have won their last three games on 24 October with the most recent being against Bishop’s Stortford two years ago. The Darts took the lead through Barry Cogan but the match was level after Christian Smith headed the equaliser. Elliott Bradbrook scored the winner early in the second half. In 2009, Bradbrook, Jamie Coyle, Ryan Hayes and Jay May all found the net as Dartford beat Aveley 4-1 despite ending up with ten men after Adam Flanagan was red carded. Gosport Borough were beaten 1-0 in 1989 in the Southern Premier League meeting.

National League South Season Preview 2017/18 – Part I

 Bath City | Bognor Regis Town | Braintree Town | Chelmsford City

Bath City

Founded: 1889 / Ground: Twerton Park

The Romans achieved their highest finish in three years last term to finish in the top ten. Decent form from mid-November to mid-February helped the cause as Bath City tasted league defeat just once in that period. This season will mark the Romans sixth consecutive campaign in the National South as they push for a playoff place and a hopeful return to the National League, which they exited five years ago.

Last Season

National South: 9th

F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Round

County Cup: Quarter Final

League Top Scorer: Andy Watkins (14 goals)

Average Attendance: 612 (8th in league / 59th in non-league)

The Manager – Gary Owers

Former Sunderland, Bristol City and Notts County midfielder last managed Bath City over ten years ago in the Southern Premier League. The 47 year old, went on to manage Forest Green Rovers and Weston-Super-Mare prior assistant manager roles at Aldershot Town, Plymouth Argyle and his hometown club Gateshead. Owers enjoyed his first full campaign last season and this time is aiming for the top five. The Romans boss committed to the club this summer for the next two years and hopes the community buy out off the field will reap its rewards.

The Summer

Shaun McClousky returns to his parent club Bristol City, which allows Jamie Lucas from Bristol Rovers and Nat Jarvis from Hungerford Town to try and replace his goals. Owers has opted for experience at the back signing Grenadian international Anthony Straker from Aldershot Town and Darren Jones from Newport County, adding a little youthfulness in the defence will be Miles Welch-Hayes from Oxford United. Top scorer Andy Watkins was retained after picking up last season’s Player of the Year for the Romans. Turning his loan spell last season to a permanent deal, Marvin Morgan signs from Havant and Waterlooville. Triallists, Matt Cafer and Ryan Case impressed enough in pre-season to earn deals.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 29 / Bath City wins: 40 / Draws: 19

Previous Meetings

04.03.2017 Dartford 2 Bath City 0
22.10.2016 Bath City 0 Dartford 1
16.01.2016 Dartford 4 Bath City 1
05.09.2015 Bath City 0 Dartford 0
07.04.1990 Dartford 1 Bath City 0
09.09.1989 Bath City 0 Dartford 0

Next Meetings

Saturday 14 October 2017 at Twerton Park

Saturday 21 April 2018 at Princes Park

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Bognor Regis Town

Founded: 1883 / Ground: Nyewood Lane

Isthmian Premier League runners up two years in a row, the Rocks return to the National South after an eight year absence. In that time the sank to the Isthmian Division One South where again they finished second in consecutive seasons, going up in the playoffs. The Sussex club managed to overcome a strong Dulwich Hamlet side in April’s playoff final and deservedly earned promotion.

Last Season

Isthmian Premier: 2nd

F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Qualifying Round

County Cup: Semi Final

League Top Scorer: James Fraser (22 goals)

Average Attendance: 550 (5th in league / 64th in non-league)

The Manager – Vacant

The search for a new boss took some time only for the hard work to be undone. Sami El-Abd agreed to combine the manager’s post with a full time coaching role at Brighton and Hove Albion, only for the defender to step down. General Manager, Jack Pearce praised El-Abd’s honesty and believes any disruptions won’t be a problem for the Rocks.

