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Concord Rangers v Dartford

The Darts are back in action this weekend chasing their first away win of the season against fifth place Concord Rangers.

Tony Burman will remain in the hotseat as interim manager, until the club find a suitable candidate to replace previous joint managers Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle. Last weekend, Burman began his stint in charge in defeat as seven goals were shared with newly promoted Dorking Wanderers.

Angonisingly the final six minutes at Princes Park proved pivotal as the Darts tried to hold on to a crucial lead. Two changes were made to the starting elevn after the 3-2 loss at Tonbridge Angels, Charlie Sheringham replaced Norma Wabo to start with striker Adam Cunnington for the first time and Jordan Wynter returned to the line up with loanee Rob Howard stepping aside. Although the Darts started brightly, the visitors were in front after 12 minutes when Niall McManus hit a brilliant long range effort beyond Mark Smith. Dartford went ahead with Ben Greenhalgh’s quick fire brace, his first goals of the campaign. However, in first half stoppage time Dartford conceded a penalty and former Dart, Jason Prior equalised.

The second half had more goals in store, Ryan Hayes and Luke Allen combined well before Hayes put in a delightful cross for Sheringham to score. In the closing stages during a six minute spell the match turned dramatically, former Woking striker Guiseppe Sole levelled with a brilliant free-kick, Lee Noble was harshly sent off and with two minutes on the clock James McShane grabbed Dorking Wanderers a winner.

Burman praised his side work ethic, he spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk and said: “I was delighted with the effort the players put in”, before questioning some important decisions from the match officials, he added: “The penalty decision against us I can say is a poor goal in respect of the way we defended. Was it a penalty? I honestly don’t think it was”, he continued: “No-one thought it was a sending-off other than their bench. I wouldn’t say they got him sent-off but their reaction wasn’t good and it shouldn’t be like that. It was a poor decision”. Aside from getting the rub of the green, Burman also pinpointed where the Darts can improve, he exclaimed: “I have to question a few of them who haven’t played. I thought the fitness was down from what it should be. That’s no disrespect to anybody, I’m just giving an honest opinion”.

Around the club there has been plenty of focus off the pitch including the role Burman has with the first team, he commented: “The long-term is not for me”, he added: “I am happy with what I do at the club in the academy during the daytime and that’s my goal now”. Whoever the successful applicant is in however long it takes to find the right boss, they will need to strengthen a defence that has conceded the most goals in the division. In contrast to the previous season at least the Darts are starting to put the ball in the oppositions net with more frequency, scoring five in their last two defeats.

Burman was pleased with Sheringham’s performance last weekend and Greenhalgh made it in the National South’s team of the week. Luke Wanadio was out injured, Sam Blackman is starting to do fitness work and Mark Onyemah is getting closer to a return. Adam Cunnington is banned for one game after picking up too many cautions and Lee Noble starts a three match suspension after his red card.

Concord Rangers have started their campaign brightly building on their success last term under Sammy Moore. The Beachboys reached the playoff places but were unable to participate due to league rules. Moore left in the summer and his replacement Danny Scopes has kept the momentum going. The Essex club won their opening three matches to top the table, but then suffered three defeats in four picking up a single point. Concord Rangers have recovered since are currently unbeaten in their last three matches beating Welling United and Hampton and Richmond Borough either side of a draw against local rivals Braintree Town.

In their last two games the Essex club have scored vital late goals, Marcel Barrington scored a brace to help his side win 3-2 last weekend. Barrington was in the Braintree Town side along with Dartford’s Josh Hill, Billy Crook and Luke Allen that beat the Darts in the playoffs just over a year ago. After the victory, defender Joe Claridge commented via the club’s Twitter account: “It’s a great three points…it wasn’t ideal going behind but it shows the character of this set of players, even though we were 2-1 down the management team still believed we could get three points”, he continued: “We are ten games in and in a good place, not only looking at the table and on the pitch, but as a team”.

Billy Roast will return to Princes Park, the defender made seven appearances for the Darts last term after he followed Adam Flanagan from the Beachboys to Dartford, but this summer he made his return to Concord Rangers via Maldon and Tiptree. Roast was in the Dartford team that lost to Concord Rangers last term, whilst Ryan Hayes was lining up against the Darts alongside Sam Blackman. The Beachboys won 2-0 with former Dart, Alex Wall scoring as well as D’Sean Theobalds. The return fixture ended 1-1 at Princes Park with former Concord Rangers midfielder, Greenhalgh opening the scoring and Jack Midson equalising from the spot.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Concord Rangers wins: 2 / Draws: 3

Current League Form

Dartford (LLDDWL) Concord Rangers (WDWLLD)
Dorking Wanderers H 3-4 Hampton & Richmond H 3-2
Tonbridge Angels A 2-3 Braintree Town A 2-2
Hemel Hempstead Town H 1-1 Welling United H 3-0
Hungerford Town A 2-2 St Albans City A 1-2
Braintree Town H 2-1 Maidstone United H 0-1
Weymouth A 1-3 Dulwich Hamlet A 2-2

Last Six Meetings

26.01.2019 Dartford 1 Concord Rangers 1
14.08.2018 Concord Rangers 2 Dartford 0
06.01.2018 Concord Rangers 1 Dartford 1
15.08.2017 Dartford 2 Concord Rangers 0
11.03.2017 Concord Rangers 1 Dartford 1
24.09.2016 Dartford 2 Concord Rangers 1

Stats

For the first time, last season Dartford failed to beat Concord Rangers in at least one of their league games against them.

Concord Rangers are unbeaten in their last three games against Dartford, their longest unbeaten run versus the Darts.

Dartford have picked up one point out of their last nine away games, drawing one and losing eight going back to March last season.

In nine of Dartford’s ten games this season both teams have scored, the exception being on the opening day at Wealdstone.

