Rss

Archives for : Match Preview

Dartford v Wealdstone

Dartford moved back to the top of the National South on the weekend and hope to retain the number one spot this week when they host Wealdstone.

The Darts maintained their solid home form on Saturday with a 4-1 win over Gloucester City. Warren Mfula opened the scoring with his fourth league goal of the campaign and Lyle Della Verde added a second by capitalising on a defensive error. Della Verde scored again in the second half with Alfie Pavey adding a fourth before the hour. The Tigers pulled a goal back but Dartford were too strong and moved to the top of the table. At Princes Park, Dartford have dropped just four points from their nine home games.

Tony Burman spoke to www.dartfordfc.com after the win and said: “I was delighted with the result and performance this week especially after Truro. The players reacted very well to the loss last week. We played against a good footballing side in Gloucester City and they caused us problems, but I thought we were ruthless in front of goal, and deserved the three points”.

Andy Pugh returns after serving a suspension, Tom Murphy will return to the squad whilst Duane Ofori-Acheampong was back in training last week after a long lay off. Keaton Wood left the club, the defender played 74 times for the Darts scoring four goals, he has made 13 appearances this term.

The Darts last faced Wealdstone at Princes Park over a year ago, on the first day of last season. It took until a minute before half time for Dartford to open their account when Luke Wanadio hit a low ball across the box for Elliot Bradbrook to finish. Early in the second half and Wealdstone were level through Elliot Benyon but the lead was restored after Ryan Hayes netted from the spot. The three points looked like they were heading for the Darts but in the final minute Eddie Oshodi headed an equaliser.

That draw in August 2016 was the last of a winless run against the Stones stretching back nine games to 1991. The away fixture last term saw Dartford record their biggest win against their opponents since that last victory, when they also scored four. Wanadio scored from the edge of the box, Hayes scored with a trademark curling effort, Bradbrook added a third and Andy Pugh secured the 4-0 victory.

Wealdstone made a slow start picking up six points in August out of the 21 available, the only win coming on the opening day of the season. Long serving manager Gordon Bartlett lasted five matches bringing an end to the 22-year spell at the helm. Still involved in the club Bartlett now oversees a new role supporting youth development, football in the community and over key football developments.

A day later, Bobby Wilkinson was announced as the new Stones boss after he enjoyed a successful period with Hungerford Town. Wilkinson led the Crusaders to the National South which included two promotions via the playoffs, his seven-year spell with his former club was successful enough to appeal to Wealdstone Chairman, Peter Marsden.

Since the arrival of Wilkinson, Wealdstone have lost just three competitive matches in their last 15, a run that includes winning their last seven home matches. Although the Stones have won once on the road since the managerial change they have drawn five out of nine, losing just three.

On the weekend Wealdstone had their four game winning streak brought to an end in an away defeat to Weston-super-Mare. Two goals inside the first eight minutes from Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain and Zac McEachran gave the hosts the perfect head start and Reece Fleet scored the decisive goal either side of an Abobaker Eisa brace. The 3-2 loss meant the Stones are now in twelfth, four points off the playoffs.

Head to Head
Dartford wins: 12 / Wealdstone wins: 13 / Draws: 12

Previous Meetings

28.01.2017 Wealdstone 0 Dartford 4
06.08.2016 Dartford 2 Wealdstone 2
26.01.2016 Dartford 1 Wealdstone 2
03.10.2015 Wealdstone 2 Dartford 1
21.02.2012 Wealdstone 1 Dartford 0
14.02.2012 Dartford 2 Wealdstone 2

Current League Form

Dartford (WLWWLW) Wealdstone (LWWWDW)
Gloucester City H 4-1 Oxford City A 2-3
Truro City A 1-3 Hungerford Town H 1-0
St Albans City H 2-1 Welling United A 2-1
Bath City A 2-1 Truro City H 2-1
Chelmsford City A 0-1 Chippenham Town A 0-0
Bognor Regis Town H 1-0 Whitehawk H 2-1

Stats
Four of the last five home games against Wealdstone have ended in draws, the Stones won the other encounter.

Wealdstone have scored two goals in each of their last three visits to Princes Park.

Both teams have scored at least a goal in the last seven matches at against each other at Princes Park.

The Darts have won their last four home games in the National South.

On This Day
Eight years ago, Dartford were knocked out of the F.A Trophy to Kent rivals Dover Athletic at the third qualifying round stage. Adam Burchall gave the Whites the lead at the Crabble but the Darts went ahead through Jay May then Danny Harris. Dover Athletic equalised from the spot when Frannie Collin scored and the winner came from Nicky Southall. Three years prior that tie, the Darts beat Leatherhead 1-0 in the Isthmian Division One South courtesy of Jay May’s decisive goal. The last home match played on the 21 November was back in 1978 when Dartford lost 3-2 to Redditch United in the Southern Premier League.

Dartford v Gloucester City

Dartford welcome new opponents to Princes Park this weekend when they host one of the National South newbies Gloucester City.

Fifteen and a half years since their last meeting in the Southern League days, the Darts take on the Tigers who spent the last eight seasons in the National North. The Gloucestershire club switched regions in the summer and travel to Princes Park on the back of a three game unbeaten run.

Meanwhile, Dartford have lost back to back fixtures after defeats against Truro City on Saturday and Swindon Town in the F.A Cup the weekend before. The Darts long journey to Treyew Road started in the worst possible fashion when they found themselves three down after just nineteen minutes. Tyler Harvey scored for the host from the penalty spot and Cody Cooke’s three double gave the White Tigers three goals in six minutes. Ronnie Vint pulled a goal back mid-way through the first half in the 3-1 loss. It was yet another slow start after the F.A Cup tie versus League Two side Swindon Town saw Dartford three down inside 26 minutes in a 5-1 reverse.

Elliot Bradbrook missed the trip to Truro after the birth of his son, Duane Ofori-Acheampong is recovering from injury and Andy Pugh is serving a suspension, the second of three games. Lee Noble and Lyle Della-Verde were dropped to the bench whilst Ronnie Vint, Keaton Wood and Tom Murphy were given starts.

Despite consecutive losses, Dartford have won their last four National South fixtures at home stretching over September and October. In that run the Darts gained a crucial three points against St Albans City with a 2-1 win, beat Bognor Regis Town, triumphed over Eastbourne Borough and overcame Chippenham Town scoring 12 goals in the process.

