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Dartford v Concord Rangers

Dartford could move above this weekend’s opponents and get back into the playoff places when they host Adam Flanagan’s former side Concord Rangers. 

The Darts dropped out of the top seven on goal difference last weekend and are currently two places and two points behind the Beachboys. It will be the third match in a row where the Darts have faced a team in the playoff spots during a period manager Jamie Coyle described as crucial. 

Victory over St Albans City a fortnight ago was balanced out with a late defeat away to Chelmsford City. During those two games Phil Roberts netted his maiden goal and has now scored three in his last two appearances. The striker scored a brace in the 3-2 home win over St Albans City and he opened the scoring against Chelmsford City last Saturday inside five minutes. The Darts were on course for a rare double over their Essex rivals having beaten them in August, however the Clarets scored two goals in the final five minutes to end Dartford’s three game unbeaten run. 

Lee Noble will be available against Concord Rangers after serving a three-match suspension. Meanwhile, Callum Driver has spent the last three league fixtures on the bench after returning from injury. Elliot Bradbrook was not selected against the Clarets in the matchday squad, which paved the way for Joe Healy to make his debut in midfield, having joined from Welling United. Mark Onyemah has been out with injury since he hobbled of on New Year’s Day and Andy Pugh is still making a recovery from his broken leg he suffered in pre-season. 

Having started the previous two league games, Ryan Hayes could face the side he joined in the summer. The creative winger came back to Dartford after he started to be left out of the Concord Rangers side. Hayes played an hour against the Darts back in August, that day the 32-year-old came out on the winning side when Alex Wall and D’Sean Theobalds scored for the Essex club. On the other wing Ben Greenhalgh is likely to come up against his former team, the midfielder had to go in goal on Tuesday night after Bailey Vose was red carded in the Kent Senior Cup penalties defeat against Maidstone United. 

Wall will miss out on a return to Princes Park for the first time since leaving in the summer. The striker opened the scoring and was sent off last weekend meaning his two game ban will start this weekend. Wall impressed for the Darts in pre-season and had initially signed for the club, but due to Andy Pugh’s injury a rethink by Jamie Coyle and Adam Flanagan saw Wall move on and picked up by Concord Rangers. The 28-year-old has scored 14 National South goals this term, only two away from the three top scorers in the league.  

Two other familiar faces likely to return to Princes Park are Connor Essam and Tyrone Sterling. The defenders both played for the Darts with Essam having two spells with the club, the first whilst on loan from Gillingham and the second when he was on loan from Crawley Town. Sterling made 36 appearances during the 2013/2014 season when the Darts finished in the bottom four of the National League but were reprieved.

Concord Rangers are still waiting for their first league win of 2019 and have drawn their last two fixtures 2-2. The Beachboys shared the points with Wealdstone thanks to a Wall brace and his equaliser six minutes from time. Against Billericay Town they left it late once more, after Wall’s third goal in two games Billericay Town levelled the match before both teams were reduced to ten men. The Blues took the lead on the hour and led until the final minute when Jack Midson earned a point for Concord Rangers. This month Sammy Moore’s side have drawn three and lost one, but that defeat is the only one in their last ten outings, they have drawn five of their last eight matches. 

At Princes Park, Dartford have lost just once against Concord Rangers winning the other four and drawing twice. The previous two home games against the Beachboys have finished with the Darts coming out on top. Lasts season goals from Elliot Bradbrook and Lyle Della-Verde secured three points and in the campaign before that Duane Ofori-Acheampong and Danny Harris netted in a 2-1 triumph.

Head to Head

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

Current League Form

Dartford (LWDWDL) Concord Rangers (DDLDWW)
Chelmsford City A 1-2 Billericay Town H 2-2
St Albans City H 3-2 Wealdstone H 2-2
Wealdstone A 1-1 Hungerford Town A 1-2
Welling United H 1-0 East Thurrock United H 1-1
East Thurrock United A 2-2 Welling United A 1-0
Welling United A 0-2 East Thurrock United A 2-0

Previous Meetings

14.08.2018 Concord Rangers 2 Dartford 0
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

Stats

Dartford have lost just one in the last ten home league games (W7 D2 L1).

Concord Rangers have scored the most goals in the 15 minutes before half-time (10), the Darts have conceded more than any other National South team in that period (13).

The two late goals conceded at Chelmsford City takes Dartford’s tally in the final 15 minutes to eight this season, six teams have conceded more in this period.

On This Day

Current Dartford boss and former Concord Rangers manager, Adam Flanagan headed home the winner from a Ryan Hayes corner against Arlesey Town eleven years ago. A 1-0 Isthmian Division One North victory kept the Darts four points clear at the top of the table. The last two fixtures on 26 January have ended in defeat, against Welling United in the Kent Senior Cup nine years ago and Wealdstone in the National South three years ago. In 1991, Colin Sowerby scored a hat-trick at Watling Street to help the Darts thrash Crawley Town 6-1 in the Southern Premier League, Simon Quail made his debut in that game. Sowerby ended up playing 217 games for the club scoring 48 times.