On This Day

Louis Moult scored a brace to defeat Dartford six years ago at Princes Park, the striker’s double helped Nuneaton Town to a 2-1 victory in the National League, Elliot Bradbrook scoring a consolation for the Darts. In 2003, Dartford progressed in the F.A Cup with a 3-0 home victory over Peacehaven and Telscombe, the Darts went out in the next round against Bromley. A home friendly at Summer’s Meadow, Lowfield Street versus Pickwicks way back in 1895 saw Dartford rack up ten goals without reply on this day.

Dartford v Dorking Wanderers

Dartford’s era without Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle begins this weekend when they welcome Isthmian Premier League champions Dorking Wanderers to Princes Park, in the first ever clash between the two sides.

Tony Burman will be back in the dugout for the first time since he quit as manager fourteen months ago. The 61-year-old takes over on an interim basis for the third time and has previously led the Darts to two league titles, a playoff promotion and a couple of Kent Senior Cup triumphs. Since Princes Park opened in 2006, Burman guided Dartford from the Isthmian Division One to the National League, experienced relegation back to the National South and agonisingly missed out on a third league title before leaving as manager.

Ahead of Tuesday night’s game Flanagan reflected on his team’s performance, the joint manager expected a points tally good enough for a top seven spot, but the club has fallen short, he told www.dartfordfc.com: “It has been a frustrating August for everyone involved at the club and our points return hasn’t been to the level we had set”. By the end of Tuesday night, the Darts were looking for their first away win and a new manager.

Defeat at Tonbridge Angels signalled the end of the management duo, who left by mutual consent following the 3-2 loss at Longmead. Continuing from last season Dartford were beginning to rely on home form and searching for improvements, with only two wins from their last 17 league games. The Kent derby against Tonbridge Angels, who were also in the bottom three, became a great opportunity to find that elusive away victory. In came Norman Wabo to the starting eleven, after his three goals in four substitute appearances, Ryan Hayes and Ben Greenhalgh, replacing Darren McQueen, Luke Wanadio and the injured Tom Bonner.

Tonbridge Angels took the lead from the penalty spot, Joe Turner putting his shot past Mark Smith. Falling a goal behind livened Dartford up for the final fifteen minutes of the first half. The Darts were rewarded with an equaliser when Josh Hill pounced on a clearance to make it all square. However, almost straight from the restart the Angels regained their advantage through Turner once more. Charlie Sheringham came on for the second half and made an impact later on with a headed goal, however the Angels edged in front with five to play, Tom Derry scoring the winner.

After the disappointing result, co-chairman Dave Skinner spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk about Flanagan and Coyle’s resignation, he explained: “They’re both stalwarts of the club and have got the club at heart – the same as we have”, he added: “They had a target to meet and they haven’t reached the target. We changed the squad from last season. On paper the squad is very good but somehow it just hasn’t worked. For the quality of the squad we’ve got, we’d expect to be higher up than we are”.

As well as Bonner picking up a groin injury against Hemel Hempstead Town, Sam Blackman remains out with a broken ankle and Mark Onyemah is fairly close to a return after his summer operation, former boss Flanagan commented last week: “Mark has completed one full training session which is a real positive and the hope is that he will be ready to get some match minutes in the next two or three weeks”. Andy Pugh and Billy Crook are out on loan at East Thurrock United, unfortunately the pair picked up injuries in their opening couple of matches for the Essex club.

Jason Prior returns to Princes Park and could lead the line for Dorking Wanderers, the striker top scored for the Surrey club in their title winning season and leads the way this term. The 30-year-old caused heartbreak for Darts fans almost 18 months ago. Prior played 24 times for Dartford during 2013 and scored twice, five years later he scored a dramatic last-minute winner for Havant and Waterlooville, snatching the National South title away from the Darts on the final day.

His latest club has been on the rise winning promotion five times in nine seasons to propel themselves up from the Sussex League Division Three to the National South. Momentum has been with the Wanderers and as recently as July 2018 they moved in to the refurbished Meadowbank Park, formerly home of the disbanded Dorking F.C. Manager, Marc White matches the club’s ambitions of going further up the football pyramid and is a founder member of the club.

White’s side started their first ever campaign in the National South how they finished their championship winning season. Three straight victories at Slough Town and at home to Hemel Hempstead Town, then Tonbridge Angels had the newcomers joint top, the winning streak continuing from last term was stretched to nine consecutive league wins.

However, the Wanderers came down with a heavy bump losing 6-0 to Havant and Waterlooville, the beginning of a winless run. Although Dorking Wanderers bounced back with a point at St Albans City they fell to defeats at home to Hampton and Richmond, then away to Braintree Town. Last weekend they drew 0-0 with Dulwich Hamlet and on Tuesday night they ended their winless streak with victory at home against Chippenham Town, Matthew Briggs netting the winner.

Injuries haven’t helped the Surrey club recently, with last season’s Player of the Year and Club Captain Sami-El Abd rupturing a cruciate ligament, ruling him out for the rest of the campaign. Manager, White was devastated at the news, he told www.dorkingwanderers.com: “Sami is absolutely gutted as is everyone involved in the club. He is our on-the-pitch leader and will be a huge loss for us this season”. Ed Harris and Luke Moore are likely to be out for a couple more weeks and Lewis Taylor for longer with a groin injury.

Current League Form

Dartford (LDDWLL) Dorking Wanderers (WDLLDL)
Tonbridge Angels A 2-3 Chippenham Town H 1-0
Hemel Hempstead Town H 1-1 Dulwich Hamlet H 0-0
Hungerford Town A 2-2 Braintree Town A 2-3
Braintree Town H 2-1 Hampton & Richmond H 0-1
Weymouth A 1-3 St Albans City A 1-1
Chelmsford City A 0-4 Havant and Waterlooville A 0-6

Stats

Dartford have made their worst league start in five years picking up just seven points from nine games. In 2013, the Darts picked up six points in the National League after nine matches (W1, D3, L5).

The Darts are four games unbeaten at home this season (W1, D3) and have lost just once in the league at Princes Park since early December 2018 (W8, D7, L1).

