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Dartford v Charlton Athletic – Kent Senior Cup Final

Dartford bid to win their eleventh Kent Senior Cup on Tuesday night when they take on holders Charlton Athletic.

The Darts last won the competition five years ago and have reached the final since. The Addicks have won two of the last three Kent Senior Cup finals and aim for their fourth triumph in the county cup.

Tony Burman is the only manager in last three years to have beaten Championship side Charlton Athletic in the Kent Senior Cup. In October 2013, Dartford won the second round tie 1-0 in dramatic fashion. Working hard to stay in the game, the Darts earned a last minute free kick on the edge of the box. Mohamed Eisa stepped up and curled the ball superbly in the top corner to take the plaudits.

Dartford played the Addicks as holders themselves in 2012 when they met in the semi-final. Jack Pallen gave the Darts a one goal lead but his was cancelled out by Adebayo Azeez. Midfielder, Lee Noble put Burman’s side ahead for a second time and Elliot Bradbrook sealed the tie with four minutes remaining. Dartford unexpectedly went on to lose the final to Hythe Town.

The Darts could still make the playoffs in the National South, however they need plenty to go their way with other results. Burman targeted a playoff spot at the start of the campaign, so winning the Kent Senior Cup could provide small consolation if they miss out on the final day.

Likewise, Charlton Athletic have had a torrid season in the Championship on and off the field. The Addicks will be playing League One football next term and with supporters unrest over the owners, their development squad offer a ray of light, the under 21’s top the Professional Development League 2 South table.

Road to the Final

Round One

Dartford 3 Welling United 1

The Darts dominated the first half hitting the woodwork three times before taking the lead in the second half. George Sykes opened the scoring, Callum McNaughton doubled the lead and Kurtis Cumberbatch pulled a goal back. The night belonged to academy striker Dajon Golding who netted his first for the senior side.

Hythe Town 0 Charlton Athletic 1

The Addicks had to wait until five minutes from time to see out their first round tie. With the match heading towards penalties, Ademola Lookman struck from 20 yards to send the holders through.

Round Two

Dartford 2 Gillingham 1

After losing to the Gills 7-3 in last year’s Kent Senior Cup, the Darts avenged the defeat by coming from behind. Brennan Dickenson had Gillingham ahead before former Gill, Tom Wyner equalised. Jack Simmons cut inside and fired into the top corner to score the winner.

Cray Wanderers 1 Charlton Athletic 4

Zakarya Bergdich set Charlton Athletic on their win to a comfortable win with a first half strike. Mikhail Kennedy made it two nil but the lead was halved soon after. Former Dart, Uche Ibemere won a penalty which Grant Basey converted. The Addicks restored a two goal cushion when Franck Moussa scored from the spot then Bergdich sealed the deal with his second of the night.

Quarter-Final

Herne Bay 0 Dartford 3

It took 14 minutes for Tom Bradbrook to put Dartford in front when he netted from close range. Academy striker Ben Francis scored just past the hour mark and won a penalty late on, which Kaka Dembele stuck away to round up a 3-0 victory.

Bromley 0 Charlton Athletic 2

Two goals in the opening twenty minutes gave the Addicks the cushion they needed early on. Joe Aribo and Josh Umerah scored the goals and Charlton Athletic easily saw out the remainder of the last eight tie.

Semi-Final

Greenwich Borough 1 Dartford 2

The Darts had to work hard to earn a win over their tenants. Ronnie Vint and Geroge Sykes looked to have secured Dartford’s route to the the final. A late Michael Power goal for Boro set up a nervy finish, but the Darts held on.

Ebbsfleet United 1 Charlton Athletic 2

The Addicks reached their third final in four years with a win over National South side Ebbsfleet United. Another fast start had Charlton Athletic two up in the first half with goals from Cristian Ceballos and George Lapslie. Joe Howe pulled one back in the final minutes but it was too late for the Fleet.

Dartford v Charlton Athletic

Dartford are back in Kent Senior Cup action on Wednesday night against holders Charlton Athletic in the quarter final.

The Darts will be hoping to recreate their semi final win over the Addicks from two seasons ago rather than the friendly defeat in July. Dartford triumphed over the Addicks in a 3-1 victory with goals from Jack Pallen, Lee Noble and Elliot Bradbrook. The win put the Darts through to their second successive Kent Senior Cup final where they lost to Hythe Town.

In this years pre season fixture, Dartford impressed in the first half and went into the break level with the visitors but without a goal. Charlton Athletic missed a second half penalty before the spot kick taker, Joe Pigott opened the scoring moments later. A breakaway goal sealed victory for the Addicks courtesy of Adebayo Azeez.

Both sides entered this season’s competition in the second round. Dartford negotiated their way past Welling United at Park View Road with Nathan Collier, Tyrone Sterling, Alex Woodyard and Ryan Hayes featuring. Tony Burman also gave starts to Jay Porter, George Monger, Uche Ibemere and Mohamed Eisa.

