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Maidstone United – Season Preview 2019/2020

Maidstone United

2018/19 Season

National League: 24th

F.A Cup: 2nd Round

F.A Trophy: Quarter-Final

County Cup: Winners

League Top Scorer: Blair Turgott (14 goals) / Average Attendance: 2179

The Stones aim to return to the National League and with plenty of summer business going on the Kent side have rebuilt their squad. On loan at Dartford last season, winger Andre Coker has had his contract cancelled, however defender Jordan Wynter made his loan deal with the Darts permanent. Defender, Lewis Knight joins the club from St Albans City, his previous clubs include East Thurrock United, Concord Rangers and Welling United. Cameroonian midfielder, Clovis Kamdjo follows Knight from the Saints. Head of Football, John Still looked down the non-league pyramid to sign striker Ibrahim Olutade from Leatherhead, he scored 13 goals for the Isthmian Premier League side last season after joining them in November. Goalkeeper, Jake Cole played his last game for Aldershot Town against the Stones on the final day of last season, the 33-year-old has switched allegiances. Left back, Noah Chesmain’s contract expired with Colchester United and after loan spells with Welling United and Boreham Wood he moves to the Gallagher Stadium. Gavin Hoyte whose professional career started at Arsenal and spanned a decade with Dagenham and Redbridge, Gillingham, Barnet and Eastleigh, he joins the Stones after a second spell with the Daggers. George Elokobi made his name at Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League and Championship, the defender joins from Aldershot Town and has also represented Colchester United, Nottingham Forest, Bristol City and Oldham Athletic. Striker Jonathan Edwards signed a one-year deal after leaving FC Halifax Town, the 22-year-old has been taken on by Stevenage, Peterborough United and Hull City in the past. Luke Pennell has played under Still before at Dagenham and Redbridge, the defender also earned an England C call up towards the end of last year. Sam Corne becomes a Maidstone United player returning to full time football. The 22-year-old played for Greenwich Borough and Ashford United, scoring 21 goals in 40 games for the latter. His senior career started with Welling United in 2013 and after four seasons at Park View Road, he signed for Braintree Town and worked under Stones head coach Hakan Hayrettin. During his time at Welling United he got an England C call-up. Defender Danny Divine joined the Stones after a year as a professional at Gillingham, the defender also spent time on loan at Sittingbourne and Faversham Town. Winger, Iffy Allen ended last season with Braintree Town, the 25-year-old has Football League experience with Barnet and Yeovil Town, and has also played in the National League for Aldershot Town, Wrexham and Bromley. Another winger, Nana Kyei was signed from Barnet in his first permanent move he has had loan spells at Concord Rangers, Hampton & Richmond Borough and Potters Bar Town.

The experienced Simon Walton has left the Kent side to take up a Player Coach position at Havant and Waterlooville, whilst Ollie Muldoon, Jack Richards and Elliot Romain have also departed. Will De Havilland stood in as captain when Blair Turgott was injured, a relegation release clause means the defender was snapped up by Dover Athletic. Turgott, who top scored for the Stones last season has left the club and joined Swedish top flight Ostersunds.

The Manager – Hakan Hayrettin

A well respected coach, Hakan Hayrettin started management back in 2003 winning the Essex Senior Cup with Waltham Forest. He moved on to Thurrock before taking Grays Athletic to the Isthmian Division One North title with a club record 102 points in 2012/2013. John Still, now Head of Football at Maidstone United, appointed Hayrettin as coach when he managed Luton Town. Three years away from being the boss, Hayrettin returned to Essex with Braintree Town until he left following relegation to the National South. He returned as interim manager last term, but in January he left to take on the job at Maidstone United.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 44 / Maidstone United wins: 44 / Draws: 17

Last Six Meetings

22.01.2019* Dartford 1 Maidstone United 1
09.04.2016 Maidstone United 1 Dartford 2
14.11.2015 Dartford 1 Maidstone United 1
20.03.2010 Dartford 3 Maidstone United 0
09.03.2010 Maidstone United 0 Dartford 1
31.01.2009 Dartford 1 Maidstone United 0

* – Kent Senior Cup, Maidstone United won 8-7 on penalties

Facts

Dartford are unbeaten in their last six league games against Maidstone United, winning five.

The Stones last beat Dartford in the league back in 2007 and the last away victory in league over the Darts came in 1978.