The Summer

Bognor Regis Town suffered a double blow, after losing manager Jamie Howell, top scorer James Fraser departed Nyewood Lane for Worthing. Corey Heath, once a youth team player with the Rocks will now be part of the senior squad. Goalkeeper, Dan Lincoln and midfield trio Joe Lea, Pat Suraci and Tommy Scutt have all signed on but attracting new players has proved challenging without a manager for most of the summer.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 3 / Bognor Regis Town wins: 1 / Draws: 4

Previous Meetings

24.04.2010 Bognor Regis Town 0 Dartford 2
07.11.2009 Dartford 3 Bognor Regis Town 3
02.05.1981 Dartford 1 Bognor Regis Town 1
13.12.1980 Bognor Regis Town 2 Dartford 2
01.05.1980 Bognor Regis Town 2 Dartford 0
10.11.1979 Dartford 2 Bognor Regis Town 0

Next Meetings

Saturday 7 October 2017 at Princes Park

Saturday 28 April 2018 at Nyewood Lane

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Braintree Town

Founded: 1898 / Ground: Cressing Road

The Irons six year stay amongst the elite of non league ended in relegation last season. In that time the Essex club kept defying the odds starting with mid-table finishes and in 2014 were three points from a playoff spot. A couple of years later, Braintree Town achieved their best ever campaign finishing third, losing the playoff semi final against Grimsby Town. Perhaps victims of their own success, the Iron never recovered and were relegated last term on the final day. At least they reached the F.A cup second round for the first time.

Last Season

National League: 22nd

F.A Cup: 2nd Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Round

County Cup: Quarter Final

League Top Scorer: Michael Cheek (17 goals)

Average Attendance: 725 (22nd in league / 44th in non-league)

The Manager – Brad Quinton

The club’s record appearance maker after twelve successful seasons with the Iron, Brad Quinton re-joins the Essex club to take charge. Winner of the Isthmian Premier and National South as a player with Braintree Town, he has had a lot of rebuilding to do and his new look squad will be hoping to consolidate in the National South. Quinton has set his sights on the top half of the table by the festive period and then see where he can take them from there. Being a crowd favourite on the pitch may well help him in the dug out.

The Summer

The Irons have signed a teams worth of new players alone including former Dartford striker George Sykes from Canvey Island. Quinton also raided resources at Enfield Town, his former club to work with players he knows and trusts. Nathan McDonald, Jonathan Muleba, Scott Schulton, Samir Bihmoutine, Ricky Gabriel, Nigel Neita and Connor Bolton all join from the Middlesex club. Xavier Vidal has been brought in from Mertsham, Roman Michael-Percil from Metropolitan Police, George Craddock from East Thurrock United and Marc Okoye from Dulwich Hamlet.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 2 / Braintree Town wins: 6 / Draws: 2

Previous Meetings

01.01.2015 Braintree Town 3 Dartford 0
26.12.2014 Dartford 0 Braintree Town 2
18.04.2014 Braintree Town 1 Dartford 0
24.08.2013 Dartford 0 Braintree Town 2
11.04.2013 Dartford 0 Braintree Town 0
25.09.2012 Braintree Town 0 Dartford 2

Next Meetings

Tuesday 8 August 2017 at Cressing Road

Saturday 23 December 2018 at Princes Park

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Chelmsford City

Founded: 1878 / Ground: Melbourne Stadium

A solid reliable outfit last season, the Clarets failed at the final hurdle in the playoffs, this time against ten men Ebbsfleet United. Chelmsford City will be aiming for promotion after their fourth place finish last term was a vast improvement on the three campaigns before. Like local rivals Braintree Town, the Clarets have been busy in the summer transfer window and have overhauled their squad in an attempt to mount a challenge.

Last Season

National South: 4th

F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Round

County Cup: Winners

League Top Scorer: Shaun Jeffers (21 goals)

Average Attendance: 912 (4th in league / 38th in non-league)

The Manager – Rod Stringer

The Chelmsford City boss ensured the club finished in their best league position since 2011. Stringer’s reputation has been built on two league titles, first with Aveley’s triumph in the Isthmian League Division One North then with Braintree Town in the National South. He will come up against his former club Braintree Town this season after controversially walking away. Last summer he made the move back to Essex from Bishop’s Stortford and has the Clarets believing again.

The Summer

Capitalising on players leaving rivals Braintree Town, the former Irons boss Rod Stringer grabbed the opportunity by signing former Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur forward Lee Barnard. Ex AFC Wimbledon goalkeeper Sam Beasant joins from the Clarets rivals as does Harry Lee. Chelmsford City are amongst the busiest teams in the transfer window capturing the likes of Michael West and Elliott Omozusi from Whitehawk, Craig Braham-Barrett from Welling United and former Dartford loanee Jim Stevenson from Dover Athletic. Former Peterborough United, Millwall and Leyton Orient striker, Shaun Batt was signed from Barnet with the help of the Clarets ’12th man’ fund. Scott Davies (Oxford City), Paul Rodgers (Bishop’s Stortford), Kudus Oyenuga (Greenock Morton), Matt Johnson (Billericay Town) and Aaron Greene (Bishop’s Stortford) have also signed for the Clarets. Former Darts, Max Cornhill and Josh Hill have left the club.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 36 / Chelmsford City wins: 53 / Draws: 91

