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Hemel Hempstead Town v Dartford

Dartford are in action on Tuesday night hoping to start a new unbeaten run when they travel to Hemel Hempstead Town.

The Darts tasted their first defeat of the season on the weekend and their first in the league since February. Hosting a strong Dorking Wanderers side, Dartford were haunted by their former striker Jason Prior once again. The Darts fell to a 3-2 loss in which they pegged the visitors back twice.

Two former Havant and Waterlooville players netted for Dorking Wanderers with Wes Fogden opening the scoring. Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong equalised only for Prior to add another goal to his career tally against Dartford. Jack Jebb levelled for the hosts with a free-kick and with 15 minutes to go Matthew Briggs won it for Wanderers. It had been almost a year since the Darts last conceded three under Steve King.

King felt the Darts “were the better side”, but lacked the finishing touch, he spoke to Dartford FC TV and said: “If there is only one criticism on us, for all the good approach play we didn’t work the goalkeeper enough. We had the majority of the game, we penned them back in their own half and they couldn’t get out”.

Despite defeat it has still been a decent start to the season for Dartford, their best for 11 years when they went on to claim the Isthmian Premier League crown. King’s side will be determined to “bounce back” and begin another unbeaten run to extend their good record over Hemel Hempstead Town.

However, the Dartford boss doesn’t expect life to be easy on Tuesday night, he commented: “It will be a different test and a tough test as well now because they went away to Bath and won 2-1. I know Bath are not having the greatest of times right now, but it’s very hard to go away and win at Bath”, he added: “They’ve obviously got capabilities within their group and I’ve seen that when I went to watch them at Billericay Town, even though they lost it wasn’t a 4-1 game. So we need to get back on it and I’m sure we will”.

Craig Braham-Barrett has started every game this season for the Darts and another start will see the full-back face his former club. The defender was at Vauxhall Road last season with Connor Essam, making 20 appearances for the Tudors, whilst Essam made 33 appearances. Striker, Charlie Sheringham has also represented Hemel Hempstead Town in his past, playing a total of 31 games and scoring 15 goals in 2017 and 2018.

Dartford made just one change in their defeat against Dorking Wanderers due to Moussa Bakayoko’s injury. Whilst Luke Allen returned to action after almost a year without competitive action for the club. Jordan Wynter and Ky Marsh-Brown were also named on the bench after recovering from injury. King hinted some changes to the team will be needed considering the Darts also have their first Kent derby of the campaign coming up, on Saturday against second place Maidstone United.

Hemel Hempstead Town appointed Lee Bircham as manager in July after an impressive season with Berkhamsted, in the Southern League Division One Central. Guiding the Comrades to the top of the table, they held a one-point lead with ten games remaining before the campaign was halted.

The new boss is still searching for the right formula having made nineteen changes in his team selection over the six league games so far. The campaign started with a narrow 1-0 loss to Slough Town, but since then Hemel Hempstead Town have been fragile in defence. Three 4-1 defeats to Eastbourne Borough, Maidstone United and Billericay Town and their first win of the season, which was 4-3 over Braintree Town, has seen the Hertfordshire side leak goals.

After the Tudors third straight reverse, Bircham delved into the loan market to bring in Queens Park Rangers pair, Stephen Duke-McKenna and Nathan Carlyle, who spent some time out on loan at Concord Rangers recently. Former, Queens Park Rangers midfielder Chris Paul was also added to the squad from Havant and Waterlooville. The trio made their league debuts in Hemel Hempstead Town’s National South win at Braintree Town.

On Saturday, they travelled to Bath City and were much tighter at the back conceding just once and went on to record their second victory. The Tudors beat the Romans 2-1 to climb up to twelfth with Reggie Young winning a penalty and scoring the decisive goal. Matt Bateman equalised from the spot after Bath City’s Donovan Wilson gave the hosts the lead, then Young claimed the winner with ten minutes to go.

Last season, Dartford only played Hemel Hempstead Town once which ended in a 1-1 draw at Princes Park. Norman Wabo cancelled out Sam Ashford’s goal and Adam Cunnington missed a penalty. The Darts last visit to Vauxhall Road was in March 2019 and the game only came to life in the closing ten minutes. Phil Roberts scored a brace either side of Jordan Parkes’ penalty in a 2-1 victory.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 5 / Hemel Hempstead Town wins: 1 / Draws: 4

Current League Form

Dartford
(LWWWDW)
Hemel Hempstead Town
(WLWLLL)
Dorking WanderersH2-3Bath CityA2-1
Havant &WaterloovileH2-1Billericay TownH1-4
Chippenham TownA2-1Braintree TownA4-3
Bath CityH1-0Maidstone UnitedA1-4
Hampton & RichmondA0-0Eastbourne BoroughH1-4
Chelmsford CityH1-0Slough TownA0-1

Last six Meetings

31.08.2019Dartford1Hemel Hempstead Town1
05.03.2019Hemel Hempstead Town1Dartford2
11.08.2018Dartford0Hemel Hempstead Town0
17.03.2018Dartford3Hemel Hempstead Town2
26.08.2017Hemel Hempstead Town0Dartford3
01.04.2017Hemel Hempstead Town2Dartford2

Stats

Dartford are unbeaten in eight matches against Hemel Hempstead Town (W4, D4).

The Darts have won in their last two visits at Vauxhall Road.

Hemel Hempstead Town’s only win over the Darts came on the first day of the 2015/2016 season.

On This Day

Tom Bonner scored the second goal on a famous day for the Darts eight years ago. Dartford went to Kenilworth Road and beat Luton Town 2-0, Lee Noble netted the opener. In ten of the last 12 games on this day Dartford have scored two goals, but their last victory before 2012 was 39 years earlier. A third consecutive 2-0 win on 10 November was completed in a 1981 Kent Senior Cup tie against Welling United, in 1979 the Darts defeated Bognor Regis Town and in 1973 they beat Barnet. Between the Welling United and Luton Town triumphs, Dartford lost three and drew two.

National South Season Preview Part III

Ebbsfleet United

2019/2020 Performance:
League Position: 22nd (National League)
F.A Cup: 1st Round
F.A Trophy: 3rd Round
Top Scorer: Gozie Ogwu (13 goals)

Relegated by the narrowest of margins, Ebbsfleet United become the fifth Kent side in the National South. With the National League decided using points per game the Fleet were 0.002 points short, despite being in the top three of the form guide when football stopped. Off field damage, with players being paid late, caused instability at the club and finally it caught up with the Kent side. Now Ebbsfleet United enter a new era appointing a manager from the fifth tier of German football, who has begun to overhaul the squad.

Manager: Dennis Kutrieb

German managers seem to do well in the professional game and now the National South has one of their own trying to make a mark. Dennis Kutrieb left Tennis Borussia Berlin at the top of the fifth tier of German football before moving to Ebbsfleet United. In Germany he was on course for his third promotion in six years with two different clubs. Kutrieb is a highly rated young manager and as well as leading the NOFV-Oberliga Nord in March which eventually earned his former side promotion, he led Tennis Borussia Berlin to second spot the year before.

Summer

The Fleet have a new look squad this season and it would be easier to list who they haven’t signed. The first port of call is Dennis Kutrieb’s former club Tennis Borussia Berlin where he takes with him defender Sefa Kahraman and the attacking Alex Eirich. Welcoming back for a third spell at the club is former Eastbourne Borough player Michael West, and following the midfielder from Priory Lane is goalkeeper Tom Hadler and defender Tobi Adebayo-Rowling. Also coming up from Sussex is midfielder Josh Payne, who makes his loan spell from Crawley Town into a permanent deal. Adam Mekki also had a loan spell at Stonebridge Road last term, he has signs on from Bromley following defender Jake Goodman. Dagenham and Redbridge have been raided for players with midfielder James Dobson (season long loan),defender Will Wood and striker Reece Grant crossing the River Thames. Former Manchester United youngster, Lee Martin joins after helping Exeter City to the League Two playoff final last season. Ben Chapman moves from Dulwich Hamlet, winger Iffy Allen from local rivals Maidstone United and defender Ben Frempah from Championship club Wycombe Wanderers. The forward line has been bolstered by the signings of Charlie Rowan (former Watford and Queens Park Rangers defender), Bobby-Joe Taylor (Dover Athletic), Greg Cundle (Concord Rangers) and Rakish Bingham (Dundee United).

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 66 / Ebbsfleet United wins: 55 / Draws: 32

Hampton and Richmond Borough

2019/2020 Performance:
League Position: 8th
F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round
F.A Trophy: 2nd Round
Top Scorer: Danilo Orsi-Dadamo (12 goals)

A steady climb up the table had the Beavers challenging for a playoff place and on points per game marginally missed out. Two years ago, Hampton and Richmond Borough were in a three-way title race up until Easter. That summer they changed manager and finished the following campaign in a disappointing fifteenth. Last season the Beavers continued where they left off and made a slow start, but the side started to click, the Middlesex club made sure that Dorking Wanderers were left clinging on to that last playoff place.

