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Gloucester City v Dartford

The Darts will be hoping to get back on track this weekend when they travel to Evesham to face Gloucester City in the National League South.

Dartford’s five game unbeaten run in the league ended last weekend when they disappointingly went down 3-1 to Truro City. The Darts had climbed to sixth with the home victory over Dulwich Hamlet and facing their opponents sitting second from bottom, expected to add more points to their tally.

Two players returned to action in a Darts shirt, crowd favourite Ryan Hayes made a substitute appearance, whilst new goalkeeper Bailey Vose started his first Dartford match since November 2016, when he was on loan from Brighton and Hove Albion. The introduction of Vose to the squad meant outgoing keeper Deren Ibrahim settled for a place on the bench to say his farewell after 179 appearances for the club and two goals. Earlier in the week Kenneth Yao’s loan spell ended from Charlton Athletic and Chez Isaac was released, Mark Onyemah returned to the line up after injury and Lee Noble was missed through suspension.

Vose’s fourth start for the Darts began when he was involved in a mix up leading to Truro City’s opener on 34 minutes. The White Tigers added two more before the break, Tyler Harvey grabbed his second then Nick Grimes added a third. In the final minute Hayes set up a consolation with a cross for Kudus Oyenuga, who headed in his first competitive goal for the Darts. With a full set of fixtures played and some Tuesday night matches, Dartford have now dropped to thirteenth.

Over the last month there has been managerial change at Gloucester City with Marc Richards leaving by mutual consent at the start of October. Richards left the Tigers in seventeenth place having recorded four wins in eleven games and struggling to find the net. The Tigers up to his departure had netted just seven times, however defensively they had only conceded thirteen. The former boss guided Gloucester City to safety last season and improved form in February and March meant he decided to keep much of the same squad for this term. Richards saw the opportunity to take over at Hereford to good to refuse and so he made the decision to move to Edgar Street.

Replacing Richards as boss, Chris Todd took charge for the first time in the 1-0 defeat to Billericay Town. The former Eastleigh manager has had a difficult start and is yet to record a point. In the National South his Gloucester City side lost to Welling United followed by a third straight reverse on Monday night at Wealdstone. Todd does have one win to his name in the F.A Cup third round replay against Dorking Wanderers, however the Tigers went out in the next round when they were beaten by Bromley.

Goalkeeper Matthew Yates was recalled by Derby County from his loan spell, but Fabien Robert had his spell extended from Forest Green Rovers. Last week, Todd swooped to complete the signings of strikers Andre Wright from Torquay United and Harry Warwick from Bristol Rovers. Wales under 19 goalkeeper Adam Pzrybek has also joined the squad from West Bromwich Albion.

Last season Dartford visited Evesham, the Tigers shared home whilst chasing down title rivals Havant and Waterlooville. The Tuesday night fixture in April was decided when Alfie Pavey scored the only goal of the game. Earlier in the campaign the Darts won 4-1 at Princes Park in the first meeting between the two sides for 25 years. Warren Mfula, a brace from Lyle Della-Verde and one from Pavey helped Dartford to victory, all three players left the club in the summer.

Head to Head

Gloucester City wins: 12 / Dartford wins: 27 / Draws: 10

Current League Form

Gloucester City (LLLDLL) Dartford (LWWWDD)
Wealdstone A 0-2 Truro City A 1-3
Welling United A 1-3 Dulwich Hamlet H 2-1
Billericay Town A 0-1 Chippenham Town A 2-1
Eastbourne Borough H 2-2 Weston-super-Mare H 2-1
Chippenham Town A 0-1 Billericay Town A 1-1
Truro City H 0-2 Eastbourne Borough H 2-2

Previous Meetings

10.04.2018 Gloucester City 0 Dartford 1
18.11.2017 Dartford 4 Gloucester City 1
07.03.1992 Gloucester City 0 Dartford 0
26.10.1991 Dartford 2 Gloucester City 0
16.03.1991 Dartford 2 Gloucester City 1
29.09.1990 Gloucester City 2 Dartford 0

Stats

Dartford are unbeaten in five matches against Gloucester City (W4, D1) and have lost one in the last eight (W6, D1, L1).

The Darts have kept three clean sheets out of the last four versus the Tigers.

Five players involved in Dartford’s last match have left and rejoined the club, Bailey Vose, Tom Bonner, Mark Onyemah, Charlie Sheringham and Ryan Hayes.

On This Day

Tony Kessell made his one hundredth appearance for Dartford on this day eleven years ago. The former goalkeeper celebrated with a clean sheet and a 2-0 victory as Brendon Cass and Jay May scored against Wingate and Finchley. In 1999, the Darts progressed in the Kent Senior Cup after thrashing Sittingbourne 6-0 in a round one replay. The cup victory was Dartford’s first on 3 November since a 1973 Southern Premier League win at home to Nuneaton Borough. The winless run lasted six games in which the Darts managed just one draw.

Truro City v Dartford

In form Dartford make the long trip to Plainmoor in Devon to face Cornwall opponents Truro City and it’s likely to be Deren Ibrahim’s last game for the club.

Ibrahim announced he’s leaving Princes Park after an opportunity at Charlton Athletic came up. A full time position as a goalkeeping coach was too good to refuse, so a win in what will be the 27-year-old’s 180th game for the Darts will be the perfect way to sign off.

Despite one favourite going another one came home last Friday, but he was ruled out in bizarre circumstances. Crowd favourite Ryan Hayes returned to Dartford for a second spell, however an accident at work left the creative winger with a broken hand and stitches in his leg after falling down a hole.

The Darts approach their fourteenth league game of the season on the back of a three match winning streak in the competition. Consecutive 2-1 victories over Weston-super-Mare, Chippenham Town and Dulwich Hamlet have propelled Dartford up to sixth and into the playoff places.

With just two National South fixtures going ahead last weekend, Dartford took full advantage to climb the table after coming from behind to beat Dulwich Hamlet, in front of the biggest home crowd at Princes Park this season. The South Londoners took the lead when Afolabi Akinyemi’s powerful shot beat Ibrahim on nineteen minutes. Just before half-time the Darts were level as in form striker Jamie Philpot scored, his fourth in as many league games. The winner came from the spot and Charlie Sheringham stepped up to earn Dartford another three points. Going slightly under the radar, Daniel Johnson who was signed from Bromley made his debut at full back.

Dartford had a mixture of results against the White Tigers last season losing in their last visit to Treyew Road. With the Darts topping the table at the time it was a surprise to see them three down inside nineteen minutes. Tyler Harvey scored a penalty, Cody Cooke made it two in as many minutes and then added a third, Ronnie Vint found the net half way through the first half, but the game ended 3-1. 

The reversed fixture went Dartford’s way with a comfortable 4-1 triumph at Princes Park in February. Andy Pugh, Alex Brown, Danny Mills and an own goal helped the Darts to victory. If it’s goals you’re looking for then this could be the fixture, Dartford managed to score five on both occasions against Truro City the season before last, winning 5-0 at Treyew Road and 5-3 at home. 