Last Ten Years

 

 

 

 

 

Next Meetings

Saturday 16 November 2019 at Princes Park

Saturday 4 April 2020 at Gallagher Stadium

Dartford v Maidstone United

Dartford host current Kent Senior Cup holders and National League side Maidstone United in the last eight of the competition this week.

The two most successful clubs in the Kent Senior Cup go head to head for the first time in almost three years. The Darts have won the county cup eleven times compared to the Stones who have triumphed on seventeen occasions. In April 2016, the Darts won the previous meeting 2-1 in the National South despite defender Lee Burns ending up in goal. Elliot Bradbrook scored a penalty against his former team, but the midfielder’s opener was cancelled out by Keaton Wood’s own goal. Loanee, Nathan Ferguson scored a second-half winner at the Gallagher Stadium before injury to goalkeeper Derren Ibrahim led to Burns playing between the sticks.

It’s been 28 years since Dartford faced their former tenants in the Kent Senior Cup. The Darts won the first round tie 2-1 to get revenge for defeat the previous season at the second round stage when they lost 3-2. Whilst Dartford play their first game in the competition, the Stones got through the last round by knocking out Dover Athletic. The Darts were scheduled to take on Thamesmead Town in round two, but their opponents withdrew from the cup after chairman Paul Bowden-Brown, once chairman at Maidstone United was forced to close down the club.

The Stones cruised past Dover Athletic with goals from Ollie Muldoon, Olu Durojaiye, George McLennan and Blair Turgott. Goalkeeper, Josh Strizovic was given his debut and conceded to late goals, one from Harrison Kempston’s penalty and the other by Jordan Spencer. Maidstone United fielded a strong first team against a Dover Athletic side who put out their academy players.

Maidstone United won the final in a penalty shoot-out last season against Folkestone Invicta. Having been held to a goalless draw, the Stones won 4-2 on penalties. On the way to the final they beat Tonbridge Angels, Gillingham and Bromley.

Dartford last won the Kent Senior Cup three years ago when they defeated Charlton Athletic. This season under new management, the Darts have been inconsistent in the National South despite sitting in eigth place. On Saturday they lost to Chelmsford City ending an unbeaten run of four games. Phil Roberts continued his scoring streak with a goal inside four minutes. Dartford were left hanging on towards the end and the Clarets pressure finally rewarded the home side when Johnathan Giles then Rhys Murphy scored in the final five minutes. This season Dartford’s cup runs were short-lived going out in the F.A Cup third qualifying round and at the first hurdle in the F.A Trophy.

A host of former Stones players have played a part in Dartford’s season this term including manager Jamie Coyle. The defender has used his contacts to shape the Darts squad by bringing in Jordan Wynter and Andre Coker on loan. In the summer Callum Driver returned to Princes Park from the Gallagher Stadium, the full back played for the Stones in the last meeting. Last week, Joe Healy was signed by the club and the midfielder made his debut at Chelmsford City, the 32-year-old played for Maidstone United during the 2015-16 season. Delano-Sam-Yorke who is now on loan at Kingstonian also came in from Maidstone United during the summer. Going the other way, Jamie Philpot is on trial after playing 25 times for the Darts this season and scoring five goals.

Maidstone United also changed their manager after a struggling start in the National League. Long serving former boss Jay Saunders left after seven games with the Stones down in nineteenth place. The highly rated Harry Wheeler was appointed after his fall out with Billericay Town and sacked just before the New Year having won five of his nineteen games at the helm. Wheeler did however lead the team to a shock F.A Cup victory over Macclesfield Town before going out to Oldham Athletic in round two. In the F.A Trophy, the Stones are in the last sixteen having beaten Woking under Wheeler then Oxford City under Caretaker Managers Simon Walton and Tristan Lewis, now they face Salford City in the third round.

The Stones are now second from bottom in the National League and six points from safety after their 3-0 home loss against Dagenham and Redbridge on Saturday. The winners of this quarter-final tie will join Bromley and Gillingham in the semi-final.

Head to Head in the Kent Senior Cup

Dartford wins: 7 / Maidstone United wins: 6 / Draws: 2

Stats

Dartford are unbeaten in six games against Maidstone United in all competitions winning five and drawing one.

The Stones last beat the Darts 12 years ago in the Isthmian Division One South winning 4-1.

At home Dartford are unbeaten in eight against their local rivals, last tasting home defeat versus Maidstone United in 1981, a Kent Senior Cup tie.