Dartford’s last meeting against Gloucester City in 1992 ended without a goal for either side. However, the Darts did win the home game in the Southern Premier League that season at Watling Street 2-0.

Last weekend, Tigers boss Tim Harris celebrated his 300th game in charge of Gloucester City with a 3-1 away win at bottom club Whitehawk. Three second half goals from Karnell Chambers, Joseph Parker and Jack Storer secured the three points to leave the Tigers sixteenth in the National South.

Victory extended Gloucester City’s unbeaten run to three as they look to make up seven points to reach a playoff spot. However, Harris will be hoping the club can remain in the National South during a difficult time for the club. In the eight years spent in the National North, Gloucester City made the top ten for the first time last season, finishing tenth. Severe flooding of their home a decade ago has left them homeless with crowds of just under 350 each.

Head to Head
Dartford wins: 25 / Gloucester City wins: 12 / Draws: 10

Previous Meetings

07.03.1992 Gloucester City 0 Dartford 0
26.10.1991 Dartford 2 Gloucester City 0
16.03.1991 Dartford 2 Gloucester City 1
29.09.1990 Gloucester City 2 Dartford 0
21.04.1990 Dartford 6 Gloucester City 2
20.01.1990 Gloucester City 0 Dartford 4

Current League Form

Dartford (LWWLWL) Gloucester City (WDWLLD)
Truro City A 1-3 Whitehawk H 3-1
St Albans City H 2-1 Concord Rangers A 1-1
Bath City A 2-1 Poole Town A 3-0
Chelmsford City A 0-1 Welling United H 0-1
Bognor Regis Town H 1-0 Braintree Town H 1-3
Weston-super-Mare A 0-3 Bognor Regis Town A 2-2

Stats
The Darts have won their last three home matches against Gloucester City.

Dartford have gone seven league games without keeping a clean sheet going back to 9 September against Chippenham Town.

Another game unbeaten will be the longest run without defeat in the National South for Gloucester City this season.

On This Day
Dartford are unbeaten in their last nine home matches on 18 November with five wins and four draws. Fisher Athletic were the last side the Darts face at home on this day in the Southern Division One East, Dartford won the match 3-1. The run of results include a friendly with an Arsenal XI in which the game finished 4-4 in 1972. The last team to beat the Darts at home on 18 November was Woolwich Arsenal Reserves in the Kent League back in 1899, the London club won 5-0. On the road, Dartford haven’t done so well with their last two results ending in defeat 4-1 away to Tonbridge Angels in 2008 and 4-0 at Cray Wanderers in 2006.

Truro City v Dartford

Dartford will make their longest journey of the season this weekend when they travel to fellow promotion hopefuls Truro City.

Dartford will hope to recreate last season’s performance at Treyew Road where they won 5-0. Keaton Wood, Andy Pugh, Duane Ofori-Acheampong’s brace and Alex Brown all found the back of the net in a comfortable win and biggest away victory for six and half years. The triumph secured the Darts first victory against the Cornwall club at the fifth attempt.

The Darts hit five again in the home match last term but conceded three in the process of completing the double of the White Tigers. Pugh scored two with Elliot Bradbrook, Luke Wanadio and Tom Murphy adding the other goals in an entertaining fixture.

After the euphoria of taking on Football League clubs in the F.A Cup, both teams can now concentrate on the National South. The Darts were comprehensively beaten at home to League Two side Swindon Town, whilst the White Tigers lost 3-1 to League One’s Charlton Athletic.

Hopeful of causing a cup upset, Dartford’s tie was effectively over in 26 minutes when Timi Elsnick, Harry Smith then Elsnick again put the Robins 3-0 up. Despite an encouraging final quarter of an hour in the first half, the Darts couldn’t manage anything to show for their efforts. Swindon Town added two more in quick succession at the start of the second half through Amine Lingazi and Paul Mullin, but at least Richard Sho-Silva gave Dartford fans something to cheer with a consolation.

Tony Burman was disappointed with his side’s defending, he told www.kentonline.co.uk: “It’s disappointing because, defensively, we’re better than that. Yes, they were good finishes but we shouldn’t have given them the opportunities to finish their efforts like that”.

Andy Pugh will serve the second match of his three game ban for his red card at Bath City. Duane Ofori-Acheampong was not named in the squad for the F.A Cup fixture and is recovering from injury.

Currently leading the National South on goal difference, the Darts know a third league win in a row will more than likely keep them top of the table. Meanwhile, Truro City will want to close the four point gap on Dartford especially as they also have a game in hand.

After Sunday’s F.A Cup defeat to Charlton Athletic, manager Lee Hodges told BBC Radio Cornwall: “My main feeling is pride, we have faced a team a few leagues above and put in a performance that was great”, he added: “We have shown guts and determination and we left everything on the pitch against a very good team”.

Truro City struggled last term but this time they have put themselves amongst the many early front runners. The White Tigers hit form in September winning all five matches to extend a winning streak to six, Hodges picked up Manager of the Month. However, the curse of the monthly award struck as Truro City went on to pick up two points from their nine available in October.

Head to Head
Dartford wins: 2 / Truro City wins: 3 / Draws: 1

Current League Form

Truro City (DLDWWW) Dartford (WWLWLW)
Bognor Regis Town H 1-1 St Albans City H 2-1
Wealdstone A 1-2 Bath City A 2-1
Hampton & Richmond H 1-1 Chelmsford City A 0-1
East Thurrock United A 2-1 Bognor Regis Town H 3-1
Chippenham Town H 1-0 Weston-super-Mare A 0-3
Whitehawk H 7-2 Eastbourne Borough H 4-2

Previous Meetings

18.03.2017 Dartford 5 Truro  City 3
08.10.2016 Truro  City 0 Dartford 5
05.04.2016 Truro City 3 Dartford 0
19.09.2015 Dartford 0 Truro City 1
28.04.2012 Truro  City 1 Dartford 1
22.10.2011 Dartford 1 Truro  City 2

Stats
Dartford’s win at Bath City in their last away game in the National South ended a run of two successive defeats on the road in the league.

The Darts are the league’s top scorers with 34, only second place Braintree Town can match that.