It’s not been plain sailing since Truro City’s rise up the non-league pyramid. The 2007 F.A Vase winners won five promotions in six seasons to reach the National South in 2011. In their second campaign at this level they were relegated and faced financial problems. It took the Cornwall club four years to get back and they have managed to reach the playoffs twice in the last three years. 

The club have ambitions to play at a Stadium for Cornwall and this off field activity is starting to impact the White Tigers. Developers, Helical Retail announced they intended to start the development of Treyew Road and asked Truro City to vacate their home nine days before the start of this season.  

Presently, supporters face a 180-mile trip to watch their side play at Torquay United’s Plainmoor ground. Now the situation has changed and realistically according to Jonathan Cox, representative of Helical Retail, work on a new stadium will not start until May 2019, therefore Truro City chairman Peter Masters is looking for the club to be back at Treyew Road this season, and for the groundshare with Torquay United to be back in place when work is due to begin. 

This term, the White Tigers are struggling lying second from bottom with just one win in all competitions. Former manager, Lee Hodges left two games into the campaign after a 4-0 defeat to newcomers Billericay Town and a 1-1 draw with bottom club Weston-super-Mare. Midfielder, Ben Harding temporarily took charge and took two points from his six games. 

New boss, Leigh Robinson started off to a flyer winning his first game beating Gloucester City 2-0, but no points have been collected in the league since. The former Taunton Town manager did manage a 0-0 draw in the F.A Cup second qualifying round against Hereford only to lose the replay 4-3 after extra time. The 37-year-old spent six years at Taunton Town winning the Southern League West Division with just one defeat from 42 League games. 

Truro City have struggled this season and only Weston-super-Mare stand between them and the bottom of the table. The White Tigers have picked up just six points with only one of those coming at Plainmoor, their temporary home. 

Dartford’s last visit to Plainmoor in April 2015 was in the National League when the game ended 1-1 against Torquay United. Jordan Chiedozie’s goal earned Dartford a point, but it was too little too late to save the Darts from relegation that season. 

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 3 / Truro City wins: 4 / Draws: 1

Current League Form

Truro City (LLLWLL) Dartford (WWWDDL)
Hemel Hempstead Town H 1-2 Dulwich Hamlet H 2-1
Concord Rangers A 0-3 Chippenham Town A 2-1
Hampton & Richmond H 0-2 Weston-super-Mare H 2-1
Gloucester City A 2-0 Billericay Town A 1-1
Weadlstone A 0-3 Eastbourne Borough H 2-2
Hungerford Town H 2-3 St Albans City A 0-2

Previous Meetings

24.02.2018 Dartford 4 Truro City 1
11.11.2017 Truro City 3 Dartford 1
18.03.2017 Dartford 5 Truro City 3
08.10.2016 Truro City 0 Dartford 5
05.04.2016 Truro City 3 Dartford 0
19.09.2015 Dartford 0 Truro City 1

Stats

Jamie Philpot has scored in each of his last four league games. Danny Mills was the last Dartford player to do that in the final four league games of last season.

Only St Albans City (5) have conceded more goals in the opening 15 minutes of games than Truro City (4). The White Tigers have also let in 12 goals between 60-75 minutes, seven more than anyone else.

Only Dulwich Hamlet and Hungerford Town (7) have let in more goals than Dartford (5) in first 15 minutes of the second half.

Dartford have won their last three league games 2-1, the last time the Darts recorded three consecutive 2-1 victories was in 1994 against Faversham Town, Cray Wanderers and Folkestone Invicta in the Kent League.

With the departure of Deren Ibrahim confirmed only Ben Greenhalgh and Tom Bonner will be on course to play in every National South game this season.

On This Day

Two of the current squad scored against Ashford Town (Middlesex) nine years ago in a 4-1 away win. Lee Noble and Ryan Hayes scored the first two Dartford goals, Danny Harris and Jay May added two more in the Isthmian Premier League encounter. Two years before the Darts also hit four this time against Potters Bar Town, one more Jay May found himself on the scoresheet alongside Brendon Cass, Junior Kadi and Tom Bradbrook.

Dartford v Dulwich Hamlet

Just over eleven and half years ago current joint manager Jamie Coyle was lining up against Dartford for Dulwich Hamlet, now the Darts boss will lead his side out against the South Londoners this weekend.

In the last meeting between the two clubs Coyle had an impact when his assist helped Hamlet go home with a point. The Isthmian Division One South fixture in March 2007 yielded just a goal apiece, although the attacking prowess of the two teams that season led to an entertaining clash.

Links between the two teams do not stop there because in that game current Dulwich Hamlet striker, Jay May scored for the Darts after just seven minutes. Hamlet equalised late on when Coyle set up Phil Williams to lash home, Williams later went on to have a spell with Dartford. May went on to make 117 appearances for the Darts scoring 51 times and was part of the Isthmian Division One North and Isthmian Premier League winning sides.

By the end of that campaign Dartford finished in seventh, a point above Dulwich Hamlet. The two sides also ended up as the top scorers in the division. The earlier meeting in the 2006/2007 season finished with Hamlet winning 3-2.

Having been knocked out of the F.A Cup a fortnight ago, the Darts managed to fill the fixture void by bringing the game against Dulwich Hamlet forward. Dartford managed to bounce back from the poor display at Oxford City with an away victory by an unlikely source.

If scoring from inside your own half once is rare then the chances of it happening again are slim. When Dartford goalkeeper Deren Ibrahim stepped up to take a free-kick, well inside his own half, he probably didn’t expect to record his second career goal. His long-range effort in the second-half turned out to be the winner, after Jamie Philpot’s goal was cancelled out by the hosts equaliser just before half-time.

Joint manager Adam Flanangan was serving a touchline ban, but he was pleased with Dartford’s performance, he told www.kentonline.co.uk: “It was a very solid, hard-working performance away from home, which is what we needed. It was always going to be difficult coming to Chippenham. They’re doing very well at home this season”, he continued: “Off the back of the defeat against Oxford, we needed a performance from the players and I think we got that”.

Victory extended Dartford’s unbeaten National South run to four having drawn with Eastbourne Borough, Billericay Town before beating Weston-super-Mare then Chippenham Town. In a tightly congested table, the Darts are now only two points from a playoff spot down in thirteenth. A first ever win over Dulwich Hamlet could propel Dartford further up the standings.

Charlton Athletic loanee, Kenneth Yao returned to the starting line-up last weekend after he missed the cup defeat with concussion. However, ever present full back Mark Onyemah was ruled out with injury missing his first game of the season. Callum Driver is now in training and Andy Pugh is recovering from a broken leg. Ronnie Vint and Tom Murphy came back into the first eleven, whilst Philpot replaced the recalled loanee Amadou Ba, who has returned to his parent club Southend United.

Ibrahim hasn’t been the only goalkeeper making headlines over the last fortnight. In a friendly with Crystal Palace, Preston Edwards had the distraction of keeping goal whilst an announcement went out informing him that his car was being towed away. There were no such distractions last weekend though when Hamlet won their third league game in a row, their fifth win in six games in all competitions.