On This Day

Dartford showed some incredible spirit to beat promotion chasing Farnborough Town with ten men. Charlie Sheringham netted his spot kick which was cancelled out by Bradley Bubb. Then came the moment that turned the game, Lee Noble was red carded before half-time for a high foot on the goalkeeper. The decision riled the Princes Park crowd which in turn lifted the players in the second half. Against the odds Dartford took the lead through Sheringham then added two more. A bandaged up Tom Champion summed up the fighting spirit by netting the third after he suffered a head injury and Danny Harris made it 4-1. The last Kent Senior Cup fixture for Dartford on this day was back in 1979 when the Darts won a Quarter-Final replay 4-2 against Margate.

Maidstone United v Dartford

Dartford will need to put a dent into Maidstone United’s title hopes if they are to have playoff aspirations of their own.

The local rivals have everything to play for with just four games remaining. Tony Burman’s side are sixth whilst the Stones are five points behind top spot in third.

Assistant manager, Paul Sawyer spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk and said: “It’s a massive game and there will be a big crowd down there. Maidstone have still got a lot to play for. It’s a big derby, we enjoyed the game at Ebbsfleet last week and we’re looking forward to Saturday’s game as well”.

He continued: “We’ll go there and play our normal game. We need to make sure we don’t get carried away with the crowd, concentrate, be organised and make it hard for Maidstone. They’ve got their own pressures at the moment and we’ll enjoy it there.We’ll give it all we can and hopefully come away with three points”.

Dartford visit the Gallagher Stadium for the first time on the back of a 3-0 defeat at Truro City. The Darts slipped out the playoff places once again with a three point deficit. Tuesday’s trip to Cornwall didn’t bode well when only three substitutes were named. Truro City led by two at half time with goals from Ollie Knowles and Dan Green whilst Matty Jay scored late on.

Sawyer spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk after the game and commented: “We had a bad fifteen minutes and we’ve got to learn to deal with that a bit better”, he added: “We were encouraged by the way the boys came back second half and right up to the third goal, we were still in the game. There were a lot of positives to take from the game”.

Striker Andy Pugh didn’t travel to Truro because of illness and Jack Simmons (ankle), Tom Bradbrook (hamstring) and Callum McNaughton (fractured metatarsal) were all injured. Lee Burns and Paul Lorraine are training and trying to get fit for competitive action.

Despite dropping out the playoff places on Tuesday, the Darts will take heart from their last Kent derby against league leaders Ebbsfleet United. The 1-1 draw was sandwiched between wins against Bishop’s Stortford and Maidenhead United, the only top five side the Darts have beaten.

Maidstone United now have an outside chance of winning the National South. A loss to fellow title chasers Sutton United on Tuesday night in front of a record crowd has had a big impact on the Stones challenge.

The U’s went two up through Dan Wishart and Craig Eastmond before being reduced to ten men, Vas Karagiannis pulled a goal back for Maidstone United. Two defeats in three means Jay Saunders’ side are now outsiders. St Albans City were beaten 2-1 last weekend but the Stones suffered a damaging 3-0 loss away to Chelmsford City.

In November, the reverse fixture at Princes Park ended all square ending Dartford’s run of four successive wins against Maidstone United. Elliot Bradbrook scored a late goal against his former club after it had initially been ruled out. The Stones took the lead through Alex Flisher but it wasn’t enough to deny the Darts, who hit the woodwork three times.

If Ryan Hayes’ testimonial is a showcase for former Dartford players, then Saturday’s fixture is a mini reunion in preparation. Callum Driver, Jamie Coyle, Matt Bodkin (on loan at Leatherhead), James Rogers, Jay May and Adam Birchall have all been involved this term for the Stones having played for the Darts in the past.

Maidstone United are having a fantastic first season in the National South, as they continue to try and get the club back to where the old club was 24 years ago. Manager, Jay Saunders led the Stones to the Isthmian Premier League title last term and has continued his good work, looking like his side will at least finish in the top three.

The Stones have been consistent for all but two months of their campaign. An average August and disappointing December can be overlooked with unbeaten runs in between. A seven match winning streak also coincided with keeping six consecutive clean sheets.

Saunders has built his team around the tightness of the team’s defence, only league leaders Ebbsfleet United (and Sutton United??) have conceded fewer in the National South. In attack, the Stones have struggled with just 50 goals; around two thirds of the teams in league have scored more. So it’s no surprise on eight occasions Maidstone United have won 1-0, the most by this score line by any team in the league this term.

