Rss

Archives for : Match Preview

Torquay United v Dartford

Dartford make their second trip to Plainmoor on the weekend, this time taking on title challengers and second place Torquay United.

The Darts hope to record their first ever win against the Gulls and if they do so they could end the day in third place. Torquay United were leading the National South last weekend on goal difference, however a mid-week Woking win means the Devonshire club will be playing catch up, three points behind with a game in hand.

The attendance for Dartford’s last visit to Plainmoor was a mere 87 when they played Truro City, it’s safe to say a far bigger crowd will be watching this weekend. The hosts are looking to complete a double over the Darts after winning the reverse fixture in December 2-0. Gary Johnson’s side had to work hard for the victory after a much improved display from Dartford, who had the better chances in the first half. Those missed opportunities came back to haunt Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle’s side when Ruairi Keating volleyed into the roof of the net and Jamie Reid doubled the lead two minutes from time.

Elliot Bradbrook and Lee Noble were part of the squad last time Dartford played Torquay United at Plainmoor almost four years ago, although Noble was an unused substitute in the 0-0 draw. This year the duo will miss out through suspension after picking up too many yellow cards. The absence of Noble in Dartford’s previous fixture meant Joe Healy played his second game for the Darts in last weekend’s victory.

Dartford beat a struggling Gloucester City side at Princes Park thanks to a stunning Phil Roberts volley and a Charlie Sheringham penalty. Stretching their unbeaten run at home to eight, the Darts moved up to fifth in the National South despite not be at their very best. As well as Healy making his home debut, Callum Driver returned to the starting eleven for the first time since August replacing Mark Onyemah. Dartford took the lead just before the interval when Ryan Hayes found space on the right and picked out Roberts with a floating cross, Roberts watched the ball come down and hit a first time volley back across the goal into the far corner. Then seven minutes from time, the Darts won a penalty which Sheringham scored to make sure Dartford earned all three points.

Coyle praised his team after the game, the joint manager spoke to www.kentonlikne.co.uk and said: “I’m pleased with the result because it was tough conditions today. It wasn’t a good game of football to watch for the neutral but it was a real professional performance from the boys. We were a little bit scrappy in the first 10 minutes of the second half and they had a couple of half-chances where we switched off but overall it was a good collective performance”. After three games in a week, Coyle was also grateful that he could call up Healy in central midfield, he commented: “You could see there were a few tired legs out there, we’ve had three games in a week and some of the boys are pushing on 31, 32 but Joe Healy freshened it up for us. He’s come in, given us a hand again and done really well, got man-of-the-match”.

An unbeaten February helped Flanagan and Coyle to the Manager of the Month award, in that time they guided the Darts to three wins and two draws beating Woking twice along the way. March may have started with an away defeat to Dulwich Hamlet, but back to back victories mean the Darts have won five of their last seven.

In the home dugout Gary Johnson has got Torquay United back on track since taking over in September. The experienced boss has lifted the Gulls from fourteenth to second, as the Devonshire club bids to return to the National League at the first attempt. Torquay United climbed the table after going sixteen games unbeaten, which included a ten game winning streak. Since then pressure to claim the National South title could be playing its part in a few surprise results recently.

In the last eight games the Gulls have lost three times against Bath City, Welling United and in their last home outing versus bottom of the table side Weston-super-Mare. However, in that spell they have notched up impressive victories along the way including a 7-2 hammering of Oxford City and a 5-2 thrashing of Dulwich Hamlet. Despite the shock loss at home to Weston-super-Mare, Johnson’s side bounced back last weekend with a 2-0 win at Billericay Town, Jamie Reid scoring again to take his league tally to 23 for the campaign. Reid is on course for the Golden Boot, but Torquay United have plenty of firepower in their ranks top scoring in the division with 74 goals.

The league title is still in their hands, but with a run in which includes seven teams in the top half, including an away trip to league leaders Woking, it could go down to the wire and Dartford fans will know all about that.