Hamlet’s latest triumph was away at Hungerford Town in what was described as a scrappy win. The hosts led at half-time through Danilo Orso-Dadamo’s excellent 25-yard strike. Dulwich Hamlet were forced to come from behind with goals from former Dart, Nathan Green and Kingsley Eshun. Green appeared for Dartford 15 times during the 2014/2015 campaign scoring two goals.

Gavin Rose’s side have hit form in the National South after a difficult introduction to the league. Hamlet who were promoted via the Isthmian Premier League playoffs last term won one of their first six games. Since their slow start they have recorded four wins and a draw in their last six league outings including a 2-1 away victory over Woking a month ago.

The only blip from the South Londoners over the last six weeks was the 4-3 F.A Cup defeat to Eastbourne Borough. An appalling first half left Hamlet four down with ten men, but they battled through the second half, almost completing an unlikely comeback with three goals in the final fifteen minutes.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 0 / Dulwich Hamlet wins: 2 / Draws: 2

Current League Form

Dartford (WWDDLW) Dulwich Hamlet (WWWDLW)
Chippenham Town A 2-1 Hungerford Town A 2-1
Weston-super-Mare H 2-1 Chippenham Town H 2-0
Billericay Town A 1-1 Woking A 2-1
Eastbourne Borough H 2-2 Wealdstone H 1-1
St Albans City A 0-2 Hampton & Richmond H 0-2
East Thurrock United H 2-0 Slough Town A 2-1

Previous Meetings

31.03.2007 Dartford 1 Dulwich Hamlet 1
19.09.2006 Dulwich Hamlet 3 Dartford 2
09.12.1996 Dulwich Hamlet 3 Dartford 1
04.12.1996 Dartford 0 Dulwich Hamlet 0

Stats

Dulwich Hamlet have scored five times in the final 15 minutes of league games this season, only St Albans City, Torquay United and Woking have scored more (7). Hamlet have yet to concede a goal during that same period.

Only Hungerford Town (7) have conceded more goals in the opening 15 minutes of the second half than Dulwich Hamlet (6) and Dartford (5).

On This Day

It has been 37 years since the last home game on 16 October, Dartford beat Barnet 2-1 in what is now called the National League. In the last four matches involving Dartford on 16 October only four goals have been scored. The previous two games were cup ties with the most recent a 1-1 draw against Forest Green Rovers in the F.A Cup fourth qualifying round six years ago. In 2007, the Darts drew 0-0 in the F.A Trophy first qualifying round away to AFC Hornchurch. Burnham were beaten 1-0 in the Southern League Division One East in 2001 and in 1998 the Darts were knocked out of the Kent Senior Cup in a 1-0 defeat to Folkestone Invicta.

Chippenham Town v Dartford

Dartford are left to concentrate on the National South for now with their main focus on an away trip to take on Chippenham Town this weekend.

The Darts crashed out of the F.A Cup last weekend when they went down 4-1 at Oxford City. A return to league action on Saturday gives Dartford the chance to extend an unbeaten run in the National South to four games. The third qualifying round of the F.A Cup is where it ended for Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle’s side with a performance that led to the captain apologising to the travelling faithful.

New loan signing from Maidstone United, Andre Coker made his debut replacing fellow loanee Kenneth Yao, who was ruled out with concussion. With Coker playing out on the wing that meant Chez Isaac slotted in at full back. Charlie Sheringham returned after missing the victory against Weston-Super-Mare replacing Jamie Philpot. Despite alterations to the starting eleven, the Darts found themselves four down allowing lone striker Kabby Tshimanga to score a hat-trick, the fourth was netted by loan signing Bobson Bawling, who joined from Torquay United a few days before kick off. Elliot Bradbrook grabbed a consolation for the Darts when he scored for the third time in five games to take his tally to five this season.

Coyle has called for his players to show a positive reaction, he spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk this week and said: “The players were hurting at the end of the game so we’ve got to pick them up. We’d been on a great run, we were four unbeaten and we had an opportunity to carry that on and build some momentum. We’ve taken a backward step but there’s an opportunity to reset and go again”, he added: “After the second-half performance on Saturday, there has to be a reaction”.

Defeat remain three games unbeaten in the league though, however they have drawn two of those. Two late draws against Eastbourne Borough and league leaders Billericay Town were followed up by victory over Weston-super-Mare, who are bottom of the table. Lee Noble opened the scoring before Gethyn Hill equalised for the Seagulls, but Jamie Philpot found the net in the second half to clinch a much needed win.

Chippenham Town finished their debut season in the National South last term in a respectable thirteenth. This time the Bluebirds are sitting in tenth amongst three other teams on eighteen points. Dartford will know a win at Hardenhuish Park will put them level with their opponents on points. However, the Wiltshire club are a tough prospect on their own patch losing just four at home last season, whilst this term they have won four out of five and lost the other.

Coyle commented: “Chippenham have only lost once at home all season so it’s going to be tough but we’re expecting a huge reaction for everyone at the football club”, he continued: “Me and Adam have been there with Welling and Concord and it’s a tough place to go but I’m looking forward to it”.

Mark Collier has got his side settled into the National South and despite defeat at newly promoted Dulwich Hamlet last weekend, they had just completed three consecutive wins, including an impressive 1-0 victory over Torquay United at Plainmoor. The Bluebirds also inflicted the first defeat on Billericay Town this season winning 2-0 towards the end of August.

The Bluebirds had to wait ten days before starting their October fixture list when they were in F.A Cup action. Their belated third qualifying round tie against Hendon ended 4-1 on Wednesday night. Chippenham Town as good as wrapped up the game before half-time racing into a three-goal lead. Nat Jarvis opened the scoring mid-way through the first half before a Nick McCootie brace. Within ten minutes of the restart George Rigg made it four, but the deficit was reduced when Ricardo German scored a consolation for Hendon.

Collier has added two more players to his squad this week, welcoming back the experienced Andy Sandell from his loan spell at Melksham Town. The Chippenham Town boss has also taken on loan Jordan Edwards from Swindon Town, the 19 year old has been drafted into the squad due to some long term injuries and suspensions. Summer signing Nat Jarvis leads the way in front of goal for the Bluebirds with four in the league so far, the striker signed from Bath City along with Jack Compton and George Rigg.

Last season, the Darts frustratingly came back from Hardenhuish Park with a point. Dartford who were sitting top of the National League were looking to extend their lead, but twice they went ahead only for Chippenham Town to fight back. Alfie Pavey made sure the Darts were in front at the interval only for Dean Evans to equalise early in the second half. Pavey completed a brace to make it 2-1, but once again the Bluebirds levelled, this time through McCootie. Earlier in the season, the Darts ran out 3-0 winners at Princes Park with goals from Pavey, Andy Pugh and Ryan Hayes.

Kenneth Yao should be available for selection again, Callum Driver is back in training and Andy Pugh is still recovering from a broken leg.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / Chippenham Town wins: 0 / Draws: 1

Current League Form

Chippenham Town (LWWWLW) Dartford (WDDLWL)
Dulwich Hamlet A 0-2 Weston-super-Mare H 2-1
Gloucester City H 1-0 Billericay Town A 1-1
Torquay United A 1-0 Eastbourne Borough H 2-2
Concord Rangers H 4-1 St Albans City A 0-2
Hampton & Richmond A 1-2 East Thurrock United H 2-0
Billericay Town H 2-0 Hungerford Town A 0-1

Previous Meetings

20.01.2018 Chippenham Town 2 Dartford 2
09.09.2017 Dartford 3 Chippenham Town 0

Stats

Dartford are aiming to extend their unbeaten league run to four game, which will be their longest unbeaten streak in the National South this season.

