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Eastbourne Borough v Dartford

Steve King takes his Dartford side to Eastbourne Borough on the weekend aiming to stay top of the National League South.

The Darts moved into pole position with an excellent result at Hungerford Town in their last away game to remain at the summit. Their closest challengers then dropped points on Tuesday night meaning Dartford head into Saturday’s fixture with a two point lead, whilst Eastbourne Borough currently occupy seventh place.

Dartford have won eight of their first eleven games in their best start to a season since winning the Isthmian Premier League in 2009. The latest victory came against Hungerford Town in a top of the table clash. Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong had a huge impact from off the bench turning defeat into a triumph. The midfielder had started every game before travelling to Bulpit Lane and was almost ruled out after his harsh dismissal against Slough Town, however his red card was rescinded allowing the former Aldershot Town man to be available.

A soft first-half penalty conceded by former Eastbourne Borough full back, Gavin McCallum led to Hungerford Town’s Ryan Seager goal from the spot. McCallum played almost 150 games for the Sports scoring 25 times. Berkeley-Agyepong and Alfie Pavey were introduced in the second half and the pair combined for the equaliser. Pavey’s header back across to Berkeley-Agyepong was smashed home from inside the box. If the Dartford midfielder needed an assist for his first goal it was a superb solo effort for his second. Receiving the ball from a short throw-in, Berkeley-Agyepong made his way across the pitch and unleashed an unstoppable long range shot to score the winner.

Dartford’s first ever win at Bulpit Lane was their fourth consecutive away win. Steve King described his side’s performance as ‘bitty’ but a half-time chat helped turn the game around, he commented to Dartford FC TV: “We didn’t do enough in the first half with too many long balls”, he added: “We felt we needed to do more in possession, we needed to be braver on the ball”. King also pointed out that the quality of his squad helped earn the three points, he said: “We made subs early to change the shape and it got us back in the game. Jacob had a knock during the week and didn’t train and we thought we have quality players, so we didn’t need to risk him. We went with what we went with, it didn’t quite work then Jacob has come on and scored one good goal and one fantastic goal”.

Dartford have won their last two matched against Eastbourne Borough since a heavy 6-0 defeat at Priory Lane in April 2019. Striker, Elliott Romain will be available after serving his one match ban and could play a part against his old side, who he scored against in last season’s visit to Sussex. Romain was on target as well as Norman Wabo in a 2-0 victory. The return fixture ended 2-1 to the Darts which included Jack Jebb’s stunning free-kick at Princes Park.

The Darts will be without the injured Ricky Modeste, whilst Craig Braham-Barrett and David Ijaha have been nursing injuries. Charlie Sheringham and Ronnie Vint have gone out on loan, Abdul Osman has left the club, but Moussa Bakayoko returned to the bench on the weekend.

Under Danny Bloor, Eastbourne Borough have started their campaign well. The Sports finished their last three season’s in eighteenth place and so far this term they are in the final playoff place. The Sussex club, also made the first round of the F.A Cup where they were beaten 3-0 by Blackpool, but they have only picked up two points in their last three outings.

Former Dartford full back, Nick Arnold is in the Sports squad but has yet to make an appearance. Bloor will have a variety of attacking players to choose from including Charlie Walker, Dean Cox and Chris Whelpdale, all three of them have netted against the Darts in the past. Charley Kendall is also one to watch, his four goals whilst on loan has led to an extended stay and along with Kai Innocent. The duo have been an integral part of the Sports side so far this season.

At home, Eastbourne Borough have an even record of two wins, two draws and two defeats. In their last home fixture, they went down 1-0 versus St Albans City to a Shaun Jeffers goal, which will sound familiar to the Darts after the same combination at Princes Park last month. They did however comfortably beat basement side Braintree Town 4-0 earlier in November before a pair of away draws against Tonbridge Angels and Oxford City.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 12 / Eastbourne Borough wins: 6 / Draws: 4

Current League Form

Dartford
(WWLWWL)
Eastbourne Borough
(DWLWWL)
Hungerford TownA2-1St Albans CityH0-1
Slough TownH2-0Oxford CityA1-1
St Albans CityH0-1Tonbridge AngelsA2-2
Maidstone UnitedA2-0Braintree TownH4-0
Hemel Hempstead TownA3-1Ebbsfleet UnitedH1-1
Dorking WanderersH2-3Welling UnitedH2-1

Last Six League Meetings

22.02.2020Dartford2Eastbourne Borough1
02.11.2019Eastbourne Borough0Dartford2
20.04.2019Eastbourne Borough6Dartford0
08.09.2018Dartford2Eastbourne Borough2
14.04.2018Eastbourne Borough0Dartford1
12.09.2017Dartford4Eastbourne Borough2

Stats

Dartford have lost just once in the league against Eastbourne Borough in their last 12 games against the Sports (W9, D2)

The Darts have won four of their last six league visits to Priory Lane (D1, L1)

Josh Hill made his 50th Dartford appearance on Saturday. His fifth substitute appearance at Hungerford Town brought up the defender’s half century.

On This Day

Brian Gregory scored a hat-trick inside eight minutes to help Dartford to a 5-0 victory over Yeovil Town in 1981. The much travelled striker only just signed for the Darts from rivals Dover Athletic and made an instant impact in the Alliance Premier League win. Elliot Bradbrook scored twice as the Darts beat Havant and Waterlooville 4-2 at Princes Park in 2015. The former Darts captain opened the scoring from the spot and Danny Harris doubled the lead in first-half stoppage time. Havant and Waterlooville hit back in the second-half with goals from Dan Strugnell and Matt Paterson. Dartford managed to pull away again when Bradbrook netted once more and Ebou Adams grabbed his first senior goal. Dartford’s last away game on this day was in 1998 when they lost 3-2 at Baldock Town in the Southern League South.

National South Season Preview Part II

Concord Rangers

2019/2020 Performance:
League Position: 16th
F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round
F.A Trophy: Finalists
Top Scorer: Decarrey Sheriff (9 goals)

Just over a year ago Concord Rangers were denied a place in the National South playoffs despite finishing in sixth. Thames Road was deemed unsuitable for the next level up and so the Beachboys missed out on a potential big day. Little did the Essex club know they would get their chance to create history and have their big day, even if it’s been put on hold for the time being. Concord Rangers will at some point play at Wembley in the delayed F.A Trophy final against League Two side Harrogate Town, the Beachboys could well create more history.

Manager: Danny Scopes

When Danny Scopes was promoted within the club, following Sammy Moore’s departure last summer, chairman Ant Smith was confident the Concord Rangers boss would give his all. His first season back as boss of the Beachboys ended with a trip to Wembley and so the Essex club couldn’t ask for more. Not only that, Scopes was a former player of the club and previously worked within the youth system. His first spell between 2007 and 2012 was as a joint manager alongside Danny Cowley, when Concord Rangers climbed from the Essex Senior League to the Isthmian Premier League.

Summer

Five players return to the Beachboys this summer after one season away and three of them used to play for the Darts. Alex Wall made an immediate impact after returning to Concord Rangers from Hemel Hempstead Town, the former Dartford striker scored the winner in the F.A Trophy semi-final. Tyrone Sterling and Sam Blackman are the other two former Darts back at Concord RangersBlackman suffered a nasty injury shortly after joining Dartford, keeping him out for the long term. Unable to make his way into the team under Steve King the midfielder is back at Thames Road. Sterling follows the same route as Wall by re-joining from Hemel Hempstead Town as did Tosan Popo. The final returning player is Frazer Shaw who spent a season away at local rivals Chelmsford City. The Beachboys have also signed Ryan Charles from Maldon and Tiptree, Odei Martin (Heybridge Swifts), Sam Remfry (South Park), Nathan Carlyle on a month’s loan from Queens Park Rangers, Tom Hanfrey, a former AFC Bournemouth academy defender and Jason Raad from Aveley.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 5 / Concord Rangers wins: 3 / Draws: 3

Dartford

2019/2020 Performance:
League Position: 6th
F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round
F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round
Top Scorer: Darren McQueen (17 goals)

At the start of last term Dartford were expected to make the top seven, by the end of the campaign they were underdogs in the playoff final. A topsy-turvy campaign saw the Darts battling relegation and joint managers Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle relieved of their duties. Appointing one of the best managers at this level, the club surged up the table and into the playoffs. The Kent club beat Slough Town and favourites Havant and Waterlooville before losing on penalties against Weymouth. Now they are seeking a return to the National League after five years away.

Manager: Steve King

A highly successful non-league manager, Steve King guarantees to bring you entertainment. If he could beat his playoff nemesis King would have even more promotions to his credit. Much of his early managerial career was spent in Sussex where he won the National South title with Lewes, his third promotion in five years with the club. He went on to win another title at Farnborough and embark on F.A Cup runs with Macclesfield Town and Whitehawk. However, for every title there is playoff heartbreak losing finals with Farnborough, Whitehawk, Welling United and last season with the Darts.

