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Dartford v Chelmsford City

Dartford will be determined to change their fortunes against Chelmsford City this weekend at Princes Park.

Although the Darts won the corresponding fixture last season, it was a rare victory against the Clarets. Elliot Bradbrook settled the match to claim Dartford’s only triumph in this fixture in nine previous attempts. The last two meetings have been at Melbourne Stadium with the Essex club securing a 4-0 win in August and a 2-1 victory just over a year ago.

Dartford followed up progression to the Kent Senior Cup final with a win at St Albans City last weekend, a ground where the Darts had lost in all the previous four visits there without even scoring. When Joe Iaciofano put the National South strugglers ahead from the spot, the Darts could have easily felt that the inevitable defeat was about to happen. However, Steve King’s side had other ideas and within seven minutes the Darts were level when Liam Nash scored his second league goal of the campaign. Five minutes into the second-half Dartford went ahead when they were awarded the second penalty of the afternoon, up stepped Darren McQueen to move his season’s tally to 18 in all competitions.

Steve King described Dartford’s performance as ‘gritty’ and was pleased with the two tactical sides his team needed to show. Whilst the first half was full of attacking intent, the second half was opposite, he explained to DFCTV: ‘’We dug deep, St Albans had a right go at us in the second half with long throws coming into our box, which we had to defend properly and I think we got it spot on’’. He added ‘’We showed another side where we didn’t want to get beaten and people were putting their body on the line’’. The Dartford boss was also delighted with Nash’s goal, work ethic and link up play. The striker told DFCTV after the 2-1 victory: ‘’I’m happy to contribute, my main objective in every game is to score, but I don’t put too much pressure on myself and I try to give an all-round game’’.

Chelmsford City are still hopeful they can reach the top seven and a playoff spot. Results this term had been inconsistent under Rod Stringer and after a 6-2 home defeat to Oxford City in November the former boss was under pressure. Although results improved over the next eight games where the Clarets won four and drew three, the 1-0 reverse at bottom side Hungerford Town was the final straw. At one point it looked as though the new manager was going to be the experienced Garry Hill, however the parties couldn’t agree terms.

Instead Robbie Simpson has been in charge on a temporary basis, he only signed for the club in August after he was released by Milton Keynes Dons. The striker has plenty of playing experience notably representing Cambridge United, Coventry City, Oldham Athletic and Exeter City. Celebrating his birthday this weekend, Simpson initially got off to a difficult start when his conceded five in his first match losing 5-3 at Dulwich Hamlet, the following match was a 2-0 loss at Dorking Wanderers.

However, the Clarets went three games unbeaten with a 3-1 home win over Tonbridge Angels and a creditable 1-1 draw with Slough Town. Struggling on the road this season with just two away wins in the National South, Simpson took his side to league leaders Wealdstone and came home with all three points. Former Dart, Tom Knowles netted the winning goal, but he has since returned to his parent club Cambridge United after 24 appearances and five goals for the Clarets.

On the weekend, Chelmsford City hosted F.A Trophy semi-finalists Concord Rangers in an Essex derby and drew 1-1. The Clarets earned a point despite playing 70 minutes a man down after Troy Brown was sent off. Brown pulled back Concord Rangers striker Decarrey Sherriff to give away a penalty, Sherriff took the spot kick and scored. The equaliser came four minutes prior half-time, Shaun Jeffers set up Tom Wraight who shot past Chris Haigh in the Concord goal.

Speaking to www.chelmsfordcityfc.com manager Simpson said: “I was disappointed until the sending off, games are running out and we can’t afford to not do the right things. It took us until the sending off to get going and do the basics properly. But after that I’m was so proud of my players, they ran their socks off and stuck to the task”.

Simpson can all upon the experience of former Premier League striker Leroy Lita, who came out of retirement to play for Salisbury before penning a short-term deal with the Clarets. Lita made his name at Bristol City prior to his time in the top flight with Reading and Swansea City. Chez Isaac will return to Princes Park after he short spell with the Darts lasted three months, the midfielder made a dozen appearances under the management of Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle. Shaun Jeffers scored in this fixture in August 2016 in a 1-1 draw, the striker is Chelmsford City’s top scorer this term with 13 league goals.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 37 / Wealdstone wins: 57 / Draws: 21

Current League Form

Dartford (WDWLWW)Chelmsford City (DWDWLL)
St Albans CityA2-1Concord RangersH1-1
WealdstoneA0-0WealdstoneA1-0
Eastbourne BoroughH2-1Slough TownH1-1
Hampton & RichmondH1-2Tonbridge AngelsH3-1
Chippenham Town A5-1Dorking WanderersA0-2
Dulwich Hamlet H1-0Dulwich HamletA3-5

Last Six League Meetings

12.08.2019Chelmsford City4Dartford1
19.01.2019Chelmsford City 2Dartford1
07.08.2018Dartford1Chelmsford City0
10.02.2018Dartford1Dartford2
21.10.2017Chelmsford City1Chelmsford City0
18.02.2017Dartford0Chelmsford City1

Stats

Dartford have won just five games in their last 25 competitive matches against Chelmsford City (D5, L15).

The Darts win against the Clarets last term was the first in ten attempts at home.