Current League Form

Maidstone United (LWLWWW) Dartford (LWDWLL)
Sutton United H 1-2 Truro City A 0-3
St Albans City A 2-1 Maidenhead United H 2-0
Chelmsford City A 0-3 Ebbsfleet United A 1-1
Hemel Hempstead Town H 2-1 Bishop’s Stortford H 3-1
Weston-Super-Mare H 3-1 Havant & Waterlooville A 0-2
Weston-Super-Mare H 2-1 Maidenhead United A 1-2

Last Away Meeting (at Homelands Stadium, Ashford)

7 March 2010 – Maidstone United 0 Dartford 1 – view highlights

It took ten minutes for Dartford to get their noses in front when Ryan Hayes crossed for Lee Burns to score. In difficult conditions where the pitch was sandy and the ball bobbling about, the Darts held on to the slender lead to take all three points.

Previous Meetings

14.11.2015 Dartford 1 Maidstone United 1
20.03.2010 Dartford 3 Maidstone United 0
09.03.2010 Maidstone United 0 Dartford 1
31.01.2009 Dartford 1 Maidstone United 0
23.09.2008 Maidstone United 1 Dartford 2
03.03.2007 Maidstone United 4 Dartford 1
25.09.2006 Dartford 2 Maidstone United 1

Stats
3 – points Dartford have taken from sides above them in the National South, three draws and three defeats. Truro City and Maidstone United are the last of the two the Darts face until the end of the season.

8 – the number of promotions achieved by Dartford and Truro City over the last ten years. The Darts have been promoted three times whilst Truro City five times, both sides have suffered relegation once.

46 – the Darts have conceded 46 times this season and on a per game basis only the top three Ebbsfleet United, Maidstone United and Sutton United have a tighter defence. Truro City have let in 42 but have played four less games.

Only Maidstone United (2.06) and Maidenhead United (2.00) have a better points per game ratio at home than Truro City (1.88).

In Kent derbies this season Dartford have taken six points and a win over Maidstone United will give them the second best record.

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

GD

Pts

Ebbsfleet United

6

3

1

2

7

4

+3

10

Maidstone United

5

2

1

2

4

5

-1

7

Dartford

5

1

3

1

5

4

+1

6

Margate

6

2

1

3

5

8

-3

7

 

On This Day
The last two National South fixtures 9 April have resulted in Dartford wins. Bromley were beaten at Hayes Lane 2-1 four years ago with goals from Danny Harris and Luke Wilkinson just four minutes apart. In 2011, the Darts defeated Woking 3-2 at Princes Park in an entertaining tussle. Elliot Bradbrook, Charlie Sheringham and Jack Pallen scored three goals inside four minutes. The last Dartford match on this day was a 2-1 loss at home to Grimsby Town in the National League, Jack Evans scored for the Darts.

Dartford v Maidstone United

Dartford aim to stretch their unbeaten run to five games this weekend when they take on in form local rivals Maidstone United.

There is plenty of history, familiarity and parallels between the two clubs who meet for the first time in five years.

The Darts have the upper hand over Maidstone United since both clubs reformed winning five out of six, including the last four. The most recent victory was at Princes Park in March 2010, when Dartford triumphed 3-0 in the Isthmian Premier League. Danny Dafter, Lee Burns and a trademark Ryan Hayes curler made victory convincing.

Two weeks earlier Tony Burman’s side won 1-0 at Central Park with Burns scoring the winner. It became the second successive season in which Dartford completed the double over the Stones, having beaten them 1-0 at home and 2-1 away the season before.

If the early nineties represent the dark days at both clubs then the last decade have been far brighter. Dartford and Maidstone United have risen through the non-league pyramid from the Kent League after reforming. Now nine years old, Princes Park may have been a catalyst for Dartford’s three promotions accelerating progress. Similarly, the Stones new Gallagher Stadium, now three years old has taken them to another level with two promotions and currently occupying third spot in their debut National South campaign.

After four defeats in a row there has been an upturn in fortune for Burman and company. Fighting back from two down against Hemel Hempstead Town to draw 2-2 was followed up with three wins in a row. Welling United were knocked out of the Kent Senior Cup before Bishop’s Stortford and Hayes and Yeading United were beaten in the National South, leaving Dartford in thirteenth place and five points off the top five.

Burman has kept belief with his squad and accepts he needs to take the ‘rough’ comments with the ‘smooth’. The Dartford boss feels recent victories have moved the club in the right direction and changed the atmosphere around Princes Park.