Although Dartford have conceded 15 in their last three F.A Cup proper rounds (excluding qualifiers), they have the second best defence in the National South letting in just 15 in 16 games, three more goals than Chelmsford City.

On This Day
Princes Park opened as a full house packed the new stadium for Dartford’s homecoming. Hosting Horsham YMCA history was made by Brendon Cass who scored the first goal at the Darts new home, the time of the goal now etched on the window in the club bar. Cass scored again but the goal of the game came from Eddie McClements who struck a shot from outside the box. Nick Barnes scored the fourth and final goal in a 4-2 win on a day many fondly remember. Eleven years on Dartford have won 151, drawn 68, lost 78, scored 587 and conceded 374 in competitive matches at Princes Park. Happy Birthday.

Dartford v Swindon Town

Dartford can look forward to their biggest cup game at Princes Park in seven years when they take on League Two promotion chasers Swindon Town.

It’s only the second time in the history of Princes Park that Dartford have hosted a Football League side in a competitive match, a rare opportunity to become giantkillers. Whilst the Darts go into their F.A Cup first round tie having maintained and stretched their lead at the top of the National South last weekend, their former Premier League opponents are two divisions above in fifth place.

As well as prize money and coverage on a national level, Tony Burman is hoping the feel good factor returns to Dartford, he spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk after the draw was made and said: “It’s a good draw for us. It will be a big day for the club and the town and I hope it’ll bring in a big crowd. It’s something we can all look forward to”, he added: “It would be nice to get the enthusiasm going again and bring back some good times. Everyone deserves it”, he continued: “These days are something we all want to look forward to and be proud of what we’ve achieved as a football club and get the interest back”.

Last weekend, a consecutive 2-1 victory this time at home to St Albans City moved Tony Burman’s side two points clear at the summit of the National South. Richard Sho-Silva returned to the defence to partner Ronnie Vint, Mark Onyemah started after recovering from a minor injury and Tom Bonner was on the bench after being sidelined by a head injury against Bath City. Keaton Wood was suspended for the league win but will be available against Swindon Town. Andy Pugh will miss out after his red card appeal was rejected, the striker was sent off in the 2-1 win over Bath City.

The Darts welcomed the win over St Albans City, a side they have struggled against in recent meetings, thanks to a former Dartford player. Tom Bender scored an own goal in the second half which turned out to be decisive. Earlier in the match Sho-Silva caused some trouble with his long throws into the Saints box and on six minutes Elliot Bradbrook nodded one in for the opener. The Saints came back with an equaliser five minutes before the interval when Charlie Walker fired beyond Deren Ibrahim. In the second half Bender’s own goal gave Dartford an important three points on a day other promotion challengers slipped up.

Burman was delighted with the outcome and in his post match interview he said: “We had to dig in, we had a bit of luck which we haven’t had in other games”, he added: “What’s pleasing is from last Saturday, seven days in football, we’ve gone and won two games as a reaction from losing at Chelmsford City”.

Swindon Town will know preparation will be key to avoiding an upset at the first round stage. Ben Futcher, Assistant Manager told www.swindontownfc.co.uk: “We’ve seen the draw and it is somewhere we’ve not been before. Dartford are doing quite well in the league so it will be a tough game away from home, but one we’re looking forward to,” he added: “The early rounds are tough because the non-league sides can be banana skins and it will be a tough match, but we’ll prepare as we would for a league game and we’ll go there looking to win”.

The Robins will want to avoid slipping on a ‘banana skin’ after doing exactly that a year ago. After a 1-1 draw with National League side Eastliegh they lost 3-1 at home in the replay. Swindon Town also lost to non league opposition two years in a row in 2012 and 2013, both times against Macclesfield Town, Crawley Town in 2010 and Histon in 2008.

Last weekend, the Robins defeated Port Vale, the side Dartford lost to in a F.A Cup replay seven years ago after the 1-1 draw at Princes Park. The 3-0 victory earned David Flitcroft’s side back to back wins in which they took the lead early in the second half, through Matty Taylor’s free-kick. With twenty minutes remaining Paul Mullin made an impact grabbing the second goal of the afternoon and Kellan Gordon netted his first professional goal, seconds after entering the action as a substitute.

Away from home, the Robins have a strong defence conceding just five times on their travels in eight fixtures. They have won six of those matches on the road only losing twice. Luke Norris leads the way in the goal scoring charts with seven to his name and Mullin is behind with four league this term.

After relegation last season, Flitcroft was named boss in June and has made a solid start to life at the County Ground. The former Chester City, Rochdale and Bury midfielder started his managerial career at Barnsley just five years ago. He guided the Tykes to safety, moved to Bury to repeat the feat and took the Shakers up to League One, now the 43 year old hopes to get Swindon Town back up.

The Wiltshire club have been members of the Football League since 1920, they won the League Cup in 1969 beating Arsenal 3-1 at Wembley and reached the Premier League in 1993, finishing bottom in their only season in the top flight conceding a record 100 goals.

Only once before have the Darts faced the Robins and that was way back in 1933. The F.A Cup second round tie ended 1-0 to the hosts Swindon Town. In the thirties Dartford faced Swindon Town Reserves on six occasions, twice in the London Combination Second Division and four times in the Southern League. In each of the three campaigns Dartford won one and lost the other.

Head to Head
Dartford wins: 0 / Swindon Town wins: 1 / Draws: 0

Previous Meeting

09.12.1933 Swindon Town 1 Dartford 0

Current Form

Dartford (WWLWWW) Swindon Town (WWLWLW)
St Albans City H 2-1 Port Vale A 3-0
Bath City A 2-1 Wycombe Wanderers H 1-0
Chelmsford City A 0-1 Lincoln City H 0-1
Burgess Hill Town (FAC) A 1-0 Mansfield Town A 3-1
Bognor Regis Town H 3-1 Cheltenham Town A 1-2
Needham Market (FAC) A 6-1 Cambridge United H 2-0

F.A Cup Stats
Dartford have won 3, drawn 8 and lost 19 against Football League opposition in the F.A Cup.

The Darts last beat Football League opposition in the 1968/69 season when the knocked out Aldershot 3-1 in the first round at home. The other two victories were against Exeter City in 1961/62, the first game ended 3-3 and the replay was won by the Darts 2-1. In the historic 1935/36 cup run Dartford beat Cardiff City 3-0 in the first round, the season the Darts lost 3-2 to top flight Derby County in the third round.