Concord Rangers v Dartford

Adam Flanagan returns to Thames Road on Tuesday night when he leads the Darts out against his former club Concord Rangers.

The joint Dartford manager left the Essex club shortly after guiding the Beachboys to safety last season. He enjoyed three years managing Concord Rangers which included a top ten finish in his first campaign.

In recent years there have been connections between the two clubs and it’s no different this time. In the summer Flanagan and Jamie Coyle signed Ben Greenhalgh, Manny Ighorae and Billy Roast from the Beachboys, who will also face their former club for the first time. Greenhalgh has been involved from the start in all three of Dartford’s games this term, whilst Ighorae and Roast have only managed appearances from the bench so far.

It will be a strange evening for many involved with Dartford Football Club on Tuesday, when they see midfield legend Ryan Hayes in a Concord Rangers shirt. The former Dartford winger made 580 appearances for the club scoring 108 goals. A creative winger spent 13 years at Dartford winning two league titles and promotion through the playoffs. Only Steve Robinson and Les Burns have made more appearances in a Dartford shirt and he is sixth in the Darts all time goal scoring chart.

The football pitch is no place for sentiment though and the Darts will be hoping they can add another victory. Dartford have had a respectable start to their campaign winning their first two against Bath City and Chelmsford City. The Darts finally defeated the Clarets at home after an 18 year wait. On Saturday, Elliot Bradbrook was rested and in his place a debut was given to Simon Mensah. At the beginning of the day Dartford in second place were hosting league leaders Hemel Hempstead Town, by the end of the afternoon they were still level on seven points after a 0-0 draw. The Darts did have a glorious opportunity to win the match ten minutes from time, but Jamie Philpot missed his spot kick.

One player who will have a point to prove is Concord Rangers striker Alex Wall. Having spent 11 games on loan at Princes Park in 2015 scoring 6 goals he signed for Dartford this summer. However, injury to Andy Pugh and with Jamie Philpot and Chez Isaac bolstering the Dartford squad, Wall left without playing a competitive game since re-joining. A day later the striker joined Concord Rangers and immediately made an impact scoring on his debut.

Wall netted a brace on the opening day of the season when the beachboys beat Gloucester City 2-0 at home. The new era under manager Sammy Moore was kickstarted into life when Wall fired a shot into the Gloucester City goal. The Essex club went down to ten men on half-time when Lee Minshull was red carded, but that didn’t deter Concord Rangers as Wall scored another to seal three points.

Another former Dart, Tyrone Sterling made his debut against the Tigers and he was also in the starting eleven when his side drew with local rivals Billericay Town. Wall gave Concord Rangers the lead when he scored a free-kick. In the final minute Moses Emmanuel ghosted in at the far post to deservedly level the match. On the weekend, the Beachboys picked up their seventh point of the campaign with Jack Midson scoring the winner against newly promoted Dulwich Hamlet.

The previous two visits to Thames Road have ended in 1-1 draws with the last meeting in January. Elliot Bradbrook had a penalty saved by former Darts goalkeeper Louis Wells before the Beachboys took the lead. Ben Greenhalgh’s shot was parried by Deren Ibrahim and Steve Cawley, who left Concord Rangers in the summer scored. Ryan Hayes equalised with a rasping shot in off the crossbar. In March 2017, Hayes recorded his 100th goal for Dartford but it was cancelled out by a Cawley penalty.

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

Stats

The Darts are unbeaten in four matches away to Concord Rangers having never lost a match at Thames Road.

In six of the seven matches between Dartford and Concord Rangers both teams have scored. The only clean sheet was kept by the Darts a year ago in a 2-0 win.

Dartford have missed two penalties out of three this season by three different penalty takers.

On This Day

In 1993 it was an historic day for the Darts as they played their first league match since reforming. For the opening day of the season they were put up against Deal Town, a team that had scored 128 goals in their previous campaign and it was away, but then so were all the other matches technically. Micky Collins was responsible for the most memorable moment scoring the winner after just ten minutes securing the last win for the Darts on 14 August. Future Darts boss Gary Julians was sent off before half-time and somehow Dartford held on against an onslaught to create history.

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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Concord Rangers v Dartford

Dartford look to extend their unbeaten run to four in the league when they travel to Concord Rangers this weekend.

The Darts maintained their position at the top of the National South over the festive period and have a two point cushion. Tony Burman led his side to double victory over local rivals Welling United, but will face a stern test against a Concord Rangers side unbeaten in their last twelve league outings.

In what will be the seventh meeting between Dartford and the Beachboys, the Darts kept up their good record against the Essex club back in August with a 2-0 win at Princes Park. Searching for the maiden win of the campaign, Dartford entered the match on the back of three consecutive draws. A goal in either half by Elliot Bradbrook and Lyle Della-Verde gave the Darts their first three point haul of the season.

On Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, Andy Pugh and Alfie Pavey came back to haunt their former club Welling United in both sets of fixtures. In the 3-2 Boxing Day victory, Pavey’s last minute scissor kick won the match in style, Pugh had earlier put Dartford two up. In the return fixture, Ryan Hayes opened the scoring and after conceding an equaliser the Darts could rely on Pugh to put them back ahead. Pavey came off the substitutes bench once more and this time netted a brace, taking his tally to 18 for the season. Dartford’s performance drew praise from former Dartford defender Jamie Coyle, now in charge at Welling United. Coyle tips the Darts for the title.

Much has been made of whether Alfie Pavey should start instead of Danny Mills, considering Pavey’s recent form from off the bench since returning to action. Burman backs Mills who is on loan from Ebbsfleet United, he told www.kentonline.co.uk: “I’d like to have him here rather than being at another club,” said Burman. “The whole division wants to sign him so we can’t be wrong, can we? I’d like him to stay”. To add further competition to the front line, Duane Ofori-Acheampong managed to get some minutes on the pitch after a long term injury.

Concord Rangers had their Boxing Day game abandoned at 1-1 with East Thurrock United, but the two sides managed to finish the New Year’s Day meeting. Former Dartford play Femi Akinwande scored twice in a 3-2 win that stretched the Beachboys unbeaten run and move them into sixteenth. The Beachboys recent run of a dozen unbeaten matches only includes four wins, which have come in the last five outings in the National South.

Head to Head
Concord Rangers wins: 1 / Dartford wins: 4 / Draws: 1

Current League Form

Concord Rangers (WDWWWD) Dartford (WWDLWD)
East Thurrock United A 3-2 Welling United H 4-1
Hemel Hempstead Town A 1-1 Welling United A 3-2
Wealdstone H 3-1 Braintree Town H 1-1
Bognor Regis Town A 2-1 Hungerford Town A 0-1
Chippenham Town H 4-2 Poole Town A 1-0
Welling United A 3-3 Wealdstone H 3-3

Previous Meetings

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
27.01.2009 Concord Rangers 1 Dartford 3

Stats
Alfie Pavey has now scored 14 league goals this season in just 16 starts and three substitute appearances. The striker has scored three in his last two appearances both off the bench.

Andy Pugh has scored four in his last three league appearances and has eight league goals from nine starts and seven substitute appearances. Pugh also made his 100th start for the club on New Year’s Day to go with the 42 substitute appearances, in that time Pugh has managed 45 goals for the Darts.

On This Day
For the first time in 22 years Dartford play on 6 January, a date in which they have been unbeaten for 56 years over six games. Greenwich Borough were the only side to take points off the Darts during that time, in a 0-0 Kent League draw back in 1996. Before then, Dartford won five in a row beating Moor Green 4-1 (Southern Premier League in 1990), Fisher Athletic 1-0 (Southern League Cup in 1987), Nuneaton Borough 1-0 (Southern League Cup in 1975), Dover Athletic 2-1 (Southern Premier League in 1973) and Folkestone Town 1-0 (Southern League First Division in 1968). The last defeat on this day was a 1-0 loss in 1962 against Ramsgate Athletic.

Dartford v Concord Rangers

Dartford may be unbeaten this season but they are also without a win, Concord Rangers are next up at Princes Park in the Darts second home match of the campaign.

Injury hit Dartford have struggled in front of goal and on the weekend drew another blank, although a second clean sheet earned the Darts an away point at Havant and Waterlooville. The scoreline was a repeat of Dartford’s season opener at Princes Park, when they drew 0-0 with Hungerford Town. Sandwiched between those results, Dartford came from two goals down to earn a point at Braintree Town, with goals from Tom Murphy and Elliot Bradbrook.

The noticeable absentees of strike duo Duane Ofori-Acheampong and Andy Pugh has seen the Darts score just twice in the first three games. At the back, Ronnie Vint is out with injury and Keaton Wood has been recovering. Burman also mentioned knocks taken by Lee Noble, Alex Brown and Tom Bonner, whilst Tom Murphy was taken off at Braintree Town after netting his goal. Down to the ‘bare bones’ an opportunity has opened up for young Alfie Cue who has come through the Dartford academy.

Concord Rangers have managed a win, draw and loss this season starting with a defeat away to Wealdstone. New summer signing Jordan Cox’s equaliser wasn’t enough for the Beachboys to get anything from the game. Stephen Cawley’s winner at home to Hemel Hempstead Town got the Essex club off the mark with a first win, and on the weekend they recorded their first draw in dramatic fashion.

Returning to the club Lewis Taafe put Concord Rangers ahead early in the second half, but the match really took off in the final six minutes. Truro City turned the game on its head with goals from Noah Keats and Stewart Yetton in the 84th and 87th minutes. The Beachboys tried their best to throw the points away but were rescued in the final minutes thanks to Taafe’s second of the day.