Under Flanagan and Coyle, Dartford’s home record in the National South was Won 9, Drawn 9, Lost 3, but the away form reads Won 6, Drawn 5, Lost 15. In all competitions Dartford Won 20, Drew 15, Lost 21.

Dartford used 47 players in all competitions during Flanagan and Coyle’s fourteen months in charge.

On This Day

The last time a goal was scored in a Dartford game on 7 September was 22 years ago. The Darts beat Clevedon Town 3-1 in the Southern League South Division. The last two fixtures on this day have ended 0-0 both away from home, Fleet Town in 2002 and Chester six years ago in the National League. Currently Dartford are on an unbeaten run of six matches on 7 September stretching back to 1987 when they lost 3-0 away to Chelmsford City in the Southern Premier League. The last home defeat on this day was back in 1964 against Margate, a Southern League Cup tie.

Tonbridge Angels v Dartford

In search for a their first away victory of the campaign, Dartford travel to Longmead Stadium on Tuesday night to take on Tonbridge Angels.

It will be the first Kent derby in a league fixture between the two sides in seven years, although in that time they have met in the F.A Trophy and F.A Cup. The Darts will be hoping that their current form against the Angels will count for something as both sides are struggling to pick up victories this term. Dartford have won eight in a row in all competitions against the Isthmian Premier League playoff winners of last season.

Most recently, Dartford recorded a pair of 3-0 cup victories over the Angels. Three years ago, Alex Brown, Andy Pugh and Elliot Bradbrook put the Darts into the F.A Cup first round and in 2012, Harry Crawford, Bradbrook and Jon Wallis helped Dartford into the F.A Trophy third round.

Dartford last visited Longmead Stadium in the league in March 2012, Tom Champion scored the winner. The Darts beat Tonbridge Angels three times in that season, winning 4-2 after extra-time in the Kent Senior Cup last eight, goals from Jack Pallen, a brace from Richard Graham and one from Lee Burns. Whilst at Princes Park in September 2011, Dartford ran out 3-1 winners goals courtesy of Bradbrook, Danny Harris and Charlie Sheringham with the visitors grabbing a consolation goal when striker Frannie Collin scored from the penalty spot.

The Darts picked up a second successive draw on the weekend against Hemel Hempstead Town, once again Norman Wabo came of the bench to score. With the departure of promising young full-back Luke Warner-Eley, Dartford started captain Tom Bonner at left back and Ronnie Vint returned to the starting eleven after he had recovered from being ill over the Bank Holiday.

Despite the change at the back, Dartford still conceded early on when Sam Ashford lofted an effort over Mark Smith on just nine minutes. The Darts won a penalty just past the half hour mark when Adam Cunnington was fouled in the box, the striker dusted himself off to take the spot kick but was denied by Tudors goalkeeper Sam Beasant. Shortly afterwards Bonner was forced off through injury and replaced by Ben Greenhalgh. Dartford improved in the second half, even more so in the final twenty minutes and with six minutes remaining Wabo equalised, his third of the campaign to maintain Dartford’s unbeaten home run.

Bonner will have to see if his fit for Tuesday night’s fixture at Tonbridge Angels, but at least defender Jordan Wynter will return from his three match suspension. Sam Blackman is still out with a long term injury, whilst Luke Warner-Eley and Amos Nasha have left the club.

Tonbridge Angels moved off the foot of the table in their last home match with a 1-1 draw against Weymouth. Prior the match manager, Steve McKimm spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk about the position his side are in since winning promotion almost four months ago, the Angels boss is not prepared to press the panic button at such an early stage, he commented: “After 20 games we’ll assess where we are and what we need to do”, he added: “Make no bones about it, if we are in desperate trouble I know this club will be able to find some resources for me to be able to go and keep us afloat. We haven’t worked hard for five years to get to this level to go straight back down and the club haven’t either”.

In a gritty performance, the Angels added a point to their league total, however the second half was just three minutes old when Weymouth’s Brett Williams put the Terras in front. Steve McKimm’s side won a disputed penalty and after they eventually decided Joe Turner should take the spot kick, he had his effort saved. A second penalty was awarded with five minutes to go and this time Ade Yussuf had a go, after his first spot-kick was ruled out for encroachment he put his second attempt away. Afterwards, McKimm told www.tonbridgeangels.co.uk: “I’m very pleased with the performance, we passed the ball much better today, and cut out the errors. Perhaps I’m a little disappointed we didn’t take all the points but all the players did really well and once again have shown we can compete at this level”.

Life back in the National South started with three straight defeats for the Angels until they recorded their maiden win against Concord Rangers at Longmead. A creditable draw away to Bath City was followed up by no points over the Bank Holiday period, McKimm’s side lost to Havant and Waterlooville then the Kent derby at Welling United. However, the draw with Weymouth was their fifth point, two behind the Darts.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 67 / Tonbridge Angels wins: 37 / Draws: 24

Current League Form

Dartford (DDWLLD) Tonbridge Angels (DLLDWL)
Hemel Hempstead Town H 1-1 Weymouth H 1-1
Hungerford Town A 2-2 Welling United A 2-4
Braintree Town H 2-1 Havant & Waterlooville H 1-3
Weymouth A 1-3 Bath City A 0-0
Chelmsford City A 1-4 Concord Rangers H 1-0
Havant and Waterlooville H 1-1 Dorking Wanderers A 1-3

Last Six Meetings

15.10.2016 Tonbridge Angels 0 Dartford 3
15.12.2012 Dartford 3 Tonbridge Angels 0
03.03.2012 Tonbridge Angels 0 Dartford 1
31.01.2012 Tonbridge Angels 2 Dartford 4
24.09.2011 Dartford 3 Tonbridge Angels 1
25.01.2011 Dartford 2 Tonbridge Angels 0

Stats

The Darts have not conceded in this fixture in the last three meetings and have won the last eight versus the Angels.

Dartford top scorer, Norman Wabo has scored all three of his goals after starting as a substitute.

Tonbridge Angels last beat the Darts in November 2008 and have never won at Princes Park since it opened.