Head to Head

Torquay United wins: 1 / Dartford wins: 0 / Draws: 2

Current League Form

Torquay United (WLWWLW) Dartford (WWLWDW)
Billericay Town A 2-0 Gloucester City H 2-0
Weston-super-Mare H 1-2 Hemel Hempstead Town A 2-1
East Thurrock United A 2-1 Dulwich Hamlet A 0-2
Dulwich Hamlet H 5-2 Woking H 2-0
Welling United A 0-2 Slough Town A 2-2
Hemel Hempstead Town A 4-1 Bath City H 3-0

Previous Meetings

04.12.2018 Dartford 0 Torquay United 2
04.04.2015 Torquay United 1 Dartford 1
23.08.2014 Dartford 0 Torquay United 0

Stats 

Phil Roberts has scored four goals in his last four games and since being at Dartford he’s managed eight goals in 13 starts for the club.

A Dartford win will make it three in a row for the first time since November, when they last won consecutive away league games.

Jamie Reid has scored ten goals in his last ten league games.

The Gulls have scored in each of their last 11 home games, but have conceded two or more in their last three matches at Plainmoor.

On This Day

Dartford’s last win on 16 March was fifteen years ago when they beat Sittingbourne 1-0 in the Southern League Division One East. Since then the Darts have lost their last two, in 2010 Boreham Wood won 2-1 in the Isthmian Premier with Dartford’s goal coming from Lee Burns. Three years later in the National League, Dartford were beaten 3-0 at Hyde. The Darts have not won away from home on this day since 1963 against Merthyr Tydfil, a run of three defeats and a draw.

Dartford v Gloucester City

Dartford will aim to make it three consecutive home wins this weekend when they host a reformed Gloucester City battling against the drop.

The Darts have scored five without reply in their last two outings at Princes Park beating playoff contenders Bath City 3-0 and title challengers Woking 2-0. Unbeaten in their last seven home matches, Dartford have dropped just four points in that run and another victory will follow on from Tuesday night’s dramatic away triumph at Hemel Hempstead Town.

Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle made one change on Tuesday night to the team that were beaten at Dulwich Hamlet. Ryan Hayes who missed the weekend’s fixture returned, whilst Charlie Sheringham who has been out with an ankle injury was named on the bench against one of his former sides. The Darts edged a frustrating first half, but arguably the best chance fell to Hemel Hempstead Town’s central defender Darren Ward. The deadlock was finally broken with ten minutes remaining when the former Tudors striker Phil Roberts scored his sixth of the season. The hosts were awarded a penalty with three minutes to go and their top scorer Jordan Parkes made it count. With the game heading for a draw, Roberts popped up again a minute later to snatch three vital away points, a seventh goal in just thirteen appearances.

Tuesday’s result moved Dartford into sixth above Bath City and now they are just a couple of points behind third place Chelmsford City, whose match with Torquay United was postponed.  Pressure from teams trying to break into the top seven came from Wealdstone, who trounced Weston-Super-Mare and Concord Rangers who also left it late to beat Gloucester City.

Gloucester City went in one up at half time on against Concord Rangers thanks to Luke Russe’s stunning strike. On loan from Bristol Rovers until the end of the season, the midfielder let fly from distance to give the Tigers the lead. Manager, Mike Cook has been facing a goalkeeping crisis this week. In the 0-0 draw with Wealdstone, Cook was forced to bring in 38 year-old Tom King to make his National South debut, he was was brought in because loanees Jojo Wollacott and Freddie Lapworth were recalled by their parent club’s. For the game against Concord Rangers on Tuesday, Will Henry on loan from Swindon Town for the rest of the season made his debut. Henry was credited with an own goal leading to Concord Rangers’ equaliser and in the last minute Lee Minshull completed the comeback for the Essex club.

Dartford came back from a goal down in the earlier league meeting with Gloucester City back in November. The Tigers took the lead three minutes before the break when Joe Hanks’ free kick was crossed on to the head of Sam Avery who headed the ball past Bailey Vose. The lead didn’t last long because on the stroke of half-time Charlie Sheringham struck a low shot to level the game. After the interval, the game was settled three minutes into the second half. Sheringham turned provider when he squared the ball across goal for Ben Greenhalgh to tap in.