Deren Ibrahim, Mark Onyemah, Tom Bonner and Ben Greenhalgh are the only Dartford players to have started every game this season.

On This Day

In Dartford’s last two matches on 13 October they have managed to keep two clean sheets. The last fixture on this day was a bore draw with Barrow in the National League, six years ago. The long trip North West ended 0-0 with only Tom Bonner and Lee Noble from the current squad involved in that match, current England international Marcus Bettinelli also lined up for the Darts. In 2009, Allan Tait and Danny Harris helped see off Tonbridge Angels in the Isthmian Premier League title winning campaign. Before those victories, the Darts lost three in a row without scoring including getting knocked out to Bromley in the 2007 F.A Cup third qualifying round tie, and six years earlier at the same stage of the competition against Gravesend and Northfleet. Dartford’s last away win on 13 October came in 1984 when they beat Scarborough 3-1 in the top flight of non-league football.

Oxford City v Dartford

Dartford are two games away from the F.A Cup first round, but they must overcome Oxford City at Marsh Lane this weekend to progress in the competition. 

The Darts made it through the second qualifying round a fortnight ago leaving victory late against AFC Uckfield Town. The away tie almost ended in an upset when Callum Smith opened the scoring for the Uckers. With ten minutes to go Tom Murphy equalised and shortly afterwards Charlie Sheringham put Dartford in front. In the last-minute Elliot Bradbrook scored his 18th F.A Cup goal for the club to record a 3-1 win.

Oxford City also took on opponents from step five cruising to a 5-0 victory against Southern Counties East side Cray Valley Paper Mills. The headlines belonged to Zac McEachran who took home the match ball with a hat-trick, Kabongo Tshimanga and Oxford City’s top scorer Matthew Paterson netted the others.

It won’t be the first time Dartford have drawn out Oxford City in the F.A Cup, the only other meeting in the competition was back in 1935. That season, the Darts won 5-1 with goals from Robert Patrick, two from Arthur Mercer and one each for George Nicholas and Fred Dell. Victory set up a run to the third round and a famous 3-2 defeat against top flight Derby County, in which the Darts led 2-0.

Last weekend, Dartford recorded back to back victories for the first time since the start of the season. A 2-1 triumph over bottom side Weston-super-Mare gave the Darts their first three-point haul since the end of August.
Joint-Manager, Jamie Coyle praised Lee Noble, who scored the opening goal on 14 minutes, for his role in keeping Weston-super-Mare’s left back quiet, the Dartford boss told www.kentonline.co.uk: “Wherever you ask him to do a job, he does it. Their left-back is one of the main threats they offer and it was a case of stopping him going forward and tracking his movements, and we kept him really quiet”.

The visitors equalised just before the break when Gethyn Hill scored his first of the season from long distance, however Jamie Philpot won the match for Dartford when he got on the end of Bradbrook’s assist, to score his second goal in a Darts shirt.

Content with how his side started the game on the weekend, Coyle said: “It’s one of our best starts to a game this season”, he added: “Amadou Ba was through on goal, if the keeper didn’t handle it outside the area so it was a potential red card (referee showed a yellow card). Then Ben Greenhalgh hit the bar from the free-kick, and then we’ve scored. The positives are we created some really good chances and should have scored more goals”. The Dartford boss also highlighted improvements, he continued: “Defensively we looked a little bit shaky from set pieces and gave away too many free-kicks in the final third”. Unbeaten in four games, Coyle is now hoping that the two draws and two wins will give his players more confidence going forward.

The Darts have been without Callum Driver through and have drafted in loanee Jordan Wynter from Maidstone United, who made his debut last weekend. Tom Knowles’ recall to Cambridge City has also opened up an opportunity for the three month loan of Andre Coker, also from Maidstone United, Coyle explained to www.kentonline.co.uk: “We needed some pace and directness in wide areas and it also means we can use Ben Greenhalgh on the right. I’ve seen Andre a number of times. He offers something different, he’s really quick and tricky. He always seems to come up with an end product, whether it’s a cross or a shot. It gives us another avenue, we’ve only really got Ben and Tom Murphy that’s pushing for those wide areas so it gives us some competition”.

There’s been plenty of change to the playing personnel at Princes Park and Coker will be the fifth loanee in just two months. Coyle exclaimed: “We’ve still got so much work to do. We’re having to bring new players in to improve what’s gone on so far. It’s always going to take time but we’re 12 games into the season now and we need to start putting a run of decent performances together”.

Oxford City’s victory in the last round of the F.A Cup was there only triumph in September. Mark Jones’ side have lost four consecutive league games with the latest defeat coming at Hemel Hempstead Town. Zac McEachran scored his fourth goal in his last two appearances, but his consolation wasn’t enough for the Nomads.

Prior to the losing streak, Oxford City did go four unbeaten including decent victories against St Albans City and a surprise win over Torquay United at home. Jones’ side is capable of springing a cup shock as they proved last term when they beat Colchester United away in round one, although the Nomads went out to Notts County in the following round it was there best F.A Cup run since 1969/1970.

Recently returning from injury, Rob Sinclair came back after a six weeks out of action. His boss described his return as a ‘big advantage’. The goalscoring threat will come from Matthew Patterson, prolific at Gosport Borough, he joined Oxford City last summer then scored 27 times in his debut season.

Last season goals from Elliot Bradbrook and Tom Murphy at Marsh Lane secured a double over Oxford City. Earlier that season the Darts thrashed their opponents 7-1 which included a Warren Mfula hat-trick.

Head to Head

Oxford City wins: 1 / Dartford wins: 5 / Draws: 3

Previous Meetings

24.03.2018 Oxford City 0 Dartford 2
19.08.2017 Dartford 7 Oxford City 1
25.02.2017 Oxford City 1 Dartford 1
29.10.2016 Dartford 1 Oxford City 0
23.04.2016 Dartford 2 Oxford City 2
15.09.2015 Oxford City 2 Dartford 1

Current Form (all competitions) FAC-F.A Cup

Oxford City (LWLLLW) Dartford (WWDDLW)
Hemel Hempstead Town A 1-2 Weston-super-Mare H 2-1
Cray Valley Paper Mills (FAC) H 5-0 AFC Uckfield Town (FAC) A 3-1
Bath City H 1-2 Billericay Town A 1-1
Slough Town A 0-2 Eastbourne Borough H 2-2
Welling United A 2-3 St Albans City A 0-2
Wealdstone H 3-0 East Thurrock United H 2-0

Stats

Dartford have reached the 4th Qualifying Round or further four times in the last five seasons.

Last season Oxford City progressed beyond the 3rd Qualifying Round for the first time in four years going on to equal their best ever FA Cup run.

The Darts have always managed to score against Oxford City in all of the previous nine meetings.