Previous Meetings

07.05.2017 Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 2
03.05.2017 Chelmsford City 0 Dartford 0
18.02.2017 Dartford 0 Chelmsford City 1
14.01.2017 Dartford 0 Chelmsford City 1
17.09.2016 Chelmsford City 2 Dartford 3
13.08.2016 Concord Rangers 1 Dartford 1

Next Meetings

Saturday 21 October 2017 at Melbourne Stadium

Saturday 10 February 2018 at Princes Park

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Dartford v Bath City

Dartford aim to create some breathing space in the playoff race, when they host Bath City in the National South this weekend.

Earlier in the season Dartford left it late to beat the Romans in a match with plenty of opportunities for both sides. However, it was Luke Wanadio who made the most of his chance by bending in the winner with six minutes remaining.

The corresponding fixture last term also ended in a Dartford win, this time it was more comfortable. The Darts on an unbeaten run of ten at the time climbed into the playoffs with a 4-1 triumph. Andy Pugh scored two excellent first half goals, Ryan Hayes made it three by half time and Callum McNaughton netted his first for the club.

Over the last three games Dartford have slipped off the pace at the top of the National South. Starting a point behind leaders Ebbsfleet United and Maidenhead United, the Darts were beaten 1-0 at home to Chelmsford City before conceding a last minute equaliser at Oxford City. Ryan Hayes opened the scoring on Saturday netting his 99th goal for the club in the 1-1 draw with the Nomads. After those two matches, the Darts dropped seven points behind the front runners, the pack now hunting Dartford down for a playoff spot now includes Poole Town, Chelmsford City and Hungerford Town.

On Tuesday night, Tony Burman’s side made the short trip to local rivals Welling United. In a first half of few clear cut chances neither team could break the deadlock. Hayes was replaced in the second half by the returning Lee Noble and Ben Francis, recalled to the squad was on the bench for the second consecutive game and was brought on. Still neither side could find the back of the net in a 0-0 draw, leaving Dartford trailing by six points from the top two with eleven games remaining.

Opponents, Bath City lost 1-0 to league leaders Ebbsfleet United last weekend, which halted a run of 14 consecutive games in which the Romans had scored in the National South. The sequence stretched back to October, when the Fleet kept a clean sheet on that day too. A unbeaten run spanning nine matches finished when a solitary mistake was enough for Ebbsfleet United to punish the hosts, condemning them to their first league defeat in 2017, Bradley Bubb headed the winner just after the interval.

Currently in the top ten, Bath City have an outside chance of reaching the playoffs, if they can return to the form which served them well before Saturday’s loss. Up front, Bath City have a trio of attacking players available in Nick McCootie, Marvin Morgan and Andy Watkins. Between them they have scored 25 league goals, just over half of the Romans total.

Bath City have a steady away record, but where they lack goals on their travels they have been tight at the back. Twenty goals scored on the road, the Romans have conceded just eighteen times, only five sides have a better away defence. Yet to beat a team from the National South’s top seven, Bath City have also picked up no points against those in the current top four, but each defeat has only been by a single goal.

Head to Head
Dartford wins: 28 / Bath City wins: 40 / Draws: 19

Current League Form
Dartford (DDLWWW)
Drew 0-0 v Welling United (A)
Drew 1-1 v Oxford City (A)
Lost 0-1 v Chelmsford City (H)
Won 4-0 v Gosport Borough (A)
Won 3-1 v Whitehawk (H)
Won 4-0 v Wealdstone (A)

Bath City (DWLWWW)
Lost 0-1 v Ebbsfleet United (H)
Won 4-1 v St Albans City (A)
Drew 1-1 v Oxford City (A)
Won 4-0 v Truro City (H)
Won 2-0 v Margate (H)
Won 2-0 v Bishop’s Stortford (H)

Last Six Meetings
Bath City 0 Dartford 1 (22/10/2016 – National South)
Dartford 4 Bath City 1 (16/01/2016 – National South)
Bath City 0 Dartford 0 (05/09/2015 – National South)
Dartford 0 Bath City 1 (07/04/1990 – Southern Premier League)
Bath City 0 Dartford 0 (09/09/1989 – Southern Premier League)
Dartford 1 Bath City 0 (28/01/1989 – Southern Premier League)

Stats
Dartford’s 1-0 win in October against Bath City was the first time the Darts recorded back to back victories against the Romans since 1971/72.