The Darts completed the double over Gloucester City last term with the last meeting at Princes Park finishing in a comfortable 4-1 victory. Warren Mfula opened the scoring after the striker wriggled free of his marker and stuck his shot into the far corner. The lead was doubled when Lyle Della-Verde tapped into an empty net, the winger netted again in the second half with an assured curling finish. Alfie Pavey made it four before Jamie Edge scored a consolation. Pavey was on hand again last April when he scored the winner in a tighter 1-0 away triumph.

After Marc Richards left the managerial role to take charge of Hereford, Gloucester City appointed Chris Todd as their manager in early October. The former Eastleigh boss lost his first six league games. Under pressure, the Tigers picked up just four points under Todd in twelve outings failing to pick up a win. After three months Todd left by mutual consent leaving the Tigers second from bottom and was replaced with Mike Cook.

Cook has managed to get Gloucester City out of the relegation zone and after two defeats at the start of his reign, the were unbeaten in seven before Tuesday night’s loss against Concord Rangers. The Tigers have tightened up their defence since the New Year with Cook making his side difficult to breakdown. The Tigers have kept six clean sheets in their last eight National South outings, but are four points and a place above the relegation zone.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 28 / Gloucester City wins: 12 / Draws: 10

Current League Form

Dartford (WLWDWW) Gloucester City (?WWLLD)
Hemel Hempstead Town A 2-1 Concord Rangers H 1-2
Dulwich Hamlet A 0-2 Wealdstone H 0-0
Woking H 2-0 Chelmsford City H 0-0
Slough Town A 2-2 Hampton & Richmond A 1-0
Bath City H 3-0 Slough Town A 2-1
Woking A 1-0 Bath City H 1-0

Previous Meetings

03.11.2018 Gloucester City 1 Dartford 2
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

Stats

Dartford are unbeaten in six against Gloucester city (W5, D1), their last defeat against the Tigers was in the Southern Premier League 29 years ago.

The Darts have won their last four home meetings versus Gloucester City including a 6-2 win in the Southern Premier League back in 1990. Dartford’s last home defeat against the Tigers was in 1984.

Dartford are unbeaten at home against teams currently lower than eighth in the table (W6, D4).

Gloucester City have scored the fewest goals in the league, just 22 and have lost all eight games against sides in the top ten.

The Tigers have also recorded eight 0-0 draws this term helping them to the most clean sheets in the division (13). It also means they have failed to score more than any other club (16 times).

On This Day

Princes Park was rocking when Elliot Bradbrook scored a last minute winner against Wrexham six years ago. The Darts fell behind to a Danny Wright goal but equalised through Jack Evans. In stoppage time, Bradbrook headed in from a corner for a famous scalp. Both Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle missed out on a Kent derby win in 2010, the defensive duo were unavailable as the Darts beat local rivals Maidstone United 1-0, Lee Burns netting the winner. The two games prior that victory also ended 1-0 to Dartford, in 1996 Dean Bowey’s goal versus Furness in the Kent Trophy semi-final sent the Darts through to the final which they won, and in 1991 Bashley were beaten in the Southern Premier League. Dartford have won their last five games on 9 March and the run started in 1987 when Nuneaton Borough were beaten 3-1 in the F.A Trophy lquarter-final. The Darts have not tasted defeat on this day since 1964, a run of nine matches.

Hemel Hempstead Town v Dartford

Dartford are back in action on Tuesday night when they visit Hemel Hempstead Town and hope to put the weekend’s defeat behind them.

Despite a loss at Dulwich Hamlet, the Darts remain in seventh place thanks to the top six struggling to get positive results too. On Tuesday night the picture could easily change, a win will move Dartford into sixth, whilst defeat and a Wealdstone victory will see the Darts drop out of the playoff places.

Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle were unable to select Ryan Hayes on the weekend allowing Lee Noble to play out wide with Billy Crook coming in to the starting eleven. Jordan Wynter (arm) and Charlie Sheringham (ankle) were unavailable through injury, whilst in form strikers Darren McQueen and Phil Roberts were paired together up front again. Unfortunately, the form showed by McQueen and Roberts of late failed to materialise and for the first time since Boxing Day the Darts failed to find the net. Instead, new Dulwich Hamlet signing Jamie Mascoll opened the scoring in the first half and in the final minute Decarrey Sheriff sealed the win for the hosts at Champion Hill.

Earlier in the season, the Darts drew with Hemel Hempstead Town 0-0 at Princes Park and had a golden opportunity to win. With ten minutes to go the Darts won a penalty which Jamie Philpot blasted over the bar. The stalemate extended the Darts unbeaten run over the Tudors to six, which included a double over the Hertfordshire club last term.

Elliot Bradbrook will have fond memories of his last trip to Vauxhall Road, the midfielder’s brace of penalties either side Alfie Pavey’s goal gave the Darts a 3-0 victory. At Princes Park, it was Andy Pugh’s turn to score twice and help Dartford come from a goal down to win 3-2, Pavey was on hand again with a last minute winner, nine minutes after Pugh had equalised. In April 2017, Bradbrook scored another penalty at Vauxhall Road against the Tudors in a 2-2, Luke Wanadio was Dartford’s other scorer that day.

The only defeat tasted by the Darts against Hemel Hempstead Town came in 2015 on the opening day of the season. The Darts had just been relegated to the National South, whilst the Tudors finished a respectable ninth in their debut season at National South level. The game was settled by Oliver Hawkins, who now plays for Portsmouth in League One.

Hemel Hempstead Town have won just won of their last twelve National South games, but they have managed to pick up six draws in that time. On the weekend the Tudors fell to a single goal loss at Slough Town where Lee Togwell’s goal was enough to condemn Joe Deeney’s team to defeat. Deeney has been in charge at Vauxhall Road since the departure of Dean Brennan, who left to take the Billericay Town managerial role. The former assistant manager at Oxford City took charge in November and has recorded just four league wins in seventeen outings.

The Tudors last won at home almost three months ago and their last game at Vauxhall Road finished in a 2-2 draw with Concord Rangers. In fact they have drawn three of their last four home games, the only exception was the 4-1 loss against Torquay United.

Head to Head

Hemel Hempstead Town wins: 1 / Dartford wins: 4 / Draws: 3

Current League Form

Hemel Hempstead Town (LDLDLD) Dartford (LWDWWD)
Slough Town A 0-1 Dulwich Hamlet A 0-2
Concord Rangers H 2-2 Woking H 2-0
Woking A 1-3 Slough Town A 2-2
Dulwich Hamlet A 3-3 Bath City H 3-0
Torquay United H 1-4 Woking A 1-0
Chippenham Town A 1-1 Concord Rangers H 1-1

Previous Meetings

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
17.10.2015 Dartford 2 Hemel Hempstead Town 2

Stats 

Dartford last failed to score in two consecutive away games back on matchday six, the Darts lost 2-0 to Concord Rangers on 14th August and 1-0 to Hungerford Town on 25th August. The barren spell lasted one more away game in a 2-0 loss at St Albans City on 1st September.

Hemel Hempstead Town have managed one win in eleven against teams in the top seven. At home they have managed two points from the top nine out of the 21 available.

The Tudors had scored in 14 consecutive league games before their blank on the weekend, the Darts had scored in ten games in a row before the 2-0 reverse at Dulwich Hamlet.

On This Day

Dartford last won on this day eight years ago when they left it late to beat Maidenhead United at Princes Park. With the game goaless until the seventieth minute, Ryan Hayes cross found Charlie Sheringham to give the Darts the lead. In the final four minutes Elliot Bradbrook scored twice to put the result beyond doubt. Since then, Dartford drew 1-1 with Stockport County in 2013, the National League fixture finished level after Danny Harris rescued a point for the hosts. The last outing on 5 March ended in defeat at Weston-super-Mare in which a mass brawl saw Elliot Bradbrook sent off. The Darts were two down by the time George Sykes pulled a goal back before half-time, but early in the second half the dismissal left Dartford with ten men for the final 53 minutes.