Lee Noble is available for selection again having been suspended for Dartford’s last league fixture. The midfielder missed out of the 2-0 win over Hayes and Yeading United after picking up five cautions this term. George Sykes has had limited opportunities since joining in the summer, the striker has joined Isthmian Premier League side Canvey Island on loan.

Standing in the way of Dartford and an extension of their unbeaten run could be six former Darts.  Winners of two Isthmian League titles Jamie Coyle and Jay May now ply their trade at the Gallagher Stadium. The two players made 257 appearances for the Darts with May scoring 51 times. The 29 year old striker hit form last term for the Stones earning the club’s golden boot.

James Rogers was part of the squad that helped Dartford into the National League three and half years ago, the midfielder made over 100 appearances and won a Conference South playoff winners medal under Burman.

The loan system welcomed former Dover Athletic and Gillingham striker, Adam Birchall to Princes Park with much promise; however the striker averaged around a goal every ten games. Whilst another loanee, Matt Bodkin made little impact in a Dartford shirt but is very much at home at Maidstone United. More recently, Callum Driver switched from Princes Park to the Gallagher Stadium after appearing 26 times for the Darts last season.

Goals have been scarce in games involving Maidstone United this term, the Stones have average a goal a game but conceded just seven. In their last league fixture, against Concord Rangers, they let in their first goal in 635 minutes of football. Yet it didn’t stop Jay Saunders’ side clinching a sixth consecutive victory in the National South, James Rogers scoring the winner.

The Stones have two games in hand over league leaders Ebbsfleet United, who they beat 1-0 recently. Victory in those matches will take Maidstone United two points behind the Fleet.

Last weekend the Stones were in F.A Cup first round action at home against League Two strugglers Yeovil Town. Despite the visitors being reduced to nine men, the Glovers won with a solitary goal to knock Maidstone United out of the cup.

Current League Form

Dartford (WWDLLL) Maidstone United (WWWWWW)
Hayes & Yeading United  H  2-0  Concord Rangers  A  2-1
Bishop’s Stortford  A  2-1  St Albans City  H  1-0
Hemel Hempstead Town  H  2-2  Ebbsfleet United  A  1-0
Wealdstone  A  1-2  Bath City  H  1-0
Truro City  H  0-1  Maidenhead United  A  2-0
Oxford City  A  1-2  Havant & Waterlooville  H  1-0

Stats

1 – Maidstone United have the tightest defence in the league conceding just seven. However, at the other end of the pitch only St Albans City have scored fewer

6 – The Stones have won their last six league games, one more will beat last season’s six game winning streak from 30 August 2014 to 20 September 2014

19 – months since Dartford won three consecutive league matches. In February 2014, the Darts beat Wrexham, Woking and Hereford United but it wasn’t enough to save their season.

37 – the last time Dartford lost at home to Maidstone United in a league match was in 1978 making it 37 years. The Darts have won four of the last six home matches in the league and drew two.

On This Day

Dartford’s second ever match at Princes Park took place in an Isthmian League Cup match against Boreham Wood. The Darts were knocked out at the third round stage losing 3-0 to a side playing in the division above.

National League South Season Preview 2015/2016 – Part Four

Maidenhead United | Maidstone United | Margate | Oxford City | St Albans City

Maidenhead United

Founded: 1869 / Ground: York Road

A proud record is held by Maidenhead United in that York Road is the oldest senior football ground continuously used by the same club. For nine of those years they have had the same manager in Johnson Hippolyte in charge, stability is important to the club. Now the Berkshire side feel it is time to push up the pyramid and in the summer Maidenhead United welcome a familiar face in town. Fresh ideas, experience and a bit of backing could see the Magpies enjoying a more comfortable campaign than they are used to. Over the last six seasons, Maidenhead United have finished no higher than sixteenth, so flirtation with relegation has been the norm at York Road.

Maidenhead UnitedLast Season

Conference South: 18th

F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 2nd Round

County Cup: Winners

League Top Scorer: Dave Tarpey (20 goals)

Average Attendance: 406

The Manager – Alan Devonshire

A former England international as a player, Devonshire returns to Maidenhead United after managerial experience with the club in the late nineties. The former West Ham United midfielder played over 350 games for the Hammers winning the F.A Cup in 1980. The 59 year old knows a thing or two about being an underdog and proved this at former club Braintree Town. When he took over in May 2011, Braintree Town had just won promotion to the Conference Premier for the first time in their history. At Cressing Road, he improved the club each season until last term. Devonshire also impressed at Hampton and Richmond, who he took from the Isthmian Division One to the Conference Premier.