Summer

The Darts have been busy in the transfer market making sure there is plenty of competition for places. The first job in the summer was replacing the National South’s joint top scorer from last season Darren McQueen. So in came Jack Barham from Dorking Wanderers, who has also played under King at Welling United and recently Kairo Mitchell, a former Leicester City academy player with experience at Nuneaton Borough and Coalville Town. Coming back to the Darts after seven years away, central defender Connor Essam joined from Hemel Hempstead Town. Since his last spell with the Darts, Essam has played for Dover Athletic, Leyton Orient and Eastleigh. King has signed David Ijaha from Dulwich Hamlet and Gavin McCallum from Welling United who have also worked with the Dartford boss previously. Jazzi Barnum-Bobb has played for three Welsh clubs, Cardiff City, Newport County and Wrexham, the defender joins Dartford’s back line. Winger Ricky Modeste has spent half his footballing career with rivals Dover Athletic and switches to the Darts. Midfielder, Abdul Osman arrives from Queen of the South and has played in the Greek top flight. In goal, Craig King (Oxford City) will be pushed for the number one jersey by Chelsea academy goalkeeper Ethan Wady. The Darts also signed Michael Fernandes on loan from Colchester United.

Dorking Wanderers

2019/2020 Performance:
League Position: 7th
F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round
F.A Trophy: 3rd Round
Top Scorer: Jason Prior (14 goals)

The youngest club in the division was formed 21 years ago and have won five league titles and 11 promotions to propel themselves up the pyramid. Last season was their first at National South level and once again the Wanderers were looking forwards and showing their ambitions. The Surrey club finished seventh to have a shot at another promotion. Dorking Wanderers knocked out Bath City in the playoff eliminator round before losing 3-2 to eventual winners Weymouth in the semi-final. They don’t hang around in divisions long and will be looking upwards yet again.

Manager: Marc White

Dorking Wanderers have climbed the non-league pyramid and Marc White has been able to witness their rise from day one. A founder member just over 20 years ago, his club have won 11 promotions and last season he guided the Surrey club to the playoffs in their first ever campaign in the National South. White has overseen the club moving to a new stadium as well as all the on-field success and has had clubs from higher leagues interested in his services, but he has his heart on getting to the Football League with the Wanderers.

Summer

When Alfie Rutherford and Wes Fogden left Havant and Waterlooville they were the last of the group that won back to back promotions with the Hawks. Now the duo will be reunited with Ed Harris and former Dartford striker Jason Prior at Dorking Wanderers, who were also part of that squad. One of the biggest signings, as far as experience goes, is that of Barry Fuller, the former Gillingham full back also made over 200 appearances in the Football League with AFC Wimbledon. Goalkeeper, Sam Howes has made his loan spell into a permanent deal, defender Callum Kennedy signs from Billericay Town and midfielder Kane Willis comes in from Eastbourne Borough.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / Dorking Wanderers wins: 1 / Draws: 0

Dulwich Hamlet

2019/2020 Performance:
League Position: 19th
F.A Cup: 1st Round
F.A Trophy: 1st Round
Top Scorer: Danny Mills (13 goals)

After a few years of agonisingly waiting persistently knocking on the National South door, Hamlet won the Isthmian Premier playoffs at the fourth time of asking. It was only a matter of time before Dulwich Hamlet succeeded and they did so two years ago. After so much determination the London club will not give their spot up easily in the National South. In their first season at this level they finished fourteenth with healthy crowds since their return to Champion Hill. Last time out Hamlet were concentrating on avoiding the drop finishing in the bottom four.

Manager: Gavin Rose

When last season started, Gavin Rose had just clocked up ten years in charge of Dulwich Hamlet and he’s still going. Hamlet’s longest serving manager admitted the club weren’t living up to their potential when he was appointed and now, he can’t quite believe how far the London club has come. A former midfielder who enjoyed a career including spells at Wimbledon, Charlton Athletic and Queens Park Rangers, Rose guided Dulwich Hamlet to the Isthmian Division One North title in 2013 and won the Isthmian Premier League playoffs in 2018 to earn promotion to the National South.

Summer

Impressive performances at Dartford last term, Tyrique Hyde moves to Dulwich Hamlet after 12 appearances with the Darts. The midfielder follows former Dartford defender, Sanchez Ming who has already had spells with the Hamlet making over 200 appearances for the club in the past. The pair join up with another three signings from Kent clubs, midfielders Michael Timlin moves from Ebbsfleet United and Jordan Higgs from Bromley, in addition to forward Korrey Henry from Welling United. Jesse Debrah spent a loan spell in defence at Champion Hill last season, he completes a move from Championship club Millwall. More excitingly for Hamlet fans is the return of Reise Allassani, the winger scored 16 times in 28 games for the club before being picked up by Coventry City. After some loan spells last season, he is back at Champion Hill.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 2 / Dulwich Hamlet wins: 3 / Draws: 3

Eastbourne Borough

2019/2020 Performance:
League Position: 18th
F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round
F.A Trophy: 1st Round
Top Scorer: Greg Luer (8 goals)

If there is a consistent team in the National South then look no further than Eastbourne Borough. Three consecutive eighteenth place finishes they will begin their tenth year in row in this division. Borough drew the most amount of games last season and at one stage completed a sequence of six on the spin. The Sussex club initially struggled in front of goal but managed to find the net in each of their last 11 matches, losing just once but drawing seven. If they want to improve Borough will need to tighten up at the back.

Manager: Danny Bloor

Arriving at Eastbourne Borough as number two to Jamie Howell, Danny Bloor also worked with Mark McGhee and Charlie Oatway as well as Lee Bradbury during their spells as managers. Several candidates went for the Borough job and in the end the Sussex club opted for Bloor to pull everyone together, after difficult times at Priory Lane. Briefed to keep Eastbourne Borough in the National South and re-establish a bond with the supporters, Bloor has started taking small strides forward by making his side tougher to beat as they became draw specialists prior last season coming to a halt.

Summer

Bringing Football League experience to the midfield, Chris Whelpdale signs from Chelmsford City. The 33-year-old has previously represented Gillingham, Peterborough United, Stevenage and AFC Wimbledon. Goalkeeper, Luke Glover scored a winning F.A Trophy goal last season when playing for Haywards Heath Town, he completes a move to the Sports. James Hammond arrives from local rivals Lewes and Mitchell Dickenson joins from Hemel Hempstead Town. From lower leagues, Eastbourne Borough have picked up Charlie Towning (Three Bridges), Joe Kay (Newhaven) and striker Charlie Lambert (Peacehaven and Telscombe). James Vaughan has been studying out in the United States, now he will be playing at Priory Lane this season.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 12 / Eastbourne Borough wins: 6 / Draws: 4

Dartford v Eastbourne Borough

Dartford are hoping to get back to winning ways this weekend by completing a double over Eastbourne Borough in the National South.

Storm Dennis caused havoc across the country last weekend resulting in both Dartford and Eastbourne Borough getting a ‘winter break’ of their own. The Darts were scheduled to take on Billericay Town, whilst the Sports were due to host league leaders Wealdstone, only for both fixtures to be called off because of the extreme weather conditions. So it has been a fortnight since both sides last played with Dartford losing their last outing at home against a Hampton and Richmond Borough side aiming for the playoffs. Eastbourne Borough picked up a draw versus Weymouth, another club aiming for a top seven finish.

When the Darts last met Eastbourne Borough, Steve King recorded his first victory as boss back in November. King handed a debut to Kyjoun Marsh-Brown and Liam Gordon, who has since returned to his parent club after a successful loan spell. Norman Wabo made a rare appearance under the current Dartford boss and opened the scoring after just four minutes, but the goal of the day was Elliott Romain’s thirty yard strike against his former club. The striker who has scored 12 goals in 19 games for the Darts will be suspended this weekend for his red card against Hampton and Richmond Borough. However, Amrit Bansal-McNullty returns from his suspension after his dismissal at Chippenham Town and new signing Giovanni McGregor is available after making his debut during Dartford’s last outing.

A fortnight ago, despite taking an early lead through Luke Wanadio’s sixth minute header, the Darts lost 2-1 to Hampton and Richmond Borough and manager Steve King was disappointed, he told DFCTV after the match: “We didn’t play at our level, we played nowhere near what we’re capable of and when you do that in this division and when you’re against a good side challenging for the playoffs you end up losing”. However, the Darts boss was impressed by Wanadio’s performance and believes there is more to come from the winger, he told www.kentonline.co.uk: “He’s been one of the better players since I’ve come to the club. He wants to learn, he’s always listening and we’re only touching the iceberg. There’s a lot more to come”, King added: “There’s more goals to come from Luke. There was the year when he was at Dartford before and he scored 15 or so goals and then he got a move to Bromley. The only thing missing has been goals”.