Manager: Gary McCann

Compared to his previous job Gary McCann has only just begun at Hampton and Richmond Borough. Appointed in the summer of 2018, he had just lost the Isthmian Premier League playoff final on penalties against Dulwich Hamlet with his former club Hendon. It was there where he joined as a goalkeeper in 1997 and later, he spent 13 years as Hendon’s manager where he was often praised for his work. The Beavers kept tabs on him and decided to make a move in May 2018, since then McCann has slowly moved Hampton and Richmond Borough towards the playoff places.

Summer

Manager, Gary McCann will be delighted to have Nico Muir on a permanent basis. The striker was on loan from Hartlepool United last term and played under McCann for Hendon where he netted 40 goals. Although the Beavers lost the services of their top scorer last season, Danilo Orsi-Dadamo to Maidenhead United they have managed to sign left back Rene Steer from the Magpies. Midfielder Christian Smith moves from Dulwich Hamlet, whilst Nathan Minhas arrives from Bracknell Town and Danny Bassett from Tooting and Mitcham United. They have also signed former Dartford goalkeeper Alan Julian from Billericay Town.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 7 / Hampton and Richmond Borough wins: 5 / Draws: 2

Havant and Waterlooville

2019/2020 Performance:
League Position: 2nd
F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round
F.A Trophy: 1st Round
Top Scorer: Joseph Ayunga (17 goals)

Favourites last season Havant and Waterlooville will feel slightly aggrieved that the season was cut short. The Hawks were just three points adrift of eventual champions Wealdstone, but at least they had the chance via the playoffs. The Hampshire club may have been beaten in the semi-finals by Dartford, however their squad remains strong for the forthcoming campaign. Even with the loss of golden boot winner Jonah Ayunga, they found a suitable replacement, another golden boot winner. Expect the 2018 National South champions to be challenging for the title again for a third time in four years.  

Manager: Paul Doswell

In his first season at Havant and Waterlooville, Paul Doswell’s directive was to get the club back to the National League. Trusted to lead the Hampshire side because of his wealth of experience and previous non-league success, the Hawks boss came close. Doswell had spent 11 years at Sutton United before moving closer to home, in that time he won the Isthmian Premier and National South titles with the U’s, he also guided them to the fifth round of the F.A Cup losing to Arsenal. At Eastleigh he took them from the Wessex League to the National South.

Summer

Joint National South top scorer Jonah Ayunga departs after making a move to League One side Bristol Rovers. So, the Hawks replace the striker with another National South top scorer Joe Iaciofano from St Albans City. Having signed from Woking in the summer Godfrey Poku has been appointed captain and joining him from the Cards is Moussa Diarra. Midfielder, Billy Clifford won the National South with Wealdstone last season and will be hoping to help Havant and Waterlooville to go one step further this time. After suffering an injury at Sutton United, Tommy Wright also took a break from football, now former U’s manager Paul Doswell welcomes the striker back in to the game. Theo Widdrington is back at Westleigh Park, the midfielder spent a loan spell there in 2017. Lucas Sinclair has joins from AFC Totton, goalkeeper Joe Tupper (Margate) and midfielder Daniel Ajakaiye (Hastings United). Sam Dowdridge also moves to Havant and Waterlooville but has been sent back out on loan to Bognor Regis Town.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 6 / Havant and Waterlooville wins: 3 / Draws: 4

Hemel Hempstead Town

2019/2020 Performance:
League Position: 11th
F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round
F.A Trophy: 1st Round
Top Scorer: Sam Ashford (10 goals)

It was no surprise that Hemel Hempstead Town started last season well. They appointed Sammy Moore as boss who had previously guided an unfancied Concord Rangers to the top seven, he took some of the players with him. The Tudors were in a strong position at the end of October but then lost their way ending in a still creditable eleventh. This summer it has been all change again, with a new manager installed the Hertfordshire club hope to recreate or better their fifth-place finish of two years ago.

Manager: Lee Bircham

Managing his hometown club, Lee Bircham was appointed this summer to take charge of Hemel Hempstead Town. Last season he was denied a shot at promotion with Berkhamsted who were top of the Southern League Division One Central when football stopped. His former club had won 20 of the 28 completed fixtures and had a one-point lead over F.A Trophy semi-finalists Halesowen Town. Bircham also had a good track record at local club Bovingdon where he won the Hertfordshire Premier Division with an 18-point margin, his side racked up 116 goals in just 28 matches.

Summer

The Tudors have looked towards the lower leagues for a pair of goalscorers. Alie Bangura scored an impressive 27 goals in just 23 appearances for Biggleswade United last season and Dan Webb netted 42 times in 45 matches for Leighton Town. Hemel Hempstead Town have brought in experience from the National League signing Ryan Sellers and Reece Beckles-Richards from champions Wealdstone. Defenders, Ben Jefford and Tommy Cooney arrive from Oxford City and Braintree Town respectively, whilst Ade Cole and Jacob Cook both move from Billericay Town. Lee Bircham also made a double signing when he took defenders Daniel Akubuine and Ryan Kinnane from Berkhamsted. George Essuman comes in from Margate, Kyle Ajayi (AFC Dunstable) and Reggie Young (Farnborough). Outfield player Rowan Vine ended up in goal against the Darts when he was Gosport Borough a few years back, he joins the Tudors as well as Jake Evans and Dean Snedker.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 5 / Hemel Hempstead Town wins: 1 / Draws: 4

Hungerford Town

2019/2020 Performance:
League Position: 22nd
F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round
F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round
Top Scorer: Liam Ferdinand (5 goals)

The Crusaders would be plying their trade in the level below, however with no promotion to the National South, Hungerford Town survived. In the National South, the Berkshire side have been often amongst the relegation favourites and will likely keep that tag going into the forthcoming season. That shouldn’t deter the Crusaders as the advantage of being underdogs is the potential to surprise, like they did when they reached the playoff places three years ago. Hungerford Town will enter their fifth season in the National South with a new boss leading the way.

Manager: Danny Robinson

Just over two years ago Danny Robinson was walking out at Wembley with local rivals Thatcham Town. He had guided the Berkshire club to the F.A Vase final in which they claimed glory with victory. If that wasn’t enough Thatcham Town were also promoted in that campaign and last season he was on the verge of another promotion with the club. Robinson started his managerial career as a 21-year-old with Winchester City’s reserves before progressing to their first team. At Alresford Town he picked up the Hampshire Senior Cup before Thatcham Town then Hungerford Town came calling.

Summer

Hungerford Town will have a new look squad hoping to improve their fortunes. Danny Robinson’s previous club former a winning mentality and now a number of F.A Vase winners make the step up with their boss. Baboucarr Jarra is back for a second spell with the Crusaders and after collecting a F.A Vase winners medal with Thatcham Town he went on to play for Thame United. Also playing in that final two years ago was defender Curtis Angell, he follows Robinson as well as Matt Partridge and Callum Willmoth. Another player to return to Hardenhuish Park is striker, Luke Hopper from Chippenham Town, joining him up front will be Ryan Seager (Yeovil Town) and James Harding, who scored 21 goals in 24 starts for Cinderford Town last term. Midfielder, Jack Self and Portuguese full back Nuno Felix also arrive from Chippenham Town. The Crusaders have also signed a pair of wingers in former Oxford City man Craig Fasanmade and Wanjau Smith who joins from Slimbridge after netting 17 goals in 23 appearances last season. At 37 years-old Keith Emmerson will provide plenty of experience in defence from Winchester City. Kensey Maloney (Westfields), goalkeeper Luke Cairney (Poole Town) and Kyle Tooze (Truro City) sign with the Berkshire club, whilst Ralph Graham returns after a loan spell from Swindon Town.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 2 / Hungerford Town wins: 3 / Draws: 2

Dartford v Hemel Hempstead Town

Dartford aim to protect their unbeaten home start of the season this weekend when they host second place Hemel Hempstead Town in the National South.

The Darts picked up four points from six over the Bank Holiday weekend beating Braintree Town 2-1 in the last match at Princes Park. Despite falling behind the Darts equalised through Luke Allen three minutes before the break. In the second half, the Iron were reduced to ten men before substitute Norma Wabo scored a late winner. On Monday, a late goal denied Dartford maximum Bank Holiday points in the  2-2 draw at Hungerford Town.

Dartford will see the opportunity as two points dropped having overturned a one goal deficit. Luke Warner-Eley returned to the starting eleven whilst Ronnie Vint missed the fixture through illness. Jordan Wynter was suspended and will serve the final game of his three match ban against Hemel Hempstead Town, and Sam Blackman remains a long term absentee. Charlie Sheringham was missing from the matchday squad on Monday and fellow striker, Andy Pugh has gone out on loan to East Thurrock United, where he netted a brace on his debut and completed the full ninety minutes.

Joint-manager Adam Flanagan told www.dartfordfc.com: “Andy Pugh has worked so hard to recover from his broken leg and he now needs to get his final sharpness by playing games. East Thurrock United will provide the competitiveness and opportunity to do this. We hope that he does well and that his move will get him back firing in goals ready for a return to full fitness and Dartford very soon”.