This will be the fourth cup match between the two sides with Dartford winning three and drawing one. The pair met in the F.A Cup in 1935 and the F.A Trophy in 2008. Ten years ago, the Darts drew 3-3 before winning the replay 4-2.

On This Day

The Darts have won their last four games on 6 October most recently in 2012. Dartford famously went to Blundell Park and beat Grimsby Town 2-0 in the National League. Tom Champion opened the scoring before Adam Birchall completed the upset. In 2001, Dartford beat Ashford Town 3-1 in the Southern League Division One East and in 1990 they overcame Moor Green 2-1 at Watling Street in the Southern Premier. In another National League fixture back in 1984, Dartford beat Northwich Victoria 1-0. Taken from the Princes Among Men book, the first recorded match was on 6 October 1988 when Dartford lost 3-1 to local rivals Erith in a friendly, Alf Mace scored Dartford’s first goal.

Dartford v Weston-super-Mare

Dartford are back in National South action this weekend when they host bottom of the table Weston-super-Mare.

The Darts, unbeaten in their last three matches have left it late in each of those games picking up last minute draws against Eastbourne Borough and Billericay Town, then surviving a cup upset at AFC Uckfield Town.
Weston-super-Mare have failed to record a win in the league this season and have picked up just two points losing eight of their opening ten fixtures.

Dartford needed three goals in the last nine minutes last weekend against AFC Uckfield Town, who play three divisions below the Darts in the Southern Combination Premier League. The hosts entered the F.A Cup second qualifier on a 12-match unbeaten run and were close to extending their run.

The Uckers led at half time and had a chance cleared of the line in the first half, whilst Charlie Sheringham had a goal disallowed for the Darts. The Sussex club went ahead when top scorer Callum Smith gave the hosts an unexpected lead.

A change of formation and the introduction of Jamie Philpot at the interval improved Dartford’s performance. Tom Murphy was another inspired substitution and his 20-yard curler nine minutes from time levelled the tie. Fitness began to show in the latter stages and Charlie Sheringham added a second on his return from suspension, before Elliot Bradbrook netted the third. At the back, Kenneth Yao made his debut on loan from Charlton Athletic.

Dartford joint-boss Adam Flanagan praised his opponents when speaking to www.kentonline.co.uk, he commented: “It was a typical FA Cup game against a lower-level team, who performed excellently”. During the half-time break a few honest words and a tactical switch proved worth it, he added: “We said to the players at half-time that potentially this is a result people will talk about if we don’t turn it around”, he added: “We asked for character and a big second half performance – and I think we got that”.

League form for the Darts has been sporadic, opening the campaign with two straight wins and a draw before performances dipped with three consecutive losses. A Bank Holiday win at home to East Thurrock United gave the club respite until defeat at St Albans City. However a few loan signings and two spirited late draws has given the Darts a bit more optimism.

Weston-super-Mare, were also in F.A Cup action on the weekend and drew with Salisbury City of the Southern Premier League South. Outfield player Jamie Lucas stood out after he spent more than half the tie in goal and scored a penalty. Matt Bower opened the scoring before goalkeeper Luke Purnell was sent off. Lucas went in between the sticks and on the stroke of half-time when the Seagulls won a penalty, Lucas converted to make it 2-0. Salisbury City halved the deficit with fifteen minutes to go and in injury snatched victory away from Weston-super-Mare with an equaliser.

The replay on Tuesday night went to extra time and the Seagulls finally grabbed their first win of the season. An own goal put Weston-super-Mare in front in the first half but the tie was level when Salisbury City equalised in the second half. At 1-1 the match went into extra time and it was Salisbury City who took the lead. The Seagulls threw everyone forward in a bid to stay in the cup and it worked. Coming on as a substitute Tom Llewellyn made it 2-2 and full back George Nurse netted the winner. Earlier in the day Nurse had extended his loan spell from Bristol City along with central defender Matt Bower from Cheltenham Town. Also featuring in the cup tie was former Dart, Ben Swallow.

Despite no wins in the league manager Marc McGregor feels his side are not too far away from competing. Apart from poor performances against Wealdstone and Bath City, McGregor believes his side have had chances to win matches having often led games only to see the Seagulls drop points.

It’s been just under six months since Dartford last hosted Weston-Super-Mare in a match that ended 3-1 to the Darts. Alex Brown, Elliot Bradbrook and Alfie Pavey put Dartford three up whilst Llewellyn added a consolation. The meeting between the two sides earlier last season finished in a 3-0 victory for the Seagulls.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 8 / Weston-Super-Mare wins: 3 / Draws: 4

Current League Form

Dartford (DDLWLL) Weston-super-Mare (LLLLDL)
Billericay Town A 1-1 Hemel Hempstead Town H 1-2
Eastbourne Borough H 2-2 Hampton and Richmond A 1-3
St Albans City A 0-2 Eastbourne Borough H 0-1
East Thurrock United H 2-0 Bath City A 0-2
Hungerford Town A 0-1 Oxford City H 1-1
Wealdstone H 0-3 Billericay Town A 2-4

Previous Meetings

07.04.2018 Dartford 3 Weston-super-Mare 1
23.09.2017 Weston-super-Mare 3 Dartford 0
17.01.2017 Dartford 3 Weston-super-Mare 2
26.11.2016 Weston-super-Mare 2 Dartford 4
20.08.2016 Weston-super-Mare 1 Dartford 2
05.03.2016 Weston-super-Mare 2 Dartford 1

Stats

Dartford have never lost at home to Weston-super-Mare winning four and drawing three, the Darts have won their last three home matches against the Seagulls.

Weston-super-Mare have only won two of the last 14 meetings with Dartford losing eight and drawing four. the Seagulls only other win was in the first meeting between the two sides in 1996.

The Seagulls have conceded six goals in the final 15 minutes of matches, more than any other club in the Natioanl South. During the last half hour the amount Weston-super_mare have let in rises to ten, only Truro City have conceded more in the final thirty minutes.

Dartford on the other hand have been slow starters conceding eight times in the opening fifteen minutes of either half, more than any other team in the division. The Darts have let in three goals in the opening 15 minutes and five in the first 15 minutes half-time.

On This Day

Dartford have drawn 2-2 in their last two matches on 29 September both in the F.A Cup second qualifying round. The most recent draw came in 2007 when the Darts were held by Camberley Town at Princes Park, Brendon Cass and John Guest the scorers, Dartford won the replay 4-1, six years earlier, the Darts drew with Croydon Athletic. The last home match in the league was way back in 1984 with the Darts beating Altrincham 1-0 in the National League. However the last league match on this day ended with Dartford losing 2-0 away to Gloucester City in 1990.

AFC Uckfield Town v Dartford

Dartford return to the F.A Cup with a second qualifying round tie against Southern Combination Premier League side AFC Uckfield Town this weekend.

The Darts travel to the Oaks keen to avoid an upset against a team three divisions below them in the non-league structure. In Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle’s first cup game managing Dartford, they will need to prepare for the Sussex club who are currently on a twelve match unbeaten run in all competitions.