When the Darts hosted Concord Rangers nearly a year ago, Duane Ofori-Acheampong’s fledgling Dartford career started to take off. The striker, netted his first for the club and put in an impressive performance. Danny Harris made it 2-0, but the Beachboys pulled a goal back with five minutes on the clock. The result was the exact reverse of the campaign before when Concord Rangers won their only fixture against the Darts, memorable for former Dartford midfielder James White scoring a wonderful goal. The last meeting between the two sides ended 1-1 at Thames Road just five months ago.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 3 / Concord Rangers wins: 1 / Draws: 1

Previous Meetings

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
27.01.2009 Concord Rangers 1 Dartford 3

Stats

Dartford last drew their first three league games of the season back in 1965. The opener at home to Cheltenham Town ended 1-1 and four days later the Darts drew 1-1 at home to Guildford City. The sequence was completed in a 2-2 stalemate away to Hereford United in Southern Premier League.

If the Darts draw a fourth consecutive game it will be the first time they have opened their campaign with four draws since 1965. It will also be a repeat of last term when Dartford drew their first two home games. A year ago, Wealdstone and Gosport Borough went home with a point from Princes Park.

It’s been almost two years since Dartford failed to score in consecutive games. In September 2015, the Darts lost 1-0 at home to Truro City before the shock F.A Cup exit to Uxbridge by the same score.

On This Day

Eight years ago, Elliot Bradbrook started his Dartford career by scoring a brace against Horsham on the opening day of the 2009/10 season. Although the Sussex club took the lead with a well taken free kick, Bradbrook had the Darts level. Now manager of Concord Rangers, Adam Flanagan scored from the spot and Bradbrook increased the lead. Horsham grabbed a consolation in the final few minutes. The Darts went on to win the Isthmian Premier League, eighteen points ahead of Sutton United. Two years ago, Dartford played the U’s in the National South and although it was Sutton United’s turn to turn into champions, the Darts drew 2-2 with both goals from Tom Bradbrook.

National League South Season Preview 2017/18 – Part II

 Chippenham Town | Concord Rangers | Dartford | Eastbourne Borough | East Thurrock United

Chippenham Town

Founded: 1873 / Ground: Hardenhuish Park

A new entry into the National South, Chippenham Town are the Southern League champions and set their highest ever points tally last season, with an impressive 103, a league record. The Bluebirds spent 15 years in the Southern Premier League reaching the playoffs on four occasions and suffering heartbreak in the final three times. So when the Wiltshire club took all the glory last term, the long wait was certainly worth it for club officials and supporters.

Last Season

Southern Premier: 1st

F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 2nd Qualifying Round

County Cup: 2nd Round

League Top Scorer: Andrew Sandell (27 goals)

Average Attendance: 459 (8th in league / 86th in non-league)

The Manager – Mark Collier

Responsible for guiding Chippenham Town to thee highest level they have ever played, Collier gained experience at Swindon Supermarine. He led the Marine to the F.A Cup second round seven years ago and three months later left the club. Since then Collier has been learning his coaching trade at Wootton Bassett and Abingdon United. The current Bluebirds boss has a championship winning side to work with and hopes his team can repay the trust he is giving the players.

The Summer

Not too much action in the transfer marker and that is because Collier has retained 16 players believing his squad will be competitive. The three signings he has made, Dean Evans, Mark Cooper and Jason Matthews have all come from Weymouth. Most importantly the Bluebirds have kept hold of Andrew Sandell, the Southern Premier League top scorer for the last two season’s. The striker used to play for Bristol Rovers and Newport County. On loan for the season, Chelsea teenager Jared Thompson could gain experience between the sticks. Jake Andrews has been added on a two month loan from Bristol City. Attacking midfielder, Scott Donnelly will provide more experience having played for numerous clubs at Football League and National South level.

Next Meetings

Saturday 9 September 2017 at Princes Park

Saturday 20 January 2018 at Hardenhuish 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. Despite small crowds the Beachboys continue to hold their own in the National South and will now participate at this level for a fourth consecutive year. Last term was their lowest finish since promotion to the National South as the Essex club started poorly, but a decent recovery lifted them away from the drop zone to safety.

Last Season

National South: 18th

F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: 3rd Round

League Top Scorer: Steve Cawley (18 goals)

Average Attendance: 287 (22nd in league / 140th in non-league)

The Manager – Adam Flanagan

Former Dartford defender Adam Flanagan impressed in his first two season’s 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.