Although there were some questionable decisions in the Hampton and Richmond Borough match, when Tom Bonner and Sanchez Ming ended up on the wrong side of challenges that may have seen a red card, King believes ultimately it was down to the team’s performance, he explained: “They were incidents that may change games, but that’s not the reason we’ve lost the game because we were not good enough”. Danilo Orsi-Dadamo and Ryan Hill were on target for the Beavers as the visitors took their chances, King believed ‘costly errors’ and a ‘lack of control in midfield’ were the main factors behind the defeat.

Eastbourne Borough have become draw specialists lately ending their last six league games all square. The run stretches back to New Years Day when they beat Dorking Wanderers and so the Sussex club are eight unbeaten and without defeat in 2020. The Sports under Danny Bloor, have become tougher to beat and are looking for ways to turn draws into victories. Their last stalemate was a last minute 2-2 draw with Weymouth in which the first half was a cagey affair. Eastbourne Borough’s Greg Luer put the hosts in front only for Abdulai Baggie and Jake McCarthy to give the Terras a one goal advantage. However, deep into stoppage time Charlie Walker grabbed an equaliser to extend the Sports unbeaten run.

Goals have not been in short supply in the last four meetings against Eastbourne Borough at Princes Park. The Darts have scored 12 and conceded ten in that time with the Sports winning 3-2 in their last visit in a F.A Trophy third qualifying round replay. Even though Andre Coker and Taylor Fisher scored two goals in as many minutes right at the end of the game, the visitors went straight down the other end to score an even later winner. In the last league meeting at Princes Park, Elliot Bradbrook scored a last minute equaliser, whilst Charlie Sheringham scored on his return to the club and got sent off. Often an entertaining affair between the two clubs, the Darts won the previous two matches at Princes Park 4-2 in September 2017 and 4-3 five months earlier.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 11 / Eastbourne Borough wins: 6 / Draws: 4

Current League Form

Dartford (WWLWWL) Eastbourne Borough (DDDDDD)
Hampton & Richmond H 1-2 Weymouth A 2-2
Chippenham Town A 5-1 Hemel Hempstead Town H 1-1
Dulwich Hamlet H 1-0 Concord Rangers H 2-2
Slough Town A 0-1 Chelmsford City A 1-1
Oxford City H 3-0 St Albans City H 3-3
Dorking Wanderers A 3-2 Slough Town A 1-1

Last Six Meetings

12.09.2017 Eastbourne Borough 0 Dartford 2
20.04.2019 Eastbourne Borough 6 Dartford 0
27.11.2018 Dartford 2 Eastbourne Borough 3
24.11.2018 Eastbourne Borough 1 Dartford 1
08.09.2018 Dartford 2 Eastbourne Borough 2
14.04.2018 Eastbourne Borough 0 Dartford 1

Stats

There has been 17 goals in the last three home games in the National South against Eastbourne Borough, an average of 5.66 goals per game.

Dartford have kept six league clean sheets in their last nine games. Billericay Town have gone 13 league games without a clean sheet.

Over the last eight matches Dartford have picked up 2.25 points per game, the joint best with league leaders Wealdstone.

Eastbourne Borough’s eight game unbeaten run is the best run since they won the National South title back in 2007/08.

On This Day

Lee Noble has scored in his last two games on 22 February, and both times the midfielder netted the second goal in a 2-0 victory. In 2011, conditions were poor in a hard earned 2-0 away win on a cold Tuesday night at Dorchester Town. Danny Harris opened the scoring when his persistence paid off with twelve minutes to go, Noble secured the win by calmly slotting the ball beyond the Dorchester Town goalkeeper. History repeated itself three years later when Noble wrapped up another 2-0 win, this time at home to Hereford United in the National League. Alex Wall had earlier put the Darts in front and with twenty minutes remaining Noble blasted a shot in after his own free-kick had been partially cleared.

Eastbourne Borough v Dartford

Dartford play their first away fixture under new manager Steve King, travelling to Eastbourne Borough this weekend in the National South.

Familiar with the football scene in Sussex during spells at Lewes and Whitehawk, King will be hoping to lead the Darts to their fifth consecutive victory on the road in all competitions. Dartford are just a point from the relegation zone and a triumph at Priory Lane will see them rise above their opponents.

Attempting to make his mark and change the playing style at the Darts, King’s squad has been hampered by injuries to key players. Lee Noble faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines whilst Charlie Sheringham, Jordan Wynter and Sam Blackman are a few weeks away from a return. Added to that list, Mark Onyemah who had just got over an operation in the summer, hobbled off against Chippenham Town with what looked like a hamstring problem. However, since taking over the helm at Princes Park, King has managed to sign full back Jordan Gibbons from Chelmsford City and striker Elliott Romain from this weekend’s opponents.

Both new signings made their league debuts last weekend in the 1-1 home draw with Chippenham Town. Gibbons had already made his full debut in the F.A Cup reverse against Kingstonian, the right back retained his place in the line up and impressed against Chippenham Town. Initially the Darts played a narrow formation with Billy Crook, Luke Allen and Cameron Brodie as a midfield trio with Andy Pugh behind strikers Romain and Darren McQueen. The visitors took the lead through Kieran Parselle after Dartford failed to clear a controversially awarded free kick, the goalscorer was to make another impact on the game later on. With the Darts chasing at least a point, wingers Ryan Hayes and Luke Wanadio came off the bench to stretch the Chippenham Town defence. With five minutes left, Parselle was sent off and three minutes later central defender, Josh Hill moved up front and expertly curled in the equaliser.

King was left disappointed at the decision to award the visitors the free kick leading up to their goal, he spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk after the game and said: “Their goal I was little bit upset about because it wasn’t a free-kick on the far side, the referee even said it wasn’t so why did he give it?”. However the Dartford boss was pleased with his team adapting to a new style, he commented: “We’re keeping good possession of the ball and they’ll get braver as it comes along, it’s just that last little bit and that will come in time”, he continued: “The boys can’t do anymore than what has been asked of them, I thought they applied themselves brilliantly and bought into the way we’re playing and what we want to do”.

The new Dartford boss is likely to continue shaping the squad with new players and one area he has hinted at is left back. The signing of Gibbons on the opposite side of the pitch has given the Darts a flavour of what to expect, he explained: “Jordan on the right will get better as games go and he plays more matches”, he added: “Saturday (against Chippenham) was his third 90 minutes in two months so as he gets fitter and stronger he’ll be able to do more. We need to be able to do that on the left-hand side as well so we’ll get a left-sider in that can do that bit”.

As well as Romain returning to Priory Lane, goalkeeper Mark Smith also had a spell with the Sports. Romain joined the Sussex club in the summer and was Lee Bradbury’s first signing, however with Bradbury’s departure almost a fortnight ago and financial issues at Eastbourne Borough, King snapped up Romain after he was released and his recent comments shows he has faith in the striker, he explained: “I think he’s capable of 20 goals in this division. He’s done it at other clubs, Eastbourne Borough, Dagenham and Redbridge, Maidstone United, so for this level he’s a 20 goal-a-season man. He will get better and better in the system I play as time goes by”. Smith spent the first half of last season at Eastbourne Borough before a spell with Billericay Town, Smith has been ever present in the Dartford goal this term.

Seven of the current Dartford squad featured in the humiliating defeat last time the Darts visited Priory Lane. Under the guidance of former managers Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle, Dartford recorded their worst defeat in sixteen years when they went down 6-0. Charlie Walker kept hold of the match ball after his hat-trick, Kane Wills, Michael West and Corey Jordan also found the back of the Dartford net. The F.A Trophy third qualifying tie at the same venue went much better almost a year ago, Kudus Oyenuga’s late equaliser forced a replay cancelling out Dean Cox’s strike, the Darts went on to lose the replay at Princes Park 3-2.

Eastbourne Borough played on Tuesday night and were denied all three points against ten men Weymouth. Walker gave the hosts the lead before the Terras missed a penalty then had Brett Williams sent off. Weymouth were awarded a second penalty eight minutes from time and this time Alex McCarthy scored. It was the Sport’s second 1-1 draw in a row after their stalemate at Hemel Hempstead Town on the weekend, Greg Luer equalising for the Sussex side. Eastbourne Borough have now drawn the most games in the division, seven of their 15 National South fixtures this season.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 10 / Eastbourne Borough wins: 6 / Draws: 4

Current League Form

Dartford (DWLWLL) Eastbourne Borough (DDWLDL)
Chippenham Town H 1-1 Weymouth H 1-1
Oxford City A 1-0 Hemel Hempstead Town A 1-1
Slough Town H 2-3 St Albans City A 3-1
Concord Rangers A 2-0 Chelmsford City H 0-4
Dorking Wanderers H 3-4 Bath City A 2-2
Tonbridge Angels A 2-3 Slough Town H 0-2

Last Six Meetings

20.04.2019 Eastbourne Borough 6 Dartford 0
27.11.2018 Dartford 2 Eastbourne Borough 3
24.11.2018 Eastbourne Borough 1 Dartford 1
08.09.2018 Dartford 2 Eastbourne Borough 2
14.04.2018 Eastbourne Borough 0 Dartford 1
12.09.2017 Dartford 4 Eastbourne Borough 2

Stats

Dartford have won their last four away games in all competitions, a fifth consecutive victory will be the first time the Darts have achieved this feat since April 2018.