Flanagan and Jamie Coyle watched their side pick up an away point on Monday to end a run of seven consecutive away defeats in the National South, stretching back to March, the Darts last away victory was against Hemel Hempstead Town. The Crusaders took the lead when Zidan Akers put the hosts ahead after seven minutes. Darren McQueen recorded his first Dartford goal of the campaign in style with an acrobatic overhead kick and by half-time Luke Wanadio had given the Darts a one goal advantage. With two minutes to go, last season’s match winner Conor Lynch ensured the game ended 2-2. It was the fourth point gained in three days for the Darts taking their tally up to six, but they are down in the relegation places third from bottom with the joint worst goal difference.

Hemel Hempstead Town gained maximum points over the Bank Holiday weekend first dispatching Oxford City then defeating Billericay Town. The Tudors moved into second place and had they not just recently lost to Wealdstone they could have been joint top with the Stones. Debutante, Daniel Phillips scored early on against Oxford City, but the lead was cancelled out in the second half when Kyran Wiltshire scored a free-kick. Ricardo German made an instant impact when he arrived off the bench scoring the winner and his form continued two days later.

The Tudors took on Billericay town and faced a former favourite and their record scorer Jordan Parkes, but it was German who made the headlines. Hemel Hempstead Town left it until the last ten minutes to secure victory scoring three times with the first from Liam Nash. Once again, German started on the bench and he added a brace to take his tally to four goals in his last sixty minutes of football, his other strike was on the opening day of the season.

Princes Park will welcome back three former players Connor Essam, Tyrone Sterling and Alex Wall who were all in Dartford’s 2013/2014 squad. Essam captains the Tudors and has scored once this term, the defender had two loan spells with the Darts making a total of 14 appearances, eight of which was in his first spell when Dartford won promotion to the National League. Sterling had a single season with the Darts and made 36 appearances whilst on loan from Dover Athletic, the defender was signed by Hemel Hempstead Town from Concord Rangers. Wall has been out injured of late and also joined the Tudors in the summer from Concord Rangers. Just over a year ago he had signed for the Darts but left before the campaign began, the striker scored six times in 11 appearance during his loan spell five years ago.

New Tudors manager, Sammy Moore guided Concord Rangers to the playoffs last term going above expectations for the club, however the Essex club was unable to compete in the end of season showdown. Moore brought with him a few other players from his former side including forwards Liam Nash and Sam Ashford, as well as goalkeeper Sam Beasant.

Just over a year ago, Dartford and Hemel Hempstead Town played out a goalless draw at Princes Park. The last meeting between the two sides five months ago ended with a 2-1 win for the Darts. Phil Roberts scored twice against his former club in the final ten minutes either side of Jordan Parkes’ penalty.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 5 / Hemel Hempstead Town wins: 3 / Draws: 1

Current League Form

Dartford (DWLLDD) Hemel Hempstead Town (WWLWWL)
Hungerford Town A 2-2 Billericay Town H 3-0
Braintree Town H 2-1 Oxford City A 2-1
Weymouth A 1-3 Wealdstone H 0-3
Chelmsford City A 0-4 Dulwich Hamlet H 1-0
Havant and Waterlooville H 1-1 Hampton & Richmond A 2-1
St Albans City H 1-1 Dorking Wanderers A 1-3

Last Six Meetings

05.03.2019 Hemel Hempstead Town 1 Dartford 2
11.08.2018 Dartford 0 Hemel Hempstead Town 0
17.03.2018 Dartford 3 Hemel Hempstead Town 2
26.08.2017 Hemel Hempstead Town 0 Dartford 3
01.04.2017 Hemel Hempstead Town 2 Dartford 2
12.11.2016 Dartford 2 Hemel Hempstead Town 0

Stats

Since defeat to Hemel Hempstead Town on the opening day of the 2015/2016 campaign, the Darts have gone seven unbeaten against the Tudors.

At Princes Park, Dartford are unbeaten against the Tudors winning and drawing two.

On This Day

Dartford lost to local rivals Ebbsfleet United four years ago in the National South, a crowd of 2551 witnessed Jordan Parkes score the only goal of the game. The striker went on to return to Hemel Hempstead Town before leaving the club this summer. Ebbsfleet United’s line up that day included current Dartford captain Tom Bonner and Adam Cunnington came off the bench as a late substitute. Another former Dart, Matthew Godden started for the Fleet, the striker is now at Coventry City. In 2013, Elliot Bradbrook scored a consolation goal as the Darts lost 2-1 to Lincoln City in the National League. Dartford’s last win on this day was against AFC Hornchurch in the Isthmian Premier League, goals from Lee Burns and Bradbrook secured a 2-0 victory in the season that saw the Darts end up as champions.

Hemel Hempstead Town – Season Preview 2019/2020

Hemel Hempstead Town

2018/19 Season

National South: 16th

F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Round

County Cup: Quarter-Final

League Top Scorer: Jordan Parkes (13 goals) / Average Attendance: 534

Sammy Moore guided Concord Rangers to a play-off place last season, an excellent achievement considering the Beachboys staved off relegation on the final day in the campaign before. The former AFC Wimbledon midfielder stepped down citing ‘ongoing personal problems’ and four days later rocked up at Hemel Hempstead Town to replace Joe Deeney, who left by mutual consent when the season ended.

Forwards, Liam Nash and Sam Ashford scored eight league goals between them for Concord Rangers last term, the 23-year-olds team up with Moore again. Club captain, Jordan Parkes not only broke the club’s all-time goalscoring record he also made it into the National South Team of the Year, the midfielder has chosen to move on to pastures new and joined Billericay Town. Former Darts, Tyrone Sterling and Connor Essam have joined the Tudors to strengthen their defence. Sterling made 34 appearances for the Darts whilst on loan from Dover Athletic before spells with Bromley and recently Concord Rangers. Essam had two loan spells at Dartford and has represented Gillingham, Crawley Town, Dover Athletic, Leyton Orient, Eastleigh and Dover Athletic. Jake Howells was born and bred in Hemel Hempstead and he will be part of Moore’s squad, the defender or midfielder spent last season at Billericay Town and previous clubs include Dagenham & Redbridge, Eastleigh, Luton Town and Yeovil Town. From Biggleswade Town, Lucas Perry moves to Hemel Hempstead Town, the young defender started hid football life at Luton Town’s academy. Alex Wall was one of five players to break the 20-goal barrier last season when he netted 21 times for Concord Rangers, he’ll provide the firepower the club has lost by Parkes leaving. Impressing the Tudors in defence, Jacques Kpohomouh broke into the first team last season and has signed a deal to stay at Vauxhall Road. Attacking midfielder Isaac Galliford signed from Hitchin Town, the 22-year-old was selected for the England C team and has played football in the States with University side Butler Bulldogs. Familiar in the National South, Sam Beasant joins from Concord Rangers after spells with Chelmsford City, Billericay Town and Maidenhead United. The goalkeeper has National League experience with Braintree Town and Woking and played in League Two for Cambridge United and Stevenage, he will be replacing Laurie Walker who has signed for Hampton and Richmond Borough. Moore has also bolstered his squad by promoting academy players Joel Nketia, George Paulin, Alvin Magagada and Callum Moles. Luke Howell was part of the Aldershot Town team that finished in the National League relegation zone last season, the midfielder adds experience to the Tudors squad having won the League Two title with MK Dons in 2008 and played for both Lincoln City and Dagenham and Redbridge at that level. With the Daggers he also played non-league football and has played in the National League with Boreham Wood too. England C international, Mitchell Dickenson came through Gillingham’s youth system and most recently played for Hythe Town in the Isthmian League South East, the 22-year-old joins the Tudors.

The Manager – Sammy Moore

Entering his third year as a manager, Sammy Moore is on his third job and guided Concord Rangers to the playoffs last term, only for the club to be excluded from the end of season showdown. Moore 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.  Two years ago, he was appointed Player Manager at Leatherhead and impressed enough to replace Adam Flanagan at Concord Rangers, before his switch to Hemel Hempstead Town.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 5 / Hemel Hempstead Town wins: 3 / Draws: 1

Last Six Meetings

05.03.2019 Hemel Hempstead Town 1 Dartford 2
11.08.2018 Dartford 0 Hemel Hempstead Town 0
17.03.2018 Dartford 3 Hemel Hempstead Town 2
26.08.2017 Hemel Hempstead Town 0 Dartford 3
01.04.2017 Hemel Hempstead Town 2 Dartford 2
12.11.2016 Dartford 2 Hemel Hempstead Town 0

Facts

Since defeat to Hemel Hempstead Town on the opening day of the 2015/2016 campaign, the Darts have gone seven unbeaten against the Tudors.

Hemel Hempstead Town have yet to beat Dartford at Princes Park in four attempts, they have managed two wins and two draws.

Last Ten Years

 

 

 

Next Meetings

Saturday 31 August 2019 at Princes Park

Saturday 18 April 2020 at Vauxhall Road

Hemel Hempstead Town v Dartford

Dartford are back in action on Tuesday night when they visit Hemel Hempstead Town and hope to put the weekend’s defeat behind them.