On This Day

Dartford have played their last four games on 14 March at home with mixed fortunes. The Darts last victory on this day was in 1998 when they claimed a 4-0 win over Waterlooville, who would later merge with Havant Town to form next weekend’s opponents Havant and Waterlooville. Six years earlier, Dartford won by the same score against Poole Town, both matches were in the Southern Premier League. The last two fixtures also ended in the same score, this time a pair of 1-0 defeats. First, Harrow Borough came to Princes Park and won in the Isthmian Premier League back in 2009 and most recently in 2015, Alfreton Town beat the Darts in the National League.



St Albans City v Dartford

Buoyed by the fact the Darts reached a cup final this week, Dartford return to league action this weekend when they visit St Albans City.

The Darts have had nothing to show in their last four visits to Clarence Park, losing them all without even finding the back of the net. Dartford’s last victory there was nine years ago remembered by a freak long range Lee Burns header, but it was young Jack Pallen that scored the winner in a 2-1 triumph.

Over the last three weeks Steve King has made good use of the squad he has assembled with mid-week Kent Senior Cup games scheduled between National South fixtures. In that time the Darts have picked up four points from six, including the stalemate with league leaders Wealdstone and progressed through two rounds of the county cup to reach the final.

On Tuesday night a strong Dartford side strolled past Phoenix Sports in the semi-final. King made five changes to the side that drew 0-0 with Wealdstone, goalkeeper Alhaji Sesay was back in goal, Ronnie Vint replaced Josh Hill at centre back, Jake Jebb made his second start for the club. Luke Wanadio and Liam Nash who were on the bench against the Stones were selected to start. Goals from Jordan Wynter, Liam Nash’s brace, Elliott Romain and Amrit Bansal-McNulty, who has now extended his loan until the end of the season earned the Darts a comprehensive 5-1 victory.

In Dartford’s last league game, King made six changes to the side and his team came away with a creditable draw with league leaders Wealdstone. A solid defence, in which Tom Bonner and Josh Hill excelled, and the impact of Wanadio’s appearance from off the bench were positives in difficult playing conditions. Dartford survived the biggest moment of the match though when Weadstone’s Dennon Lewis missed a penalty.

The Darts bagged their first point of the season when they last played St Albans City in August under the guidance of Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle. New signing and current top scorer for the Saints, Joe Iaciofano scored for the Hertfordshore club, his first goal of the campaign to give the visitors the lead. However, Wanadio netted his first goal since returning to the Darts in the second half.

At Princes Park, Dartford have fared better against the Saints, but it’s the away fixture against Ian Allinson’s side that has troubled them over the last four years. St Albans City have won four in a row against the Darts on their own patch scoring eleven without reply. Last season, Dartford were beaten 2-0 when Solomon Sambou and Khale da Costa scored. The year before on the final day of the season, Sam Merson’s brace helped the Saints to a 4-0 win, Charlie Walker scored the only goal three years ago and two own goals contributed to another 4-0 reverse for the Darts in 2016.

St Albans City are in a relegation fight sitting second from bottom in the National South with just three home wins in the league this season. Although form has picked up for Ian Allinson’s side as they try and get themselves out of trouble in a very tight battle at the bottom, only a point separate St Albans City in 21st and Concord Rangers fifteenth place

Last weekend, they lost a six pointer against Chippenham Town with former Dartford defender Tom Bender heading the Saints in front. However, two goals in the space of four minutes turned the match around when Kieran Parselle then Scott Twine helped Chippenham Town to victory. Bender made 20 appearances for the Darts during the 2014/2015 campaign and scored against the Darts in 2016 for St Albans City, a season later he scored an own goal which gave Dartford a home victory.

However last month, the Saints did beat promotion chasers Bath City then Havant and Waterlooville on the road. Their last victory at home, four weeks ago, was against Maidstone United. Out of the teams around the relegation zone, St Albans City have one of the better records over the last eight games.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 7 / St Albans City wins: 5 / Draws: 5

Current League Form

Dartford (DWLWWL) St Albans (LWDWLL)
WealdstoneH0-0Chippenham TownA1-2
Eastbourne Borough H2-1Havant & WaterloovilleA2-1
Hampton & Richmond H1-2Oxford CityH0-0
Chippenham Town A5-1Bath CityA3-0
Dulwich Hamlet H1-0Welling UnitedH1-2
Slough Town A0-1 Hampton & RichmondA1-2

Last Six Meetings

06.08.2019Dartford1St Albans City1
12.01.2019Dartford3St Albans City2
01.09.2018St Albans City 2Dartford0
03.02.2018St Albans City 4Dartford0
28.10.2017Dartford2St Albans City 1
25.03.2017St Albans City 1Dartford0

Stats

The last away win in this fixture was on 8 November 2016, when St Albans City won 2-0 at Princes Park. Since then the home side has won five of the last six.

The Darts have gone eight games without a clean sheet against St Albans City.

Dartford’s draw with Wealdstone was their 200th league game since relegation from the National League. The Darts have won 100, drawn 46, lost 54, scored 331 goals and conceded 246 in that time.

St Albans City have lost all four home games against sides in the top five, but they have drawn all three against the teams directly below the Darts.

Only Hungerford Town have picked up fewer points at home than St Albans City this season.

