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Herne Bay v Dartford

A place in the Kent Senior Cup semi-final is up for grabs and if Dartford overcome Herne Bay they will face their tenants.

The Darts are keen to avoid a repeat of their F.A Cup exit to lower league opposition back in September. Herne Bay are currently third in the Isthmian Division One South and pushing for promotion.

Just over four months ago Dartford lost to Uxbridge an F.A Cup qualifier, a team who play at the same level in the central region. Since then Tony Burman has guided his side from mid-table to playoff contenders, helped by an eleven match unbeaten run.

In the last round, the Darts upset last season’s runners up Gillingham who are second in League One. Avenging their 7-3 defeat the previous season, Dartford had to come from behind after Gills took the lead through Brennan Dickenson. Former Gillingham defender Tom Wynter levelled the tie and Jack Simmons netted the winner to send the Darts through.

Burman has used the Kent Senior Cup to blend senior players with academy prospects. One of those former academy players will no longer be available for selection, following a move to a Premier League side. Ebrima ‘Ebou’ Adams completed a fantastic move to Norwich City on deadline day, the young midfielder made 22 appearances for the Darts.

Herne Bay breezed past their challengers in round two in front of 71 spectators. Drawn against fellow Isthmian Division One South side Chatham Town they also came from behind to take victory. A Kwabena Osei own goal on the stroke of half time had the Bay a goal down. Manager, Sam Denly used the break to good effect and four unanswered goals by Dan Johnson, Dan Parkinson and a brace from Danny Williams recorded a 4-1 triumph.

The Bay are seven points adrift from league leaders Folkestone Invicta, who they lost 4-0 to at the start of the year. Since the damaging defeat, Herne Bay got back on track with goals aplenty. Molesey were beaten 3-1, Walton and Hersham 4-1 then Peacehaven and Telscombe were thrashed 7-0. Over the last week though, Denly’s side have dropped points with two draws against Tooting and Mitcham United and East Grinstead Town.

During the nineties in Dartford’s Kent League days, the two sides met on seven occasions both winning twice. The other three meetings were drawn, however the Darts have won the last two. In September 1997, Dartford were victorious in a 2-1 F.A Cup first qualifying tie, they also won 2-0 in the 1995/96 Kent League season.