Only bottom side Hungerford Town (-10) has a worse goal difference than Dartford and Tonbridge Angels (-8).

Only Chippenham Town (6) have scored fewer goals than the Angels (7) in the National South.

On This Day

Dartford last won a league game on the 3 September back in 1997 when they beat Baldock Town 2-1 in the Southern League Southern Division. The Darts have managed to win a couple of cup ties, in 2000 they beat Deal Town in the F.A Cup Preliminary Round (MORE?) and six years ago they defeated Welling United in the Kent Senior Cup 3-2. Mohamed Eisa scored for the Darts and since then he has made his name in the Football League at Cheltenham Town and now at Peterborough United, Adam Woodyard who also moved up the football pyramid netted as did Brima Daramy. Between those two victories Dartford had lost three in a row at Carterton in a F.A Cup replay seventeen years ago, away to Boreham Wood in the Southern League Division One East in 2005 and six years later at Basingstoke Town in the National South. The last game on this day was a 0-0 draw at home to eventual National South champions Maidenhead United in 2016.

Dartford v Hemel Hempstead Town

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Head to Head

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

Current League Form

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

Last Six Meetings

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

Stats

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

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

On This Day

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

Hungerford Town v Dartford

Dartford recorded their first win of the season on the weekend to give them confidence ahead of their Bank Holiday Monday trip to Hungerford Town.

Under pressure from results in the first five games of the campaign, joint manager Adam Flanagan highlighted the importance of getting positive results over the Bank Holiday weekend, he spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk and said: “We’ve got two big games coming up over the Bank Holiday and I think we need two wins”.

On Saturday, Dartford completed half of the mission with a 2-1 home win against Braintree Town. Norman Wabo opened his goalscoring account in the 3-1 reverse at Weymouth and despite defeat he admitted his first goal will help him find the net more regularly, he commented: “I feel like the weight on my shoulders has lifted and I can play freely and get a lot more goals for the club”. At a time when the Darts have been feeling the pressure, Wabo relishes the opportunity, he continued: “It’s better to go out when there’s a bit of pressure on you and the fans are watching. It tends to bring out the best in me”. The former Southend United man proved his claim with another strike in the home win on Saturday.

The Darts had to come from behind when a former player, Femi Akinwande gave the Iron an early lead. Dartford won a penalty with half hour played but the chance was squandered by Luke Wanadio, his shot saved by Michael Johnson. But the Darts fought back when former Braintree Town midfielder Luke Allen equalised and with three minutes remaining substitute, Wabo scored the winner. Victory over the Iron will provide the Darts with a much needed boost as they ended a run of eight without a win against the Essex club.

The return of Darren McQueen from his dislocated shoulder meant only Sam Blackman on the injury list before the Braintree Town game. Jordan Wynter was suspended and will serve the second of his three match ban against Hungerford Town. Wynter’s absence made way for Ronnie Vint’s first appearance of the season on Saturday, whilst Allen and Wanadio were back from injuries, Alex Flisher earned a starting place and Rob Howard made his debut, meaning Ryan Hayes and Ben Greenhalgh were dropped to the bench and Luke Warner-Eley missed out. Howard was signed prior the weekend from Southend United, the 19 year-old will spend a month on loan with the Darts.

In recent seasons Dartford have struggled when visiting Bulpit Lane, losing all three without scoring. A second victory in three days, against two teams they have previously found difficult to beat, will ease the pressure on joint managers Flanagan and Jamie Coyle. Last season the Darts lost 1-0 on their visit to the Crusaders, Conor Lynch scoring the winner.

Hungerford Town expected a tough season based on previous performances, aside from a sixth place finish in their first campaign at this level the Crusaders have staved off relegation going to the final day on each occasion. Ian Herring guided the Berkshire club to safety both times and this season his side have gained four points in the opening six fixtures.

Like Dartford, the Crusaders have picked up all their points from the three home games so far, beating Slough Town in their first match at Bulpit Lane this season. The experienced James Constable, who netted against Dartford for Eastleigh in the National League, has plenty of know how from his time in the Football League with various clubs. The 34-year-old got off the mark to find the winner against the Rebels and scored in the following 3-1 reverse against Maidstone United. In a local derby, Hungerford Town drew their third home games against Chippenham Town 1-1.

On the road, the Crusaders are still waiting to pick up a point and on Saturday they lost 3-1 to league leaders Wealdstone. Herring went for a more defensive approach playing five at the back, however with home advantage on Monday that formation could change to a more attacking approach. Hungerford Town have the second worst goal difference in the division behind Dartford and are just a point behind in the league standings, the Crusaders are second from bottom.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 2 / Hungerford Town wins: 3 / Draws: 1

Current League Form

Dartford (WLLDDL) Hungerford Town (LDLLWL)
Braintree Town H 2-1 Wealdstone A 1-3
Weymouth A 1-3 Chippenham Town H 1-1
Chelmsford City A 1-4 Bath City A 1-2
Havant and Waterlooville H 1-1 Maidstone United H 1-3
St Albans City H 1-1 Slough Town H 1-0
Wealdstone A 0-4 Hemel Hempstead Town A 1-4

Last Six Meetings

22.12.2018 Dartford 2 Hungerford Town 1
25.08.2018 Hungerford Town 1 Dartford 0
09.12.2017 Hungerford Town 1 Dartford 0
05.08.2017 Dartford 0 Hungerford Town 0
14.04.2017 Hungerford Town 2 Dartford 0
27.08.2016 Dartford 2 Hungerford Town 0

Stats

Dartford have yet to claim victory at Bulpit Lane, losing in all three trips there without scoring.

The Darts won in the last meeting to end Hungerford Town’s four game unbeaten run in this fixture. It was also the first time that the away team scored in this fixture.

The Darts last lost their opening three away league games in 2010. The last time they lost their first four was in 1990, when they were racked up nine consecutive away loses in the Southern Premier League.