The Summer

Steve Cawley has been the club’s top scorer regularly and will get help from Jordan Cox, who signed from National South champions Maidenhead United. Lewis Taafe returns to Thames Road and Khale Da Costa will be a Beachboy too. Flanagan has returned to a former club in Maldon and Tiptree to sign up Jordan Sanderson and Billy Roast. From Southend United, Jason Williams joins Concord Rangers and Jordan Brown from Welling United. Last season their were a fair few former Dartford players around Thames Road, now that has been cut down with the departures of James White and Jordan Chiedozie.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 3 / Concord Rangers wins: 1 / Draws: 1

Previous Meetings

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
27.01.2009 Concord Rangers 1 Dartford 3

Next Meetings

Tuesday 15 August 2017 at Princes Park

Saturday 6 January 2018 at Thames Road

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Dartford

Founded: 1888 / Ground: Princes Park

After a season of consolidation, the Darts went a step further by reaching the playoffs losing out to their season’s nemesis Chelmsford City in the semi final. Considering the budget available to the top two Maidenhead United and local rivals Ebbsfleet United, Dartford finished the best of the rest pipping the Clarets on the final day. Once again, captain Elliot Bradbrook led by example in midfield top scoring, but a small, solid and flexible squad had the togetherness to almost challenge for the title in February. However the strength of the top two left the Darts behind in a respectable third place.

Last Season

National South: 3rd

F.A Cup: 1st Round

F.A Trophy: 2nd Round

County Cup: 2nd Round

League Top Scorer: Elliot Bradbrook (14 goals)

Average Attendance: 998 (3rd in league / 37th in non-league)

The Manager – Tony Burman

It seemed like Tony Burman rediscovered the Dartford spirit of old last season. Overseeing title winning sides in the Isthmian Leagues and a triumphant National South playoff team, Burman guided the Darts to eighth in the National League back in 2014/15. From then on Dartford spiralled downwards with a reprieve then relegation leaving supporters in the doldrums. Consolidation has now been followed by optimism again and with Burman’s experience, the Darts are eyeing up promotion again.

The Summer

The nucleus of last season were tied down early doors largely due to the team spirit Burman has once again created. The ‘core’ of Elliot Bradbrook, Ryan Hayes, Danny Harris and Lee Noble have stayed on. The hole left by goal scoring winger Luke Wanadio to Bromley has been filled by Lyle Della Verde from Concord Rangers. Full back, Tom Wynter who moved down a division to relegated Margate has been replaced by Mark Onyemah from Thurrock, who played 24 times whilst on loan at Princes Park from Luton Town back in 2015/16. Scorer of 44 goals last term for AFC Croydon Athletic in the Southern Counties East League, Warren Mfula impressed enough for Burman to take a gamble.

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Eastbourne Borough

Founded: 1964 / Ground: Priory Lane

It’s time for Eastbourne Borough to show some progression after Tommy Widdrington’s five year tenure. The Sports finished between 10th and 17th during Widdrington’s spell in charge and are only on their fifth manager in 34 years. Stability is a word Eastbourne Borough are used to but the new boss wants more. Last term the Sussex club ended in a predictable mid-table spot and will continue life in the National South once more.

Last Season

National South: 11th

F.A Cup: 1st Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: Semi Final

League Top Scorer: Elliot Romain (20 goals)

Average Attendance: 541 (10th in league / 67th in non-league)

The Manager – Jamie Howell

After ten years as a player at Bognor Regis Town and seven years as a manager, Howell shocked the Rocks with his switch to Sussex rivals Eastbourne Borough. The 40 year old played over 400 games for last season’s Isthmian Premier playoff winners taking his former side to their highest ever level. Howell now wants to take Eastbourne Borough back to the National League by playing attractive football and in the long term have a team of local players from the county.

The Summer

Sergio Torres is the main signing this summer joining the Sports from Whitehawk. The 35 year old Argentinian made his name at Wycombe Wanderers and Peterborough before being part of Crawley Town’s rise. Jamie Howell, also went back to a former club to get Leon Redwood to sign from Burgess Hill Town. Replacing Josh Hare at full back will be ex Wothing player Will Hendon and Matt Drage comes in from Dulwich Hamlet. Yemi Odubade returns to the Sports after spells with Oxford United and Maidstone United.

Head To Head

Dartford wins: 8 / Eastbourne Borough wins: 4 / Draws: 2

Previous Meetings

08.04.2017 Dartford 4 Eastbourne Borough 3
16.08.2011 Eastbourne Borough 2 Dartford 3
20.02.2016 Eastbourne Borough 1 Dartford 1
11.08.2015 Dartford 1 Eastbourne Borough 0
03.04.2012 Eastbourne Borough 0 Dartford 1
29.11.2011 Dartford 2 Eastbourne Borough 1

Next Meetings

Tuesday 12 September 2017 at Princes Park

Saturday 14 April 2018 at Priory Lane

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East Thurrock United

Founded: 1969 / Ground: Rookery Hill

The Rocks had a fine season last time out consolidating in the National South in their first ever campaign at this level. The Essex club will be one of four representing the county and they have their fair share of former Darts in their squad. A similar season to last term will be the aim for the club and success will be signs of improvement at this level.