Four of Dartford’s five goals against the Sports last season came in the last five minutes of matches.

Prior the F.A Trophy defeat and 6-0 hiding last season, the Darts had gone 12 games unbeaten in all competitions against Eastbourne Borough (W8, D4).

On This Day

Dartford set up a F.A Cup first round tie with Aldershot on this day in 1968. The Darts travelled to Guildford in the fourth qualifying round and won 1-0 setting up a chance to avenge defeat against the Shots four years earlier in the same competition. Dartford also reached the first round in 1982 having survived a scare at Boreham Wood three days earlier. Aidan O’Sullivan’s late equaliser earned a replay which took place on 2 November, the Darts were forced into extra time before going through with a 2-1 victory. The last game on this day came six years ago when the Darts were beaten by Forest Green Rovers in the National League, James Norwood scored the decisive goal in a match that featured Ryan Hayes and Josh Hill. Ten years earlier, Dartford drew a F.A Trophy first round tie with Ashford Town (Middlesex) and two days later went out of the competition after a replay.

Eastbourne Borough – Season Preview 2019/2020

Eastbourne Borough

2018/19 Season

National South: 18th

F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Round

County Cup: Quarter-Final

League Top Scorer: Charlie Walker (11 goals) / Average Attendance: 586

Mark McGhee kept the Sports away from the drop when he took charge in the interim, following Jamie Howell’s departure. His vast experience in the Football League and Scottish Premiership will now be taken elsewhere after he set out what the club wanted him to achieve. In came Lee Bradbury, who had spent the last seven years at Havant and Waterlooville guiding them to back to back titles to reach the National League. The former striker made over 500 Football league appearances and had a spell as manager at AFC Bournemouth. Bradbury hopes to bring exciting football to the Sussex to reflect how the fans feel about Eastbourne Borough.

In March 2017, Elliott Romain left the club to pursue a career at a higher level, the striker is back at Priory Lane and was Bradbury’s first summer signing. He will partner Charlie Walker who was the club’s top scorer last season with 11 goals. The Sports’ Player of the Season, Kane Wills agreed to stay at the club as well as left back Kristian Campbell, the experienced Sergio Torres, Mike West and Dan Blackmore. Another player returning to Priory Lane after time away with Woking and Chelmsford City last season is central defender Kiran Khinda-John. The Sports have signed winger, Nick Wheeler who has won two promotions in a row with Billericay Town then Woking, he also had spells with Dagenham and Redbridge and Tonbridge Angels. Ciaren Jones impressed Norwich City whilst at Luton Town and has secured his first loan spell with a temporary move to Eastbourne Borough, the defender was part of the Canaries development squad last term. After a spell with the Sussex club last season, Manny Adebowole joins from National League side Dover Athletic. Moving to Priory Lane with a National South playoff winners medal, striker Greg Luer joins from Woking. Luer showed plenty of promise early in his career when he moved from Burgess Hill Town to Hull City. Playing time was limited with the Tigers and so he had spells with Scunthorpe United, Stevenage and then Maidstone United before Woking. James Ferry will line up as part of the Sports defence having joined from Stevenage, the 22-year-old ended last term with Woking as well. With the loss of goalkeeper Mark Smith to Dartford, the Sports have signed goalkeeper Tom Hadler from League One side Gillingham, he has had loan spells with Folkestone Invicta, Tonbridge Angels, Grays Athletic and Gloucester City. 

The Manager – Lee Bradbury

Lee Bradbury is eight years into his managerial career and joins the Sports after leaving Havant and Waterlooville. His playing career spanned sixteen years most notably at Portsmouth, Manchester City and Crystal Palace. The former striker replaced Eddie Howe at AFC Bournemouth as caretaker manager in January 2011 and at that point choose to retire from playing. Although Bradbury reached the playoffs he was dismissed the following campaign after a poor run of results. At Havant and Waterlooville he bounced back from relegation with back to back titles taking the Hawks to the National League, before dropping down to the National South last term.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 10 / Eastbourne Borough wins: 6 / Draws: 4

Last Six Meetings

20.04.2019 Eastbourne Borough 6 Dartford 0
27.11.2018 Dartford 2 Eastbourne Borough 3
24.11.2018 Eastbourne Borough 1 Dartford 1
08.09.2018 Dartford 2 Eastbourne Borough 2
14.04.2018 Eastbourne Borough 0 Dartford 1
12.09.2017 Dartford 4 Eastbourne Borough 2

Facts

Dartford had gone eleven games unbeaten against Eastbourne Borough going back to 2011, winning eight of those fixtures.

Eastbourne Borough have won the last two versus the Darts, the 6-0 victory in April was the biggest win in this fixture.

Last Ten Years

 

 

 

Next Meetings

Saturday 2 November 2019 at Priory Lane

Saturday 22 February 2020 at Princes Park

Eastbourne Borough v Dartford

Dartford have three games to prove they are worthy of a playoff place with the first away to Eastbourne Borough on Easter weekend.

The Darts travel to Priory Lane on Saturday at a time when a lack of form and injuries are testing management duo Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle. Dartford had looked comfortable in the top seven a month ago, but two points out of the last fifteen available has seen them drop out of the playoffs.

Four of the last five league games have been against teams in the lower half of the table, two of which are in a relegation scrap. This weekend will be no different as Eastbourne Borough are above the drop zone by a single point and have not tasted victory in their last fourteen league outings.

However, Adam Flanagan feels a win in Sussex will turn the season around, he told www.kentonline.co.uk: “We just need to get a win, if we get a win then I think we will be settled. We’ve got a group where they are confident they can beat any team in this league. But we’re on a negative run at the moment and we need to flip that round as quickly as we can”.

Dartford have also been hit by the news that former captain Elliot Bradbrook will retire at the end of the season. The midfielder started last weekend’s 1-0 defeat at home to Chippenham Town as centre back before leaving the pitch with a calf injury inside the first twenty minutes. Bradbrook will be a huge miss especially as he’s the second highest scorer in the club’s history with 142 goals in 444 appearances. Flanagan also confirmed that striker Phil Roberts will no longer play for the club, Charlie Sheringham is not available for all the remaining fixtures, whilst Billy Crook and Mark Onyemah have been out injured.

On a positive note, Andy Pugh returned to first team action with a substitute appearance against Chippenham Town. The striker has been recovery from pre-season’s leg break and managed to complete fifteen minutes. Flanagan commented on Pugh’s return, he said: “Ideally if everyone was fit and we had a bench full of players then you’d give him the season off and get him back for pre-season”, he added: “It’s good to have him back and we’ll work closely to make sure we don’t force too much out of him. If he can come on and score a goal or two then great and if his leg isn’t ready or there is any doubt, then we’re not going to push him”.

Defeat against Chippenham Town was only Dartford’s third at home this season and with one more to play at Princes Park they will need to make their away games count too. Flanagan reflected after the loss: “I actually think we’ve played worse and won. In possession we were quite good, moved the ball quite well and got lots of opportunities to get balls into the box. We didn’t test their keeper as much as we wanted. I thought it was an assured performance apart from not scoring”.

Back in September, the Darts had Bradbrook to thank in the reverse fixture against Eastbourne Borough when his last-minute equaliser salvaged a point. Twice Dartford had to come from behind, first when former Dartford winger Dave Martin scored for the Sports, Charlie Sheringham levelled the contest. Then early in the second-half Emmanuel Odubade put Eastbourne Borough ahead before Bradbrook netted at the end.

It’s been a year since the Darts last visited Priory Lane in the league when they were battling for the National South title. A sixth consecutive win was secured by a Danny Mills header to keep Dartford top of the table on goal difference with three games to go.

This season the two sides met in the F.A Trophy at the third qualifying round stage. At Priory Lane, Kudus Oyenuga’s late equaliser forced a replay cancelling out Dean Cox’s goal. In the rematch, the tie ended in dramatic fashion with three goals in the closing minutes. Dean Cox’s brace for the Sports had the Sussex side cruising until the 89th minute when Andre Coker pulled a goal back. Academy product, Taylor Fisher equalised two minutes into injury time and with the tie heading for another thirty minutes former Dart, Tom Gardiner headed the winner knocking Dartford out at the first hurdle.