On This Day

Dartford have won their last three games on 26 August without conceding a goal. The last outing two years ago against Hemel Hempstead Town ended in a 3-0 victory at Hemel Hempstead Town. It took until the second half to register a goal when Elliot Bradbrook netted a penalty, Alfie Pavey doubled the advantage before Bradbrook completed a brace. An away National League fixture at Tamworth finished with the Darts winning 2-0 in 2013, Danny Harris opened the scoring on three minutes and Kenny Clark recorded his only goal in a Dartford shirt. Jay May helped the Darts triumph at home against Kingstonian in the Isthmian Division One South back in 2006, the striker scored the only goal of the game.

Dartford v Braintree Town

Dartford are determined to record their first win of the season this weekend when they host Braintree Town in the National South.

The Darts have got off to a disappointing start picking up two points in their opening five games and are currently second from bottom, their worst start to a league campaign in 41 years. After three matches Braintree Town were in a worse position with three straight defeats, however they visit Princes Park on the back of consecutive victories.

Last weekend, Dartford fell to a third consecutive away loss, their seventh in a row including the tail end of last term. Travelling to the Dorset coast to take on Southern Premier League South champions Weymouth, the Darts found themselves three goals down when Abdulai Baggie and Brett Williams’ brace put the hosts in command. Norman Wabo scored a consolation for the Darts and his first for the club since joining in the summer.

Lee Noble made his first appearance returning from injury and replaced the young Cameron Brodie. Luke Wanadio and Wabo were  replaced in the starting line up with Ryan Hayes and Andy Pugh. After suffering a dislocated shoulder in pre-season, Alex Flisher made his first appearance by coming off the bench, Luke Allen, Wanadio and Darren McQueen were out through injury. With Jordan Wynter suspended for the next three games, Ronnie Vint could make his first start this season against Braintree Town.

The central defender has had to show patience with Josh Hill partnering Tom Bonner the preferred pairing in the middle of defence. Joint manager, Adam Flanagan has praised the Vint and told www.kentonline.co.uk: “His attitude’s been great and he deserves an opportunity in the team now. He’ll be back in the team and hopefully his time on the sideline has made him hungry and motivated to want to come in and do really well”.

Flanagan also hinted that the Darts are likely to stick to formations they are familiar with, he added: “Playing a three at the back might be difficult because you’re looking at wing-backs and we’ve not got Jordan Wynter for three games so that might impact on that”, but he’s not ruled out a back three in the future, he continued: “It is something we might consider looking at but going into the games we’ve got coming up, you wouldn’t want to make huge formation changes. We’d rather stick to the formations we’ve played this year, which would be 4-4-2 or 4-3-3. We want Ron to come in and do well so to come into the team having waited patiently and then try to move formation, it might not play to his strengths”.

At least at home Dartford are unbeaten, however they are also searching for a first win repeating the home start of three years ago when they drew with Wealdstone then Gosport Borough. This time, the Darts drew 1-1 with St Albans City followed by the same score against Havant and Waterlooville.

Previous meetings give the Iron the upper-hand with Dartford last beating the Essex side seven years ago, the last victory at Princes Park came a year earlier. Just over a year ago, after the Darts narrowly missed out on the National South title on the final day of the season, the two sides met in a playoff semi-final.  Billy Crook, who signed for the Darts in January scored the winner to consign Dartford to another campaign in the National South, Braintree Town went on to win promotion. Crook was invited back to pre-season this summer and is currently playing for East Thurrock United.

In Tony Burman’s last season in charge both fixtures ended in a stalemate with the clash at Princes Park finishing 1-1. Andy Pugh opened the scoring after Tom Murphy’s good work on the wing, but Marcel Barrington equalised for the Iron in a game that saw Nathan Collier make his second debut for the Darts. The meeting at Cressing Road finished 2-2 after Dartford found themselves two down with goals from Karl Oliyide and Crook, but Murphy and Elliot Bradbrook struck in the second half.

During Dartford’s spell in the National League, the Iron became their nemesis as the Essex side recorded back to back doubles over the Darts. However, in Dartford’s first back in the top flight of non-league football they did pick up four points against their opponents including their last win against Braintree Town in 2012, goals scored by Tom Bonner and Jacob Erskine.

Braintree Town appointed Glen Driver as boss in the summer following relegation to the National South. The new manager has recruited young players including former Dart, Femi Akinwande. The striker had the opportunity in professional football with Colchester United making three appearances for the U’s. Akinwande has scored in his last two games, first in the 3-0 win at St Albans City and then in the 5-0 thrashing of Eastbourne Borough.

The Iron have scored eight times without reply in their previous two outings putting their three game losing streak well and truly behind them. In a slow start to their campaign, Driver’s side lost to Bath City, Billericay Town and Wealdstone before notching their maiden win at St Albans City and securing a comprehensive victory over Eastbourne Borough. Midfielder Adam Mills has netted three times so far and so has Tom Richardson, who signed in the summer from Isthmian Division One North side Aveley having scored 23 times last season.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 2 / Braintree Town wins: 6 / Draws: 2

Current League Form

Dartford (LLDDL) Braintree Town (WWLLL)
Weymouth A 1-3 Eastbourne Borough H 5-0
Chelmsford City A 1-4 St Albans City A 3-0
Havant and Waterlooville H 1-1 Wealdstone H 0-4
St Albans City H 1-1 Billericay Town H 2-3
Wealdstone A 0-4 Bath  City A 0-2

Last Six Meetings

06.05.2018 Dartford 0 Braintree Town 1
23.12.2017 Dartford 1 Braintree Town 1
08.08.2017 Braintree Town 2 Dartford 2
01.01.2015 Braintree Town 3 Dartford 0
26.12.2014 Dartford 0 Braintree Town 2
18.04.2014 Braintree Town 1 Dartford 0

Stats

Dartford have failed to score in six of their last eight meetings against Braintree Town.

Braintree Town are unbeaten in their last eight games versus the Darts.