The Summer

Contacts at a former club has come in handy for Maidenhead United’s new boss. Devonshire has signed three from Braintree Town and one he worked with whilst with the Iron. Defenders Ryan Peters and Alan Massey, creative midfielder James Mulley and goalkeeper Carl Pentney all move from Braintree Town. When the Iron spent their first campaign in the Conference Premier striker Ben Wright was amongst the goals, he links back up with Devonshire. Josh Huggins follows Wright from Havant and Waterlooville. Dean Inman from Hayes and Yeading, Jake Reid from Dover Athletic and Rene Steer from Boston United also bulk out the Magpies squad. Last season’s top scorer with 20 goals Dave Tarpey signed a new contract at York Road. To make way for the host of signings there has been something of a clearout including former Dartford striker Jacob Erskine.

Last Meeting Versus The Darts

31 March 2012 – Dartford 2 Maidenhead United 1 – view highlights
A playoff spot was clinched by Dartford as the two sides met for the second time in just over a fortnight. Jacob Erskine tucked the ball in the net just before the hour and Luke Wilkinson doubled the lead. Paul Semakula pulled one back for the visitors. Daniel Brown was dismissed for Maidenhead United and Danny Harris followed for the Darts.

13 March 2012 – Maidenhead United 1  Dartford 1 – view highlights
The hosts had to grind out a result when they were left with ten men meaning Dartford dropped valuable points. Alex Wall opened the scoring for the Magpies then Reece Tison-Lascaris was sent off. Danny Harris scored the equaliser for Dartford who pushed for a winner to no avail.

Next Meetings

Saturday 21 November 2015 at York Road

Saturday 2 April 2016 at Princes Park

Last Ten Years

mufc last 10 years

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Maidstone United

Founded: 1992 / Ground: Gallagher Stadium

The only former Football League club in the National League South, Maidstone United had to make their way back up from the Kent League. Off field mismanagement led to the Stones being declared bankrupt in 1992 and being forced out of the Football League. Progress was made up to 2007 when they won a place in the Isthmian Premier League with three promotions. A relegation followed after three campaigns and progress stalled until their new Gallagher Stadium opened in 2012. Crowds flocked back and the club flourished ever since, an average attendance of 200 fifteen years ago is now just under 2000. One of two sides to have installed a 3G pitch, the Stones were the first to host an F.A Cup proper match on that particular surface.

maidstoneLast Season

Isthmian Premier: 1st

F.A Cup: 2nd Round

F.A Trophy: 2nd Qualifying Round

County Cup: Quarter Final

League Top Scorer: Jay May (22 goals)

Average Attendance: 1846

The Manager – Jay Saunders

Entering a fifth full season in charge Jay Saunders was appointed caretaker manager in March 2011. The former Gillingham midfielder made the most of his opportunity and at the end of the 2010/11 campaign he was given the role permanently. Over the last three seasons the Saunders has added three honours to his list. The Isthmian Division One South playoff was won followed by the Isthmian League Cup . Last term the 35 year old guided Maidstone United to the Isthmian Premier League title after a close contest with runners up Hendon. If he continues the good work at the Gallagher Stadium then come the end of the campaign Saunders will have guided the new look Stones to their highest position since reforming.

The Summer

A host of former Dartford players will be at the Gallagher next season. Jamie Coyle will remain part of the managerial team, the former Darts defender made 140 appearances for the club. On the pitch, Callum Driver left Princes Park in the summer in favour of the Stones. James Rogers impressed last season and signed a new contract to stay at the Gallagher Stadium, he also won the Supporters Player of the Year award. Former loanee Matt Bodkin has also agreed to remain with Maidstone United. One impressive capture over the break is former Welling United midfielder Joe Healy he joins Mitchell Pinnock from Bromley, Manny Parry from Grays Athletic, Simon Johnson from Eastbourne Borough and Bobby-Joe Taylor from Cambridge United.

Last Meetings Versus The Darts

20 March 2010 – Dartford 3 Maidstone United 0 – view highlights

The double over Kent rivals was completed a fortnight later  by the champions elect. Danny Dafter finished at the far post to give the Darts the lead. Lee Burns tapped in late in the first half and a trademark Ryan Hayes curler made victory convincing in the second half.