Performances have improved since Flanagan and Coyle’s additions to the squad which include Charlie Sheringham, who will return from suspension, winger Tom Knowles and forward Amadou Ba. In their last two outings, the Darts have showed tremendous character and spirit to rescue points against in form teams. A fortnight ago, they came from behind twice to draw with third place Eastbourne Borough, Elliot Bradbrook scoring in the final minute. Last weekend, Dartford drew 1-1 at second place Billericay Town with an injury time equaliser from substitute Jamie Philpot, who returned from injury.

The right back position has been filled by midfielder Chez Isaac lately due to Callum Driver’s hip injury. Tom Murphy has also been sidelined  resulting in the loan signing of Charlton Athletic defender Kenneth Yao this week. The 20-year-old will be available this weekend and has made two appearances for the Addicks this term, one in the League Cup and the other in the Checkatrade Trophy.

Dartford will hope to repeat the F.A Cup run of last year when they reached the first round proper bowing out to League Two side Swindon Town. During that run the Darts had to overcome three teams from lower divisions beating Barking, Needham Market and Burgess Hill Town along the way. The last time Dartford went out at this stage was three years ago when Uxbridge caused an upset at Princes Park, the only time in the previous nine years that the Darts have fell at the second qualifying round.

Led by first team manager Anthony Storey, AFC Uckfield Town have already made history in the competition by winning their first ever F.A Cup tie. The Sussex club were only formed four years ago when Uckfield Town and AFC Uckfield merged. The Uckers lost their first ever F.A Cup fixture in 2016 and went out in a replay last term at the first hurdle.

Storey is relishing the chance to cause an upset and is not phased at playing a team three divisions above, on the club’s Twitter page he said: “This is a massive home draw for the club, and for the town of Uckfield. We prepare for the game the ame as any other, and I will be working closely with the management team here, and we will be doing our homework on them”.

This season their journey started on 11 August in the extra preliminary round, when Dartford were playing their third league game of the campaign. Bailo Camara was AFC Uckfield Town’s history maker scoring the winning goal against Glebe of the Southern Counties East League Premier Division.

The Uckers were drawn out against Broadfields United in the preliminary round and had a much more comfortable second half versus the Spartan South Midlands League Division One side. Dee Okojie opened the scoring for AFC Uckfield Town midway through the first period, but Broadfields United levelled through Dave Lawrence. The second half saw Broadfields United miss a penalty early on, the let off inspired a faultless display from then on, as the Uckers scored three unanswered goals by Sam Cooper, Callum Smith and Okojie from the spot.

In the last round AFC Uckfield Town hosted AFC Croydon Athletic, now plying their trade in the Southern Counties East League Premier Division. Once again, the Sussex club were triumphant with a 1-0 victory, this time courtesy of a late winner and all without top scorer Callum Smith. This time it was his brother Regan who grabbed the local headlines earning the Uckers a second qualifying round tie with the Darts.

Since a 4-3 defeat on the opening day against Horsham YMCA, the Uckers have won three and drew two in the league and remain in all cup competitions. Most recently they beat Littlehampton Town 3-0 in a Charity Cup match and brushed aside Southwick 5-0 in the F.A Vase. Callum Smith is the main source for AFC Uckfield Town’s goals, the striker has netted 14 in all competitions including two hat-tricks, one of which was a four goal haul in a 4-3 win.

Current Form (all competitions) CC-Charity Cup / FAV-F.A Vase / FAC-F.A Cup / ChC-Challenge Cup

AFC Uckfield Town (WLWLWW) Dartford (DDLWLL)
Littlehampton (CC) H 3-0 Billericay Town A 1-1
Southwick (FAV) H 5-0 Eastbourne Borough H 2-2
Eastbourne Town H 2-1 St Albans City A 0-2
AFC Croydon Athletic (FAC) H 1-0 East Thurrock United H 2-0
Eastbourne United AFC (ChC) A 6-0 Hungerford Town A 0-1
Hollands & Blair (FAV) H 2-0 Wealdstone H 0-3

Stats

Dartford have win their last five F.A Cup games away from home beating Burgess Hill Town, Needham Market, Tonbridge Angels, Slough Town and Chelmsford City. The last away defeat in the competition was on 7 December 2014 against Bradford City in the second round proper.

The Darts have made at least the first round proper in five of the last eight F.A Cup campaigns.

Since the cup upset against Uxbridge, Dartford have scored three or more goals in six of their last eight F.A Cup games.

On This Day

Dartford famously drew 2-2 with Wrexham at the Racecourse Ground six years ago with Lee Noble’s last minute equaliser. Danny Harris gave the Darts the lead after just four minutes, but the Welsh side went 2-1 up with goals from Danny Wright and Andy Bishop. Noble claimed a memorable draw for the Darts equalising with a 25 yard free-kick. In the Isthmian Premier League winning season, Dartford beat Sutton United 3-0 on 22 September 2009 with a brace from Rob Haworth and an own goal. In the Isthmian Division One North league winning campaign eleven years ago, Adam Flanagan scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win over AFC Sudbury, who ended up runners up come the end of the season.

Billericay Town v Dartford

Dartford face a tough away match this weekend when they travel to Isthmian Premier League champions Billericay Town.

For the all the headlines created by the Essex club they have started life in the National South comfortably. The Blues are currently in second place, three points behind the leaders with an unbeaten home record.

Meanwhile the Darts are down in sixteenth with three away defeats in four, however they can take some confidence in the spirit they showed last weekend when drawing 2-2 with Eastbourne Borough, who started the day in third place.

Charlie Sheringham’s homecoming was described by the striker as ‘eventful’, he told www.kentonline.co.uk: “I played quite well, scored a goal to equalise and was a little bit unfortunate to get sent off”, the 30-year-old will miss the trip to Essex. Debuting in last weekend’s draw was Amadou Ba, who made a positive impression in his first loan appearance from Southend United.

After failing to score in five of the last six matches before last weekend, Dartford were relieved to score twice last Saturday. Eastbourne Borough twice took the lead only for Sheringham’s penalty and Elliot Bradbrook’s close range volley in stoppage time to leave the scores level.

It’s been eight and half years since Dartford faced Billericay Town in the Isthmian Premier League. The Blues won both encounters winning 1-0 in February 2010 and a month later beating the Darts 4-1 at Princes Park. In the season before, Dartford did the double winning 1-0 courtesy of a Lee Noble free kick in October 2008 and 2-0 at home in February 2009, with goals from Brendon Cass and John Guest. Current managers Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle were part of the playing squad in each of those campaigns.

It’s not often a newly promoted team is one of the favourites to win the title and on field results so far prove Billericay Town deserve that tag. However, performances on the pitch have been overshadowed by off field drama which is nothing new to the club over the last few years.

For a team enjoying only their second ever campaign at National South level, the last one was in 2012/13 when the Blues finished second from bottom, the opening five games saw the Essex club drop just two points. Jake Robinson, who comfortably leads the National South goalscoring charts on ten goals, scored all four in the opening day victory at Truro City. A draw in their first home game with Concord Rangers was followed by three straight victories and then the drama began.