The last time Dartford picked up two points from the opening five games was in 1978. They drew with Worcester City, lost to Weymouth, drew with Bath City then were beaten by AP Leamington and Yeovil Town in the Southern Premier League.

On This Day

Dartford’s last game on 24 August was against Braintree Town six years ago. The Iron won 2-0 with goals from Alan Massey and Liam Enver-Marum in the National League. Charlie Sheringham was on the scoresheet nine years ago against his former side Bishops Stortford, the striker netted in a 3-0 victory, Danny Harris and Carl Rook also scored that day.

Weymouth v Dartford

Dartford visit Southern Premier South champions Weymouth on the weekend in hope they secure their first win of the season.

The Darts have taken just two points in their opening four games in their worst start to a campaign in five years. Meanwhile, newly promoted Weymouth have settled in the National South going unbeaten with two victories and two draws. Over the years, the Terras have often got the better of the Darts, but the last meeting between the two sides was almost 22 years ago. Victory for Dartford will be the first triumph at the Dorset club since April 1990.

On Monday night, Dartford capitulated away from home once again falling to a heavy 4-0 reverse at Chelmsford City. It was the second away game in a row in which the Darts conceded four, the first time being on the opening day of the season at Wealdstone. In both of those matches Dartford fell apart over a short second half period, at Wealdstone they let in three goals in twelve minutes and on Monday they shipped in three in a fifteen minute spell.

The pair of defeats sandwiched a couple of 1-1 draws at home to St Albans City then Havant and Waterlooville. Joint manager, Jamie Coyle is concerned with his side defending, he spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk and said: “We’re conceding sloppy goals which we didn’t do last year which is a concern for us”, he continued: “Some of them are coming from set-pieces which is really disappointing. We’ve got a lot of work to do”.

Despite two heavy defeats, the Darts have been competitive in parts and have arguably been the better side at times with the scorelines flattering the opposition, Coyle added: “We’ve said that too many times this season. The first half was the most we’ve dominated a side this season. We had some glorious chances, put some great set-pieces into the box and unfortunately didn’t score the goal”.

New striker Adam Cunnington has performed well as a target man since joining the Darts, but he has asked his team-mates to mix up their style of play, he told www.kentonline.co.uk:We’ve got to make sure we don’t go too direct and make sure we mix it up a little bit”, he continued: “We did that to a degree at Chelmsford in the first half and looked a better side for it. Second half, we went one-nil down and went long ball again. Every flick-on isn’t going to go through, teams aren’t silly”.

After two away games where Dartford fell apart, Cunnington commented: “We’ve got to stand up and be counted. You can’t be losing games 4-0 in National South. You have to stay in games and then you never know, you might nick a goal at the end and come away with a draw”.

The 31-year-old is keen for the side to get off to a good start on Saturday at Weymouth, he added: “We’ve had a real tough start – no excuses – we should have picked up more points. But we have to look forward. We’ll go there knowing we can hurt them, we’ve just got to take those chances early on. It settles everyone’s nerves a bit and then we can relax and play our football. By the looks of it, that’s the key to us at the moment”.

With a sizeable injury list, which includes summer signing Sam Blackman as a long term absentee, there is hope returning players may turn Dartford’s fortunes around. Charlie Sheringham and Alex Flisher were named on the bench after a spell on the sidelines, but Lee Noble and Darren McQueen have played no part in any matchday squad this term. Luke Allen who impressed in his first three games in a Dartford shirt was out injured on Monday, whilst Jordan Wynter is due to serve a ban after his straight red card against Chelmsford City, although the defender will be available versus Weymouth.

It’s been a tough start for Adam Flanagan and Coyle, but on the South Coast it’s been anything but. The Terras began their return to the National South after a ten year absence with a 2-1 win at Maidstone United. The two clubs were two divisions apart last term and a brace from Ben Thomson gave Weymouth a perfect start. Mark Molesley’s side drew against early pace setters Bath City 1-1 before a Josh McQouid inspired hat-trick earned them a 4-1 victory against Chelmsford City last weekend.

On Tuesday night, the Terras drew 1-1 at Slough Town in an encounter which Molesley described as topsy-turvy, he spoke to www.dorsetecho.co.uk and said: “It was a topsy-turvy one, we started well and it went a bit backfoot for our usual performance”, he added: “We had plenty of chances and were knocking on the door, we just couldn’t find that breakthrough unfortunately. It’s a tough place to come and we’re still unbeaten, so there’s plenty of positives and plenty of stuff to improve on”.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 17 / Weymouth wins: 34 / Draws: 15

Last Six Meetings

27.12.1997 Weymouth 2 Dartford 0
23.08.1997 Dartford 2 Weymouth 3
15.02.1997 Weymouth 2 Dartford 1
05.10.1996 Dartford 3 Weymouth 5
22.12.1990 Weymouth 0 Dartford 0
18.08.1990 Dartford 5 Weymouth 3

Stats

Dartford last beat Weymouth 29 years ago winning 5-3 at Watling Street.

Since Dartford’s last victory, the Terras have gone five unbeaten, drawing one before winning the last four matches.

The Darts have won just twice and drawn three in their last 20 league visits to Weymouth stretching back to 1959.

On This Day

John Hunt netted a hat-tick as Dartford beat Greenwich Borough in the Kent League back in 1994. In his second spell for the Darts, Hunt went on to score one more time making ten appearances. Dartford’s last win on this day came in 2002 when summer signing Shaun Loft scored a brace in a 3-0 home win against Kings Lynn. Two years later the Darts were involved in a six goal thriller drawing 3-3 with Great Wakering Rovers at Stonebridge Road. Dartford have never played at Princes Park on this day, but since the stadium opened they were involved in an away fixture at the Beveree, Hampton and Richmond running out 1-0 winners nine years ago, the last time the Darts played on the 17th August.

Chelmsford City v Dartford

Dartford’s difficult start to the season continues on Monday night with a tough fixture away to Chelmsford City.