7 March 2010 – Maidstone United 0 Dartford 1 – view highlights

It took ten minutes for Dartford to get their noses in front when Ryan Hayes crossed for Lee Burns to score. In difficult conditions where the pitch was sandy and the ball bobbling about, the Darts held on to the slender lead to take all three points.

Next Meetings

Saturday 14 November 2015 at Princes Park

Saturday 9 April 2016 at the Gallagher Stadium

Last Ten Yearsmaidstone last 10 years

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Margate

Founded: 1896 / Ground: Hartsdown Park

The Seaside town of Margate peaked at the turn of the millennium when they won the Southern Premier League under Chris Kinnear. The Gate had their place in the top flight of non league which lasted three season’s without finishing in the bottom four. Reaching eighth place in their first campaign, two years later they were demoted to the Conference South because of ground grading issues. Whilst Hartsdown Park was being redeveloped the Gate suffered another relegation the following season. The Kent club returned to their home in 2005 and spent the next ten years in the Isthmian Premier League. Margate rarely threatened to leave the division they were in until last term when they beat an in form Hendon to clinch victory in the Playoff final.

MargateFCLast Season

Isthmian Premier: 3rd

F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Qualifying Round

County Cup: Semi Final

League Top Scorer: Frederick Ladapo and Ryan Moss (22 goals)

Average Attendance: 682

The Manager – Terry Brown

Promotion was a must for Terry Brown last season and winning the playoffs may have kept him in the job. Seems harsh ater finishing third but high expectations have been set by Margate by appointing a successful manager. Starting out at Hayes, where he began hi playing career, Brown was in charge for nine years taking the Middlesex club from relegation candidates in the Isthmian Premier League to third in the Conference Premier. Frustrated with the budget he moved to Aldershot Town where he won promotion to the Conference Premier at the first attempt. The following campaign saw the Shots lose the playoff final. Most notably, Brown led AFC Wimbledon into the Football League and kept the Dons in League Two in his final full season at the club.

The Summer

During a short spell with Dartford, Nathan Green impressed on the wing but decided to move to the coast joining the Gate. Soloman Taiwo switches his allegiance from another Kent club moving from Dover Athletic making Margate his sixteenth club. Christian Jolley helped Newport County to Football League promotion two years ago and will be part of Margate’s strike force. Terry Brown made a double signing from Maidenhead United by capturing David Hunt and Danny Green. Former Aldershot Town defender Glenn Wilson will add experience at the back and is joined by Millwall’s Jake Goodman. Last season’s top scorers Frederick Ladapo and Ryan Moss also signed new contacts to remain at Hartsdown Park.

Last Meeting Versus The Darts

23 March 2010 – Dartford 0 Margate 1 – view highlights

Princes Park was left stunned when the league leaders were undone by Margate. James Pinnock capitalised on a defensive mishap and netted the winner just after the hour. The visitors stayed organised and desperate for points at the other end of the table grabbed them.

18 August 2009 – Margate 0 Dartford 4 – view highlights

A training ground free kick routine had Dartford one up after seven minutes. A Ryan Hayes faked to cross but slid the ball through to Jamie Day who finished the move. Margate couldn’t cope with John Beales’ long throw in’s and twice the Darts benefited through Rob Haworth then Lee Burns. Alan Tait came on as a substitute and added to the scoreline.

Next Meetings

Saturday 29 August 2015 at Hartsdown Park

Monday 28 December 2015 at Princes Park

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Oxford City

Founded: 1882 / Ground: Marsh Lane

Over the last ten years Oxford City have steadily moved up the non league pyramid. Champions of the Spartan South Midland League in 2005/06 set City on their way. That campaign finished in dramatic circumstances with Oxford City taking the title on goal difference. After two attempts the club were promoted again this time via the playoffs to the Southern Premier League. A runners up place and another playoff triumph three years ago completed their journey to the second tier of non league. In the Conference North results have been mixed, a tenth place finish was followed up with surviving relegation. Last season City narrowly missed out on the top five to remain in the second tier of non league, making a début in the National League South.