On This Day

Inflatable penguins made their debut when Dartford last won on 7 March in 1989, the Darts beat Atherstone United 3-0 at Watling Street in the Southern League Cup semi-final first leg on their way to wining the competition. Thirty years ago, Dartford drew 2-2 with Welling United in the last eight of the Kent Senior Cup and then 0-0 with Gloucester City two years later in the Southern Premier League. Witney Town beat Dartford 3-1 in 1998, Tommy Osborne and Adam Gross scored in a 2-2 draw with Margate in 2009. The last two games have seen the Darts fail to score, in front of the BT Sports cameras six years ago Dartford lost 1-0 at home to Chester and a year later, the Darts drew 0-0 at FC Halifax Town.

Dartford v Phoenix Sports

Dartford are one game away from reaching the Kent Senior Cup final when they host Phoenix Sports in the last four on Tuesday night.

The Darts last reached the final four years ago when they beat Charlton Athletic and are bidding to win the competition for the twelfth time in their history. Standing in the way, Isthmian South East side Phoenix Sports are aiming to cause an upset to have a shot at claiming their first ever county cup.

In the first competitive meeting between the two sides, the pair have often played against each other in pre-season friendlies because of the proximity of both clubs, Dartford’s opponents are based in Barnehurst just three and a half miles away.

After the quarter-final victory in the last round, Dartford boss Steve King stated he was taking the competition seriously and despite fielding many players trying to force their way into the first team, the Darts beat Folkestone Invicta 4-0. After a flowing move down the right between Amrit Bansal-McNulty and Tyrique Hyde, striker Liam Nash headed in the opener. Hyde added a second from the spot in the first half and after the break Billy Crook scored his first for the club. Elliott Romain came off the subs bench and added a fourth.

In the previous round Dartford beat Maidstone United 1-0 with King handing first starts to Craig Braham-Barrett and Nash. The only goal of the game was scored by Kyjoun Marsh-Brown to put the Darts into the last eight of the competition.

Since Dartford’s win in the last eight they were back in National South action against league leaders Wealdstone. King made five changes with Craig Braham-Barrett, Tom Bonner, Noor Husin, Elliott Romain and Darren McQueen returning to the starting eleven, whilst Mark Smith kept his place in goal. The game ended 0-0 with the Stones spurning the best chance when Dennon Lewis missed a penalty.

Phoenix Sports have played three games in the Kent Senior Cup to reach the last four and they started of their campaign back in November. The Sports beat a youthful looking Margate side in round one racking up four goals. Ben Allen opened the scoring and added another before Margate’s William Risdon was sent off. On the hour Allen completed his hat-trick and a fourth was netted by Jeff Duah-Kessie, there was time for a consolation game when Elliott Reeves made it 4-1.

In round two, Paul Byron’s side beat a Charlton Athletic under 23’s team 2-1 by coming from behind. The Addicks took advantage of winning a penalty when Junior Quitirna gave the London club the lead. However, two goals in a minute after the interval from Lauris Chin and Duah-Kessie put Phoenix Sports into the last eight.

In the semi-final Phoenix Sports were drawn against Isthmian South East title contenders Ashford United. Lee Bird put Phoenix Sports ahead with a delightful lob over home goalkeeper Sam Mott. David Smith levelled the tie for the hosts, but with three minutes remaining Phoenix Sports were awarded a penalty, Kenny Alireu sent Mott the wrong way to claim the winner.

Phoenix Sports are currently ninth in the Isthmian South East division, two steps below the Darts. They are currently ten points off the playoff places and have Ashley Probets in their squad, the defender played for Dartford during pre-season in 2010 but couldn’t quite earn a place in the squad after Tony Burman signed Tom Bonner instead.

The other semi-final will be between Whitsable Town and Dover Athletic or Gillingham.

Stats

Steve King has used 20 players in the two rounds that Dartford have played in this season’s Kent Senior Cup

If Dartford win the semi-final they will reach their 25th Kent Senior Cup final.

On This Day

Dartford reached the Kent Senior Cup final back in 1987 when they beat Ashford Town 1-0, the Darts went on to beat Maidstone United to lift the cup without conceding a goal in the competition. The Darts retained the cup the season after and didn’t concede a single goal in that campaign either.

Dartford v Wealdstone

League leaders Wealdstone are next to visit Princes Park as the Darts search for a first home win against the Stones since the early nineties.

Dartford have won just two of their previous 15 meetings against Wealdstone since their last home victory against them in 1991, in that time they have drawn five of their last seven when hosting this weekend’s opponents.

A difficult task awaits Steve King’s side when they take on a side who convincingly defeated the Darts on the opening day. Ross Lafayette’s brace book ended Josh Hill’s equaliser, a Dennon Lewis deflection and a goal by Connor Stevens. However, plenty has changed at Princes Park since the 4-1 reverse at Grosvenor Vale, a new manager and playing style as well as wholesale changes to the squad has seen the Darts climb the National South ladder. Meanwhile, Wealdstone have looked down at the rest of the league occupying top spot for the majority of the season.

The Darts were in Kent Senior Cup action on Tuesday night which gave King a look at the rest of his squad. Josh Hill and Liam Nash were the only survivors from the starting eleven that beat Eastbourne Borough, whilst Billy Crook, Jordan Wynter and Amrit Bansal-McNulty turned substitute appearances into starting appearances. Mark Smith, Sanchez Ming, Miloud Djouahaer, Ronnie Vint, Tyrique Hyde and Giovanni McGregor were all called upon as the Darts progressed to the semi-final.