Despite a loss at Dulwich Hamlet, the Darts remain in seventh place thanks to the top six struggling to get positive results too. On Tuesday night the picture could easily change, a win will move Dartford into sixth, whilst defeat and a Wealdstone victory will see the Darts drop out of the playoff places.

Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle were unable to select Ryan Hayes on the weekend allowing Lee Noble to play out wide with Billy Crook coming in to the starting eleven. Jordan Wynter (arm) and Charlie Sheringham (ankle) were unavailable through injury, whilst in form strikers Darren McQueen and Phil Roberts were paired together up front again. Unfortunately, the form showed by McQueen and Roberts of late failed to materialise and for the first time since Boxing Day the Darts failed to find the net. Instead, new Dulwich Hamlet signing Jamie Mascoll opened the scoring in the first half and in the final minute Decarrey Sheriff sealed the win for the hosts at Champion Hill.

Earlier in the season, the Darts drew with Hemel Hempstead Town 0-0 at Princes Park and had a golden opportunity to win. With ten minutes to go the Darts won a penalty which Jamie Philpot blasted over the bar. The stalemate extended the Darts unbeaten run over the Tudors to six, which included a double over the Hertfordshire club last term.

Elliot Bradbrook will have fond memories of his last trip to Vauxhall Road, the midfielder’s brace of penalties either side Alfie Pavey’s goal gave the Darts a 3-0 victory. At Princes Park, it was Andy Pugh’s turn to score twice and help Dartford come from a goal down to win 3-2, Pavey was on hand again with a last minute winner, nine minutes after Pugh had equalised. In April 2017, Bradbrook scored another penalty at Vauxhall Road against the Tudors in a 2-2, Luke Wanadio was Dartford’s other scorer that day.

The only defeat tasted by the Darts against Hemel Hempstead Town came in 2015 on the opening day of the season. The Darts had just been relegated to the National South, whilst the Tudors finished a respectable ninth in their debut season at National South level. The game was settled by Oliver Hawkins, who now plays for Portsmouth in League One.

Hemel Hempstead Town have won just won of their last twelve National South games, but they have managed to pick up six draws in that time. On the weekend the Tudors fell to a single goal loss at Slough Town where Lee Togwell’s goal was enough to condemn Joe Deeney’s team to defeat. Deeney has been in charge at Vauxhall Road since the departure of Dean Brennan, who left to take the Billericay Town managerial role. The former assistant manager at Oxford City took charge in November and has recorded just four league wins in seventeen outings.

The Tudors last won at home almost three months ago and their last game at Vauxhall Road finished in a 2-2 draw with Concord Rangers. In fact they have drawn three of their last four home games, the only exception was the 4-1 loss against Torquay United.

Head to Head

Hemel Hempstead Town wins: 1 / Dartford wins: 4 / Draws: 3

Current League Form

Hemel Hempstead Town (LDLDLD) Dartford (LWDWWD)
Slough Town A 0-1 Dulwich Hamlet A 0-2
Concord Rangers H 2-2 Woking H 2-0
Woking A 1-3 Slough Town A 2-2
Dulwich Hamlet A 3-3 Bath City H 3-0
Torquay United H 1-4 Woking A 1-0
Chippenham Town A 1-1 Concord Rangers H 1-1

Previous Meetings

11.08.2018 Dartford 0 Hemel Hempstead Town 0
17.03.2018 Dartford 3 Hemel Hempstead Town 2
26.08.2017 Hemel Hempstead Town 0 Dartford 3
01.04.2017 Hemel Hempstead Town 2 Dartford 2
12.11.2016 Dartford 2 Hemel Hempstead Town 0
17.10.2015 Dartford 2 Hemel Hempstead Town 2

Stats 

Dartford last failed to score in two consecutive away games back on matchday six, the Darts lost 2-0 to Concord Rangers on 14th August and 1-0 to Hungerford Town on 25th August. The barren spell lasted one more away game in a 2-0 loss at St Albans City on 1st September.

Hemel Hempstead Town have managed one win in eleven against teams in the top seven. At home they have managed two points from the top nine out of the 21 available.

The Tudors had scored in 14 consecutive league games before their blank on the weekend, the Darts had scored in ten games in a row before the 2-0 reverse at Dulwich Hamlet.

On This Day

Dartford last won on this day eight years ago when they left it late to beat Maidenhead United at Princes Park. With the game goaless until the seventieth minute, Ryan Hayes cross found Charlie Sheringham to give the Darts the lead. In the final four minutes Elliot Bradbrook scored twice to put the result beyond doubt. Since then, Dartford drew 1-1 with Stockport County in 2013, the National League fixture finished level after Danny Harris rescued a point for the hosts. The last outing on 5 March ended in defeat at Weston-super-Mare in which a mass brawl saw Elliot Bradbrook sent off. The Darts were two down by the time George Sykes pulled a goal back before half-time, but early in the second half the dismissal left Dartford with ten men for the final 53 minutes.

Dartford v Hemel Hempstead Town

Dartford will be determined to protect their perfect start to the National South campaign when they host Hemel Hempstead Town this weekend.

The Darts started their campaign with a 2-1 away win at Bath City and followed up the win with a rare triumph over Chelmsford City. Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle made one change to the starting line up giving Delano Sam-Yorke his first start for the club at the expense of Kudus Oyenuga, who was out injured and hopes to be fit soon.

In an end to end first half with very few clear cut chances, the most notable moment caused controversy. Joint manager, Adam Flanagan and Clarets boss Rod Stringer squared up over an incident and were both sent off. Dartford began the second-half brighter and two chances fell to Jamie Philpot who hit the post then came close four minutes later. The Darts were rewarded with fifteen minutes to go when Elliot Bradbrook’s looping header secured a first home victory against Chelmsford City in 18 years.

Last time Dartford hosted Hemel Hempstead Town back in March, Andy Pugh produced two moments of quality. On a snowy afternoon with the ‘Beast from the East’ in full flow, the striker helped the Darts to leave it late and snatch victory.

Against the run of play Pugh put Dartford ahead with a curling effort which took the slightest of deflections and into the top corner. Despite the hosts taking the lead with fifteen minutes of the half remaining, it was the visitors who went into the break in front. First, Jordan Parkes hit a 35 yarder past goalkeeper Berti Schotterl, then David Moyo scored just before half-time.

The second half remained a struggle for Dartford, but Pugh’s quality showed with ten minutes left on the clock. The striker produced a delightful chip over Laurie Walker to level the match setting up a dramatic finale. In the final minute Nathan Collier put in a cross for Alfie Pavey to nod home and give the Darts a 3-2 victory and a double over the Hertfordshire club. Earlier in the campaign Elliot Bradbrook scored two penalties and Pavey the other in a 3-0 win.

Last season’s home win kept up Dartford’s unbeaten Princes Park record against the Tudors. In the previous two campaigns the Darts picked up four points from their opponents. Danny Harris and Luke Wanadio both scored in a 2-0 triumph back in November 2016. Whilst the year before that, Ryan Hayes scored a curling last-minute equaliser in a 2-2 draw, which saw Dartford come back from two down.

Hemel Hempstead Town finished fifth last season and lost on penalties to Braintree Town in their playoff match. Manager, Dean Brennan will hope his side can challenge again this term and after their opening day victory over Chippenham Town, the Tudors have also made a great start.

Karl Oliyide’s double helped Hemel Hempstead Town to a 4-2 win, his first goal came after four minutes. After Jordan Parkes hit a free kick against the post, Chippenham Town went ahead after Karnell Chambers scored twice. The Tudors were level five minutes before the break, new signing Steve Cawley equalised and after the interval Oliyide restored the host’s lead. The three points were secured in the final two minutes when the Tudors broke away for Alex Osborn to score.

On Tuesday night, Hemel Hempstead Town scored an injury time winner against Hampton and Richmond Borough. The Tudors made three changes to the starting eleven. Former Watford defender Lloyd Doyley replaced Joe Howe, Tom Hamblin was in for former Millwall and Crystal Palace defender Darren Ward and Connor Dymond was selected ahead of Scott Shulton. Two goals within a five minute first half spell left the two sides level at the break. Hampton and Richmond Borough took the lead through experienced striker Chris Dickson, however Kyle Connolly equalised for the Tudors. In the final minutes of second-half stoppage time, former Arsenal winger Sanchez Watt scored the winner to earn Hemel Hempstead Town six points in their opening two fixtures.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Hemel Hempstead Town wins: 1 / Draws: 2

Previous Meetings

17.03.2018 Dartford 3 Hemel Hempstead Town 2
26.08.2017 Hemel Hempstead Town 0 Dartford 3
01.04.2017 Hemel Hempstead Town 2 Dartford 2
12.11.2016 Dartford 2 Hemel Hempstead Town 0
17.10.2015 Dartford 2 Hemel Hempstead Town 2
08.08.2015 Hemel Hempstead Town 1 Dartford 0

Stats

Dartford are unbeaten in five matches against Hemel Hempstead Town and unbeaten in three at Princes Park against the Tudors.