OCFCLast Season

Conference North: 6th

F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 2nd Round

County Cup: Quarter-Final

League Top Scorer: Adi Yussuf (26 goals)

Average Attendance: 321

The Manager – Justin Merrit

A second spell in charge of City having guided the Oxfordshire club to the Southern Premier League via the playoffs. With business interests on the side, Justin Merritt resigned just two matches into the 2009/10 campaign to concentrate on a sports coaching company. The 40 year old returned to Marsh Lane last summer replacing Mike Ford, who took Merritt’s place after his first spell. The difference this time is that Merritt will have to work with Enrique Guillen, the Spaniard who has been promoted to head coach. The current Oxford City boss has also won honours with Oxford City Nomads and managed Witney Town.

The Summer

The Spanish connections remain strong with a trio of Spaniards joining up with those already at the club. Jon Arzamendi moves from Real Union, Carlos Pifarre from Olimpic de Xativa and Julen Fafuente from Deportivo Alaves. Experienced player at this level, Bradley Bubb has signed from Havant and Waterlooville having had spells with various Hampshire clubs. Midfielder at Solihull Moors last term, Reece Fleet will be at Marsh Lance this season. Craig Hill will give Laurie Walker competition in goal both players signing from Aston Villa and Hemel Hempstead Town respectively. Cheltenham Town duo Omari Sterling-James and Jamal Lawrence agreed a loan deal, Mark Bell joins from Chesham United and Kynan Isaac from Luton Town.

Last Meeting Versus The Darts

4 November 2008 –  Oxford City 2 Dartford 4 – view highlights

Another six goals but this time Dartford came out on top. City’s Jon Gardner put the hosts in the lead which was cancelled out by Cody McDonald’s fourth of the tie. Steve Butterworth, Lee Noble and once more McDonald again increased the Darts advantage. James Saulsbury’s spot kick halved the deficit for Oxford City as the match ended 4-2.

1 November 2008 – Dartford 3 Oxford City 3 – view highlights

In a set of entertaining F.A Trophy Second Qualifying ties, Dartford’s Cody McDonald poached the opener after two minutes. The visitors levelled with a superb curling effort from Jon Gardner. McDonald headed the Darts back in front and completed a hat trick after half time. The visitors forced a replay with goals from Andy Gunn and a last minute header by Steve Jackman.

Next Meetings

Tuesday 15 September 2015 at Marsh Lane

Saturday 23 April 2016 at Princes Park

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St Albans City

Founded: 1908 / Ground: Clarence Park

The Hertfordshire clubs finest moment came nine years ago, a playoff victory earned St Albans City a place in the Conference Premier. The Saints only managed one season in non league’s top division finishing bottom of the table. Four years in the Conference South ended with relegation to the Southern Premier League and a ten point deduction. Financial concerns worried the faithful at Clarence Park prior dropping out of the Conference, however the club enjoyed better league positions in the Southern League. Rewarded with another playoff triumph just a year ago returned St Albans City to the Conference South where they finished mid table last term.

stalbansLast Season

Conference South: 13th

F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: Semi-Final

League Top Scorer: John Frendo (11 goals)

Average Attendance: 570

The Managers – John Gray & Graham Golds

The only managerial joint partnership in the National League South, John Gray and Graham Golds have worked together in the managers role for two and half years. The pair have guided St Albans City to promotion to the Conference South and appearances in the first and second rounds of the F.A Cup and F.A Trophy. Gray and Golds were appointed after a successful spell as caretaker managers, the duo replaced David Howell who was dismissed after a poor run of results. Over the last two and half years, Gray and Golds have guided the club through better days.

The Summer

New signings have been sparse for St Albans City over the summer, Jack Lampe has joined from Concord Rangers, Billy Medlock from Sutton United and Lewis Hilliard from St Neots Town. Defender, Ben Martin returns to the club having previously left for Boreham Wood.

Last Meeting Versus The Darts

2 April 2011 –  St Albans City 1 Dartford 2 – view highlights

Lee Burns scored his first goal of the campaign when his hopeful long ranged header looped over the City defence and into the net. Relegated, St Albans City pegged the Darts back through Tony Battersby and almost went in front from the spot. Jack Pallen came off the bench to score the winner with four minutes remaining.

22 March 2011 – Dartford 2 St Albans City 2 – view highlights

A late penalty miss denied the Darts all three points when Ryan Hayes hit the woodwork in the final minute. The visitor led through Inih Effiong and led until Charlie Sheringham equalised. Sheringham completed his brace before Dartford had James White sent off. Ollie Kelly grabbed a point for St Albans City in an unexpected draw.

Next Meetings

Saturday 6 February 2016 at Princes Park

Saturday 30 April 2016 at Clarence Park

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