Nash scored the opener before Hyde netted a penalty as Dartford led Folkestone Invicta by two at the break. Crook added the Darts third, his first goal for the club and Elliott Romain, who returns from suspension came off the bench to score his 13th goal for the Darts.

In the league Dartford are in seventh place, three points clear of Hampton and Richmond Borough who beat the Darts three weeks ago. However, King’s side bounced back with a 2-1 victory over Eastbourne Borough. Two new signings made their debuts, Noor Husin from Stevenage and Jake Jebb, who played nine times for Wealdstone this season. Jebb started his Dartford career off by scoring a sublime free-kick and although Alhaji Sesay’s goalkeeping error was costly when the Sports levelled, Darren McQueen scored from the spot yet again to clinch all three points.

King explained that changes in midfield were necessary as he started with a different three against the Sports. The Dartford manager pointed out a lack of goals from the middle of the park and in recent weeks standards had dipped. On Tuesday night in the Kent Senior Cup, Crook and Hyde responded with a couple of goals.

In the same evening Wealdstone were in action when they hosted Chelmsford City. The Stones missed the chance to extend their lead at the summit losing 1-0, the first time they failed to score on their own patch. Former Dartford loanee, Tom Knowles netted the only goal of the game. Defeat ended a streak of five consecutive league wins and an unbeaten run of seven games in all competitions.

During their recent good form, the Stones hit seven goals in back to back games beating title challengers Bath City 7-0, a week after beating another challenger Havant and Waterlooville 4-2. In the match that followed the Bath City triumph, Wealdstone beat Staines Town 7-1 in the Middlesex Senior Cup. Moses Emmanuel and Dennon Lewis also found form in front of goal in that spell scoring four each.

Dartford may be aiming for a return to the National League via the playoffs after a five year absence, Wealdstone are hoping to reach the same destination as champions, returning to the top flight of non-league for the first time in 32 years.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 13 / Wealdstone wins: 15 / Draws: 14

Current League Form

Dartford (WLWWLW) Wealdstone (WWWWWL)
Eastbourne BoroughH2-1Chelmsford CityH0-1
Hampton & RichmondH1-2Dorking WanderersH3-1
Chippenham TownA5-1Billericay TownH3-0
Dulwich HamletH1-0Bath CityH7-0
Slough TownA0-1Havant and WaterloovilleA4-2
Oxford CityH3-0Welling UnitedH1-0

Last Six Meetings

03.08.2019Wealdstone4Dartford1
05.01.2019Wealdstone1Dartford1
18.08.2018Dartford0Wealdstone3
17.02.2018Wealdstone1Dartford2
21.11.2017Dartford3Wealdstone3
28.01.2017Wealdstone0Dartford4

Stats

Dartford are top of the form guide in the last 8 games. Wealdstone have lost three of their last eight.

Wealdstone top the scoring charts with 66 goals and have the best goal difference of +33.

The Darts have gained just four points from 24 against clubs currently in the top six.

Mark Smith, Josh Hill, Tom Bonner and Luke Wanadio are the only four players to have started in the opening day defeat and have made over 20 appearances this season.

On This Day

In the season of Dartford’s greatest ever F.A Cup run, when they went out to top flight Derby County in the third round, Dartford also recorded their last victory on the 29 February. In 1936 the Darts beat Bath City 4-2 in the Southern League Central Section. In their only other win on this day, the Darts beat Cray Wanderers by the same score in the Dartford and District League in 1908. Since then they have been beaten 1-0 in 1952 against Weymouth in the Southern League and in the same league drew with Margate 1-1 in 1964. The last fixture Dartford played on this day was in 1992 when they lost 1-0 to Halesowen Town, also in the Southern Premier League. Whilst the first game the Darts played on 29 February was in 1896 and ended in a dismal 7-3 Kent League defeat to local rivals Northfleet.

Dartford v Folkestone Invicta

Dartford are in Kent Senior Cup action on Tuesday night when they host Folkestone Invicta in the last eight.

Steve King will probably use the quarter-final tie to give game time to players on the fringes of first team selection, especially as the Darts are chasing down a playoff place and face league leaders Wealdstone on the weekend.

In the previous round, Dartford beat rivals Maidstone United after making a host of changes to their starting eleven, only two players played the league game prior the second round match. King handed first starts to Craig Braham-Barrett and Liam Nash, whilst Marcel Barrington and Michael Onovwigun made rare starts. The only goal of the game was scored by Kyjoun Marsh-Brown to put the Darts into the last eight of the competition.

On Saturday, after a two week break Dartford beat Eastbourne Borough 2-1 with two more new players added to the squad. Jack Jebb got off to a flying start to his Dartford career scoring on his debut from an exquisite free-kick. The midfielder joined from league leaders Wealdstone and was part of King’s Welling United team that reached the playoff final. Noor Husin also made his debut, the 22-year-old was playing for Stevenage up until January and made 26 appearances for Notts County last term, the midfielder is an Afghanistan international.

The Darts last played Folkestone Invicta nine years ago in the Kent Senior Cup. The second round tie finished 4-1 to Dartford with Tom Bonner, Lee Noble and Ryan Hayes the only players of this current squad involved in that victory. In fact, Bonner found himself on the scoresheet after Jacob Erskine netted Dartford’s first, Richard Graham grabbed a brace. Victory ended a nine game winless run against Invicta which included eight defeats in a row, including a 6-1 reverse in the Southern League Division One East back in 2004.