Three former players could be involved on the weekend wearing the Eastbourne Borough colours, Gardiner appeared 75 times, Martin made 71 starting appearances and scored 16 goals and Marvin Hamilton made just one substitute appearance. The Sports have been on a dismal run that is threatening eight year run in the National South. The Sussex side have started to struggle in front of goal with Charlie Walker responsible for the Sports last three goals, scored over the last five games. In fact, in their 14 game winless streak they have failed to net on nine occasions.

The experienced Mark McGhee is now in charge at Priory Lane taking over from Jamie Howell in February. The Glaswegian has plenty of Football League managerial experience winning promotion with Reading, Millwall and Brighton and Hove Albion, the 61 year-old has also managed in the Scottish Premiership with Motherwell and Aberdeen. Whether McGhee will be in the same role next season remains to be seen as the club are looking for applicants for the position.

Eastbourne Borough have lost their last three league games helping Torquay United to the title last weekend. The Sports lost 2-0 to the champions which followed a 2-1 loss to relegation rivals Gloucester City and 3-2 at Hemel Hempstead Town. Their six game unbeaten run at the start of the campaign seems so long ago, now the Sports are in a ‘mini-league’ at the bottom of the table.

Head to Head

Eastbourne Borough wins: 5 / Dartford wins: 10 / Draws: 4

Current League Form

Eastbourne Borough (LLLDLD) Dartford (LLDDLW)
Torquay United A 0-2 Chippenham Town H 0-1
Gloucester City H 1-2 Weston-super-Mare A 1-3
Hemel Hempstead Town A 2-3 Truro City H 1-1
Bath City H 0-0 Hampton & Richmond H 2-2
Hungerford Town A 0-2 Torquay United A 0-2
Chelmsford City H 1-1 Gloucester City H 2-0

Previous Six Meetings

27.11.2018 Dartford 2 Eastbourne Borough 3
24.11.2018 Eastbourne Borough 1 Dartford 1
08.09.2018 Dartford 2 Eastbourne Borough 2
14.04.2018 Eastbourne Borough 0 Dartford 1
12.09.2017 Dartford 4 Eastbourne Borough 2
08.04.2017 Dartford 4 Eastbourne Borough 3

Stats 

Dartford have gone nine league games unbeaten against Eastbourne Borough (W7, D2).

Eastbourne Borough’s F.A Trophy win in November was the Sports first win against the Darts in 13 attempts.

The Darts are unbeaten in five games at Priory Lane in all competitions, last losing an away match against the Sussex club in 2002.

Five games without a win is the longest winless streak under Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle.

On This Day

Six years ago Dartford were officially crowned the best part time team in the country. The final game of the season may have ended 1-0 to Nuneaton Borough when Wesley York scored the only goal of the game, but the Darts enjoyed a fantastic campaign finishing eighth in the National League. Lee Noble scored nine years ago in a 1-1 draw at Wealdstone. Already crowned Isthmian Premier League champions, the Darts were held for a second game in a row.

Dartford v Eastbourne Borough

Dartford face Eastbourne Borough for a third time this season when they host the Sussex side in the F.A Trophy third qualifying round replay.

The Darts had to leave it late on the weekend to force a replay after falling behind at Priory Lane on Saturday. The Sports took the lead in the second half when the experienced striker Dean Cox hit a low shot into the bottom corner of Bailey Vose’s goal. With four minutes remaining the Darts salvaged a result to remain in the competition when Kudus Oyenuga equalised to earn a rematch at Princes Park.

History repeated itself on the weekend as seven years ago Dartford drew Eastbourne Borough in the F.A Trophy third qualifying round. The tie went to a replay after a 0-0 draw at Priory Lane, Lee Noble and Tom Bonner were the only members of the current squad involved that day. The Darts won at the second attempt with goals from Tom Champion and Danny Harris, the Sports halved the deficit through former Dart, Carl Rook.

Dartford have already hosted the Sports this season when they met in the league at Princes Park. Playing his first game back at Dartford’s home since returning to the club, Charlie Sheringham scored then later got sent off on a dramatic afternoon. The Darts needed to come from behind twice in September having conceded when ex Dart, Dave Martin opened the scoring on twelve minutes. Sheringham levelled the match converting from the penalty spot, but just after half-time Eastbourne Borough regained the lead through Emmanuel Odubade. Sheringham received his second yellow card leaving the hosts a man short for the final twelve minutes. Against the odds, Elliot Bradbrook equalised in stoppage time to earn the Darts a vital point in the National South.

If the last three home clashes with Eastbourne Borough are to go by then plenty of goals should be expected. As well as the 2-2 draw two months ago, the Darts scored four in the two meetings before that. Last season, the two sides met at Princes Park in a contest that had a major talking point. It was one way traffic in the first half as Alex Brown had Dartford ahead going into the break. Ryan Hayes, on his 400th appearance for the club set up Alfie Pavey on the hour with his corner and Elliot Bradbrook’s header four minutes later made it 3-0. Jamie Taylor pulled a goal back with six minutes remaining, but shortly afterwards it was 4-1. A quick free-kick was taken by the Sports which rebounded off the grounded Hayes, who was a few yards away. The referee controversially played on as the ball broke to Tom Murphy who scored. Eastbourne Borough managed a late consolation when Lee Noble scored an own goal.

In the campaign before that 4-2 victory, the Darts had to hold out in a seven goal thriller. Andy Pugh, Luke Wanadio, Ryan Hayes and Elliot Bradbrook had Dartford 4-1 before the Sports staged a late fightback which fell just short, Dartford hung on to win 4-3.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 10 / Eastbourne Borough wins: 4  / Draws: 4

Current Form (all competitions *-Sussex Senior Cup / ^-F.A Trophy)

Dartford (DWWWLW) Eastbourne Borough (DLLWWL)
Eastbourne Borough A 1-1^ Dartford H 1-1^
Hampton & Richmond A 1-0 Bath City A 0-1
Oxford City H 3-2 Concord Rangers A 0-3
Gloucester City A 2-1 Hungerford Town H 3-1
Truro City A 1-3 Eastbourne United A 5-0*
Dulwich Hamlet H 2-1 Chelmsford City A 2-3

Previous Meetings

24.11.2018 Eastbourne Borough 1 Dartford 1
08.09.2018 Dartford 2 Eastbourne Borough 2
14.04.2018 Eastbourne Borough 0 Dartford 1
12.09.2017 Dartford 4 Eastbourne Borough 2
08.04.2017 Dartford 4 Eastbourne Borough 3
16.08.2011 Eastbourne Borough 2 Dartford 3

Stats

Dartford are 12 games unbeaten against the Sports winning eight and drawing four.

Prior this season’s draw at Princes Park, the Darts had beaten Eastbourne Borough five time in a row at home.

Eastbourne Borough last beat Dartford in 2003, the Sports won 1-0 in the Southern League Division One East.

On This Day

Ryan Hayes, Adam Flanangan and Jamie Coyle were all pert of the team that crushed Witham Town 7-2 eleven years ago at Princes Park. It took just five minutes for Jay May to open the scoring and a couple of minutes late Brendon Cass doubled the lead. Hayes made it three before the break from the penalty spot. Eddie McClements had the Darts four up but Witham Town grabbed two to halve the deficit. However, Dartford relentlessly managed three more through Cass, McClements and Coyle.

Eastbourne Borough v Dartford

The F.A Trophy gets underway for Dartford this weekend when they visit fellow National South side Eastbourne Borough at Priory Lane. 

Dartford have already hosted the Sports this season when they met in the league at Princes Park. Playing his first game back at Dartford’s home since returning to the club, Charlie Sheringham scored then later got sent off on a dramatic afternoon. The Darts needed to come from behind twice in September having conceded when ex Dart, Dave Martin opened the scoring on twelve minutes. Sheringham levelled the match converting from the penalty spot, but just after half-time Eastbourne Borough regained the lead through Emmanuel Odubade. Sheringham received his second yellow card leaving the hosts a man short for the final twelve minutes. Against the odds, Elliot Bradbrook equalised in stoppage time to earn the Darts a vital point in the National South.

Having lost four from five leading up to the 2-2 draw, the result against Eastbourne Borough marked the start of an upturn in form. Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle have led the Darts to one defeat in nine league games to leave them top of the form guide. On the weekend, Sheringham’s winning goal against Hampton and Richmond Borough moved Dartford into fifth place having secured a third consecutive victory. Tom Bonner will face a fitness test before the trophy tie having been taken off at the Beveree with a hamstring strain. Goalkeeper, Bailey Vose has had his loan extended to the end of the season, Delano Sam-Yorke and Tom Murphy have gone out on loan to Kingstonian and Margate respectively.