The Darts have lost just once in their last six meetings with Bath City. Prior this current run, Bath City went 15 matches unbeaten against Dartford between 1977 and 1989.

In the previous six meetings between the two sides Dartford have kept four clean sheets.

On This Day
Dartford last tasted victory on 4 March in 1989 when they travelled to Gosport Borough in the Southern Premier League and won 2-1. The last home win came 37 years ago, Graham Carr’s Darts beat Waterlooville 2-1 at Watling Street. The long wait for another triumph has seen Dartford draw 1-1 with Chelmsford City in 1991 and Tunbridge Wells in 1995 (Kent League Cup semi-final first leg). The Darts are now on a run of three straight defeats by Eastbourne Borough in 2003 and Enfield Town in 2006, both 1-0 losses and three years ago a 3-0 Kent Senior Cup exit to Dover Athletic.

Bath City v Dartford

On the back of seven straight wins in all competitions, Dartford travel West this weekend to face Bath City.

When the Darts visited Twerton Park last season, Bath City were the in form team leading the table after six consecutive victories and a draw. Dartford took a well earned point from the Romans in a 0-0 draw, but are still searching for their first away win over their opponents for 41 years.

Since Dartford’s 2-1 Southern Premier League win in 1975, Bath City have won six and drawn four of their home matches against the Darts.

Tony Burman can be confident in his side who are unbeaten in ten games and progressed to the F.A Cup first round last weekend. The Darts beat Isthmian Premier League side Tonbridge Angels 3-0 in the Kent derby. Alex Brown netted his fourth for the club, Andy Pugh kept up his good form with his fifth of the season and Elliot Bradbrook scored his fifth F.A Cup goal in three games. Victory in the cup equalled Dartford’s best winning streak since January 2012.

Burman is not surprised with his team’s current form, he told www.kentonline.co.uk:”We had a torrid time with injuries back in August, but I felt there was a lot of potential in the people we signed”, he continued: “The results are going for us, which always helps, and they have had a great reception from the supporters”.

He added: “Duane-Ofori-Acheampong didn’t do a pre-season, but has now played a number of games and you can see he is benefiting from it. Alex Brown has done exceptionally well and Luke Wanadio is one who has given us another outlet. They and the others are decent players who have come into the fold. I love to build a team and get them gelling together. If we do that we can become a force”.

One player getting plenty of recognition from the fans is Tom Wynter and he played a part last weekend by coming off the bench, the full back has been injured missing all of October so far. Deren Ibrahim returned as number one goalkeeper after international duty with Gibraltar.

After falling victim to the dreaded penalty shoot out, Bath City followed up the F.A Cup defeat at home to Potters Bar Town with a 1-1 draw against Eastbourne Borough. The Romans cup exit means they last played a fortnight ago with new loanee Ryan Broom making an immediate impact. The 20 year old midfielder from Bristol Rovers scored with his first touch in a Bath City shirt, but his goal was cancelled out just four minutes later.

The West country club seem to be draw specialists of late if you include games of ninety minutes. In the National South they have picked up a point in their last two fixtures including a 3-3 draw away to Hemel Hempstead Town. Gary Owers’ side have had mixed results this term and currently occupy tenth place and only three points away from the Darts.

Last season, early promise ended in mid-table obscurity and scoring goals seemed to be a problem. Owers, who took charge during last term identified the issue and has since brought in Marvin Morgan and Stuart Fleetwood. Morgan is the Romans top scorer this season with six goals in all competitions, the 33 year old has also had Football League experience with Aldershot Town, Plymouth Argyle and Shrewsbury Town. These days Fleetwood is used more as a substitute and has only manged to find the net once this season, however the striker built up a decent reputation in his days at Forest Green Rovers.