Folkestone Invicta are chasing down Worthing at the top of the Isthmian Premier League, but suffered a setback on the weekend losing 1-0 to Wingate and Finchley. What made the result more disappointing is that it came off the back of beating the league leaders by the same scoreline just over a week ago. Invicta are now six points behind with a game in hand.

Invicta boss Neil Cugley has connections with Dartford having played for the Darts in two spells. His first spell was in 1978-1980 and second in 1986-1987, starting out as a defender he converted to a striker and even has a road named after him at the old Watling Street site. Cugley has been in charge of Folkestone Invicta for what is now his 23rd season.

Ira Jackson Junior has netted 23 goal in all competitions whilst fellow striker Johan Tor Horst has scored five in this season’s Kent Senior Cup and 12 this term. Tor Horst impressed clubs at a higher level and earned a move to Hull City where he spent three season’s.

So far, Folkestone Invicta have negotiated two rounds scoring eight over those county cup ties. In round one they beat Hythe Town 5-1 with a brace from Josh Vincent, one for Sam Hasler and two scored by Tor Horst, the striker then went on to net a hat-trick in the next round as Invicta defeated Tonbridge Angels 3-1.

Last Six Meetings

07.12.2011*Folkestone Invicta1Dartford4
12.09.2006^Dartford2Folkestone Invicta2
18.01.2005*Dartford1Folkestone Invicta 2
13.03.2004Folkestone Invicta 1Dartford0
24.02.2004Dartford1Folkestone Invicta 6
19.11.2002 Folkestone Invicta 1Dartford0

* – Kent Senior Cup / ^ – Isthmian League Cup

Dartford v Eastbourne Borough

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Head to Head

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

Current League Form

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

Last Six Meetings

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

Stats

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

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

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

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

On This Day

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

Dartford v Hampton and Richmond Borough

Two teams with playoff aspirations go head to head this weekend when Dartford host Hampton and Richmond Borough at Princes Park.

Dartford won the last encounter on Guy Fawkes Night at the Beveree with new signings Kyjoun Marsh-Brown and Elliott Romain scoring in a busy ten-minute first half spell. Marsh-Brown celebrated his first start for the club by getting on the end of Liam Gordon’s pass to open his account, but the lead lasted just two minutes when Sam Deadfield equalised for the hosts. Ten minutes before half-time, Romain won a penalty when felled by Charlie Wassmer, the Darts striker picked himself up and netted the winner from the spot.

The Darts last hosted the Beavers in March last year and a late Darren McQueen strike earned Dartford a point. Hampton and Richmond Borough took an early lead through Oliver Sprague and held the advantage until the hour mark. Lee Noble earned the Darts a penalty which Charlie Sheringham dispatched. With nine minutes remaining, Chris Dickson looked to have won the match for the visitors, but McQueen had other ideas when his deflected stoppage time strike made it 2-2.

Steve King’s side moved up to sixth place last weekend with a resounding 5-1 win over struggling Chippenham Town, their biggest away win in the league since October 2016. Prior the game two signings were announced, attacking midfielder Giovanni McGregor wasn’t available for selection, but will be on loan from Crystal Palace until the end of the season. Instead Amrit Bansal-McNullty made an immediate impact scoring and getting sent off on his debut. The winger on loan from Queens Park Rangers was one of two changes as well as Liam Nash, the pair replaced Luke Wanadio and Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong, who returned to Aldershot Town after his successful loan spell.

The game was as good as over by half-time as the Darts rattled in five goals. Darren McQueen won and scored a penalty and the lead was doubled when Nash on his first league start for the Darts. Chippenham Town halved the deficit a minute later through Callum Gunner, but the two-goal cushion was restored when Bansal-McNullty squeezed the ball in from the tightest of angles. The 19-year-old was involved in the fourth when his free-kick was deflected in, and the loanee also won the penalty leading to McQueen’s second spot kick. Bansal-McNullty’s afternoon ended early when he received two yellow cards in a goalless second-half and manager Steve King was also given a red card.

Dartford have now opened up a seven-point gap to rivals Maidstone United in eighth place, although the Stones have three games in hand. Victory made it seven wins from their last eight league outings, whilst at home the Darts have won four National South matches in a row scoring eleven without reply.

If the Darts thought they had racked up the highest score of the weekend, they only had to look as far as their next opponents. Hampton and Richmond Borough hit Hungerford Town with a bigger result, winning 7-1. Striker, Danilo Orsi-Dadomo and Ryan Hill both bagged a brace in the rout with the former opening the scoring on three minutes. However, Hungerford Town were level two minutes later when Zidan Akers picked up a wayward throw from debutant goalkeeper Dion-Curtis Henry before equalising. Ryan Hill scored the first of two Hampton and Richmond Borough penalties, Orsi-Dadamo also netted from the spot just past he half hour mark. Hungerford Town had manager Ian Herring sent off and the afternoon got worse for the side at the foot of the table. Second-half goals from Dean Inman, debutante Niko Muir, a second from Hill and Sam Deadfield completed the comprehensive win for the Beavers.