Hemel Hempstead Town’s only win against Dartford was on the opening day of the 2015/2016 season. Since then this fixture has seen 18 goals in five meetings at 3.6 goals a game.

Elliot Bradbrook has scored two goals in as many games, the last time the midfielder scored in consecutive matches was on the 2nd and 5th September 2017 against Hampton and Richmond Borough and Whitehawk respectively.

The attendance of 1220 against Chelmsford City on Tuesday night was Dartford’s biggest home crowd in August since 2015. The Darts attracted 2551 for the local derby against Ebbsfleet United on 31 August 2015.

On This Day

An early goal from Tom Bradbrook gave Dartford a 1-0 win over Eastbourne Borough. In the first home game of the 2015/2016 season, Jack Simmons whipped in an excellent cross which was finished by Tom Bradbrook’s header. The victory came three days after losing to Hemel Hempstead Town on the opening day of the campaign. Newly promoted, Dartford hosted Tamworth in the National League six years ago. Peter Till scored for the visitors and Adam Cunnington’s superb doubled their lead. Elliot Bradbrook netted a free-kick before Cunnington added another delightful finish. Harry Crawford pulled a goal back for Dartford to set up a tense ending to the 3-2 defeat.

National League South Season Preview 2018/2019 – Part Three

Hemel Hempstead Town | Hungerford Town | Oxford City | Slough Town | St Albans City | Torquay United

Hemel Hempstead Town

Founded: 1885 / Ground: Vauxhall Road

It’s been just over four years ago since Hemel Hempstead Town smashed the Southern Premier League, now the Tudors are looking towards the next level. The Hertfordshire based side have held their own in the National South finishing ninth, sixth and twelfth before last season. The Tudors reached the playoffs in the second tier of non-league football for the first time going out to eventual playoff winners Braintree Town on penalties at the first hurdle. Ending the campaign in fifth, Hemel Hempstead Town’s twelve game unbeaten run had them thinking of top spot back around the New Year. The Tudors also lost just two out of the last thirteen, but a division high thirteen draws saw them drop too many points.

Last Season

National South: 5th

F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: 1st Round

League Top Scorer: Jordan Parkes (14 goals)

Average Attendance: 527 (12th in National South)

The Manager – Dean Brennan

A career playing in the Football League career never took off for Dean Brennan, but he had a decent time in non-league football. The former midfielder won the F.A Trophy with Grays Athletic and had spells with Stevenage, AFC Wimbledon and various other clubs including Hemel Hempstead Town. At the age of 29, the Tudors appointed Brennan as interim manager and he kept them in the Southern Premier League. After a spell at Dunstable Town the Irishman returned to the Tudors six years ago. Brennan took the Tudors up to the National South in 2015 and last term reached the playoffs in fifth, their highest ever finish.

The Summer

The Tudors are focussing on attack with a host of signings boosting their forward line. Former Concord Rangers top scorer Steve Cawley signs a two-year deal after scoring 88 times in 225 appearances for the Beachboys. Phil Roberts was on course to win the National South golden boot at one point after spells with Chelmsford City and Braintree Town, he ended up with 18 goals last season. Ex Dartford striker, Charlie Sheringham returns to Hemel Hempstead Town after a spell in Bangladesh and Sanchez Watt signs a permanent deal after a successful loan spell from Billericay Town.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Hemel Hempstead Town wins: 1 / Draws: 2

Previous Meetings

17.03.2018 Dartford 3 Hemel Hempstead Town 2
26.08.2017 Hemel Hempstead Town 0 Dartford 3
01.04.2017 Hemel Hempstead Town 2 Dartford 2
12.11.2016 Dartford 2 Hemel Hempstead Town 0
17.10.2015 Dartford 2 Hemel Hempstead Town 2
08.08.2015 Hemel Hempstead Town 1 Dartford 0

Next Meetings

Saturday 11 August 2018 at Princes Park

Saturday 2 February 2019 at Vauxhall Road

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Hungerford Town

Founded: 1886 / Ground: Bulpit Lane

Promoted from the Southern Premier League two years ago, the Crusaders only had to wait less than a month for their first setback. Long serving manager Bobby Wilkinson left Bulpit Lane in favour of Wealdstone. Not the best preparation for a side hoping to keep momentum going from a sixth place finish the season before. Instead Hungerford Town struggled and survival went right down to the wire. With a one-point advantage over Poole Town going into the final day, the Crusaders clinched a place in the National South thanks to Nicholas Bignall’s winning goal against East Thurrock United. The 1-0 victory was crucial considering Poole Town also won, so now Hungerford Town will compete in this division for a third successive campaign.

Last Season

National South: 19th

F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: 2nd Round

League Top Scorer: Louie Soares (11 goals)

Average Attendance: 267 (21st in National South)

The Manager – Ian Herring

He experienced two promotions via the playoffs as a player with Hungerford Town and now he leads the team off the field. Ian Herring was appointed as the Crusaders manager just under a year ago having played for the Berkshire club since 2012. The 34-year-old replaced Bobby Wilkinson in September, who had been manager of Hungerford Town since the 2009/2010 campaign. With big shoes to fill, Herring was given the task of keeping the Crusaders in the National South which was just about completed on the final day of the season. Before a career with the Berkshire club, he played for Swindon Town, Salisbury City, Chippenham Town, Forest Green Rovers and Eastleigh.

The Summer

Ramone Rose will be looking to settle at Bulpit Lane having moved around the non-league scene frequently. The former Whitehawk man had a decent run in the Hawks side last term. The 28-year-old has been at Queens Park Rangers, Newport County, Wealdstone, Maidenhead United and Eastleigh to name but a few. Defender Tommy Cooney arrives having previously played for Brentford, Boston United and Margate. Tommy Ouldridge will bolster the midfield and has experience with Cirencester Town, Swindon Town and Chippenham Town. Sam Deadfield is another midfielder joining Hungerford Town from Basingstoke Town. Right back Marcus Johnson-Schuster also had spells with Basingstoke Town and Wealdstone as well as Hampton and Richmond Borough.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / Hungerford Town wins: 2 / Draws: 2

Previous Meetings

09.12.2017 Hungerford Town 1 Dartford 0
05.08.2017 Dartford 0 Hungerford Town 0
14.04.2017 Hungerford Town 2 Dartford 0
27.08.2016 Dartford 2 Hungerford Town 0

Next Meetings

Saturday 25 August 2018 at Bulpit Lane

Saturday 22 December 2018 at Princes Park

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Oxford City

Founded: 1882 / Ground: Marsh Lane

A consistent side since switching from the National North to National South in the summer of 2015, Oxford City have finished their three seasons in this division in twelfth, fourteenth and last term sixteenth. The Nomads had a slow start to their campaign and were in the bottom three at the end of October. The Oxfordshire side woke up going unbeaten for the next two months with the run ending on New Year’s Day. Away from league competition, Oxford City managed to put together a F.A Cup run knocking out a Football League side for the first time in their history. The Nomads defeated Colchester United to reach the second round for the first time in forty-seven years where their run ended against Notts County.

Last Season

National South: 16th

F.A Cup: 2nd Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: Winners

League Top Scorer: Matt Patterson (21 goals)

Average Attendance: 319 (17th in National South)

The Manager – Mark Jones

In the F.A Cup last season, Oxford City knocked out Football League opposition for the first time in their history and it was masterminded by Mark Jones. He also guided City to their first County Cup triumph in fifteen years. Taking charge of the first team in December 2016, Jones came into the role with coaching and playing experience. Not only does he currently head up Oxford City’s scholarship programme he also played for the club. His playing career included spells at Aylesbury United, Harrow Borough and Thame United and after hanging up his boots, Jones worked at Stevenage as Centre of Excellence Manager and Watford as Lead Youth Development Phase Coach

The Summer

Josh Ashby returns to the Nomads on a one-year deal from Oxford United, he already played for Oxford City in 2016/2017 making 21 appearances. Scorer of 15 goals in 44 games, Kabongo Tshimanga arrives at Marsh Lane from Boston United, the striker has also played six times for Milton Keynes Dons. Left back, Ben Jefford had three spells with Welling United but he will be part of Mark Jones’ squad, the 23-year-old has National League experience with Sutton United, Woking and Forest Green Rovers. Four players impressed in pre-season one of which is Luke Ruddick, who had spent time out of the game, the defender previously played for Sutton United and Salisbury City. Kyran Wiltshire won the National South in 2016/17 and joins from Maidenhead United, Belize international Mike Atkinson and Eze Ibrahim will also be part of Oxford City’s squad. There was also a clear out with the likes of Lee Henderson, Godfrey Poku, Freddie Grant, Ezra Forde, Mamadou Fofana and Justin Bennett leaving.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Oxford City wins: 1 / Draws: 3

Previous Meetings

24.03.2018 Oxford City 0 Dartford 2
19.08.2017 Dartford 7 Oxford City 1
25.02.2017 Oxford City 1 Dartford 1
29.10.2016 Dartford 1 Oxford City 0
23.04.2016 Dartford 2 Oxford City 2
15.09.2015 Oxford City 2 Dartford 1

Next Meetings

Saturday 20 October 2018 at Princes Park

Saturday 27 April 2019 at Marsh Lane

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Slough Town

Founded: 1893 / Ground: Arbour Park

In the early nineties Slough Town were mixing it in the top flight of non-league football. The Rebels enjoyed seven seasons in what was then the Conference over eight years. By the end of the decade they dropped two divisions and have since been trying to find their way back. In their fourth campaign in the Southern Premier League, Slough Town took a significant step up winning the playoffs after finishing third. The Rebels accrued a massive ninety-nine points and scored an incredible one hundred and eleven goals. In the F.A Cup they reached the second round losing to Rochdale in front of the television cameras. Promoted after a last gasp playoff winner, the Rebels will look to keep their momentum going.