The Darts are looking for their first win of the campaign and visit the Melbourne Stadium where they have won just twice in the last eleven visits. Dartford have picked up two points from their opening three league games, drawing twice at Princes Park after the opening day defeat at Wealdstone.

It’s fair to say that the fixture and injury list has been unkind to Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle in their second season in charge. The management duo have been unable to select new signings Sam Blackman, Darren McQueen and Alex Flisher and have also been without Charlie Sheringham and the influential Lee Noble, last season’s Player of the Year. At least Sheringham was on the bench on the weekend and played a small part by replacing Adam Cunnington.

Cunnington opened his Dartford account with a powerful back post header on the weekend against one of the title favourites Havant and Waterlooville. Unchanged from the midweek 1-1 draw with St Albans City, the Darts looked the better side in the first half but the weather made conditions tricky for both sides. Dartford went into the break a goal up, however the second half they were left hanging on. Jonah Ayunga scored his third of the campaign for the Hawks to leave Dartford recording a second consecutive 1-1 draw.

Chelmsford City made a blistering start to their campaign scoring the first goal of the National South season after just two minutes, with the help of Hampton and Richmond Borough defender Tom Jelly. Summer signing Sam Higgins sent in a cross only for Jelly to deflect the ball past his own goalkeeper. Tom Wraight doubled the advantage eight minutes later and in the second half Wraight notched another. Hampton and Richmond Borough’s, Tyrone Lewthwaite pulled a goal back before a last minute Andy Fennell strike sealed a 4-1 win. The Clarets lost their second game against Essex rivals Concord Rangers. Goals either side of half-time by Decarry Sheriff put the Beachboys in control until former Maidstone United man Ollie Muldoon gave Rod Stringer’s side hope with ten minutes to play.

On Saturday, Chelmsford City travelled to the Jurassic Coast to take on Southern Premier League South champions Weymouth. The Terras had picked up four points in their first fixtures back in the National South for a decade, whilst the Clarets were a point behind. It all looked good for the visitors when Shaun Jeffers scored a penalty with thirteen minutes gone. However, Chelmsford City’s afternoon unravelled when Josh McQuoid’s hat-trick put Weymouth on course for their first home win. McQuoid scored a couple of penalties before one from open play, Ben Thompson added the fourth as the Clarets lost 4-1.

In January, Dartford thought they were on course for a rare league double over Chelmsford City when former Claret Phil Roberts scored his first for the Darts. The game was turned around with five minutes remaining, Jonny Giles curling in the equaliser then Rhys Murphy finding a winner for the hosts in the final minute. The two meetings last term were feisty in places, in the previous meeting at Princes Park both Adam Flanagan and Rod Stringer were dismissed from the dugout in a game that saw Elliot Bradbrook score the winner.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 37 / Chelmsford City wins: 56 / Draws: 21

Last Six Meetings

18.02.2017 Chelmsford City 2 Dartford 1
07.08.2018 Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 0
10.02.2018 Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 2
21.10.2017 Chelmsford City 1 Dartford 0
07.05.2017 Dartford 1 Chelmsford City 2
03.05.2017 Chelmsford City 0 Dartford 0

Stats

Dartford have won one of their last eight matches against Chelmsford City. Elliot Bradbrook scored the winner at Princes Park last season.

Chelmsford City have lost just three of their last nineteen games versus Dartford in all competitions.

On This Day

Dartford were held at home to a 0-0 draw two years ago against Saturday’s opponents Havant and Waterlooville, the third draw in a row on this day. In 2014, the Darts were close to victory when they visited Woking and Rory McAuley diverted Peter Sweeney’s cross to take the lead. However, a last minute Giuseppe Sole header denied Dartford a win in the National League. Another away draw was recorded back in 1995 against Herne Bay in the Kent League with both sides failing to find the net.

Dartford v Havant and Waterlooville

Almost sixteen months on from the final day of the season heartbreak, Dartford host their conquerors Havant and Waterlooville this weekend.

The Darts went toe to toe with the Hawks during the 2017/2018 season agonisingly losing the National South title in the final minute on goal difference. With Dartford leading at Bognor Regis Town they topped the division, whilst Havant and Waterlooville threw away a two goal lead against Adam Flanagan’s Concord Rangers. With the title heading to Princes Park, former Dartford striker Jason Prior scored a last gasp winner for the Hawks to claim the Hampshire club back to back league titles.

Times have changed in that short space of time with both clubs changing managers. The Darts are still recovering from their near miss and under Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle they finished tenth last term and have taken one point from the opening two matches this season. Last weekend, the Darts began 2019/2020 with their heaviest opening day defeat in twenty years. A twelve minute second half collapse helped Wealdstone on to win 4-1, after Josh Hill scored on his debut just before half time to level the tie.

On Tuesday night, Dartford were back at Princes Park in their first home game of the campaign. Norman Wabo made his first start for the Darts replacing Ryan Hayes, who was named on the bench. St Albans City went ahead on twelve minutes when summer signing Joe Iaciofano scored his first goal for the Saints. Luke Wanadio equalised just past the hour following up Adam Cunnington’s effort, the winger’s first goal since rejoining the Darts.

Havant and Waterlooville have been in the thick of the action over the last four years at both ends of the tables. Under former manager Lee Bradbury, the Hawks were surprisingly relegated from the National South, bounced back by becoming Isthmian Premier League champions followed by the National South title, then relegation from the National League four months ago. Bradbury left Westleigh Park and so the Hawks snapped up the experienced Paul Doswell to lead the Hampshire club.

With Doswell’s previous successes at Sutton United and Eastleigh, the Hawks have rebuilt with familiar faces back working with the boss. Dean Beckwith, Roarie Deacon, Ross Worner, Josh Taylor and the former Championship midfielder Nicky Bailey all signed in the summer. Doswell also took advantage of the issues at Ebbsfleet United with players not being paid on time, he managed to bag Andy Drury, Danny Kedwell and Sam Magri, plus numerous other additions. With Simon Walton coming in as player coach, the Hawks have opted for a blend of trust and experience.