Four of the last five F.A Cup ties against Football League teams have ended in a replay. In 2010, the Darts lost 4-0 at Port Vale after a 1-1 draw. In 1989, Exeter City were held 1-1 at Watling Street before overcoming the Darts 4-1 in the second match. In consecutive seasons Dartford drew with AFC Bournemouth 1-1 in 1984 before losing 4-1 and a year later drew 0-0 prior the 2-0 replay defeat. Bradford City ended that sequence with a 4-1 win at Valley Parade in 2014.

On This Day
Exactly a year ago, the Darts lost an entertaining F.A Cup first round tie at home to Sutton United. The frenetic fixture started at blistering pace with Maxime Biamou scoring for the visitors inside the first minute. Elliot Bradbrook equalised before Roary Deacon put the U’s back in front. Bradbrook levelled again six minutes before Biamou grabbed his second. Early in the second half Duane Ofori-Acheampong had the Darts level for a third time but two goals from Ross Stern and another from Deacon set Sutton United on their way. The Surrey side ended up reaching the fifth round losing to Arsenal.

Dartford v St Albans City

The Darts are back at Princes Park this weekend heading the National South table and hosting fourth place St Albans City.

Dartford started the week down in seventh place and one win saw a huge leap up the standings into pole position. With the top four separated by goal difference, Tony Burman will be hoping to improve his record against Saints boss Ian Allinson, to ensure the Darts maintain their lead in the National South. Victory at home will almost guarantee top spot as Dartford’s goal difference is seven goals more than their closest rivals.

However, the Darts have lost their last three meetings against St Albans City without even scoring a goal. The last of which came in March when Charlie Walker’s goal was enough to complete the double over Dartford. Earlier in the campaign St Albans City won 2-0 at Princes Park to end the Darts unbeaten home start that season. Sam Merson headed in the opener and former Dart, Tom Bender grabbed a second. At the end of the 2015/16 season, the Saints recorded their first ever victory over Dartford with a comprehensive 4-0 win on the final day.

After a second consecutive away defeat in the league last weekend without scoring, the Darts travelled to Bath City on Tuesday night. Having been beaten 3-0 by Weston-super-Mare then 1-0 by Chelmsford City on the road, the Darts were hoping to break their barren spell. Richard Sho-Silva was missing from the squad against the Romans meaning captain Elliot Bradbrook paired up with Ronnie Vint in central defence.

The match began with Ryan Hayes trying his luck immediately shooting straight from kick off and hitting the crossbar. In form striker Alfie Pavey looked lively and when Lee Noble crossed the ball on 32 minutes Pavey headed home. The lead lasted almost up to the interval but Tom Smith equalised before half-time. Dartford failed to break down ten men Chelmsford City on Saturday, but this time the Darts had to be resolute after Andy Pugh was dismissed. Despite the disadvantage Pavey pounced again to win the match 2-1 and keep up his record of almost a goal a game.

St Albans City, unbeaten in six prior to their Tuesday night fixture took on Hampton and Richmond Borough at the Beveree. The hosts took the lead on half an hour when Charlie Wassmer headed the opener which turned out to be the decisive goal, denying the Saints a place at the summit of the table.

Allinson’s side were the fastest out of the blocks this season winning their opening six, before losing to Braintree Town and Gloucester City back to back. Since then they remained unbeaten in the league until their mid-week reverse at Hampton and Richmond Borough.

Head to Head
Dartford wins: 6 / St Albans City wins: 3 / Draws: 4

Previous Meetings

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
02.04.2011 St Albans City 1 Dartford 2
22.03.2011 Dartford 2 St Albans City 2

Current League Form

Dartford (WLWLWW) St Albans City (LDWDDW)
Bath City A 2-1 Hampton & Richmond A 0-1
Chelmsford City A 0-1 Hungerford Town H 0-0
Bognor Regis Town H 1-0 Bath City H 2-0
Weston-super-Mare A 0-3 East Thurrock United A 1-1
Eastbourne Borough H 4-2 Whitehawk A 1-1
Chippenham Town H 3-0 Havant & Waterlooville H 2-1

Stats
Only St Albans City (17 points) have picked up more points at home this season than Dartford (16).

The Darts are the top scorers in the league with 32 goals and only Chelmsford City (9) have conceded fewer than Dartford’s 14 goals.

The Saints have failed to win any of their last four away games in the National South (D2 L2). Their last away win in the National South came on 19 August 2017 against Poole Town.

On This Day
Nine years ago Dartford were involved in a thrilling come back when they drew 3-3 with AFC Hornchurch in the Isthmian Premier League. Dean Green scored the opener for the Urchins and set up the second when his cross found Simon Parker. AFC Hornchurch went three up when Green netted his second before half-time. Early in the second half Cody McDonald’s pace helped him to start the come back, Rob Haworth scored by getting on the end of Ray Powell’s corner and Jamie Day completed the turnaround with a 25 yarder.

Bath City v Dartford

Dartford could end up top of the table on Tuesday night providing they can beat hosts Bath City in the National South.

The Darts may be down in seventh spot but they are just three points behind leaders Braintree Town. If third place St Albans City lose to Hampton and Richmond, then Tony Burman’s side will head the table once again.

Dartford’s superior goal difference could be the difference and with St Albans City the next team to visit Princes Park, a result over Bath City will hopefully give the Darts momentum. Ending the run of difficult fixtures will be Swindon Town in the F.A Cup first round but for now the attention will be on the league.

On the weekend, Dartford had the chance to beat one of the promotion challengers Chelmsford City. However, an early goal by former Ebbsfleet United midfielder Michael West was decisive enough to earn the Clarets all three points. The Darts failed to break down the Essex club despite playing most the match with an extra player, after Kudus Oyenuga was sent off for Chelmsford City. It was the second defeat in three league games for Dartford.

Last season, the trip to Twerton Park ended successfully for the first time since 1975. After ten attempts Dartford finally recorded an away victory against the Romans but had to leave it late. The only goal of the contest was scored on the counter attack by Luke Wanadio who curled the ball into the Bath City net.