Eisa struck first with a deflected effort giving the Darts a lead going into half time. Welling United hit back in the second half with a Loick Pires goal but Dartford stretched their lead to 3-1 with strikes from Woodyard and substitute Brima Daramy. The Wings managed a consolation through Loui Fazakerley, the defender scored the final goal of the evening but it was Dartford who progressed to the next round with a 3-2 victory.

Charlton Athletic took on Folkestone Invicta of the Isthmian Division One South making it through with a 1-0 triumph. The development side were made to work hard and were rewarded when captain Bradley Jordan netted what turned out to be the winner. The Addicks won the cup in May thrashing Tonbridge Angels 7-1 in the final lifting the trophy for the first time since 1995.

Dartford will be without suspended captain Elliot Bradbrook who picked up his fifth caution in Saturday’s match at Hereford United. Jason Prior, Adam Birchall, Matt Fry and Tyrone Sterling were all unavailable with injuries.

Dartford v Charlton Athletic XI & Concord Rangers v Dartford XI

On Tuesday night the Darts will be happy to recreate their Kent Senior Cup semi final win over Charlton Athletic from two seasons ago.

Dartford triumphed over the Addicks in a 3-1 victory with goals from Jack Pallen, Lee Noble and Elliot Bradbrook. The win put the Darts through to their second successive Kent Senior Cup final where they lost to Hythe Town.

Dartford have failed to win any of their pre season fixtures with the latest defeat coming at the hands of another Conference South side. Tony Burman’s side went down 2-0 against Tonbridge Angels on Saturday which followed a 1-0 loss versus Bromley.

On the weekend Burman took a look at Matt Mitchell-King who played against the Darts for rivals Ebbsfleet United last week. The defender was released in the summer by Dartford’s first opponents AFC Wimbledon. Uche Ibemere who scored for a Dartford XI against East Thurrock United was the only other non senior player to start. New signing Kenny Clark and captain Bradbrook were unavailable against the Angels.

As the new season comes ever closer, Burman is still trying to add to the squad looking for someone to partner Jason Prior up front. Goals have been at a premium so far with midfielder Bradbrook leading the way with three during this summer’s friendlies.

Charlton Athletic last played the Darts by making up a side of academy and senior players. Whilst the senior side have started pre season well the XI team were unbeaten having played a number of local non league clubs. The summer started with a 2-1 away win at Maidstone United, followed by a 1-1 draw with Bromley. Thurrock were defeated 3-1 but the streak ended at against Ebbsfleet United on Sunday with a 2-1 defeat. Youngster Oliver Muldoon has been the pre season star for the Addicks scoring four goals in as many games.

Concord Rangers v Dartford XI

On Wednesday, a Dartford XI side will be back in Essex to face newly promoted club Concord Rangers, who went up via the Isthmian Premier League playoffs.

The Darts XI recorded their first victory on Sunday against local side Sutton Athletic. Bode Aniougbe curled a shot in the top corner to give Dartford a half time lead. Jeff Allen doubled the advantage by tapping in number two at the far post and George Monger’s lob added a third. There was still time for a fourth goal as Kakaa Dembele slid home to cap of a 4-0 victory.

Concord Rangers were playing in the Essex Senior League just five years ago and have risen up the non league pyramid.  The Beach Boys reached new ground by achieving their highest ever finish last season and will participate in the Conference South for the first time in their history. A fourth place spot last term guaranteed a playoff spot where the Essex club beat Wealdstone and Lowestoft Town.

Managed by Danny Cowley, Concord Rangers are having a superb pre season so far beating Stevenage Borough XI (6-1), local rivals Canvey Island (4-0), Waltham Abbey (3-1), St Albans City (3-0) and Southend United XI (6-0).

A couple of former Darts are now with the Conference South club including midfielder James White who made over a hundred appearances between 2008 and 2011, winning  the Isthmian Premier League. Defender Paul Goodacre had a good two years with the Darts featuring in both Conference South seasons. Striker, Tony Stokes was once signed on dual registration and remains a regular for the Beach Boys.

Dartford v Charlton Athletic

Dartford are back in Kent Senior Cup action on Tuesday night as they battle for a place in a second successive final.

The reigning champions will have to get passed League One club Charlton Athletic who are currently in pole position for a promotion back to the Football League Championship.

The Darts are also chasing a promotion spot of their own to the Conference National and on the weekend dropped three points at Dorchester Town. The defeat was Dartford’s first in eight league fixtures after a run of six wins out of seven. The Addicks have won just once in their last five league matches but still remain eight points clear of second place.

Tony Stokes celebrates scoring for Concord Rangers

Both sides will be concentrating on the league as the season approaches an end so there is a strong possibility squad and youth team players will be involved. Dartford welcome the dual registration signings of Tony Stokes from Concord Rangers and Sam Higgins from East Thurrock United.