Flanagan spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk and believes his squad has more to offer, he commented: “It sounds a lot better than it did at the start! We can’t complain but Jamie and I believe we’re just touching the surface of what we’ve got at the moment. There are still improvement areas but we’re winning games. Eight of those nine games have been by one goal and we want to kick on”.

So far, this term Dartford have only played two cup matches and on both occasions, there was plenty of room to improve. The Darts struggled past AFC Uckfield Town in the F.A Cup second qualifying round then were well beaten in the next stage at Oxford City.

Saturday will almost be seven years since Dartford drew Eastbourne Borough in the F.A Trophy third qualifying round. The tie went to a replay after a 0-0 draw at Priory Lane, Lee Noble and Tom Bonner were the only members of the current squad involved that day. The Darts won at the second attempt with goals from Tom Champion and Danny Harris, the Sports halved the deficit through former Dart, Carl Rook. Dartford reached the third round that year, losing to Wealdstone.

The Darts last enjoyed a decent run in the competition in 2012/13 when they reached the semi-final stage against Grimsby Town. Since then they have only got passed the first round twice, going out on penalties against Boreham Wood in round one last time. Flanagan stated: “The club got to the semi-finals (in 2012/13) and everyone I’ve spoken to about that run said what a good experience it was. It would be nice to replicate that”.

As well as the four goals scored in this season’s fixture between the two clubs, there has been plenty of goalmouth action in previous meetings. Almost two years ago at a foggy Priory Lane, Dartford won 3-2 in a match where you could excuse anyone who missed Kaka Dembele’s strike and Nathaniel Pinney’s consolation. The Darts netted four times in the next two home clashes winning 4-3 then 4-2, however the last time Dartford visited the Sussex club, Danny Mills was on hand to score the winner.

Whilst the 2-2 draw in September was the beginning of Dartford’s good form, it was also the start of a decline in results for the Sports. Leading up to the meeting at Priory Lane, the Sussex club had lost just once in eight National South outings. Although the draw extended that run to another game, since then Eastbourne Borough have won just twice in the league in nine attempts. On the weekend, the Sports lost a second consecutive fixture at Bath City. The 1-0 defeat followed a 2-0 loss at Concord Rangers.

In cup competitions, Jamie Howell’s side made hard work getting past Brantham Athletic in the F.A Cup second qualifying round two months ago. The Sports nervously overcame Dulwich Hamlet, after racing into a 4-0 first half lead they conceded three times in the second half against ten men and just held on. Eastbourne Borough missed out on the F.A Cup first round when they were narrowly beaten 2-1 by Slough Town.

Eastbourne Borough’s best performance in the F.A Trophy is reaching the third round, most recently in their 2010/2011 campaign. After their trophy run seven years ago they went out at the third qualifying round four years in a row, including the defeat to Dartford. Last season they beat Royston Town on penalties before going out to Dover Athletic.

Head to Head

Eastbourne Borough wins: 4 / Dartford wins: 10 / Draws: 3

Current Form (all competitions *-Sussex Senior Cup)

Eastbourne Borough (LLWWLD) Dartford (WWWLWW)
Bath City A 0-1 Hampton & Richmond A 1-0
Concord Rangers A 0-3 Oxford City H 3-2
Hungerford Town H 3-1 Gloucester City A 2-1
Eastbourne United A 5-0* Truro City A 1-3
Chelmsford City A 2-3 Dulwich Hamlet H 2-1
Hampton & Richmond H 2-2 Chippenham Town A 2-1

Previous Meetings

08.09.2018 Dartford 2 Eastbourne Borough 2
14.04.2018 Eastbourne Borough 0 Dartford 1
12.09.2017 Dartford 4 Eastbourne Borough 2
08.04.2017 Dartford 4 Eastbourne Borough 3
16.08.2011 Eastbourne Borough 2 Dartford 3
20.02.2016 Eastbourne Borough 1 Dartford 1

Stats

Dartford named an unchanged side for the third game in a row last weekend, the first time this has happened this season.

Mark Onyemah is close to making his 100th start for the Darts in his second spell with the club.

Lee Noble will be approaching 450 appearances in total.

On This Day

Dartford progressed to the second round of the F.A Trophy with a commanding 4-0 win at Kingstonian in 2012. Marcus Bettenelli was called into action after just four minutes as he saved Andre McCollin’s penalty, which served as an early warning for the Darts. Jacob Erskine gave Dartford the lead halfway through the first half then K’s midfielder Simon Huckle was sent off. The afternoon got easier and so the Darts made sure of victory when Elliot Bradbrook, Danny Harris and Nathan Collier added three more goals to the scoreline. Ryan Hayes celebrated his 150th start nine years ago in style, helping Dartford come from two down to beat Tooting and Mitcham United 3-2. The winger scored a brace including a well taken free kick, Rob Haworth netted the winner to complete the comeback.

Dartford v Eastbourne Borough

Four defeats in five games have left Dartford needing goals and much needed points, when they host Eastbourne Borough at Princes Park this weekend.

The Darts have struggled in front of goal this season and have failed to find the net in five of their last six National South outings. After the 2-0 reverse last weekend away to St Albans City, Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle will want their side to make the most of home advantage against this weekend’s opponents Eastbourne Borough, the Sports have started their campaign well and are third in the league.

Improving the attacking options has been a priority and the management duo took some steps in addressing the lack of firepower. Charlie Sheringham started his third spell with the Darts making his debut on Saturday, the striker who was with Hemel Hempstead Town last term spent some time in Bangladesh. The 30 year-old made 61 starting appearances and scored 41 times during his previous two spells with the Darts.

Also making his debut was Cambridge United winger Tom Knowles who signed a one month loan deal with Dartford. Jamie Philpot, who came off injured in the East Thurrock United win didn’t take part in the defeat at St Albans City and Callum Driver was also missing from the squad.

The latest addition to the squad is Amadou Ba, the on loan French striker from Southend United will be available for selection. The 20 year-old has made five appearances for the Essex club and was part of Le Havre’s reserve team before moving across the Channel.

Dartford are not in the best of form and so Coyle has called on his players to match opponents on their work ethic, something that was done against East Thurrock United, he spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk after their previous home triumph and commented: “We have been disappointed because not only have we not got the results but the performances have been poor and that’s been a concern”, he added: “If we lose games, we can’t lose them when we’ve been outworked by the opposition and that’s happened recently”.

Statistics point towards a low scoring afternoon and much of Eastbourne Borough’s success has been built on a solid back line. However, if previous meetings between the two sides are anything to go by then the low scoring trend could well be broken.

Former Dartford favourite Dave Martin may have scored the match winner in their last game against Weston-super-Mare, but a fourth clean sheet in eight shows how tough it’s been to breach the Sports defence, which includes former Darts, Marvin Hamilton and Tom Gardiner.

Martin earned a move to Crystal Palace after impressing at Princes Park, where he scored 16 goals, some of them memorable in 71 starting appearances. The winger enjoyed spells at Millwall and Southend United before returning to non-league, which included a loan spell back at the Darts in 2013 where he made a further 11 appearances.

Gardiner joined the Sports from St Albans City and whilst the defender was at Dartford he played 75 times. Marvin Hamilton spell at the Darts was very brief, the 29 year-old made just one substitute appearance.

Unbeaten away from home, Jamie Howell’s side have won two and drawn two on their travels. Their only defeat so far came against the league leaders Woking on Bank Holiday Monday, ending a six game unbeaten run which included wins over Welling United, East Thurrock United and Chippenham Town.

The Sports’ squad includes former Ebbsfleet United and Dover Athletic defender Ian Simpemba, ex Ebbsfleet United midfielder Michael West as well as the experienced Sergio Torres and Dean Cox.

A year ago, the two sides met at Princes Park in a contest that had a major talking point. It was one way traffic in the first half as Alex Brown had Dartford ahead going into the break. Ryan Hayes, on his 400th appearance for the club set up Alfie Pavey on the hour with his corner and Elliot Bradbrook’s header four minutes later made it 3-0. Jamie Taylor pulled a goal back with six minutes remaining, but shortly afterwards it was 4-1. A quick free-kick was taken by the Sports which rebounded off the grounded Hayes, who was a few yards away. The referee controversially played on as the ball broke to Tom Murphy who scored. Eastbourne Borough managed a late consolation when Lee Noble scored an own goal. Victory secured a double over the Sussex club, Danny Mills scored the only goal at Priory Lane in April.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 10 / Eastbourne Borough wins: 4 / Draws: 2

Current Form

Dartford (LWLLLD) Eastbourne Borough (WLDWWD)
St Albans City A 0-2 Weston-super-Mare A 1-0
East Thurrock United H 2-0 Woking H 1-2
Hungerford Town A 0-1 St Albans City A 1-1
Wealdstone H 0-3 Chippenham Town H 2-1
Concord Rangers A 0-2 East Thurrock United A 1-0
Hemel Hempstead Town H 0-0 Truro City H 2-2

Previous Meetings

14.04.2018 Eastbourne Borough 0 Dartford 1
12.09.2017 Dartford 4 Eastbourne Borough 2
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

Stats

Dartford are unbeaten in their last ten matches against Eastbourne Borough stretching back to 2011 (W8, D2). The Darts have won the last four against the Sussex club.