Head to Head
Bath City wins: 40 / Dartford wins: 27 / Draws: 19

Current League Form
Bath City (DDWLLW)
Drew 1-1 v Eastbourne Borough (H)
Drew 3-3 v Hemel Hempstead Town (A)
Won 4-0 v Gosport Borough (H)
Lost 1-2 v Hampton and Richmond Borough (A)
Lost 1-3 v Oxford City (A)
Won 2-1 v Whitehawk (H)

Dartford (WWWDWD)
Won 5-0 v Truro City (A)
Won 2-1 v Concord Rangers (A)
Won 2-0 v Margate (A)
Drew 1-1 v East Thurrock United (A)
Won 2-1 v Welling United (H)
Drew 0-0 v Maidenhead United (H)

Last Six Meetings
Dartford 4 Bath City 1 (16/01/2016 – National South)
Bath City 0 Dartford 0 (05/09/2015 – National South)
Dartford 0 Bath City 1 (07/04/1990 – Southern Premier League)
Bath City 0 Dartford 0 (09/09/1989 – Southern Premier League)
Dartford 1 Bath City 0 (28/01/1989 – Southern Premier League)
Bath City 4 Dartford 2 (03/12/1988 – Southern Premier League)

Stats
Dartford have won just three of their last 20 matches against Bath City. The Romans have won half of those games with seven draws.

In the last two games, the Darts have kept two clean sheets in a row for the first time this campaign.

Dartford have failed to score in four of their last five trips to Twerton Park and have not found the net in the last two away games against the Romans. The Darts last goal at this weekend’s venue was in the 4-2 defeat back in 1989.

Bath City have drew each of their last six competitive games over 90 minutes. Two in the National South and four in the F.A Cup, both ties went to penalties.

The Romans have played two and won two against teams above them in the league at home.

On This Day
Ten years ago Brendon Cass stole the show in the F.A Trophy first qualifying round, Cass’ four goals helped Dartford ease to victory as they thrashed Horsham YMCA 6-0. Eddie McClements opened the scoring and Ryan Hayes also scored, with his trademark curler. The cup tie was a prequel to the Princes Park homecoming on 11 November.

National League South Season Preview 2016/2017 (A-C)

 Bath City | Bishop’s Stortford | Chelmsford City | Concord Rangers

Bath City

Founded: 1889 / Ground: Twerton Park

Early pace setters to mid table obscurity, that is how last season panned out for the Romans. Bath City disappointingly matched their previous National South finish after such a promising start. Having topped the table with a one hundred percent record after six games, the Somerset club slid down the league prompting a change in management. Two league wins in nineteen attempts saw the end of Lee Howells and in came Gary Owers. The new boss oversaw just one victory in the next ten but made the Romans harder to beat picking up draws on the way. Once settled, Owers led Bath City to five wins in the final seven fixtures. The real struggle throughout the campaign was a lack of goals, only bottom of the table Basingstoke Town scored fewer.

Last SeasonBath_City_FC

National South: 14th

F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: 2nd Round

League Top Scorer: David Pratt (9 goals)

The Manager – Gary Owers

Now in his second spell in charge at Twerton Park, Owers was appointed in February following Lee Howells’ departure. The former Sunderland, Bristol City and Notts County midfielder last managed Bath City over ten years ago in the Southern Premier League. The 47 year old, went on to manage Forest Green Rovers and Weston-Super-Mare prior assistant manager roles at Aldershot Town, Plymouth Argyle and his hometown club Gateshead.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 27 / Bath City wins: 40 / Draws: 19

Previous Meetings

16.01.2016 Dartford 4 Bath City 1
05.09.2015 Bath City 0 Dartford 0
07.04.1990 Dartford 1 Bath City 0
09.09.1989 Bath City 0 Dartford 0
28.01.1989 Dartford 0 Bath City 1
03.12.1988 Bath City 4 Dartford 2

Next Meetings

Saturday 22 October 2016 at Twerton Park

Saturday 4 March 2017 at Princes Park

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Bishop’s Stortford

Founded: 1874 / Ground: Woodside Park

A steady campaign resulted in Bishop’s Stortford’s highest finish in four years. At the start of the season former manager Rod Stringer believed he could guide them to the playoffs with the right backing. Instead they rarely challenged peaking in eighth place at the start of February. It was during that month the Bishop’s struggled going on a five game losing streak. Although the Hertfordshire club recovered with only two more defeats the damage was done. Stringer was largely thankful to Golden Boot winner Elliott Buchanan who netted 28 times, half of the club’s total goals. The striker, like the former boss will no longer be at Woodside Park having left the club this summer.