Last Season

National South: 13th

F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: Second Round

County Cup: Runners up

League Top Scorer: Tom Wraight (19 goals)

Average Attendance: 305 (19th in league / 129th in non-league)

The Manager – John Coventry

East Thurrock United needed rebuilding following relegation to the Isthmian Division One in 2008. The astuteness and coaching experience of John Coventry has had a large part to play in the Rocks rise to the National South. Four years ago, the Essex club won the playoffs to reach the Isthmian Premier League. Last term provided consolidation after winning promotion via the Isthmian Premier playoffs.

The Summer

Three former Dartford players join East Thurrock United and will team up with ex Dart Lee Burns, who was signed a year ago. Max Cornhill left Chelmsford City and James White moved on from Concord Rangers. The Rocks have also signed Lewis Smith, who Dartford gambled on a few years ago only for the striker to move out to Australia shortly after agreeing to sign for the Darts, he was later banned for 17 months by the F.A which ends next month. George Allen also joins East Thurrock United from fellow Essex side Canvey Island. Leaving Rookery Hill this summer wsa top scorer Tom Wraight who secured a move to Maidstone United.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / East Thurrock United wins: 2 / Draws: 1

Previous Meetings

07.01.2016 Dartford 6 East Thurrock United 1
10.09.2016 East Thurrock United 1 Dartford 1
30.04.2005 Dartford 0 East Thurrock United 3
28.08.2004 East Thurrock United 2 Dartford 1

Next Meetings

Monday 28 August 2017 at Princes Park

Monday 2 Monday 2018 at Rookery Hill

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Concord Rangers v Dartford

Dartford make the short journey to Essex on the weekend to face a few former players at Concord Rangers.

Managed by Adam Flanagan, Dartford’s Isthmian Premier League title-winning captain, Concord Rangers visited Princes Park back in September propping up the league table at the time. On the stroke of half time Duane Ofori-Acheampong volleyed in his first goal for the Darts in his ninth appearance for the club. The striker was involved in the second just before the hour mark setting up Danny Harris. Dartford had to hold on though when Jay Dowie scored a consolation five minutes from time.

Last term, the Darts had to produce a comeback full of character to overcome the Beachboys. Lewis Taafe opened the scoring for the hosts after just two minutes and doubled the lead on the hour. Andy Pugh’s deflected shot pulled a goal back and with five minutes to go he grabbed the equaliser. In the final minute Tom Bradbrook netted the winner as Dartford won 3-2 from two goals down.

Whatever the result, Dartford will remain third after the weekend but will hope to close the six point gap on rivals Ebbsfleet United in second. The five point advantage over fourth place Chelmsford City gives the Darts some stability for the time being. Unbeaten in their last three matches, Tony Burman has strengthened his strike force by signing Alfie Pavey on loan from Millwall. The 21-year-old has had previous spells on loan with Barnet, Aldershot Town, Bromley and Hampton and Richmond.

Concord Rangers may be in the lower half of the National South yet they have an eight point cushion on Gosport Borough, who occupy the final relegation spot. The Beachboys took a while to warm up this campaign going nine games without a win. The season began to take off after a 5-1 away win at Margate and decent form leading up to the New Year moved them out of the relegation places. Since then the Beachboys’ inconsistencies reflect their position in the National South.

It was just over a year ago when former Dartford midfielder James White scored a stunning decisive goal to give the Beachboys victory at Princes Park, their only ever win versus Dartford. White is still integral to the Concord Rangers team and made 112 appearances for the Darts.

In between the sticks Bailey Vose has made 14 appearances this season for Concord Rangers to add to the three starts he had for Dartford in November. Vose’s short spell included a home defeat to St Albans City and a clean sheet against Hemel Hempstead Town, as well as a Kent Senior Cup win over Cray Wanderers. The 18-year-old goalkeeper is on loan from Championship side Brighton and Hove Albion.

Jordan Chiedozie had a brief spell with Dartford on loan from Cambridge United in 2015 where he scored twice in four games. He returned to the Beachboys this term having previously been part of their 2014/15 squad.

Head to Head
Concord Rangers wins: 1 / Dartford wins: 3 / Draws: 0

Current League Form
Concord Rangers (DLWWLW)
Drew 0-0 v Margate (H)
Lost 3-4 v Chelmsford City (A)
Won 2-1 v Truro City (A)
Won 3-1 v Eastbourne Borough (H)
Lost 0-4 v Ebbsfleet United (A)
Won 3-2 v St Albans City (A)

Dartford (WDDLWW)
Won 2-0 v Bath City (H)
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)

Previous Meetings
Dartford 2 Concord Rangers 1 (24/09/2016 – National South)
Dartford 1 Concord Rangers 2 (27/02/2016 – National South)
Concord Rangers 2 Dartford 3 (18/08/2015 – National South)
Concord Rangers 1 Dartford 3 (27/01/2009 – Isthmian League Cup)