The Beavers had a slow start to their campaign much like Dartford, the Middlesex club lost their first four and eight of their first eleven. However, they have slowly turned their fortunes around picking up ten wins in their last 16, losing just once on the road in the league since 14 September 2019. The Middlesex club are ninth and level on points with Maidstone United with two games in hand over the Darts.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 7 / Hampton and Richmond Borough wins: 4 / Draws: 2

Current League Form

Dartford (WWLWWW) Hampton & Richmond (WLWWLD)
Chippenham Town A 5-1 Hungerford Town H 7-1
Dulwich Hamlet H 1-0 Slough Town H 1-2
Slough Town A 0-1 St Albans City H 2-1
Oxford City H 3-0 Concord Rangers A 2-0
Dorking Wanderers A 3-2 Dulwich Hamlet H 0-3
Welling United H 4-0 Bath City H 0-0

Last Six Meetings

05.11.2019 Hampton & Richmond 1 Dartford 2
23.03.2019 Dartford 2 Hampton & Richmond 2
17.11.2018 Hampton & Richmond 0 Dartford 1
30.03.2018 Dartford 1 Hampton & Richmond 0
02.09.2017 Hampton & Richmond 2 Dartford 2
17.04.2017 Dartford 3 Hampton & Richmond 1

Stats

Dartford have kept four consecutive clean sheets at Princes Park going 387 minutes without conceding in the league at home.

Darren McQueen’s double against Chippenham Town means he and Elliot Romain are the two top goalscorers in the National South.

The Darts have failed to win at home against those currently in the top ten.

Dartford are unbeaten in six games against Hampton and Richmond Borough (W4, D2).

Hampton and Richmond Borough’s 7-1 win over Hungerford Town was the first time since 1994 that they had scored seven in a match. The last time was a 7-1 win against Leatherhead.

On This Day

Andy Pugh and Lee Noble starred in Dartford’s famous 2-1 win at Wrexham on this day six years ago. Battling relegation the Darts visited the Racecourse Ground and took the lead when Pugh took advantage as goalkeeper Andy Coughlin failed to hold a free-kick, Pugh netted the rebound from close range. Wrexham equalised through Joe Clarke, but on the stroke of half-time Elliot Bradbrook scored the winner. That was Dartford’s third consecutive victory on 8 February, Charlie Sheringham scored the only goal of the game in 2011 as the Darts beat Weston-super-Mare. The last home fixture on this day was won by Dartford back in 2003, the Darts beat Spalding United 2-1 in the Southern League Division One East.

Chippenham Town v Dartford

Dartford begin February with a trip to relegation threatened Chippenham Town this weekend in the National South.

When the sides met back in October it was Steve King’s first league game at the helm and a late goal rescued a draw for the Darts. Elliott Romain was signed the day before the match and made his debut, and since then he has scored twelve times in his seventeen appearances. The striker has struck up an excellent partnership with Darren McQueen, but it was defender Josh Hill who came off the bench that day to calmly curl the equaliser into the Chippenham Town net with three minutes to go.

A fortnight ago, the Darts suffered a setback against fellow playoff contenders Slough Town in a 1-0 defeat. Last weekend, it was Dartford’s turn to secure a single goal win when McQueen smashed home a first-half winner at home to Dulwich Hamlet.

With competition for places all over the pitch, Steve King recently praised goalkeeper Alhaji Sesay for keeping his place ahead of Mark Smith, the Dartford boss told www.kentonline.co.uk: “We’re on a great run and he’s kept five clean sheets. He is part of that back five which has kept those clean sheets so at the moment he deserves the shirt”.

One player Dartford will be missing is Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong who has been recalled by his parent club Aldershot Town after a successful loan spell, the midfielder scored twice in six appearances. His return to Hampshire may lead to a search for a replacement, King commented: “We haven’t got anything like him. We’ve got other midfield players in the club, but we need to find another Jacob”, he continued: “We haven’t got another Jacob in the building, so we’ll be actively looking for another central midfield player that is like that”.

Dartford have won nine times in fourteen National South outings since they last played Chippenham Town propelling themselves from eighteenth to seventh in the league. What looked like a battle to avoid relegation has now become a promotion push via the playoffs.

Chippenham Town have travelled in the opposite direction since the last meeting in October. The Bluebirds were sitting in twelfth after the 1-1 draw with the Darts and now they are second from bottom. However, they do have a respectable home record of four wins and five draws from thirteen played and the seventh best defensive record in the division, the problem is in front of goal where the Wiltshire club are the lowest scorers.

A solitary win in twelve outings contributed to the departure of former manager Mark Collier in early January. Since then the Bluebirds have drawn away at Dulwich Hamlet and at home to title chasers Havant and Waterlooville making it three consecutive draws for Chippenham Town. Leading the team will be temporary manager, Michael Cook who has been given the task of staving off relegation. The former Gloucester City manager will be in charge until the end of the season.

The Bluebirds rode their luck in their 0-0 draw with Havant and Waterlooville last weekend when the Hawks hit the woodwork four times. However, it was Chippenham Town’s Luke Hopper who missed the best opportunity failing to score a one on one with goalkeeper Ross Worner. In Cook’s first game though, the Bluebirds were denied victory in the last minute, Callum Gunner put Chippenham Town ahead, but his goal was cancelled out by Dulwich Hamlet’s Shamir Mullings.