Dulwich Hamlet v Dartford

Dartford’s fixture this weekend has the potential to pull in a big crowd at Champion Hill where the Darts visit Dulwich Hamlet, last season’s Isthmian Premier Playoff winners.

The Darts make the short trip to South East London on the back of beating title challengers Woking and on a run of just one defeat in their last ten National South games. Victory last weekend completed a fantastic double over the Cards without conceding against the team looking to get back up into the National League.

Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle had to shuffle the defence slightly with Jordan Wynter ruled out through injury, Mark Onyemah replaced the full-back and performed as if he had never been away from the starting eleven. With Charlie Sheringham still not fit, the front two of Phil Roberts and loanee Darren McQueen proved their worth. Both strikers found the back of the net in a 2-0 win, Roberts has now scored five in his last seven league appearances, whilst McQueen has two goals in his first two games for the club.

Joint manager, Jamie Coyle was delighted with the performance and told www.kentonline.co.uk: “I’m absolutely over the moon, to play the team at the top of the league and for our keeper not to be bothered apart from one save is testament to the whole team and how well we defended collectively”, he added: “We defended really well and it wasn’t just the back five, it was the whole team. Out of possession, we had brilliant shape, it was hard to break down and we frustrated them”.

Coyle believes his squad have come to terms with the ‘Dartford way’, he said: “We always knew we’ve got some fantastic characters and when they all started to gel together, with the new boys buying into the philosophy of the club, we’re now getting 11 players that are all singing from the same hymn sheet and really driving forward”.

The Darts struggled in front of goal for the majority of the campaign, but now with Phil Roberts and Darren McQueen making good claims to start on the weekend, Charlie Sheringham and Andy Pugh in the squad Dartford’s attacking intent should improve for the run-in to the end of the season.

It has been just under twelve and half years since Dartford last played at Champion Hill in front of 300 supporters. Since then both sides have seen their attendances swell with the Darts returning home in 2006 and Hamlet attracting new fans over recent years. After the Woking game, captain Tom Bonner commented on how the bigger crowds play a part, he commented: “I’ve been here six years and I can’t think of too many games where we’ve been bad when the place is rocking. It just went to show on Saturday; a rocking crowd and we were brilliant”. Hopefully a large number of Dartford fans will be there at Champion Hill too.

When the two sides last met in SE22, Hamlet won 3-2 with Dartford’s goals coming from Dave Martin and Eddie McClements. Eight weeks later Dartford opened their new stadium at Princes Park after fourteen homeless years. The Hamlet have only just recently experienced homelessness even if it was temporary, the Southwark based club were forced to groundshare with Tooting and Mitcham United and after months of wrangling with Meadow Partners they returned home on Boxing Day.

Gavin Rose’s Hamlet side have conceded eight goals in their last two outings, five of which came against new league leaders Torquay United. The South Londoners found themselves brushed aside and were 4-0 down at half-time. The second half improved with goals from Dipo Akinyemi and Nathan Green but that just reduced the deficit to 5-2. Dulwich Hamlet are unbeaten in two at Champion Hill with their last outing there finishing 3-3 with Hemel Hempstead Town. Decarrey Sheriff’s last minute penalty rescued a point for Hamlet as they fought back from a two goal deficit.

Rose gave debuts to three new signings in the heavy loss at Torquay United including former Dart, Luke Wanadio. The winger made 53 appearances during the 2016/2017 season and scored 13 times before joining Bromley. Wanadio joined Dulwich Hamlet on loan from National League strugglers Aldershot Town. Aryan Tajbakhsh and Jamie Mascoll are the other new signings.

Having won promotion last term and starting the campaign away from home, Rose’s side will be content to consolidate their status in the National South. As it stands the South London club are six points above the drop zone in eighteenth place.