Stats
1 – Dartford have conceded once in the last 360 minutes away from home, keeping three clean sheets in thbeir last four outings

2 – A second clean sheet in a row last weekend was the first time Dartford achieved this feat since November

4 – Concord Rangers are unbeaten in their last four home games

5 – The Darts have not lost on their travels since New Years Day spanning five matches

15 – In previous meetings, both sides have scored in every fixture with Dartford netting nine to the Beachboys’ six

293 – Concord Rangers have the second lowest average attendance in the National League, one ahead of Oxford City

On This Day
Steve Robinson was the hero in 1989 when he scored the only goal of the game against Altrincham in the F.A Trophy quarter-final. Dartford’s record appearance maker helped Peter Taylor’s side to a run which ended in the last four against Macclesfield Town. The last away match for the Darts on 11 March was 37 years ago in 1980. A trip South to Hastings United ended in a 2-1 Southern League Cup semi-final first leg loss. The Darts away goal made sure of a narrow 3-2 aggregate victory to reach the final, where Graham Carr’s side fell short to Kidderminster Harriers in the final.

Dartford v Concord Rangers

Dartford look to extend their unbeaten home run to six when they host bottom of the table side Concord Rangers this weekend.

In the three previous meetings between the two sides only the away team has managed to come home victorious. The Darts will be hoping to break that record at Princes Park to keep momentum going in the National South. Concord Rangers on the other hand have struggled to get going this term winning just one of their opening eleven fixtures.

Last weekend, current top scorer for the Darts, Elliot Bradbrook took his goal tally for Dartford to 99 in the 3-2 F.A Cup win at Chelmsford City. The captain scored twice in the first half and was unlucky to miss out on his one hundredth and a hat-trick when he had a goal ruled out as well. An own goal by Chelmsford City’s goalkeeper, Ross Fitzsimons set the tone for the first half before Bradbrook’s duo. The Clarets fought back in the second half finding the goal twice in four minutes when Shamir Mullings scored both.

Burman praised his side’s attitude and desire to hold on and progress to the F.A Cup third qualifying round where they meet Slough Town.Victory for the Darts now means they are unbeaten in five in all competitions, avoiding defeat at Concord Rangers will make it a season’s best run.

Defeat was something the Darts were unable to avoid in the same fixture last campaign. Former Dartford midfielder James White scored a superb goal to give the Beachboys an away win at Princes Park. In fact all three strikes in the 2-1 loss back in February were expertly taken from outside the box. Tom Bradbrook curled his effort into the top corner but his goal was cancelled out by Steve Cawley’s twenty yarder.

At last Dartford are back to full strength with defender Ronnie Vint named on the subs bench for the F.A Cup tie, after his cast on his wrist was finally removed. That means Burman is pleased with the amount of players in his squad, so much so he has this week let Ben Francis out on loan for a month and Richard Seixas will join the striker on dual registration at Leatherhead. The Darts boss is hoping the pair can reach a higher level of fitness following injury whilst promoting some more academy talent.

Managed by former Dartford title winning captain Adam Flanagan, Concord Rangers have had a poor start to their season. In their fourth term in the National South, the Beachboys have reached the top ten in their previous three campaigns but sit at the bottom this time.

The Essex club suffered four straight defeats to begin their campaign before picking up their first point away to Oxford City. Since that draw the Beachboys have managed to avoid back to back league losses but still remained winless after nine attempts. At the tenth effort, Concord Rangers finally grabbed their first win beating Weston-super-Mare away.

Flanagan’s team will approach this weekend’s fixture having lost two in a row, the National South reverse at home to Wealdstone was followed by a F.A Cup exit against AFC Rushden and Diamonds. Two former Darts took part in those games, Joao Carlos who played four times in the Isthmian Premier league winning side and Mark Onyemah, the full back spent time on loan at Princes Park last term.

Head to Head

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

Current League Form
Dartford (WDWDLW)
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)
Lost 1-4 v Hampton & Richmond Borough (A)
Won 2-0 v Hungerford Town (H)

Concord Rangers (LWDLDL)
Lost 0-1 v Wealdstone (H)
Won 2-1 v Weston-super-Mare (A)
Drew 0-0 v Bishop’s Stortford (H)
Lost 0-5 v Welling United (H)
Drew 0-0 v Whitehawk (A)
Lost 0-1 v Maidenhead United (H)

Last Meetings

Dartford 1 Concord Rangers 2 (27/02/2016)
Concord Rangers 2 Dartford 3 (18/08/2015)
Concord Rangers 1 Dartford 3 (27/01/2009)

Stats

Elliot Bradbrook is one goal away from his century after 311 starting appearances and 13 substitute appearances. The Dartford midfielder averages approximately a goal every 3.27 games.

Dartford are unbeaten in five home matches this season winning two and drawing three.