The Romans are eleventh in the National South and a win for them will move them a point behind the Darts. Bath City’s fixture scheduled has also been tough lately but last time out they drew 1-1 with league leaders Braintree Town. George Rigg, who was sent off in the final minutes had the Romans ahead before they conceded with five minutes to go. It could have been better for Bath City had they converted an earlier penalty which was missed by Nat Jarvis. In the previous game the Romans lost 2-0 to St Albans City.

Head to Head
Bath City wins: 40 / Dartford wins: 29 / Draws: 19

Current League Form

Bath City (DLDWWW) Dartford (LWLWWW)
Braintree Town H 1-1 Chelmsford City A 0-1
St Albans City A 0-2 Bognor Regis Town H 3-1
Wealdstone H 0-0 Weston-super-Mare A 0-3
Hungerford Town A 2-1 Eastbourne Borough H 4-2
Concord Rangers A 1-0 Chippenham Town H 3-0
Oxford City H 2-1 Whitehawk A 4-0

Previous Meetings

04.03.2017 Dartford 2 Bath City 0
22.10.2016 Bath City 0 Dartford 1
16.01.2016 Dartford 4 Bath City 1
05.09.2015 Bath City 0 Dartford o
07.04.1990 Dartford 0 Bath City 1
09.09.1989 Bath City 1 Dartford 0

Stats
Dartford’s failure to score on the weekend means they are now joint top scorers in the National South with Braintree Town on 30 goals.

The Darts have won their last three against Bath City, their best run since 1971/72

Dartford have kept five clean sheets in their last seven matches against the Romans.

The Darts have won just one of their last eleven at Twerton Park (D4, L6)

Bath City are the only side in the top half of the table with a negative goal difference (-2)

On This Day
Dartford have won their last three games on 24 October with the most recent being against Bishop’s Stortford two years ago. The Darts took the lead through Barry Cogan but the match was level after Christian Smith headed the equaliser. Elliott Bradbrook scored the winner early in the second half. In 2009, Bradbrook, Jamie Coyle, Ryan Hayes and Jay May all found the net as Dartford beat Aveley 4-1 despite ending up with ten men after Adam Flanagan was red carded. Gosport Borough were beaten 1-0 in 1989 in the Southern Premier League meeting.

Chelmsford City v Dartford

Dartford return to National South action this weekend against fellow promotion hopefuls Chelmsford City, a side the Darts had to face six times last season. 

Very little separated the two clubs last term with Dartford pipping Chelmsford City into third place on the final day of the campaign back in April. Yet, the Clarets claimed the bragging rights in the head to head contest winning three and losing once.

Chelmsford City became a nemesis for the Darts last season, the Essex club were victors in the National South playoffs, the F.A Trophy and took four points from Dartford in the league. However, in the three away games last season, Tony Burman managed to achieve his best results against the Essex club.

The first away fixture last season came in the opening month of the campaign. Luke Wanadio headed Dartford ahead just before the hour but Shaun Jeffers put the Essex side level eleven minutes later.

Drawn together in the F.A Cup, Dartford returned to the Melbourne Stadium in an intriguing cup tie. On a windy September afternoon, the Darts raced into a three goal lead before half-time. Goalkeeper, Ross Fitzsimons scored an unfortunate own goal early on and Elliot Bradbrook’s penalty and second goal five minutes later, put the Darts in a commanding position at the break. Chelmsford City fought back with two Shamir Mullings headers in two minutes to set up a tense finish, but the Darts held on to a 3-2 victory.

In the playoff semi-final just five months ago, the Darts secured a 0-0 draw at the Melbourne Stadium. At the time the result seemed to lay a solid foundation for a second leg at home, but the Clarets recorded victory at Princes Park winning 2-1 on aggregate. Rod Stringer’s side went on to lose the playoff final to Ebbsfleet United missing out on a place in the National League.

Manager, Tony Burman is aware of the threat Saturday’s opponents will bring as well as the following fixtures against Bath City and St Albans City, he told www.kentonline.co.uk: “It’s not the be-all and end-all but it’s a good test to see where we are”, he added: “We’ve got three tough games coming up and we’ve got to enjoy them and be professional in what we do”.

Burman continued: “It’s always tough at Chelmsford. They’ve made a lot of changes to their side but they’re always big and strong. They get plenty of high balls into the box and we’ve got to battle and match them for effort.We’re playing at their place so they’ll come at us and we’ve got to defend well and use the ball when we win it back”.

Meanwhile, striker Duane Ofori-Acheampong who has suffered a minor knee injury and full back Mark Onyemah are hopeful to return to the squad this weekend.

Dartford will need to be focused on league matters once more after the excitement of making it to the F.A Cup first round. The Darts beat Burgess Hill Town of the Isthmian Premier League last weekend thanks to an early Alfie Pavey goal. The striker’s excellent form of ten goals in his last eleven appearances will hopefully continue this weekend. The Darts have now made it to the first round in four of their last six season’s and for the first time since 2010 were rewarded with a home tie against Football League opposition. On Monday night when the draw was made, Dartford were paired up with Swindon Town, a former Premier League side now in League Two.

In their last league outing, the Darts beat Bognor Regis Town 3-1, much needed after the 3-0 reverse against Weston-super-Mare. Goals from Pavey, a Bradbrook penalty and Andy Pugh’s fourth of the season gave the Darts a 3-1 win over the Sussex club to move up to fourth in the National South table.

The Clarets started the campaign strongly and along with Dartford were declared one of the favourites for the title. Winning six of their first seven had the Essex club challenging St Albans City, the only team to have beaten them in that spell. Since then they have drawn four out of the last six, lost to East Thurrock United who had former Claret and Dartford midfielder Max Cornhill to thank for his two goals and a fortnight ago beat Eastbourne Borough 5-2 in their last home league fixture.

On the weekend, Chelmsford City attempted to reach the F.A Cup first round but only managed another draw at Bath City. The replay on Monday was won by former Ebbsfleet United midfielder Michael West’s goal to earn the Clarets a tie with National League side Gateshead.