Last Season

Southern Premier: 3rd

F.A Cup: 2nd Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: Semi-Final

League Top Scorer: James Dobson (21 goals)

Average Attendance: 666 (4th in Southern Premier)

The Managers – Neal Baker and Jon Underwood

Joint managers since May 2013, Neal Baker and Jon Underwood both came from Godalming Town. At 29-years-old a knee injury ended Baker’s playing career so he moved into management with Fleet Spurs in the Wessex League Division One. Underwood was managing Sandhurst Town before teaming up with Baker at Godalming Town. Whilst with the G’s the duo reached the Isthmian Division One South playoffs and lifted the Surrey Senior Cup. At Slough Town, Baker and Underwood have been part of an upward trend by guiding the club to promotion to the Southern Premier League, via the playoffs, the same promotion route as last term to reach this season’s National South

The Summer

The Rebels have managed to keep most of their promotion winning squad together and with it they have added Sam Togwell. The midfielder has Football League experience with Barnsley and Scunthorpe United and signs from Eastleigh. Slough Town have also persuaded Louie Soares to join their ranks having top scored for Hungerford Town last term earning him Player of the Year. Matthew Lench hit the headlines with a sublime F.A Cup hat-trick last season, however he’s been released by the club.

Head to Head

Slough Town wins: 0 / Dartford wins: 3 / Draws: 0

Previous Meetings

01.10.2016 Slough Town 2 Dartford 3
29.10.1988 Slough Town 1 Dartford 2
10.01.1981 Dartford 4 Slough Town 1

Next Meetings

Saturday 8 December 2018 at Princes Park

Saturday 16 February 2019 at Arbour Park

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St Albans City

Founded: 1908 / Ground: Clarence Park

The early pace setters last season were left disappointed that they failed to reach the playoffs. However, the Saints can be pleased that they achieved their highest finish since returning to the National South in 2014. St Albans City racked up maximum points in their opening six games and were still joint top at the end of October. Four defeats in five games followed as they began to lose ground, but the Saints came again and went unbeaten in December. In the New Year they thrashed East Thurrock United 7-2 and followed that up with a 4-0 win over then league leaders Dartford to put them back in contention. The Saints hit more good form over Easter then ended losing five of their last six.

Last Season

National South: 8th

F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 2nd Round

County Cup: 2nd Round

League Top Scorer: Sam Merson (20 goals)

Average Attendance: 765 (5th National South)

The Manager – Ian Allinson

Out of all the managers in the National South this season, Ian Allinson has one of the biggest profiles due to his footballing career. The former winger amassed over 300 league appearances as a player for Colchester United in two spells, and played over 100 games in all competitions for Arsenal. He also appeared for Stoke City and Luton Town. As a manager, he won the Isthmian Premier League and National South playoff finals with Boreham Wood before joining St Albans City two years ago. Allinson has also managed Baldock Town, Barton Rovers, Harlow Town and Stotfold so has plenty of experience to offer the Saints.

The Summer

If Gary McCann at Hampton and Richmond Borough isn’t taking players from Hendon then Ian Allinson is. St Albans City add 21-year-old Luke Tingey to their squad, a versatile defender who played over a century of games over a three-year spell with the Greens. Tingey will be joined by Senegalese midfielder Dave Diedhiou, the 29-year-old made over 400 appearances for Hendon since 2008. Khale da Costa joins from Concord Rangers whilst former Dart, Tom Gardiner leaves as does Shaun Lucien who has joined Hampton and Richmond Borough. Allinson’s son Lee, has left his assistant manager’s post to take up a role with Biggleswade Town as first team manager. In his place Glenn Alzapiedi becomes the number two, who had three years with Concord Rangers as assistant to Adam Flanagan. Striker, Ralston Gabriel scored over 30 times during Haringey Borough’s promotion winning term and impressed manager Ian Allinson enough to sign a deal with the Saints. David Moyo lacked opportunities at Hemel Hempstead Town and will be given a chance at Clarence Park. National South playoff winner with Braintree Town, Roman Michael-Percil joins and has had previous spells with Concord Rangers, Billericay Town and Dulwich Hamlet.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 7 / St Albans City wins: 4 / Draws: 4

Previous Meetings

03.02.2018 St Albans City 4 Dartford 0
28.10.2017 Dartford 2 St Albans City 1
25.03.2017 St Albans City 1 Dartford 0
08.11.2016 Dartford 0 St Albans City 2
30.04.2016 St Albans City 4 Dartford 0
06.02.2016 Dartford 2 St Albans City 0

Next Meetings

Saturday 1 September 2018 at Clarence Park

Saturday 12 January 2019 at Princes Park

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Torquay United

Founded: 1899 / Ground: Plainmoor

A club that flirted with Football League existence for years, the warning signs have always been at Plainmoor. The Gulls have reached an all-time low, playing in the National South for the first time in their history. Torquay United did spend two years in the National League between 2007 and 2009 and made a F.A Trophy final appearance. They managed to head back to the Football League but once again lost their status with relegation four years ago. After four more seasons, the Gulls edged closer and closer to the dreaded drop and then it came. Last term Torquay United started on a thirteen-game winless run and never recovered.

Last Season

National League: 22nd

F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Round

League Top Scorer: Jamie Read and Rhys Healey (6 goals)

Average Attendance: 1731 (13th National League)

The Manager – Gary Owers

F.A Cup runner up 26 years ago, Gary Owers walked up the Wembley steps to collect his medal after Sunderland lost the 1992 final to Liverpool. The former midfielder made over 300 appearances for the Black Cats and afterwards continued his career with Bristol City and Notts County. He moved in to non-league with Forest Green Rovers before playing for Bath City, the same two clubs he later went on to manage. When he left Weston-super-Mare in 2007 he spent the next nine years as a number two at Aldershot Town, Plymouth Argyle and Gateshead. Owers made the step back into first team management with Bath City before replacing Kevin Nicholson early last season at Plainmoor.

The Summer

Gary Owers’ first summer in charge has brought change to Plainmoor. Out go Reece Mitchell, Conrad Balatoni, Sam Chaney, Yan Klukowski and Jake Gosling. Ryan Clarke joins Bath City and Luke Young makes the step up to play for Wrexham. That has left plenty of room to sign new players like experienced 31-year-old Asa Hall who has represented Luton Town, Oxford United, Shrewsbury Town and Cheltenham Town. Former Woking duo Bobson Bawling and Jason Banton move down to Devon, whilst 21-year-old defender George Essuman and ex Bromley right back Ben Wynter sign up for Torquay United. Samir Nabi comes in from Carlisle United having previously spent time in the Indian Premier League with Dehli Dynamos. Two goalkeepers have also been signed with the arrivals of Shaun MacDonald from Blyth Spartans and Alex Bass on loan from Portsmouth. Early in his career Ryan Dickson went on loan at Plainmoor and now he is back at the age of 31. Kyle Cameron came through the Newcastle United academy and after loan spells at Workington, York City and Queen of the South the defender joins Torquay United. Another defender, Jean-Yves Koué Niate brings with him experience of time in France and Belgium as well as Solihull Moors, Oxford City, Ebbsfleet United and Guiseley.

Head to Head

Torquay United wins: 0 / Dartford wins: 0 / Draws: 2

Previous Meetings

04.04.2015 Torquay United 1 Dartford 1
23.08.2014 Dartford 0 Torquay United 0

Next Meetings

Saturday 10 November 2018 at Princes Park

Saturday 16 Match 2019 at Plainmoor

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National South Playoff Preview

Six clubs will compete in the new National South playoff format aiming to earn a place in the top flight of non league. Pure DFC takes a look at the contenders in this season’s showdown and the build up to the final on Sunday 13th May.

Dartford

The Darts will need to get over their last minute heartbreak quickly, which denied them the championship on goal difference. For a few minutes Dartford were up until champions Havant and Waterlooville cruelly snatched the trophy away with a last minute winner against Concord Rangers. On a positive note, Dartford’s last foray in the National South playoffs ended in promotion six years ago, they have home advantage and they are on the verge of a record breaking run. The Darts ended the campaign with a nine game winning streak and if they win the playoffs will break their club record on ten victories in a row. Finishing the league’s top scorers thanks to the attacking prowess in the early parts of the campaign, the Darts have been solid at the back recently too with six clean sheets in the last eight games.