Last time the Darts visited Hardenhuish Park the winning goal came from an unlikely source. Jamie Philpot netted the opener in the first half and Nat Jarvis equalised on the stroke of half-time. The winner came from goalkeeper, Derren Ibrahim who scored from a free-kick inside his own half.

Head to Head

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

Current League Form

Dartford (WLWWWW) Chippenham Town (DDDLLL)
Dulwich Hamlet H 1-0 Havant & Waterlooville H 0-0
Slough Town A 0-1 Dulwich Hamlet A 1-1
Oxford City H 3-0 Hemel Hempstead Town H 2-2
Dorking Wanderers A 3-2 Tonbridge Angels A 2-3
Welling United H 4-0 Bath City H 1-3
Tonbridge Angels H 3-0 Dorking Wanderers H 0-2

Last Five Meetings

26.10.2019 Dartford 1 Chippenham Town 1
13.04.2019 Dartford 0 Chippenham Town 1
13.10.2018 Chippenham Town 1 Dartford 2
20.01.2018 Chippenham Town 2 Dartford 2
09.09.2017 Dartford 3 Chippenham Town 0

Stats

Romain and McQueen have scored 19 of the 28 league goals scored under Steve King. Romain has gone three league goals without a goal, his longest barren spell in the league since joining the Darts. McQueen has scored nine goals in his last ten starts.

Dartford have won 10, drawn 5 and lost 2 against sides currently in the lower half of the table. The Darts have drawn all three games against those in the bottom three.

Chippenham Town have picked up 5 points out of a possible 30 against sides currently in the top seven.

On This Day

Dartford have won their last three matches played on 1 February and all three home games were won 1-0. Nine years ago, Elliot Bradbrook scored the only goal at Princes Park to record a rare victory over Braintree Town in the National South. In 1999, the Darts beat Chelmsford City and two years earlier Cinderford Town both in the Southern League Southern Division. Dartford’s last away day on this day was a 2-0 defeat in the Southern Premier League versus Worcester City. The last time both teams scored on 1 February was in 1986 when the Darts beat Altrincham at Watling Street in what is now the National League.

Dartford v Dulwich Hamlet

Dartford enter the last third of the season chasing a playoff spot and this weekend they hope to start a new winning run at home to Dulwich Hamlet.

Although King’s side experienced defeat on the weekend they have won six out of eight since the 1-1 draw with Dulwich Hamlet to move into the last playoff place. Unbeaten in three home games, the Darts have rattled in ten without reply, last conceding at Princes Park in the 1-0 loss against Concord Rangers just over a month ago.

The Darts drew with their opponents at the beginning of December rescuing a point at Champion Hill. Hamlet went ahead through Christian Smith’s free-kick, but Elliott Romain won then scored the equaliser from the penalty spot. Steve King had to patch up the midfield that day with Tyrique Hyde making his debut for the Darts. A lot has happened since then with the squad taking shape and Dartford getting in their grove.

After the 3-0 win against Oxford City in the Darts last home game, King named an unchanged team when they travelled to Slough Town last weekend. However, it was a Dan Roberts that scored the only goal of the game to give the Rebels their first win of 2020. Late on Sanchez Ming, who was already cautioned earlier in the match showed his frustration at a linesman and was sent off with a straight red card, however the red card has been overturned and the defender will be available for selection.

On Tuesday night more changes were made to give game time to others, only defenders Ming and Josh Hill remained in the side with King utilising the squad he has built. Mark Smith was back in goal after a spell out injured, whilst Craig Braham-Barrett and Liam Nash made their first starts for the club. Lee Noble was back in the side after his long term injury and Sam Blackman played his first game since his successful loan spell. Ronnie Vint, Charlie Sheringham and Kyjoun Marsh-Brown all got minutes as did Marcel Barrington who made an appearance as a substitute. A new face was introduced to the squad, Michael Onovwigun was part of the Dulwich Hamlet squad that won promotion to the National South and recently played for Carshalton Athletic and Lewes in the Isthmian Premier League, the midfielder started for the Darts. Marsh-Brown came up with the winner when his first half strike was the only goal of the game before Maidstone United’s Lewis Knight was sent off on the stroke of half-time.

Whilst Dartford were progressing to the last eight of the Kent Senior Cup, Dulwich Hamlet were in National South action against title chasing Havant and Waterlooville. The South Londoners were unbeaten in 2020, but were unable to keep that run going when the Hawks ran out 3-1 winners. It looked as though things were going Dulwich Hamlet’s way when Havant and Waterlooville missed a first-half penalty and former Dart, Danny Mills scored six minutes into the second-half. However, the visitors came back scoring three in the final fifteen minutes. Sam Magri scored from the spot, Bradley Tarbuck put the Hawks ahead with eight minutes to play and Alfie Rutherford made sure of an away win in the last minute.

Defeat ended a run of four games unbeaten which included a 3-0 victory over Hampton and Richmond Borough and an impressive 6-0 win over Braintree Town. Hamelt’s nine goals without reply was follwed up by a pair of 1-1 draws against Weymouth then Chippenham Town before Tuesday night’s loss.