Rod Stringer strengthened his squad last week with the signing of Chris Assombalonga, brother of Britt who plays for Middlesbrough. The striker impressed with 31 goals in 34 games for Waltham Abbey before joining Dagenham and Redbridge then moving on to Billericay Town. Winger, Aristide Bassele also joined the Clarets having had three loan spells with Welling United in the past. The Chelmsford City boss was amongst the busiest in the summer notably keeping hold of Chris Dickson and capturing the signature of Lee Barnard, the former Southampton and Southend United striker. Former Dart loanee, Jim Stevenson moved to the Mebourne Stadium, the midfielder played 25 times for the Darts scoring once in the 2013/14 season.

Head to Head
Dartford wins: 36 / Chelmsford City wins: 53 / Draws: 91

Current League Form

Chelmsford City (WDLDDD) Dartford (WLWWWD)
Eastbourne Borough H 5-2 Bognor Regis Town H 3-1
Poole Town A 0-0 Weston-super-Mare A 0-3
East Thurrock United H 1-2 Eastbourne Borough H 4-2
Weston-super-Mare H 1-1 Chippenham Town H 3-0
Hampton & Richmond A 1-1 Whitehawk A 4-0
Bognor Regis Town H 0-0 Hampton & Richmond A 2-2

Previous Meetings

07.05.2017 Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 2
03.05.2017 Chelmsford City 0 Dartford 0
18.02.2017 Dartford 0 Chelmsford City 1
14.01.2017 Dartford 0 Chelmsford City 1
17.09.2016 Chelmsford City 2 Dartford 3
13.08.2016 Chelmsford City 1 Dartford 1

Stats
Dartford have beaten Chelmsford City once in the last seven fixtures, since the start of the millennium the Darts have only recorded three victories out of 15 meetings (D5, L8).

The Darts have failed to score in three of the last four games against the Essex side.

Despite Chelmsford City coming out on top of the head to head record, Dartford are unbeaten in their last five trips to the Melbourne Stadium (W2, D3).

Only once in the last ten meetings has their been more than three goals in the game (Dartford’s 3-2 F.A Cup win last season). In that spell which has included three 0-0 draws and three games ending 1-0, the average goals per game is just 1.5.

On This Day
Only a week has gone by since the Darts defeated Burgess Hill Town, the same side Dartford beat 14 years ago on this day. The Southern League Division One East encounter ended 2-1 to the Darts. The previous three fixtures on 21 October all ended in defeats, in 2000 Burnham won 3-1 also in the Southern League Division One East, Cray Wanderers won a Kent League Cup game 2-0 in 1995 and Burton Albion, now in the Championship won 1-0 in the Southern Premier League back in 1989. Dartford’s last away win on this day was way back in 1974 when they beat Tonbridge 4-2 in the Southern League Cup second round.

Burgess Hill Town v Dartford

Dartford can make it to the F.A Cup first round with victory over Isthmian Premier League side Burgess Hill Town on the weekend.

At the same stage three years ago, the Darts beat the Hillians 3-1 at Princes Park but this time it’s the Sussex club playing host. When Tony Burman’s side faced Burgess Hill Town in the fourth qualifying round last time their opponents were flying at the top of the Isthmian Division One South unbeaten. In contrast Dartford were struggling in the National League, three divisions above.

Harry Crawford settled any early nerves by hitting a shot across goal to give Dartford the lead. Five minutes later the striker netted his second instinctively tapping in after goalkeeper Josh James spilt a cross. Darren Budd halved the deficit for the visitors scoring within seconds of coming on as a substitute. A penalty gave Elliot Bradbrook the opportunity to extend Dartford’s lead which he duly obliged.

The gap has closed since then with the Darts dropping into the National South and the Hillians winning promotion at the end of that campaign in 2014/15.

Dartford bounced back in the league on Saturday after the 3-0 defeat at Weston-super-Mare. Goals from Alfie Pavey, a Bradbrook penalty and Andy Pugh’s fourth of the season gave the Darts a 3-1 win over Bognor Regis Town to move up to fourth in the National South table. Pavey has now scored nine in his last ten appearances and starting to show why Burman signed the striker.

Burman praised his side for their patience especially after going in 1-1 at half time, he told www.kentonline, “the guys showed a lot of patience, waited until they got opportunities and they’ve won the game”.

For the first time this season, Burman had all his outfield players available which has led to a new challenge of keeping the squad together, he commented: “I’m delighted we have a full squad, it’s competition for places”, he added: “I’ve got to keep as many people as I can happy and if they want to be successful and they’ve got ambition, they stay here in respect of the level they’re being offered”.

The Darts have negotiated two qualifying rounds so far, beating Barking of the Isthmian Division One North 3-1 at Princes Park. Dartford needed to come from behind to claim victory and progress in the competition.

Burgess Hill Town’s profile is similar to the side Dartford breezed past in the last round. Burman’s side beat Isthmian Premier League club Needham Market 6-1 away from home. The Marketmen won the Isthmian Division One North title the same year Burgess Hill Town won the south division, both sides accumulated over 100 points.

In their first season in the Isthmian Premier, Burgess Hill Town were reprieved whilst the Marketmen survived relegation by a point finishing a place above the Sussex club. Last season, the Hillians finished nineteenth and this term they sit in the same position with Needham Market one place lower.

Manager, Ian Chapman was in charge of the Hillians when they lost to the Darts three years ago and believes his side can cause an upset, he spoke to Mark Dunford of the Mid-Sussex Times and said: “We can win it, it’s not a game I am going ‘well that’s the end of that then’. It will be really difficult, we will have to be at our best and they will have to be poor but it’s a game we can win”.

The Darts will have to be on their toes as Chapman also points out that Burgess Hill Town have staged cup shocks before under his reign, he commented: “Since I have been at the club we have beat Chesham, Aldershot, Leatherhead, Sutton, Wealdstone when they were all in leagues above us – and in one case three leagues above”.

Burgess Hill Town will face Dartford as they try to reach the first round proper of the FA Cup for the first time in their history. Manager Ian Chapman believes it is not impossible for his side to pull off a shock against the National League South side. The Hillians have faced Dartford twice since Chapman has been at the club, losing 2-1 and 3-1 – the latter was at this stage in 2014. Chapman said: “They are decent outfit. Anytime you are playing sides from the league above they are going to be decent.