Dartford manager, Tony Burman told PURE DFC he has signed new players for cover in anticipation there might be injuries and suspensions, he said: “We’ve asked a favour of a couple of clubs asking if we can dual sign a couple of players”, he added: “I’d like to thank East Thurrock United and Concord Rangers. Concord have also helped us out with Paul Goodacre otherwise he wouldn’t be playing and he needed some games”.

Tony Stokes is currently joint top scorer in the Isthmian Premier league with Wealdstone’s Richard Jolly. The striker has scored 23 times in the league for Concord Rangers this season and started his career at West Ham United’s academy. After various loan spells he travelled to Hungary to play for Ujpest in the top flight before joining Concord Rangers.

Sam Higgins has experienced Conference South football with Chelmsford City and in February last year he mutually cancelled his contract to play at a lower level. East Thurrock United snapped up the striker after he had netted eight league goals in the 2010/11 campaign for The Clarets before his departure. With Isthmian Premier league side East Thurrock United he has an impressive goalscoring record scoring 20 times this season.

Whilst retaining the cup and another piece of silverware is welcome within the club Burman knows the Conference South is a priority, he commented: “It’s a big game against Charlton, yes it’s nice that they have come into the competition but could we do with a weeks rest? yes we can”.

The other semi-final has already been played and so Hythe Town will be awaiting the winners. The Isthmian Division One South side beat the odds to knock out Dover Athletic in a 3-0 win.

Team News

A week’s rest would certainly benefit some of the players in the squad. Matt Jones and Jacob Erskine were substituted on Saturday against Dorchester Town. Full back Jones suffered swelling of his knee whilst Erskine was replaced as a precaution due to an ankle injury. Midfielder Jon Wallis will have a scan on his knee this week.

The Story So Far…

Quarter Final

Tonbridge Angels 2 Dartford 4 (After Extra Time)

The Darts had to come from behind again in this cup tie when the home side scored on 13 minutes courtesy of Chris Piper. In the second half Nathan Korenteng gave The Angels a 2-0 lead three minutes after the restart. Dartford started their comeback on 53 minutes when young Jackie Pallen halved the deficit from close range. Lee Burns then set up Graham to loop in a shot and tie the match in normal time. In extra time Graham netted his fourth goal in the Kent Senior Cup when he was waiting at the far post to smash in a tidy finish. With seven minutes to play Burns settled the score after he got on the end of Jon Wallis’ thorugh ball.

Margate 3 Charlton Athletic 4

After five goals in the previous round The Addicks were then involved in a seven goal thriller. This time Chris Powell selected senior players Doherty, Scott Wagstaff, Leon Clarke, Paul Hayes and first team regular Dale Stephens. Highly rated Kwesi Appiah gave Margate an eleventh minute lead which was cancelled out eight minutes later by Clarke. The coastal side then went in front again in the second half thanks to Curtis Robinson. Two goals in the space of five minutes put The Addicks 3-2 up when Paul Hayes netted and Clarke scored his second. Former Dart Richard Avery tied the match yet again with fifteen minutes to play but Margate’s bravery was crushed with a goal two minutes from time by Morgan Fox.

Second Round

Folkestone Invicta 1 Dartford 4 (After Extra Time)

Both sides started this seasons Kent Senior Cup campaign in round two and progressed in different styles. The Darts took on Isthmian Division One South side and passed with flying colours. The holders did go a goal down when Invicta’s Josh Burchell celebrated his 150th appearance with a swerving effort with nine minutes played. Jacob Erskine opened his cup account from close range in the 36th minute and Tom Bonner put The Darts ahead five minutes later. Richard Graham netted a brace in the second half when he chipped Roddy Hayward then later on headed in a Ryan Hayes cross.

Bromley 2 Charlton Athletic 3

The Addicks returned to the Kent Senior Cup in dramatic fashion. The five goal thriller included former Premier League defender Gary Doherty and experienced Paul Benson in the line up. Ruben Bover gave Charlton Athletic a lead within four minutes. Bromley striker Hakeem Araba equalised early in the second half before Michael Smith restored a one goal margin for the visitors. Araba tied the match from the penalty spot with twelve minutes left. However the League One club secured victory when Toby Silva headed in a late goal.

Did you know…

Kent Senior Cup action returns to Princes Park for the first time since last season’s cup final win in May. The Darts beat Bromley 4-1 to lift the cup for the tenth time.

Charlton Athletic have only won the Kent Senior Cup once back in 1995.

Matt Jones made his 50th start for Dartford at the weekend in all competitions, he has also made 8 substitute appearances.

Only Deren Ibrahim and Tom Bonner have started the last six Kent Senior Cup ties for Dartford, a run that includes last season’s success.