Losing for the first time in 18 league matches stretching back to March, Harry Wheeler was harshly sacked after defeat to Chippenham Town. A decision owner Glenn Tamplin admits was a mistake, he told www.essexlive.news: “I made a mistake in letting him go – it was my fault. I’m learning as I go and Harry is a great loss. I’ve tried getting Harry to come back but he doesn’t want to come back and I understand that because I sacked him and I shouldn’t have done”. Wheeler now at Maidstone United has taken head coach Tristan Lewis and sports scientist Craig Lewis with him.

The Blues went on to beat St Albans City on Bank Holiday Monday, then more off field controversy ensued after their second loss of the season at Woking.

Tamplin, who once appointed himself as manager, sacked himself then rehired himself two days later, is now trying to sell the club because of accusations affecting his family and health. However, if an investor cannot be found then Tamplin will continue, he told www.essexlive.news: “It is looking like I am going to stay because I can’t find investors that are willing to put their hand in their pocket every week like I do and I’m not going to hand it over to someone that is going to let the club sit in this league or go down a league and not continue with the dream that I sold to the fans and the community”.

With all the focus in the national media, Billericay Town were glad to be back in action again last weekend when they visited Hemel Hempstead Town. The Blues ran out 2-0 winners and for once Robinson was kept of the scoresheet. Adam Cunnington scored his first of the campaign and Moses Emmanuel netted his third for the season. Conor Hunte made his debut in a line up which included former Dartford goalkeeper Alan Julian, who made 45 appearances for the Darts during the 2013/2014 National League campaign.

Head to Head

Billericay Town wins: 2 / Dartford wins: 2 / Draws: 0

Current Form

Billericay Town (WLWLWW) Dartford (DLWLLL)
Hemel Hempstead Town A 2-0 Eastbourne Borough H 2-2
Woking A 1-2 St Albans City A 0-2
St Albans City H 3-2 East Thurrock United H 2-0
Chippenham Town A 0-2 Hungerford Town A 0-1
Weston-super-Mare H 4-2 Wealdstone H 0-3
Welling United A 3-0 Concord Rangers A 0-2

Previous Meetings

06.03.2010 Dartford 1 Billericay Town 4
02.02.2010 Billericay Town 1 Dartford 0
14.02.2009 Dartford 2 Billericay Town 0
04.10.2008 Billericay Town 0 Dartford 1

Stats

Charlie Sheringham’s goal on Saturday was his first for the club since rejoining, his previous goal for the Darts was on 13 April 2013.

The Darts trailed twice last weekend and equalised on both occasions, the Darts have now picked up four points from losing positions (W1, D1).

Dartford are yet to score in the opening 15 minutes of either half.

On This Day

Dartford produced an excellent performance six years ago in the National League sweeping Hereford United aside at Princes Park. The 4-0 rout started with Ryan Hayes’ left foot drive into the top corner and followed by James Rodgers’ header from a Hayes cross. Danny Harris scored the Darts third and a Jon Wallis free kick completed the comprehensive victory. That win was the first on this day since 1991 when Dartford beat Ware 5-1 in the F.A Cup first qualifying round. The last fixture played by Dartford on 15 September was three years ago when they lost 2-1 to Oxford City, Andy Pugh scoring for the Darts.

Dartford v Eastbourne Borough

Four defeats in five games have left Dartford needing goals and much needed points, when they host Eastbourne Borough at Princes Park this weekend.

The Darts have struggled in front of goal this season and have failed to find the net in five of their last six National South outings. After the 2-0 reverse last weekend away to St Albans City, Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle will want their side to make the most of home advantage against this weekend’s opponents Eastbourne Borough, the Sports have started their campaign well and are third in the league.

Improving the attacking options has been a priority and the management duo took some steps in addressing the lack of firepower. Charlie Sheringham started his third spell with the Darts making his debut on Saturday, the striker who was with Hemel Hempstead Town last term spent some time in Bangladesh. The 30 year-old made 61 starting appearances and scored 41 times during his previous two spells with the Darts.

Also making his debut was Cambridge United winger Tom Knowles who signed a one month loan deal with Dartford. Jamie Philpot, who came off injured in the East Thurrock United win didn’t take part in the defeat at St Albans City and Callum Driver was also missing from the squad.

The latest addition to the squad is Amadou Ba, the on loan French striker from Southend United will be available for selection. The 20 year-old has made five appearances for the Essex club and was part of Le Havre’s reserve team before moving across the Channel.

Dartford are not in the best of form and so Coyle has called on his players to match opponents on their work ethic, something that was done against East Thurrock United, he spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk after their previous home triumph and commented: “We have been disappointed because not only have we not got the results but the performances have been poor and that’s been a concern”, he added: “If we lose games, we can’t lose them when we’ve been outworked by the opposition and that’s happened recently”.

Statistics point towards a low scoring afternoon and much of Eastbourne Borough’s success has been built on a solid back line. However, if previous meetings between the two sides are anything to go by then the low scoring trend could well be broken.

Former Dartford favourite Dave Martin may have scored the match winner in their last game against Weston-super-Mare, but a fourth clean sheet in eight shows how tough it’s been to breach the Sports defence, which includes former Darts, Marvin Hamilton and Tom Gardiner.

Martin earned a move to Crystal Palace after impressing at Princes Park, where he scored 16 goals, some of them memorable in 71 starting appearances. The winger enjoyed spells at Millwall and Southend United before returning to non-league, which included a loan spell back at the Darts in 2013 where he made a further 11 appearances.

Gardiner joined the Sports from St Albans City and whilst the defender was at Dartford he played 75 times. Marvin Hamilton spell at the Darts was very brief, the 29 year-old made just one substitute appearance.

Unbeaten away from home, Jamie Howell’s side have won two and drawn two on their travels. Their only defeat so far came against the league leaders Woking on Bank Holiday Monday, ending a six game unbeaten run which included wins over Welling United, East Thurrock United and Chippenham Town.

The Sports’ squad includes former Ebbsfleet United and Dover Athletic defender Ian Simpemba, ex Ebbsfleet United midfielder Michael West as well as the experienced Sergio Torres and Dean Cox.

A year ago, the two sides met at Princes Park in a contest that had a major talking point. It was one way traffic in the first half as Alex Brown had Dartford ahead going into the break. Ryan Hayes, on his 400th appearance for the club set up Alfie Pavey on the hour with his corner and Elliot Bradbrook’s header four minutes later made it 3-0. Jamie Taylor pulled a goal back with six minutes remaining, but shortly afterwards it was 4-1. A quick free-kick was taken by the Sports which rebounded off the grounded Hayes, who was a few yards away. The referee controversially played on as the ball broke to Tom Murphy who scored. Eastbourne Borough managed a late consolation when Lee Noble scored an own goal. Victory secured a double over the Sussex club, Danny Mills scored the only goal at Priory Lane in April.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 10 / Eastbourne Borough wins: 4 / Draws: 2

Current Form

Dartford (LWLLLD) Eastbourne Borough (WLDWWD)
St Albans City A 0-2 Weston-super-Mare A 1-0
East Thurrock United H 2-0 Woking H 1-2
Hungerford Town A 0-1 St Albans City A 1-1
Wealdstone H 0-3 Chippenham Town H 2-1
Concord Rangers A 0-2 East Thurrock United A 1-0
Hemel Hempstead Town H 0-0 Truro City H 2-2

Previous Meetings

14.04.2018 Eastbourne Borough 0 Dartford 1
12.09.2017 Dartford 4 Eastbourne Borough 2
08.04.2017 Dartford 4 Eastbourne Borough 3
16.08.2011 Eastbourne Borough 2 Dartford 3
20.02.2016 Eastbourne Borough 1 Dartford 1
11.08.2015 Dartford 1 Eastbourne Borough 0

Stats

Dartford are unbeaten in their last ten matches against Eastbourne Borough stretching back to 2011 (W8, D2). The Darts have won the last four against the Sussex club.