The Hillians have so far made it through three qualifying rounds starting with a 3-0 away win against Erith Town. Former Dartford striker Tony Garrod scored a brace and Pat Harding netted the other in the victory. Garrod played for the Darts 2011/12 National South playoff winning squad, making 5 starts, 27 substitute appearances and scoring five times, he’s been regular in the Burgess Hill Town starting eleven this term.

In the second qualifier, the Hillians threw away a three goal lead over Colney Heath. Pat Harding scored the opener and two from Brandon Diau put the visitors in command. However, the South Midlands League side staged a comeback to force a replay. Three days later, Burgess Hill Town repeated the score from the previous round with Pat Harding and another Garrod brace securing a tie with Wealdstone. The Hillians caused a dramatic upset winning 1-0 with Chiek Toure netting the winner in the last minute of the F.A Cup third round qualifier.

After a 5-0 league defeat against Lowestoft Town on the weekend, the Hillians will have no better opportunity to restore confidence than another cup upset. Yet in their league match before the heavy loss they had beaten Kingstonian 5-0, so at the moment goals are very much on the agenda.

Head to Head 
Burgess Hill Town wins: 1 / Dartford wins: 6 / Draws: 0

Previous Meetings

10.01.2015 Burgess Hill Town 1 Dartford 2
25.10.2014 Dartford 3 Burgess Hill Town 1
13.01.2007 Dartford 7 Burgess Hill Town 2
19.08.2006 Burgess Hill Town 1 Dartford 6
28.10.2003 Dartford 0 Burgess Hill Town 3
21.10.2003 Dartford 2 Burgess Hill Town 1
20.08.2003 Burgess Hill Town 0 Dartford 1

Current Form (all competitions)

Burgess Hill Town (LWWLLW) Dartford (WWLLWW)
Lowestoft Town H 0-5 Bognor Regis Town H 3-1
Kingstonian H 5-1 Needham Market A 6-1
Wealdstone H 1-0 Weston-super-Mare A 0-3
Horsham A 2-4 Cray Wanderers A 2-4
Tonbridge Angels H 0-1 Barking H 3-1
Colney Heath H 3-0 Eastbourne Borough H 4-2

Stats
Elliot Bradbrook, Ryan Hayes, Lee Noble, Andy Pugh and Danny Harris all featured in the last meeting against Burgess Hill Town.

Bradbrook failed to score in the F.A Cup in the last round for the first time since 26 September 2015, when the Darts lost to Uxbridge.

In all competitions, Dartford’s last clean sheet was over a month ago against Chippenham Town. Since then they have played six conceding 12. In first ten games the Darts only conceded just 5 goals.

Burgess Hill Town are looking to reach the F.A Cup first round for the first time in their history.

The Darts last went out to lower league opposition in an away F.A Cup tie 15 years ago. Dartford in the Southern League Eastern Division lost 1-0 in a replay to Carterton Town in the Hellenic League.

On This Day
Dartford have won their last three games on 14 October going back to 1989 when they won an F.A Cup third qualifying tie against Heybridge Swifts 1-0. Since then, the Darts beat Sittingbourne 3-1 in the Southern League Division One South and Godalming Town by the same score in 2006, Richard Avery, Anthony Hogg and Jay May scored in the Isthmian Division One South encounter.

Dartford v Bognor Regis Town

The Darts return to league action this weekend hosting last season’s Isthmian Premier playoff winners Bognor Regis Town at Princes Park.

Dartford bounced back from their last National South fixture that saw them lose 3-0 away to Weston-super-Mare. Tony Burman guided his side to the F.A Cup fourth qualifying round on Saturday with a comprehensive 6-1 win at Needham Market.

In the previous round the Darts had to keep their wits about them against lower league opposition, this time they negotiated any potential upset the Isthmian Premier side could pose. Alfie Pavey struck a first half hat-trick to put Dartford on their way. In the second half, Tom Murphy, Andy Pugh and Ryan Hayes added three more and it could have been more had Elliot Bradbrook not missed a penalty earlier on in the half.

Dartford created fond memories for the fans after last playing Bognor Regis Town in 2010. On the final day of the season having already clinched the Isthmian Premier League title, the Darts won 2-0 with Jamie Coyle scoring the Darts 100th goal of the campaign and Lee Noble adding the 101st. However, the fixture earlier in that season at Princes Park was a much tougher affair. Bognor Regis Town were bottom of the table, where they finished the campaign but it was future Dartford striker Jason Prior who grabbed the headlines in a 3-3 draw. Prior alerted Burman to his potential with a superb hat-trick. Danny Harris scored a brace for the Darts but it was right back Billy Burgess who saved Dartford’s blushes with a 94th minute equaliser.

Bognor Regis Town are still finding their feet in the National South and are eighteenth in the division, thirteen places below the Darts. The Sussex club may be waiting for their first league victory in the league, but they did manage their maiden away win of the season on the weekend. Also in F.A Cup action, the Rocks were paired up with rivals Eastbourne Borough in the third qualifying round. The tie was made even more tasty by the fact that former Bognor Regis Town boss, Jamie Howell now manages the Sports. Ollie Pearce scored both goals either side of the break to make sure the Rocks came out on top.

In their last league fixture Bognor Regis Town threw away a two goal lead with twenty minutes remaining. Pearce netted his fifth National South goal of the campaign in the first half before James Muitt made it 2-0 in the second half, also notching his fifth for the season. Gloucester City hit back when substitute Edward Williams scored a brace and rescued a point for the visitors.

One player who could make a return to Princes Park after a brief spell with the Darts is Ben Swallow. The winger was part of the 2013/14 National League squad that finished in the relegation zone but were reprieved. Swallow made 11 appearances with seven of those coming off the substitutes bench. This season he has been a regular in the Bognor Regis Town starting eleven having signed for the club in the summer from Havant and Waterlooville.

Head to Head
Dartford wins: 3 / Bognor Regis Town: 1 / Draws: 4

Previous Meetings

24.04.2010 Bognor Regis Town 0 Dartford 2
07.11.2009 Dartford 3 Bognor Regis Town 3
02.05.1981 Dartford 1 Bognor Regis Town 1
13.12.1980 Bognor Regis Town 2 Dartford 2
01.05.1980 Bognor Regis Town 2 Dartford 0
10.11.1979 Dartford 2 Bognor Regis Town 0

Current League Form

Dartford (LWWWDL) Bognor Regis Town (DLLLDL)
Weston-super-Mare A 0-3 Gloucester City H 2-2
Eastbourne Borough H 4-2 Hemel Hempstead Town A 1-3
Chippenham Town H 3-0 Wealdstone A 0-3
Whitehawk A 4-0 Hungerford Town H 1-2
Hampton & Richmond A 2-2 Chelmsford City A 0-0
East Thurrock United H 0-1 Eastbourne Borough H 0-1

Stats
Dartford have scored three or more goals in seven of their opening 15 matches. One less time than the first 15 games of the 2009/10 campaign when they were promoted at the end of the season.