Bishops stortfordLast Season

National South: 11th

F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: Semi-final

League Top Scorer: Elliott Buchanan (28 goals)

The Manager – Gordon Boateng

Seen as a gamble by the directors who appointed him, Boateng was recruited by previous manager Rod Stringer a year ago as Head of Player Recruiting and Scouting. His contacts should serve Bishop’s Stortford well as they rebuild following Stringer’s resignation. It’s Boateng’s third spell as part of the management team and he beat seven other candidates to the job. The 35 year old, has never managed in the National South but has experience with Cheshunt and his profile fits the ambitions of the board.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Bishop’s Stortford wins: 3 / Draws: 2

Previous Meetings

25.03.2016 Dartford 3 Bishop’s Stortford 1
24.10.2015 Bishop’s Stortford 1 Dartford 2
29.01.2011 Bishop’s Stortford 0 Dartford 1
24.08.2010 Dartford 3 Bishop’s Stortford 0
11.04.1981 Bishop’s Stortford 2 Dartford 1
04.04.1981 Dartford 1 Bishop’s Stortford 1

Next Meetings

Saturday 19 November 2016 at Woodside Park

Saturday 22 April 2017 at Princes Park

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Chelmsford City

Founded: 1878 / Ground: Melbourne Stadium

Since promotion to the National South eight years ago, the Clarets were consistent playoff candidates but haven’t been for the last three campaigns. Mark Hawkes was the latest man to attempt to match Chelmsford City’s ambitions and whilst it looked good at the start of the season a turbulent Winter left the Essex club needing to do too much. A comfortable 5-2 win at home to Concord Rangers left the Clarets in fourth by mid-September and come November they were hanging on the playoff fringes. Then came the horror show between Halloween and to the end of February where the club picked up just eight points from fourteen games. The rest of the campaign drifted by but they did record an impressive 6-1 win at home to playoff contenders Gosport Borough.

ChelmsfordCityFCLast Season

National South: 15th

F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Round

County Cup: Quarter-final

League Top Scorer: Billy Bricknell (17 goals)

The Manager – Rod Stringer

Linked with the Chelmsford City hotseat for the last three years, the Clarets finally got their man who they believe will guide them upwards and onwards. Stringer’s reputation has been built on two league titles, first with Aveley’s triumph in the Isthmian League Division One North then with Braintree Town in the National South. Stringer had the chance to manage in the top non league division but decided to controversially walk away. This summer he made the move back to Essex from local rivals Bishop’s Stortford bringing players with him.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 35 / Chelmsford City wins: 50 / Draws: 89

Previous Meetings

02.01.2016 Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 1
26.12.2015 Chelmsford City 0 Dartford 1
07.04.2012 Dartford 0 Chelmsford City 0
27.08.2011 Chelmsford City 0 Dartford 0
03.01.2011 Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 2
30.08.2010 Chelmsford City 2 Dartford 0

Next Meetings

Saturday 13 August 2016 at Melbourne Stadium

Saturday 18 February 2016 at Princes Park

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Concord Rangers

Founded: 1967 / Ground: Thames Road

A well run club who have moved up the divisions from the Essex League in a short space of time. When Concord Rangers won their first two matches last season they unexpectedly topped the National South. Four straight defeats followed and confidence dwindled until the end of October. The following month restored positivity around the club with four wins from four and no goals conceded. The Beachboys began to believe the playoffs were possible but soon another set back occurred with a trio of losses. Although Concord Rangers managed a ten game unbeaten run in the early part of 2016, the Essex Senior Cup winners lost eleven at home which cost them overall.

concord rangersLast Season

National South: 10th

F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: Winners

League Top Scorer: Steve Cawley (20 goals)

The Manager – Adam Flanagan

Former Dartford defender Adam Flanagan impressed in his first season as Concord Rangers manager. He had replaced Danny Cowley who guided the Beachboys up the non league pyramid so had big shoes to fill. The 38 year old previously managed Brentwood Town where he won promotion to the Isthmian Premier League via the playoffs. As a player he captained the Dartford side who clinched the Isthmian Premier League title five years ago, making a total of 145 appearances for the Darts and scoring 14 goals.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 2 / Concord Rangers wins: 1 / Draws: 0

Previous Meetings

27.02.2016 Dartford 1 Concord Rangers 2
18.08.2015 Concord Rangers 2 Dartford 3
27.01.2009* Concord Rangers 1 Dartford 3

Next Meetings

Saturday 24 September 2016 at Princes Park

Saturday 11 March 2017 at Thames Road

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