Head to Head

Dulwich Hamlet wins: 2 / Dartford wins: 1 / Draws: 2

Current League Form

Dulwich Hamlet (LDWDLD) Dartford (WDWWDL)
Torquay United A 2-5 Woking H 2-0
Hemel Hempstead Town H 3-3 Slough Town A 2-2
Welling United H 2-1 Bath City H 3-0
Concord Rangers A 0-0 Woking A 1-0
Chelmsford City H 1-3 Concord Rangers H 1-1
East Thurrock United A 0-0 Chelmsford City A 1-2

Previous Meetings

20.10.2019 Dartford 2 Dulwich Hamlet 1
31.03.2007 Dartford 1 Dulwich Hamlet 1
19.09.2006 Dulwich Hamlet 3 Dartford 2
09.12.1996 Dulwich Hamlet 3 Dartford 1
04.12.1996 Dartford 0 Dulwich Hamlet 0

Stats

The Darts have kept three clean sheets in their last four league games. Before that they had only kept two in the previous twenty league matches.

A win for Dartford will complete a third double against a side this season having recently beaten Bath City and Woking.

Dartford have won two away games out of six against sides currently in the bottom half of the table

On This Day

Unbeaten in four games on the 2 March, Dartford last won on this day in 1996, a 3-1 victory over Sheppey United in the Kent League. Since then, the Darts have drawn two in a row at home to Banbury United in 2002 with the Southern League Division One East fixture ending 1-1. More recently, the Darts drew 2-2 away with Southport six years ago. Tom Bonner was on the scoresheet as the Darts were pegged back twice, Harry Crawford scored the opener. The unbeaten run goes back to 1991 when the Darts beat Burton Albion 2-0 in the Southern Premier League.

Dartford v Woking

Dartford welcome league leaders Woking to Princes Park this weekend and could record their first ever league double over their opponents.

The Darts took a well earned scalp against the Cards just over a fortnight ago with a last gasp winner at the Kingfield Stadium. Ronnie Vint’s header in the 97th minute secured Dartford their maiden win at Woking’s home in a hard fought clash. The Cards, who had Ben Gerring and Armani Little sent off missed out on putting pressure on Torquay United at the top of the National South, however the Surrey side have bounced back winning their last three fixtures to return to the summit.

Dartford followed up the 1-0 triumph over Woking with an entertaining 3-0 win in their last home game versus playoff chasers Bath City. Lee Noble opened the scoring with a cracking curling effort on sixteen minutes, the midfielder’s third goal this term. Charlie Sheringham made it 2-0 ten minutes later nodding in Ryan Hayes’s cross at the back post and the points were wrapped up in the second half when Phil Roberts bent the ball into the far corner from long range.

The unbeaten run continued to four with an away draw at Slough Town. The Darts found themselves behind before a minute was even on the clock, Ben Harris firing the ball beyond Bailey Vose. Dartford turned the game around when new loan signing Darren McQueen set up Ben Greenhalgh to equalise. Then the provider turned to goalscorer with McQueen following up Phil Roberts parried effort to make it 2-1. The hosts levelled the game soon after, Sean Fraser making it 2-2 to share the points with the Darts.

It was a decent start for McQueen who made his debut, grabbing an assist and netting a goal. The 23-year-old has came in from National League side Sutton United after he signed for the U’s from Ebbsfleet United. At the Fleet, the striker scored 20 times in the National South including the winner in the Playoff Final. McQueen admits that his season has been more ‘stop than start’ this term but believes in his own ability: “If I don’t get called back to Sutton, I’ll stay here and keep banging in goals and see where it takes me”, he told www.kentonline.co.uk.

Whilst joint boss, Adam Flanagan added: “I’m a big fan of Darren and have been for some time. When he was made available by Ebbsfleet, we would like to have got him but we can’t offer full-time football at the moment and Sutton can so he went there. It was just about being patient. A circular went out this week and we got onto Paul Doswell over there and managed to agree something”. He continued: “He gives us a different dimension and I thought he was very good on Saturday considering he hasn’t started for a long time”.