Last season at Princes Park, Dartford came from behind to win 2-1. The South Londoners took the lead when Afolabi Akinyemi’s powerful shot beat goalkeeper Derren Ibrahim on nineteen minutes. Just before half-time the Darts were level courtesy of Jamie Philpot and in the second half Charlie Sheringham scored a penalty to claim victory. The reverse fixture finished with Hamlet winning 2-0 at Champion Hill.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / Dulwich Hamlet wins: 3 / Draws: 3

Current League Form

Dartford (LWWWWW) Dulwich Hamlet (LDDWWL)
Slough Town A 0-1 Havant & Waterlooville H 1-3
Oxford City H 3-0 Chippenham Town H 1-1
Dorking Wanderers A 3-2 Weymouth A 1-1
Welling United H 4-0 Braintree Town H 6-0
Tonbridge Angels H 3-0 Hampton & Richmond A 3-0
Welling United A 3-0 Maidstone United A 1-4

Last Six Meetings

07.12.2019 Dulwich Hamlet 1 Dartford 1
02.03.2019 Dulwich Hamlet 2 Dartford 0
20.10.2019 Dartford 2 Dulwich Hamlet 1
31.03.2007 Dartford 1 Dulwich Hamlet 1
19.09.2006 Dulwich Hamlet 3 Dartford 2
09.12.1996 Dulwich Hamlet 3 Dartford 1

Stats

Dartford are unbeaten at home against Dulwich Hamlet winning one and drawing the other two.

The Darts have won four of their last five home games in the National South, they had previously won one of their opening eight league matches at Princes Park this campaign.

Dartford had scored 13 goals at home in their opening eight league fixtures, they have managed 13 in their last five league games at Princes Park.

On This Day

Dartford came back from two goals down to almost record an upset against Cambridge United six years ago. The Darts fell behind with two early goals at Princes Park when Ryan Bird scored a brace on his debut. Elliot Bradbrook scored a penalty and Max Cornhill equalised before half time, then after the break Danny Harris had the Darts ahead. Alan Julian saved a penalty, however Dartford were denied victory ten minutes from time by Luke Berry in an entertaining National League encounter. Harris also found the net three years earlier helping Dartford beat Tonbridge Angels 2-0 in the Kent Senior Cup first round, Sheringham scored the other and Dartford went on to win the competition beating Bromley 4-1 in the final.

Maidstone United v Dartford

The two most successful clubs in the history of the Kent Senior Cup go head to head, when Dartford visit the Gallagher Stadium to take on Maidstone United for the fourth time this season.

Dartford have claimed the title eleven times with the last triumph in the competition in 2016. The Stones are the current holders after winning the county cup for the eighteenth time last season. The pair have already played each other in the National South and twice in the F.A Trophy and on each occasion, it has been a tight affair.

In November, the F.A Trophy draw produced one of those coincidences pairing the two rivals together with the fixture taking place a week after their league encounter. With the F.A Trophy match ending in a draw, the replay took place three days later. meaning for the first time since 1957 Dartford played three consecutive games against the same opponents.

Steve King’s side have shown plenty of spirit in their contests with Maidstone United. Still building a squad and filling in holes from an extensive injury list, the Darts came from two down with four minutes remaining to take a point at Princes Park in the National South two months ago. After a goalless first half, two quickfire goals from Dan Wishart and Ibby Akanbi had the visitors in control. However, Dartford hit back late on when Tom Bonner headed one back from close range, then Darren McQueen followed up his own effort with the equaliser.

The final score was repeated the following week in the F.A Trophy with Dartford equalising twice at the Gallagher Stadium. Wishart found the net again for the Stones and Justin Amaluzor put the hosts ahead for a second time. Former Maidstone United striker, Elliott Romain kept Dartford in the hat by netting a brace in an entertaining tie. The replay went the way of the Stones who finally got the better of the Darts when Iffy Allen finished off a counter attack.

On the way to taking the Kent Senior Cup title last term, the Stones knocked Dartford out at the quarter-final stage. In fact had this year’s meeting been a day later it would be exactly a year since Maidstone United went through on penalties. The game is mostly remembered for Ben Greenhalgh’s heroics in goal after Bailey Vose had been sent off. Charlie Sheringham scored a penalty before the Stones missed one of their own. Then early in the second half Vose received his marching orders leaving Greenhalgh between the sticks for almost the entire second half. An inspired performance by Greenhalgh kept the score at 1-0 until nine minutes from time when Elliott Romain, now a Dart equalised. After 15 perfect spot kicks Maidstone United goalkeeper Josh Strizovic saved Daniel Johnson’s effort, sending the Stones on their way.

Steve King indicated prior the 1-0 defeat at Slough Town on the weekend that players looking to build up match fitness are likely to start. Lee Noble, Sheringham and Sam Blackman are possibilities, however Jordan Wynter could be a few weeks from a return.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 44 / Maidstone United wins: 45 / Draws: 19

Kent Senior Cup Head to Head

Dartford wins: 6 / Maidstone United wins: 5 / Draws: 3* (* Maidstone United have won two on penalties)

Last Six Meetings

26.11.2019^ Dartford 0 Maidstone United 1
23.11.2019^ Maidstone United 2 Dartford 2
16.11.2019 Dartford 2 Maidstone United 2
22.01.2019* Dartford 1 Maidstone United 1
09.04.2016 Maidstone United 1 Dartford 2
14.11.2015 Dartford 1 Maidstone United 1

* – Kent Senior Cup, Maidstone United won 8-7 on penalties / ^ – F.A Trophy