Under the guise of Eastbourne Borough, the Sports won their first four meetings against the Darts between 2001 and 2003.

The Darts have won their last five home matches against the Sussex club, scoring eight and conceding five in the last two meetings at Princes Park.

Games involving Dartford and Eastbourne Borough this season have been low scoring. The Darts have totalled 14 goals in their fixtures (scored 5 conceded 9) whilst the Sports have seen just 15 (scored 9 conceded 6).

Only East Thurrock United (3) have scored fewer then Dartford this term.

On This Day

Dartford last won on 8 September way back in 2001 when they beat Grantham Town 1-0 in the Southern League Division One East. The last home win was even further back in 1979, the Darts beat Hastings United 3-0 in the Southern League Southern Division. The last match Dartford played on this day ended in a 2-0 defeat away to Gateshead in the National League six years ago.

National League South Season Preview 2018/2019 – Part Two

 Dartford | Dulwich Hamlet | East Thurrock UnitedEastbourne Borough | Gloucester CityHampton and Richmond Borough

Dartford

Founded: 1888 / Ground: Princes Park

A new era begins for the Darts after the resignation of club legend Tony Burman. The former manager left his position in the summer after fourteen years at the helm but will be involved with the academy. Starting out as joint favourites last season, Dartford had a strong squad only to suffer final day heartbreak and lose the title on goal difference. The Kent club did lead the table for long periods of the campaign but just couldn’t break away and finished runners up. The Darts were the top scorers in the National South partly thanks to the league’s Player of the Season Alfie Pavey. It has been a big summer for the playoff semi-finalists as they look to go one better.

Last Season

National South: 2nd

F.A Cup: 1st Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Round

County Cup: 2nd Round

League Top Scorer: Alfie Pavey (22 goals)

Average Attendance: 1053 (1st in National South)

The Managers – Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle

They played in defence for the Darts and won titles together in 2008 and 2010, first the Isthmian Division One North then the Isthmian Premier. Flanagan captained the side during the latter championship victory at centre back, Coyle alongside him at full back. The pair moved into management taking different routes, Flanagan won promotion to the Isthmian Premier League via the playoffs at Brentwood Town, whilst Coyle continued playing going up to the National League with Maidstone United. Coyle moved on to Welling United and in his only campaign as manager guided the Wings to tenth in the Nation South last term. Flanagan came to Dartford after three  years with Concord Rangers.

The Summer

The influence Burman had on the players that were at the club is evident in the fact that many have left. Loyal servants Ryan Hayes and Danny Harris depart having played 980 times for the Darts combined. Alex Brown switches to Margate, Lyle Della-Verde to Braintree Town, but the biggest loss was top scorer and National South’s Player of the Year Alfie Pavey to champions Havant and Waterlooville. On top of that the trio of Nathan Collier, Duane Ofori-Acheampong and Berti Schotterl all moved to Woking. So, with the squad numbers dwindling new management duo Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle can cease the opportunity to create something new at Princes Park. Attacking intent has been illustrated with the signing of Alex Wall, whio scored six in 11 games whilst on loan at the Darts in 2014, the striker spent last term with Hungerford Town. Forward, Kudus Oyenuga arrives from Chelmsford City and 29-year-old striker Delano Sam-Yorke from Maidstone United. Callum Driver returns to the Darts after three years away with Maidstone United and Welling United and winger Ben Greenhalgh joins from Flanagan’s former club Concord Rangers. Simon Mensah will provide competition in midfield having been signed from Whitehawk.

Back to top

Dulwich Hamlet

Founded: 1893 / Ground: Imperial Fields

It was only a matter of time before the Hamlet reached the National South. Over the past three season’s they made the playoffs, losing two finals in a row. The Greater London club must have feared the worst then when they ended the Isthmian Premier campaign as runners up, even with an impressive 95 points. However, at the fourth attempt Dulwich Hamlet won the playoffs beating Hendon on penalties. It’s certainly been a dramatic year for the club having been forced out of their ground, meaning the Hamlet have been playing home games at Tooting and Mitcham United’s the Imperial Fields. This season will see the club play at National South level for the very first time.

Last Season

Isthmian Premier: 2nd

F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 2nd Qualifying Round

County Cup: Semi-Final

League Top Scorer: Nyren Clunis (19 goals)

Average Attendance: 1381 (1st in Isthmian Premier)

The Manager – Gavin Rose

Hamlet’s longest serving manager finally earned promotion to the National South last season. The 39-year-old former midfielder had spells with Wimbledon, Charlton Athletic, Queens Park Rangers, Southend United, Bromley, Gravesend & Northfleet and Walton & Hersham amongst others during his long career. Rose runs an academy which specialises in coaching youngsters and as a manager with Beckenham Town almost won the Kent League. Under his guidance, Hamlet won the Isthmian Division One South title five years ago and the Isthmian Premier League playoffs last season. Helping Rose in the dugout will be former Dartford midfielder Junior Kadi, who was part of Dartford’s 2008 title winning team.

The Summer

Hamlet strengthened their midfield over the break with the signing of former Ebbsfleet United and Chelmsford City man Anthony Cook, the 28-year-old spent four years with the Clarets before playing for Fleet. The attacking midfielder also had spells at Bromley and was on loan at Woking last term. Byron Lawrence made the move up to the National South coming in from Leiston, the 22-year-old previously played for Billericay Town, Ipswich Town, Colchester United and Bishop’s Stortford. Hamlet have added former Colchester United defender Magnus Okuonghae and striker Jay May to the squad. Okuonghae played 215 games for Colchester United and spent two years with National League outfit Maidstone United before moving to Welling United last summer. May was also at Maidstone United where he topped scored before spells at Hythe Town and Margate, he was also part of Dartford’s Isthmian Division One North and Isthmian Premier League title winning sides, scoring 51 goals in 117 games. Rose also agreed to sign former Chelsea youngster Daniel Pappoe. Dulwich Hamlet will be without Reise Allassani who earned a move to League One Coventry City, after 17 goals in 31 appearances last season. Crowd favourites Marc Weatherstone and Kenny Beaney leave along with Nana Boakye-Yiadom to Concord Rangers and Anthony Acheampong to Welling United.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 0 / Dulwich Hamlet wins: 2 / Draws: 2

Previous Meetings

31.03.2007 Dartford 1 Billericay Town 1
19.09.2006 Dulwich Hamlet 3 Dartford 2
09.12.1996 Dulwich Hamlet 3 Dartford 1
04.12.1996 Dartford 0 Dulwich Hamlet 0

Next Meetings

Tuesday 30 October 2018 at Princes Park

Saturday 2 March 2019 at Imperial Fields

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East Thurrock United

Founded: 1969 / Ground: Rookery Hill

Unbeaten in their first ten league matches, East Thurrock United looked on course to be last season’s surprise package. When they were promoted to the National League two years ago they had carried forward their habit of scoring goals. Helped by Sam Higgins, the National South’s top talisman last term with twenty-five goals, the Rocks saw plenty of goals once more. This time they scored two less than the champions but conceded eighty-four times, the second highest in the division. As a result of their defensive frailties, the Essex club lost momentum going eight without victory after their excellent start. East Thurrock United concluded their campaign with a six-game losing streak aided by a series of injuries and suspensions.

Last Season

National South: 15th

F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Round

County Cup: Semi-Final

League Top Scorer: Sam Higgins (25 goals)

Average Attendance: 294 (18th in National South)

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. Seven years ago, the Essex club won the Isthmian Division One North, in the division above they reached the playoffs in 2013 and three years later won the playoffs. When East Thurrock United won promotion they played an attacking brand scoring 107 times in that campaign. Coventry has now overseen two consecutive years in the National South finishing thirteenth then fifteenth.

The Summer

Former England international and Premier League full back, Paul Konchesky will take on a dual role as player and assistant first team coach. The ex-Charlton Athletic, West Ham United, Fulham and Liverpool left back has non-league experience with Billericay Town, Hardworking midfielder turned full back Danny Harris leaves Dartford after 400 appearances and 75 goals to join the Rocks. Goalkeeper, Jack Giddens moves from local rivals Billericay Town, Tom Derry comes in from Leatherhead and Ashley Miller re-joins East Thurrock United. Former Darts, James White, Max Cornhill and Lewis Smith have all departed John Coventry’s squad.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 2 / East Thurrock United wins: 3 / Draws: 1

Previous Meetings

30.04.2005 East Thurrock United 0 Dartford 1
28.08.2017 Dartford 0 East Thurrock United 1
07.01.2017 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 27 August 2018 at Rookery Hill

Saturday 29 December 2018 at Princes Park

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Eastbourne Borough

Founded: 1964 / Ground: Priory Lane

A new era began for the Sports last season under a new management team and they started with back to back defeats. An eight-match unbeaten run followed moving the Sussex club up the table and into the top ten. This is when Eastbourne Borough peaked and from September they spent the rest of their campaign picking up the odd victory between losing streaks. They ended the season with four straight losses looking over their shoulders until the penultimate game when they reached safety. In all fairness the Sports picked up the points against the teams that mattered, winning six out of eight against those who finished below them in the National South.