Player to watch – Alfie Pavey

The National South’s Player of the Year didn’t know where his career was going in the summer. Pavey joined Welling United, but that failed to work out. The 22 year old was picked up by Tony Burman a couple of weeks into the campaign and 23 goals later he finished the second highest goalscorer in the league.

Record vs playoff contenders (W4, D3, L3, F18 A14)

Dartford will be pleased to have avoided Chelmsford City in the semi-final considering the Clarets did the double over the Darts. The Essex club also beat Dartford in last season’s playoff semi-final. At home Dartford took ten points off their playoff rivals out of 15 (W3, D1, L1).

Next fixture

The Darts will be at home in the semi-final on 6th May 2018 against the winners of the Hemel Hempstead Town versus Braintree Town match.

Chelmsford City

Starting the campaign as joint favourites with Dartford, last season’s playoff runners up have been eyeing up the National League for some time now. Since their return to the National South ten years ago, the Clarets have reached the playoffs five times losing two finals, one of those against Hampton and Richmond Borough in 2009 and three semi-finals. Along with St Albans City, the Essex club set the early season pace, but a cluster of draws in September and lack of form in the New Year left Chelmsford City playing catch up. Rod Stringer’s side are the form team heading into the end of season lottery having won seven out of the last eight league matches. With an identical home and away record the Clarets will always be tough opponents whoever they come up against.

Player to watch – Chris Dickson

A former Charlton Athletic striker who made his way through non league with Erith and Belvedere then Dulwich Hamlet. Dickson’s experience could be vital in the playoffs, the 33 year old managed to score 14 times this term for the Clarets.

Record vs playoff contenders (W3, D4, L3, F15, A16)

Chelmsford City will be relishing a chance to make up for their final defeat a year ago. They will have home advantage in the semi-final, only Hampton and Richmond Borough beat then on their own patch. The only team they will face away will be Dartford, if these two make the final and they did the double over the Darts.

Next fixture

The Clarets will be at home in the semi-final on 6th May 2018 against the winners of the Hampton and Richmond Borough versus Truro City match.

Hampton and Richmond Borough

The Beavers were title contenders up until Dartford practically ruled them out on a muddy Good Friday. A last-minute Alfie Pavey goal opened up a gap between the Darts and two draws and a defeat later it was game over. However, they have recovered lately winning two in a row before drawing their final game with Truro City. The Beavers have playoff experience from last season despite finishing seventh, losing to eventual winners Ebbsfleet United in the semi-final. The Middlesex club were only promoted to the National South two years ago as Isthmian Premier League champions and have performed consistently since then. Between the final game of August through to the end of January the Beavers went 21 games unbeaten, including an eight-match winning streak. Alan Dowson’s men will be a force at home where they have lost just once this term.

Player to watch – Max Kretzschmar

A goalscoring midfielder and dead ball specialist, Max Kretzschmar started his career at Wycombe Wanderers where he spent three years before joining Woking. The 24 year old joined Hampton and Richmond Borough in the summer and a sound return of 14 goals from midfield has helped the Beavers finish fourth in the National South.

Record vs playoff contenders (W1, D6, L3, F9, A11)

The Beavers seem to keep games tight against those in the playoff places, but they have managed just one win against Chelmsford City away. Hampton and Richmond Borough drew all five home matches versus teams in the playoffs and whether they win or lose the margin has just been by one.

Next fixture

The Beavers play their first match on Wednesday 2nd May at home to Truro City. If Hampton and Richmond win then they will face Chelmsford City away in the semi-final on Sunday 6th May.

Hemel Hempstead Town

It took until October for Hemel Hempstead Town to get going, the Tudors couldn’t string a sequence together for the first two months and then they went 12 games unbeaten. At one point they topped the table, but that was a very brief moment. The Tudors have been on a solid run during the final stretch of the campaign, the loss against Dartford their only loss in 12 attempts before a final day defeat at Weston-super-Mare. Hemel Hempstead Town have collected the second most points at home this term, seven less than the Darts. Dean Brennan took the Hertfordshire club up four years ago winning the Southern Premier League in style. This season the Tudors have reached a new milestone in setting their highest ever league finish and will take part in the National South playoffs for the first time.

Player to watch – Jordan Parkes

The Tudors seem to be a good fit for Jordan Parkes, now in his second spell for the club. The attacking midfielder scored 42 times in 112 appearances between 2012-2015 before joining Ebbsfleet United. It didn’t quite work out for the 28 year old at Stonebridge Road so he returned to Hemel Hempstead Town where his scoring a goal every other game.

Record vs playoff contenders (W4, D3, L3, F19, A19) 

Hemel Hempstead Town will be pleased to play Braintree Town who they beat twice, they will be keen to avoid Dartford who inflicted two defeats on them. The Tudors won three at home and were involved in some high scoring matches including a 4-3 victory over Braintree Town and a pair of 3-3 draws against Chelmsford City and Truro City respectively.

Next fixture

The Tudors play their first match on Wednesday 2nd May at home to Braintree Town. If Hemel Hempstead Town win then they will face Dartford away in the semi-final on Sunday 6th May.

Braintree Town

Set the task of rebuilding in the summer, Braintree Town boss Brad Quinton hasn’t done a bad job by getting the Iron into the top seven with a final day 3-0 victory versus Gloucester City. The Essex club were relegated last term from the National League, a stark contrast to the campaign before when they lost to Grimsby Town in the playoff semi-final. Braintree Town spent six seasons in the National League often punching above their weight and now they have a shot of returning to the top non-league division after one season. The Iron have been within a shout of promotion all campaign by being amongst the early pace setters before the New Year slump in January and February. Quinton’s side are now another one of the playoff contenders hitting form at the right time winning five of their last six games.

Player to watch – Billy Crook

The Supporters Player of the Year adds to his accolades he won at Enfield Town the season before, whilst under manager Brad Quinton. Another goalscoring midfielder to feature in this season’s playoffs, Billy Crook started as youngster at Crystal Palace and was part of the Glenn Hoddle Academy in Spain.

Record vs playoff contenders (W2, D6, L2, F17, A17)

The Iron drew all four games against the highest ranked teams Dartford and Chelmsford City, they lost twice to their next opponents Hemel Hempstead Town and beat Hampton and Richmond Borough at home and Truro City away. Each game has had no more than a one goal winning margin so expect a tough ride against the Iron.

Next fixture

The Iron play their first match on Wednesday 2nd May at away to Hemel Hempstead Town. If Braintree Town win then they will face Dartford away in the semi-final on Sunday 6th May.

Truro City

The White Tigers had to wait to the final day of the season to book their place in the top seven. A draw with Hampton and Richmond Borough coupled with St Albans City’s defeat got them over the line. It will be the third time in four years the Cornwall club has reached the playoffs, their last attempt to win promotion to the National League ended in a semi-final loss to eventual winners Maidstone United. The campaign before their return to the National South, the White Tigers went up through the playoffs in 2015 from the Southern League they beat St Neots Town 1-0 in the final. Since Lee Hodges returned has manager, Truro City have got back to the level of expectancy. This term has been a vast improvement to the relegation threatened side of last season, however their form in April tailed off but the White Tigers managed to hang on.

Player to watch – Cody Cooke

Popular amongst the fans and players, last season’s Player of the Year top scored for the White Tigers this term. Cody Cooke joined the Cornwall club in 2010 so has been through the ups and downs with Truro City. The 34 year old knows where the goal is and gives his side experience.

Record vs playoff contenders (W3, D4, L3, F15, A16)

Truro City have a better home record than away which is hardly surprising considering the amount of travelling needed. The problem then is that Truro City, the lowest ranked team will have to play their matches away from Treyew Road. So with that in mind they did manage to beat Hemel Hempstead Town on their travels, picked up two draws and lost to the two highest ranked clubs.

Next fixture

The White Tigers play their first match on Wednesday 2nd May at away to Hampton and Richmond Borough. If Truro City win then they will face Chelmsford City away in the semi-final on Sunday 6th May.

 

Dartford v Hemel Hempstead Town

Knocked off top spot last Saturday, the Darts host playoff hopefuls Hemel Hempstead Town in the National South this weekend.

Dartford had led the league table since November and defeat to Poole Town eventually saw the Darts give up pole position.

The Darts can only focus on their own results and hope Havant and Waterlooville, the league leaders slip up over their remaining nine games. Manager, Tony Burman will be calling on his players to deliver after he questioned his players desire after the 1-0 loss at home to Poole Town, he spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk after the game and said: “There seems to be a lack of desire and that’s what’s disappointing for me”, he added: “If you don’t make it happen you’re going to be in trouble”.

It was only the third loss at Princes Park in the league last weekend and disappointingly came after an excellent performance two weeks earlier, against Truro City. Burman choose to keep the same side with Andy Pugh in a deeper role up front, however it was relegation strugglers Poole Town that took home the three points courtesy of Jamie Whisken’s winner.