Despite all the changes and a strong squad assembled, Havant and Waterlooville started their campaign with a 1-1 draw at home to last season’s playoff finalists Welling United. Deacon scored on his debut after twelve minutes, but the lead was cancelled out before half-time through Adam Coombes. On Tuesday night, the Hawks made the trip to the Beveree to take on Hampton and Richmond Borough and produced an excellent comeback. The Hawks took the lead within two minutes courtesy of Deacon’s second in as many games. Tyrone Lewthwaite levelled for the hosts and five minutes later Danilo Orsi-Dadomo put Hampton and Richmond Borough in front. The former Hungerford Town striker scored another in the second half to leave the Hawks on the racks. Wes Fogden pulled one back for the visitors then a couple of Josh Ayunga goals completed the comeback.

Dartford managed to keep two clean sheets against Havant and Waterlooville the last time they were in the National South. At Princes Park, Tom Murphy netted the only goal of the game after just two minutes. Havant and Waterlooville enjoyed plenty of possession without threatening the Dartford defence as the Darts won 1-0. The home victory was Dartford’s third in a row against the Hampshire side at Princes Park, following on from a 4-2 triumph four years ago and 3-1 win in 2012.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 5 / Havant and Waterlooville wins: 3 / Draws: 3

Last Six Meetings

13.01.2018 Dartford 1 Havant and Waterlooville 0
12.08.2017 Havant and Waterlooville 0 Dartford 0
19.03.2016 Havant and Waterlooville 2 Dartford 0
05.12.2015 Dartford 4 Havant and Waterlooville 2
17.03.2012 Dartford 3 Havant and Waterlooville 1
07.01.2012 Havant and Waterlooville 1 Dartford 4

Stats

Dartford are unbeaten in their last six games against Havant and Waterlooville, winning five of the last six.

The Darts have kept cleans sheets in each of their last three matches versus the Hawks.

Havant and Waterlooville last beat the Darts away from home in a F.A Cup tie back in 2000, their last league win on the road versus Dartford was twenty years ago. Since the cup tie, the Hampshire side have defeated Dartford just once in 2011.

On This Day

Debutant Adam Birchall’s goal ensured Dartford opened the 2013/2014 National League season with a win. Birchall scored the only goal of the game as the Darts beat Alfreton Town 1-0. Three years later, Keaton Wood was sent off as Dartford lost 1-0 at Whitehawk.

Dartford v St Albans City

Competitive football returns to Princes Park on Tuesday night as Dartford host St Albans City under the floodlights looking to get off the mark.

The Darts fell to their heaviest opening day defeat in twenty years when they lost 4-1 at Wealdstone on the weekend. Strikers Darren McQueen, Alex Flisher were both missing with a dislocated shoulder, Charlie Sheringham with a thigh injury, Lee Noble is out for a few weeks and Sam Blackman with a broken ankle. Last minute signings ensured some strikers were available for selection but only four substitutes were named on the bench.

Debutante, Josh Hill headed his first goal for the club to level the match on the stroke of half-time, after the Darts found themselves behind to a Ross Lafayette penalty inside the first ten minutes. The match got away from the Darts towards the closing stages when Wealdstone netted three times in twelve minutes. Dennon Lewis hit a deflected shot to give the Stones the lead on 74 minutes, Connor Stevens scored a free header with ten minutes to go then Lafayette struck again.

Flanagan and Coyle gave debuts to goalkeeper Mark Smith, defender Luke Warner-Eley, midfielder Luke Allen and new signings Amos Nasha and Adam Cunnington. Winger, Luke Wanadio started his first match since returning to the club and Norman Wabo made his first appearance coming on as a substitute.

St Albans City started their National South season with a dour 0-0 draw at home to Chippenham Town. Former Dartford defender Tom Bender wasn’t in the matchday squad, but manager Ian Allinson handed first starts to England C international David Longe-King, Joe Iaciofano, Darren Foxley and Bobson Bawling.

In January, Dartford beat St Albans City in an entertaining match between the two sides at Princes Park. The first half saw four goals with Elliott Bradbrook’s 25 yard screamer into the top corner putting the Darts in front. Twice the visitors had to equalise, Zane Banton first made it all square, but five minutes later Phil Roberts netted his first Dartford goal. St Albans City were level again on the stroke of half-time when Sam Merson made it 2-2. However, Roberts, who had waited for his fourth appearance to open his account scored the winner with two minutes remaining, helping the Darts to victory.

Since Dartford’s return to the National South, they have beaten the Saints in three of the last four games at Princes Park, another home triumph this season will make it three on the bounce against the Hertfordshire club. St Albans City last took maximum points in Dartford in November 2016 and have won all four on their own patch without conceding.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 7 / St Albans City wins: 5 / Draws: 4

Last Six Meetings

12.01.2019 Dartford 3 St Albans City 2
01.09.2018 St Albans City 2 Dartford 0
03.02.2018 St Albans City 4 Dartford 0
28.10.2017 Dartford 2 St Albans City 1
25.03.2017 St Albans City 1 Dartford 0
08.11.2016 Dartford 0 St Albans City 2

Stats

At Princes Park, the Darts have won the last two and lost just once to the Saints in six meetings over ninety minutes. Although the F.A Trophy tie in 2008 finished with St Albans City winning on penalties.

St Albans City have won five of the last seven meetings between the two sides. However four of those matches were at Clarence Park without Dartford scoring.

Dartford last lost their opening two games of the season in 2012, they lost in the National League to Tamworth and Woking, then Macclesfield Town made it three in a row. The Darts ended up finishing as the highest part time team in the country that season, in eighth place.

On This Day

Dartford opened their 2016/2017 campaign at home to Wealdstone and the result was much better than Saturday’s. The Darts had to settle for a point despite taking the lead twice in a 2-2 draw. Luke Wanadio, making his debut set up Elliot Bradbrook for the first goal, which was cancelled out just after the break. Ryan Hayes netted from the spot, but deep into injury time Eddie Oshodi rescued a point for the visitors.