Under the guise of Eastbourne Borough, the Sports won their first four meetings against the Darts between 2001 and 2003.

The Darts have won their last five home matches against the Sussex club, scoring eight and conceding five in the last two meetings at Princes Park.

Games involving Dartford and Eastbourne Borough this season have been low scoring. The Darts have totalled 14 goals in their fixtures (scored 5 conceded 9) whilst the Sports have seen just 15 (scored 9 conceded 6).

Only East Thurrock United (3) have scored fewer then Dartford this term.

On This Day

Dartford last won on 8 September way back in 2001 when they beat Grantham Town 1-0 in the Southern League Division One East. The last home win was even further back in 1979, the Darts beat Hastings United 3-0 in the Southern League Southern Division. The last match Dartford played on this day ended in a 2-0 defeat away to Gateshead in the National League six years ago.

St Albans City v Dartford

After a barren spell of victories and goals for Dartford they were back to winning ways on Bank Holiday Monday, now they have to end a poor run of form against St Albans City this weekend.

The Darts have lost three straight games at Clarence Park without finding the back of the net, hopefully the home win over East Thurrock United this week will provide Dartford with the confidence to break the sequence.

Joint manager, Jamie Coyle praised his team after the 2-0 win over the Rocks on monday, he spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk and said: “It’s been a tough couple of weeks, we’ve worked hard on the training pitch to get things right”.

Adam Flanagan and Coyle made two changes in an attempt to put things right with Lee Noble returning from injury and replacing Simon Mensah. The management duo recognised more was needed up front and in came Kudus Oyenuga for Alfie Cue.

The return and stand out performance of Noble was noted by Coyle, he commented: “He’s always on the front foot and in the face of the opposition. It allows everyone in midfield and the back four to get higher up the pitch and press with him”, he added: “He’s a catalyst of so much what the club has done in the past and what we’re going to do this year. You can really see when he doesn’t play that we miss him”.

Tom Bonner put Dartford ahead after a goal was wrongly ruled out earlier. Bonner smashed home a driven shot taking advantage of East Thurrock United’s goalkeeper who had flapped at Ben Greenhalgh’s corner. Noble provided a clever cross for the second goal, which Greenhalgh put away with a diving header at the far post, his first goal for the club.

Charlie Sheringham returns to the Darts for a third spell having previously scored 36 goals in 26 appearances, the 30 year old striker joins from Hemel Hempstead Town. Winger, Tom Knowles has also been signed on a one month loan from Cambridge United, the 18 year old has previous experience with St Ives Town, Cambridge City and St Neots Town. Meanwhile, Alfie Cue has gone out on a month loan to Leatherhead.

A win moved the Darts up six places to eleventh and a point behind a playoff place, whilst also ending a four game winless streak.

If goals are on the agenda then it normally involves St Albans City, already this season they have been involved in four games ending 3-2, winning two of those, against Hungerford Town on the opening day and Weston-super-Mare a week later.

On Bank Holiday Monday, the Saints lost one of those five goal thrillers to newly promoted and title challengers Billericay Town. Ian Allinson’s side were reduced to ten men just before half-time when Harold Joseph was red carded with his team 2-1 up. Billericay Town made use of the extra man scoring before the break then the winner in the second half. Two former Dartford defenders lined up in the starting eleven, Tom Bender who played 20 times during the 2014/2015 campaign and Richard Sho-Silva who managed 24 appearances last season scoring three goals.

Up front, Allinson can call upon striker Ralston Gabriel, the summer signing has started well at his new club scoring five times in St Albans City’s opening seven fixtures. Last season he netted 32 goals for Haringey Borough in their Isthmian Division One North playoff winning campaign, including four hat-tricks.

The Saints haven’t managed a repeat of last season’s start when they won six in a row. The Hertfordshire club finished four points and a place below the playoffs in the end but have only taken seven points from their first seven National South fixtures this time.

It was only seven months ago when the Darts last played at Clarence Park and were trounced 4-0, a repeat of the score in April 2016 at the same venue. Two goals from Sam Merson in three first half minutes followed by second-half strikes by Percy Kiangebeni and Rhys Murrell-Williamson earned the Saints three points last term. Earlier in that season, the Darts won at Princes Park 2-1 with Elliot Bradbrook opening the scoring and Bender’s own goal handing his former side the win. Bender also got on the scoresheet in November 2016 when St Albans City won 2-0 away from home, again Merson scored the other.

Dartford have managed just one win in their last five attempts against this weekend’s opponents.

Head to Head

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

Current Form

St Albans City (LDLLLL) Dartford (WLLLDW
Billericay Town A 2-3 East Thurrock United H 2-0
Eastbourne Borough H 1-1 Hungerford Town A 0-1
Oxford City A 1-2 Wealdstone H 0-3
Hampton & Richmond H 2-3 Concord Rangers A 0-2
Weston-super-Mare A 2-3 Hemel Hempstead Town H 0-0
Woking A 1-2 Chelmsford City H 1-0

Previous Meetings

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
30.04.2016 St Albans City 4 Dartford 0
06.02.2016 Dartford 2 St Albans City 0

Stats

In every St Albans City match this season both teams have scored, only once has this happened this term in Dartford games, on the opening day of the campaign.

The Darts have failed to score in four of their last five trips to Clarence Park.

Tom Bonner’s goal on Bank Holiday Monday ended a run of 411 minutes without scoring for the Darts.

A total of 28 goals have been scored in games involving St Albans City this season, more than any other team at four goals a game. There has only been 12 goals during Dartford matches the fourth fewest number of goals.

On This Day

Harry Crawford netted a hat-trick as Dartford completed one of their best performances in the National League on this day six years ago. The last time the Darts played on 1 September was at home to Alfreton Town and Crawford was the star of the show. The striker’s low drive opened the scoring, Jacob Erskine added a second and Ryan Hayes prodded in a third. Crawford scored again in the second half before Danny Meadows pulled a goal back for the Reds. Crawford secured the match ball scoring his third of the match from close range. Prior Dartford’s big win they had played their last four games on this day at home in the F.A Cup Preliminary Round beating Leatherhead 3-0 in 2007 with a brace from Brendon Cass and a goal by Tom Bradbrook. The Darts drew 2-2 with Carterton Town in 2002, defeated Eastbourne Borough 3-1 a year before and drew 1-1 with Horsham in 1996. The last away game was in 1990 and ended in a 4-0 defeat to Bromsgrove Rovers in the Southern Premier League.