Tony Burman was disappointed with the loss to Poole Town and told www.kentonline.co.uk: “I can’t put my finger on why we put in a performance like that. We’ve lost 1-0 at home and it was like a mid-table clash – and that’s wrong, he added: “The whole place should be buzzing and we have to turn that around”. At home Dartford have now been beaten in two of their last three outings and have lost grip on the title race, by losing three of their last five matches. The Darts have yielded just six points from a possible 15 in February and March.

Ahead of Saturday’s game against Hemel Hempstead Town Burman commented: “It’s a massive, tough game,” he continued: “It’s no good sulking. We’ve got to get the supporters behind us and get the encouragement because we need it now. They’re down in the dumps and we’ve got to get going. It’s all to play for. I don’t want to come off and hope that other teams have lost. We can’t have games like we had on Saturday, especially at this time of year. We’ve only got ourselves to blame”.

Hemel Hempstead Town have targets of their own and are currently fifth in the division. Finishing in the top seven will clinch a playoff place, so the Tudors will be eyeing up points to increase their two point lead over eighth spot.

Earlier in the campaign, Dartford beat the Hertfordshire club 3-0 in a convincing away display. Elliot Bradbrook scored two penalties either side an Alfie Pavey strike to secure victory. Last term at Princes Park, the Darts won 2-0 with goals from Danny Harris and Luke Wanadio and just over a year earlier the corresponding match ended 2-2, Ryan Hayes curling home the equaliser in added time, as the Darts completed a comeback from two goals down.

Hemel Hempstead Town won in their last outing beating East Thurrock United 2-0 with goals from Jordan Parkes and Sanchez Watt. However, the game will be remembered by a comical situation involving the referee and ex Arsenal midfielder Watt. Former Ebbsfleet United striker Parkes opened the scoring and Watt added a second before the controversial incident. Watt was dismissed for dissent only for the red card to be overturned due to a misunderstanding by the match official.

It was a second clean sheet in a row for the Tudors after their 0-0 draw with new league leaders Havant and Waterlooville a fortnight earlier. Dean Brennan’s side were also involved in an entertaining 3-3 draw with Chelmsford City a month ago, which ended a run of two straight defeats against Oxford City and Poole Town.

Head to Head
Dartford wins: 3 / Hemel Hempstead Town wins: 1 / Draws: 2

Current League Form

Dartford (LWWLLW) Hemel Hempstead Town (WDDLLW)
Poole Town H 0-1 East Thurrock United H 2-0
Truro City H 4-1 Havant & Waterlooville H 0-0
Wealdstone A 2-1 Chelmsford City A 3-3
Chelmsford City H 1-2 Oxford City A 1-4
St Albans City A 0-4 Poole Town H 0-1
Whitehawk H 3-1 Chelmsford City H 3-1

Previous Meetings

26.08.2017 Hemel Hempstead 0 Dartford 3
01.04.2017 Hemel Hempstead Town 2 Dartford 2
12.11.2016 Dartford 2 Hemel Hempstead Town 0
17.10.2015 Dartford 2 Hemel Hempstead Town 2
08.08.2015 Hemel Hempstead Town 1 Dartford 0
16.09.1972 Hemel Hempstead 2 Dartford 9

Stats
Danny Harris has scored in his last two appearances on the 17 March.

Dartford lost just one league game at home in 14, but are now on a run of two defeats from three home matches.

Hemel Hempstead Town have drawn all three away games against teams above them in the National South.

On This Day
Dartford have won their last four games on 17 March with the last victory coming three years ago in the National League away to Chester. As the Darts battled for survival a last minute winner from Danny Harris clinched the three points after Nathan Green equalised early in the second half. Six years ago, Dartford beat this season’s league leaders Havant and Waterlooville at Princes Park. The Hawks led and then missed a penalty to give the Darts a lifeline, which was taken thanks to goals from Lee Noble, Harris and Lee Wilkinson. In the Isthmian Division One South back in 2007, Dartford beat Godalming Town 3-1, Richard Avery, Anthony Hogg and Jay May all scoring. In 1990, the Darts beat Waterlooville 3-0 at Watling Street in the Southern Premier League.

Hemel Hempstead Town v Dartford

Dartford will aim to maintain their unbeaten record in the National South this weekend when they travel to Hemel Hempstead Town.

The Darts hope to earn their maiden away victory of the season after two consecutive draws on the road, and inflict a first home defeat of the campaign on the Tudors, who have a perfect record at Vauxhall Road this term.

Tony Burman’s side should be brimming with confidence though after the brilliant 7-1 home win last weekend against Oxford City. Warren Mfula’s hat-trick helped Dartford to their biggest win for 29 years, but it could have been more as the visitors were reduced to nine men before the full-time whistle blew. Richard Sho-Silva scored his first for the club with a ninth minute header, Lyle Della-Verde netted from outside the box six minutes later, Alfie Pavey scored his first since returning to the Darts and Lee Noble scored the goal of the match from distance half hour into the rout. Oxford City were reduced to ten men before the break when Freddie Grant was dismissed.

Warren Mfula opened his goal scoring account for the Darts with a second half hat-trick, not only did the striker take home the match ball he earned the man of the match award. Oxford City grabbed a consolation on 50 minutes to deny Dartford another clean sheet. The visitors had Mo Fofana stretchered off with no more Oxford City substitutes left to use, leaving the Oxfordshire club with nine players. The win followed up the 2-0 triumph over Concord Rangers in which Della Verde also scored in.

Dartford’s previous two away games have ended in draws against Braintree Town, relegated from last season’s National League and Havant and Waterlooville, promoted from the Isthmian Premier.

Deren Ibrahim is available for selection before he joins up with the Gibraltar national squad. The Darts goalkeeper will miss out on the home game against east Thurrock United and the away fixture at Hampton and Richmond Borough. Andy Pugh and Keaton Wood have returned to action; the duo were named on the bench last weekend. New signing Toby Ajala made his first appearance in a Dartford’s shirt and pushed for his first start. Striker Duane Ofori-Acheampong remains out with injury.

Since Hemel Hempstead Town’s promotion to the National South, the Darts have found their opponents tough failing to win both games at Vauxhall Road. Last season ended in a 2-2 draw as Dartford failed to take advantage of the extra man. Elliot Bradbrook scored from the spot before former Dart, Charlie Sheringham equalised. The Hertfordshire club were reduced to ten men prior Dartford’s second goal from Luke Wanadio. However, Hemel Hempstead Town fought back when Tony Diagne levelled the match again. The previous year the Tudors caused an upset winning the opening game of the campaign 1-0 with an Ollie Hawkins header.

Hemel Hempstead Town manager, Dean Brennan has assembled a decent squad including former Darts, Callum Driver and Charlie Sheringham. Driver played 26 times for Dartford whilst Sheringham scored 41 goals in 71 games. Jordan Parkes was prolific in his first spell with the club and is back partnering Sheringham after the pair struggled to hold down a place at Ebbsfleet United. Experience also comes in the form of Ismail Yakubu in defence, whilst tom Hamblin provides creativity in midfield. Brennan has also recently signed Rowan Liburd, a 24 year old striker from Stevenage on loan, Jerome Federico and teenage goalkeeper Danny Boness.

Head to Head
Dartford wins: 2 / Hemel Hempstead Town wins: 1 / Draws: 2

Current League Form

Hemel Hempstead Town (LWWLW) Dartford (WWDDD)
Gloucester City A 0-1 Oxford City H 7-1
Hampton & Richmond Borough H 1-0 Concord Rangers H 2-0
Hungerford Town A 2-0 Havant & Waterlooville A 0-0
Concord Rangers A 0-2 Braintree Town A 2-2
Whitehawk H 3-0 Wealdstone H 0-0

Previous Meetings

01.04.2017 Hemel Hempstead Town 2 Dartford 2
12.11.2016 Dartford 2 Hemel Hempstead Town 0
17.10.2015 Dartford 2 Hemel Hempstead Town 2
08.08.2015 Hemel Hempstead Town 1 Dartford 0
16.09.1972 Hemel Hempstead 2 Dartford 9

Stats
Last weekend, Dartford recorded their biggest win since 1988 when the thrashed Flackwell Heath 7-1 in the F.A Cup first qualifying round. John Bartley grabbed four including a hat-trick in the first 20 minutes.

Since the F.A Cup win 29 years ago, the Darts have twice hit seven goals in a game. A pair of 7-2 victories ten years ago against Burgess Hill Town during the 2006/07 campaign and Witham Town the following season.

It’s been six years since Dartford went five games unbeaten at the start of a season. The run stretched to six in 2011 and at the end of the National South campaign the Darts were promoted via the playoffs.

On This Day
Dartford have won their last two matches on 26 August beating Tamworth 2-0 four years ago. Danny Harris opened the scoring on three minutes and Kenny Clark scored midway through the first half. Jay May scored the winner against Kingstonian in 2006 during a Isthmian Division One South fixture, almost three months before Princes Park opened.