The Darts are top scorers in the National South with 27 goals, one ahead of Braintree Town.

Bognor Regis Town have the third leakiest defence conceding 23 times, only Whitehawk (36) and Oxford City (27) have let in more goals.

On This Day
Dartford have only won once on 7 October since reforming and that was eleven years ago in the F.A Trophy Preliminary round against Ilford, the Darts ran out 4-1 winners on their way to second qualifying round. Dartford had to wait eight years to play on this day again, this time losing 1-0 away to Bristol Rovers in the National League. The match was marred by an incident where Dartford goalkeeper Jason Brown was racially abused by a Rovers fan. Aside from a 0-0 draw with Deal Town in 1995, the Darts have lost the other three outings with 18 goals being scored. Fisher Athletic won the Southern League Cup encounter 5-3 in 1997, Rothwell Town won 3-2 in 2000 and Bromley were victorious by the same score in the Kent Senior Cup in 2003.

Needham Market v Dartford

Dartford could move a step closer to the F.A Cup first round this weekend if they manage to avoid an upset against Needham Market.

The Darts travel to Suffolk for their third qualifying round tie knowing victory will put them within one more fixture of reaching the first round proper, which will be the fifth time in eight years. Needham Market, currently playing in the Isthmian Premier League have only progressed beyond this stage once, four years ago.

Tony Burman’s side suffered their second defeat of the season on Saturday, losing 3-0 at Weston-super-Mare. Only central defender Richard Sho-Silva was unavailable for selection, Mark Onyemah returned to the line-up whilst Duane Ofori-Acheampong was named amongst the bench four months after last playing for the Darts.

Critical of conceding two goals against Eastbourne Borough in the previous league game, Burman will be disappointed with conceding three more. Gethyn Hill scored a first half brace and Archie Collins added another as Weston-super-Mare brought the Darts down to earth. Having topped the National South table at the start of the day, the Darts dropped to fourth.

A fortnight ago, Dartford began their F.A Cup journey and although not at their best ran out 3-1 winners to Isthmian Division One North side Barking. Elliot Bradbrook put in a captain’s performance crowning his man of the match display with a hat-trick. Bradbrook twice scored from the penalty spot to help his team come from a goal down in an uncomfortable afternoon. The Essex League champions took the lead after Alfie Pavey scored at the wrong end giving Barking a shock lead.

Dartford last travelled to Suffolk in a F.A Cup fourth qualifying round match back in 2010 and were taken to a reply after a 0-0 draw with Leiston, three divisions below the Darts at the time. That run, seven years ago, ended in the first round at Port Vale, the first time in 21 years Dartford had reached that stage. Since then, Burman has guided the Darts to the first round on two more occasions and the second round almost three years ago, losing away to Bradford City.

Needham Market have yet to concede in this season’s F.A Cup having defeated Clapton and Chesham United on the way. Entering at the first qualifying round stage the Marketmen drew Clapton, two divisions below in the Essex League. The Suffolk side had to wait until just over an hour to break their opponents down through Gareth Heath, then two more followed from Luke Ingram and Callum Harrison in a 3-0 win.

Two weeks ago, Needham Market won at home against Southern Premier League side Chesham United. Harrison scored his second F.A Cup goal of the campaign after half an hour and four minutes into the second half Dan Morphew secured progression into the third qualifying round.

Former Dartford winger Jack Simmons is amongst the Marketmen’s ranks and is currently leading their assists chart. Simmons played for the Darts in 2015/16 making 29 appearances, 11 from the substitutes bench and scored the one goal.

Needham Market managed promotion from the Eastern Counties seven years ago, winning the title by a point. After four years in the Isthmian Division One North where they experienced three playoff defeats including a final, the Marketmen won the title by a single point again amassing 104 points and 101 goals. The Suffolk side finished 20th in the Isthmian Premier two seasons ago and ninth last term.

This season the Marketmen are in 14th in the Isthmian Premier after beating Harlow Town 3-1 on Tuesday night. Morphew, Heath and Sam Nunn all netted in the first half to earn the Suffolk side three points. Victory followed a 2-2 draw with Enfield Town and the F.A Cup win against Chesham United to extend their unbeaten run to three.

Current Form (all competitions)

Needham Market (WDWLDW) Dartford (LLWWWW)
Harlow Town A 3-1 Weston-super-Mare A 0-3
Enfield Town H 2-2 Cray Wanderers A 2-4
Chesham United H 2-0 Barking H 3-1
Lowestoft Town H 0-2 Eastbourne Borough H 4-2
Tooting & Mitcham United A 1-1 Chippenham Town H 3-0
Clapton A 3-0 Whitehawk A 4-0

Stats
Elliot Bradbrook has scored ten goals in his last five F.A Cup appearances.

There has been three or more goals in the last seven Dartford games.

Dartford have won their last three F.A Cup ties away from Princes Park all coming last season. The last time the Darts failed to score on their travels in the F.A Cup was in the 4-0 replay defeat at Port Vale in the first round in 2010.

The Darts last went out to lower league opposition in an away F.A Cup tie 15 years ago. Dartford in the Southern League Eastern Division lost 1-0 in a replay to Carterton Town in the Hellenic League. Since then Dartford have

On This Day
Dartford staged a late comeback to come from behind and beat Hyde in 2-1 at Princes Park. The visitors took the lead when Alex Brown hit a shot in the top corner. The Darts struggled to get going and when Harry Crawford missed a penalty it didn’t look like it would be Dartford’s day. Hyde had Adam Griffin red carded after picking up his second caution of the afternoon and from then on the Darts found some belief. Crawford levelled with a header and in stoppage time Richard Rose calmly chipped the ball into the Hyde net for the winner.