Last Season

National South: 18th

F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Round

County Cup: Quarter-Final

League Top Scorer: Jamie Taylor (11 goals)

Average Attendance: 517 (13th in National South)

The Manager – Jamie Howell

Last summer Jamie Howell walked away from Bognor Regis Town after guiding them into the National South. The former defender made over 400 appearances for the Rocks before managing the club for seven years. His last match as boss for the Sussex club was the playoff final win over Dulwich Hamlet, two days later he rocked up at Priory Lane. In his first campaign with the Sports the club survived whilst his former side were relegated back to the Isthmian Premier League. Howell started his management career at neighbours Burgess Hill Town, where he spent a couple of years as player manager. The Sports will be hoping for a more comfortable ride this time under Howell.

The Summer

Dave Martin used to create excitement amongst the Princes Park faithful and his talent was rewarded with a move to Crystal Palace. The former Millwall winger has made his way back to non-league and will be at Priory Lane this season. Charlie Walker scored 16 goals in 67 appearances for St Albans City and he will be part of Eastbourne Borough’s team. Once of Ebbsfleet United and Chelmsford City, experience midfielder Michael West joins the clan and so does 18-year-old centre back Harry Pollard from Charlton Athletic. The Sports may miss the departures of striker Jamie Taylor as well as Kiran Khinda-John, Charlie Harris, Shaun Okojie and Gavin McCallum, who has joined Welling United. Marvin Hamilton made one appearance for Dartford a few years ago. He returns to Priory Lane after spending last term at Whitehawk. Centre back James Harran has left the club trading football for a modelling career.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 10 / Eastbourne Borough wins: 4 / Draws: 2

Previous Meetings

14.04.2018 Eastbourne Borough 0 Dartford 1
12.09.2017 Dartford 4 Eastbourne Borough 2
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

Next Meetings

Saturday 8 September 2018 at Princes Park

Saturday 20 April 2019 at Priory Lane

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Gloucester City

Founded: 1883 / Ground: Jubilee Stadium

Moved from the National North to the South last summer, Gloucester City found their feet in their new surroundings, but had to wait until the fifth game to secure their first victory. The Tigers didn’t fully settle though and were surprised in November when manager Tim Harris resigned after 300 games in charge. Form improved in the New Year with the Gloucestershire club suffering just two defeats in eleven leading up to the Easter period. Although the Tigers couldn’t keep the run going and their season petered out, remaining in the National South was never really in doubt. A fourteenth-place finish was very much in keeping with their previous life in the National North where mid-table was the norm.

Last Season

National South: 14th

F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: Final to be played 30/07/2018

League Top Scorer: Joseph Parker (12 goals)

Average Attendance: 284 (19th in National South)

The Manager – Marc Richards

Former Gloucester City defender Marc Richards returned to the club four years ago as part of the back-room staff. As a player he had three spells with the Tigers, first signing from Cirencester Town then departing for Australia to play for Manly United. Richards enjoyed a long career in non-league which also included time at Cinderford Town, Weston-super-Mare, Swindon Supermarine, Chippenham Town, Shortwood United and Evesham United. He became assistant to former boss Tim Harris and when he unexpectedly resigned in December, Richards was there to take up the manager’s position with the club two points above the drop. By the end of the campaign the Tigers survived with eleven points to spare.

The Summer

After a strong finish to the campaign, Marc Richards rewarded most of the squad with new contracts. Although he lost the services of Kieran Parselle to Chippenham Town and Robbie Cundy he has signed replacements. Jack Deaman is back with the Tigers after making 11 appearances in 2016/2017, Adam Page returns to the club after two loan appearances in 2017 and Mat Liddiard, a graduate of Gloucester City is back after a spell with Evesham United, where he scored 22 goals last season. Jake Mawford signs after impressing Marc RFichards during pre-season and Exeter City forward, Ben Seymour joins the Tigers on a three month loan.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 27 / Gloucester City wins: 12 / Draws: 10

Previous Meetings

10.04.2018 Gloucester City 0 Dartford 1
18.11.2017 Dartford 4 Gloucester City 1
07.03.1992 Gloucester City 0 Dartford 0
26.10.1991 Dartford 2 Gloucester City 0
16.03.1991 Dartford 2 Gloucester City 1
29.09.1990 Gloucester City 2 Dartford 0

Next Meetings

Tuesday 3 November 2018 at Jubilee Stadium

Saturday 9 March 2019 at Princes Park

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Hampton and Richmond Borough

Founded: 1921 / Ground: The Beveree

An incredible twenty-one game unbeaten run from the end of August to the end of January made sure the Beavers challenged for the title, until the Good Friday mud bath. A last-minute defeat against title contenders Dartford over ended all hope. The Beavers, along with champions Havant and Waterlooville lost the fewest matches last term, just six. So, dropped points from eighteen outings cost the Middlesex club dearly. Hampton and Richmond Borough earned a playoff spot, this time settled on the field, but once more fell short when they agonisingly lost the final to Braintree Town on penalties. The Beavers will start the new campaign with a new boss after Alan Dowson’s departure for Woking.

Last Season

National South: 4th

F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Round

County Cup: Quarter-Final

League Top Scorer: Max Kretzschmar (14 goals)

Average Attendance: 590 (9th in National South)

The Manager – Gary McCann

There is common ground between the Beavers and their new boss, they both experienced playoff heartbreak last season. Hampton and Richmond Borough had been keeping tabs on the great work McCann was doing at Hendon. When former manager Alan Dowson jumped ship to take over at Woking, the appointment of his replacement was swift. McCann first joined the Greens as a player in 1997 and then became the longest serving manager at the Middlesex club, where he won an Isthmian League Cup. He consistently kept Hendon in the Isthmian Premier League finishing runners up in 2015 and third last season, losing the playoff final to Dulwich Hamlet on penalties.

The Summer

Rebuilding the squad at the Beveree began with a raid on Gary McCann’s former club Hendon. Trusting players, he already knows, the new Hampton and Richmond Borough boss has attracted the versatile Casy Maclaren, who made 358 appearances for Hendon since 2007. Daniel Uchechi has represented Nigeria at under 20 and under 23 level and experienced playing for Charlton Athletic, West Ham United, Sheffield Wednesday, Aberdeen as well as spells in Sweden and Germany, he also joins from Hendon. Also switching from Silver Jubilee Park to the Beveree is Michael Corcoran once of Oxford United, Wealdstone and Chelmsford City, Jake Eggleton, an ever present last term, right back James Hammond, 18 goal striker Zak Joseph, goalkeeper Tom Lovelock and 19-year-old defender Rian Bray. Former Billericay Town pair Oliver Sprague and Josh Mcleod-Urquhart have joined the Beavers along with Shaun Lucien who returns to the club from St Albans City and Ricky Wellard arrives from Wealdstone. Nathan Mavilla signs from Leyton Orient and has previously represented Aldershot, Cambridge City & Wealdstone and made an appearance for West Ham United in the Europa League against Astra Giurgui three years ago. Up front, Chris Dickson has been signed from Chelmsford City and brings experience to the front line. He spent five seasons playing in Cyprus, before moving to China. Dickson also has Football League pedigree, having joined Championship side Charlton Athletic in 2007 and he also has two caps for Ghana. Hampton & Richmond Borough have also completed the signing of Charlton Athletic’s Dan Bowry, on a loan deal that will run until January. One big loss will be the goals from midfield scored by Max Kretzschmar, he netted 14 times last term and joins the Beavers former boss now at Woking.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 5 / Hampton and Richmond Borough wins: 4 / Draws: 1

Previous Meetings

30.03.2018 Dartford 1 Hampton & Richmond Borough 0
02.09.2017 Hampton & Richmond Borough 2 Dartford 2
17.04.2017 Dartford 3 Hampton & Richmond Borough 1
29.08.2016 Hampton & Richmond Borough 4 Dartford 1
21.01.2012 Hampton & Richmond Borough 1 Dartford 3
20.08.2011 Dartford 2 Hampton & Richmond Borough 1

Next Meetings

Saturday 17 November 2018 at the Beveree

Saturday 23 March 2019 at Princes Park

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