Only league leaders Maidenhead United and newcomers Poole Town have conceded fewer goals (1) at home than Dartford(3).

All five of Concord Rangers’ goals have come away from home this season.

The Beachboys last went one win from their opening eleven league games back in 2011, when they finished 14th in the Isthmian Premier League.

On This Day

Dartford’s match against Concord Rangers will be only their fourth home game on the 24 September in the last 39 years. Since defeat to Atherstone United in the 1977 Southern Premier League, the Darts have beaten Witney Town 4-1 in 1983 and Tonbridge Angels 3-1 five years ago in the National South, Elliot Bradbrook, Danny Harris and Charlie Sheringham all scored. In between the two home victories, Dartford played six away matches in a row including a 5-1 hammering of Darenth Heathside in the Kent Premier League in 1994. The last time Dartford played on this day was at Blundell Park where they lost 5-2 to Grimsby Town in the National League three years ago.

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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Dartford v Concord Rangers

Sentiment will count for nothing this weekend as Dartford host a Concord Rangers side for the first time.

Tony Burman will welcome back his Isthmian Premier League title winning captain Adam Flanagan, only he will be in the opposite dugout. In the Concord Rangers midfield the Darts will be up against two former players James White and Max Cornhill.

Adam Flanagan marshalled Dartford’s defence between 2007 and 2010 making 145 appearances and scoring 14 times. He has since made his way in management leading Brentwood Town to promotion to the Isthmian Premier League before joining Concord Rangers.

James White joined the Essex club and is now captain, he was alongside Flanagan in Dartford’s title winning season, the midfielder made 112 appearances for the Darts. Max Cornhill left only last season, the attacking midfielder was used sparingly prompting the 28 year old to depart Princes Park after 68 appearances and nine goals.

The Darts won their last home match against lowly St Albans City. The 2-0 victory came after a two game losing streak which ended an eleven match unbeaten run. Andy Pugh netted twice against the Saints and another in the following match versus Eastbourne Borough, which ended 1-1.

On Tuesday night, Dartford’s travelled to fourth place Gosport Borough with the chance to climb back into the playoff places. Dan Wooden put the hosts ahead to give Boro a 1-0 lead going into half time but after the break the match swung Dartford’s way. On the hour Elliot Bradbrook took advantage of a rebound from Ryan Hayes’ cross to level the score. The Darts skipper doubled his tally for the night with a breakaway goal, Bradbrook calmly took it round the Boro goalkeeper for his eleventh of the season. Moments later Andy Pugh scored his ninth in his last seven starts to propel Dartford into the playoff places.

If the season started in November, Concord Rangers would be in sixth place partly because that month turned the Beachboys fortunes around. The Essex club won all four in November without conceding a goal lifting them from seventeenth to eighth.

The following month highlighted their inconsistencies with one point taken from twelve available, however the Beachboys are now seven unbeaten and in tenth place. Flanagan’s side had their fixture against Truro City called off on Tuesday night meaning their last outing was last weekend.

Over the last three National South matches Concord Rangers have played the same teams as Dartford. The Beachboys breezed past Eastbourne Borough when Steve Cawley scored twice before Sam Bantick and Ben Greenhalgh sealed a 4-1 triumph. Cawley and Bantick rescued a point against St Albans City after Concord Rangers came from two down to draw 2-2. Their last game at home to Gosport Borough ended 0-0.

Attacking midfielder, Steve Cawley provides Concord Rangers with goals. The 24 year old has scored 15 in the National South this season. Alex Osborn has joined on loan from Ebbsfleet United, the striker almost spent time on loan with Concord Rangers last term but injury saw the deal fall through. Michael Thalassitis was also added to the forward line last month, signing from Chelmsford City. Defender, Jack Lampe returned to the club from Bishop’s Stortford early this month.

Head to Head

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

Current League Form

Dartford (WDWLLW) Concord Rangers (DDWDWD)
Gosport Borough  A  3-1 Gosport Borough  H  0-0
Eastbourne Borough  A  1-1 St Albans City  A  2-2
St Albans City  H  2-0 Eastbourne Borough  H  4-1
Wealdstone  H  1-2 Maidstone United  A  2-2
Sutton United  A  0-2 Bath City  A  1-0
Bath City  H  4-1 Ebbsfleet United  H  0-0

Previous Meetings (* – Isthmian League Cup)

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

On This Day

It was four years ago when Danny Harris inspired the Darts to a 4-1 victory over Basingstoke Town with a hat-trick. Tony Garrod scored the other goal in the Conference South fixture in a comfortable win. In 2010, Dartford grabbed a rare win at Boreham Wood with the solitary goal coming from Elliot Bradbrook. Three years prior beating the Wood, the Darts drew 2-2 with Tooting and Mitcham United. It was also on the 27 February when Dartford had one of their bleakest days since reforming, losing 7-0 away to Raunds Town in the 1998/99 Southern League Southern Division.