After the draw at Arbour Park, Adam Flanagan spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk and said: “I guess the overall feeling is that we’ve not played to the levels we’ve been recently – and I put that down to Slough. The effort was there from our players but Slough were very good at keeping the ball, they moved the ball very well, put lots of crosses into the box, which we defended better in the second half than we did in the first”.

Woking have responded well to consecutive defeats inflicted on them by Wealdstone then Dartford. The Cards returned to winning ways with a comfortable 3-0 win over league strugglers East Thurrock United to move them within a points of Torquay United at the top. Dave Tarpey opened his Woking account, Greg Luer doubled the lead and in the final minute Jake Hyde sealed the three points. Last weekend Woking beat Weston-super-Mare, another relegation threatened side. Tarpey finding the net again as well as new signing Reisse Allasanni, who was signed on loan from Coventry City. Allasanni started his career at Crystal Palace before standing out at Dulwich Hamlet, the 23-year-old winger attracted the attention of Coventry City where he signed a two year deal, more recently he has a spell with Dartford’s local rivals Ebbsfleet United. The Cards returned to the top of the National South on Tuesday night beating Hemel Hempstead Town 3-1. The Surrey side are now two points ahead of Torquay United and moved to the summit thanks to goals from Paul Hodges, Tarpey and Harry Bradbury.

In team news, Charlie Sheringham was out injured for Dartford last weekend, whilst striker Andy Pugh is back training. Woking saw the return of Ben Gerring from suspension in mid-week, whilst Armani Little will serve his final game of his ban after his red card against the Darts. Michael Kamara has signed for the Cards on a non-contract basis from Hampton and Richmond Borough.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 5 / Woking wins: 5 / Draws: 2

Current League Form

Dartford (DWWDLW) Woking (?WWLLD)
Slough Town A 2-2 Hemel Hempstead Town H ?-?
Bath City H 3-0 Weston-super-Mare H 2-1
Woking A 1-0 East Thurrock United A 3-0
Concord Rangers H 1-1 Dartford A 0-1
Chelmsford City A 1-2 Wealdstone H 0-2
St Albans City H 3-2 St Albans City H 1-1

Previous Meetings

05.02.2019 Woking 0 Dartford 1
03.03.2015 Dartford 1 Woking 3
12.08.2014 Woking 1 Dartford 1
18.02.2014 Dartford 5 Woking 1
12.11.2013 Woking 3 Dartford 0
01.04.2013 Dartford 4 Woking 1

Stats

The 1-0 Dartford win over a fortnight ago was the first time the Darts kept a clean sheet against Woking.

Out of the top six sides, only Torquay United have visited Princes Park and won. The Darts have won their other three games at home against top six sides versus Bath City, Welling United and Chelmsford City.

The Darts have lost one of their last nine games and have scored in each of those matches.

On This Day

Dartford won at Gosport Borough on this day three years ago. Borough’s Dan Wooden put the hosts ahead, but after the break the match swung Dartford’s way. On the hour Elliot Bradbrook took advantage of a rebound from Ryan Hayes’ cross to level the score. The Darts skipper doubled his tally for the night with a breakaway goal, calmly taking it round the Borough goalkeeper. Moments later Andy Pugh scored to make it 3-1. Already 3-0 down from the first leg of their F.A Trophy semi-final, Dartford’s Wembley dream officially ended on 23 February 2013 with a spirited 0-0 draw against Grimsby Town. In 2008, two goals from Brendon Cass and one each for John Guest, Jamie Coyle and Junior Kadi secured a 5-0 victory versus Waltham Abbey in the Isthmian Division One North.

Slough Town v Dartford

Dartford have made big strides towards their promotion push and hope to continue moving up at Slough Town this weekend.

Consecutive victories without conceding against two teams in the top four have put the Darts in a stronger position for a playoff place. The starting eleven seems to have a more settled look and with thirteen games remaining there is a buzz back around the club.

If Tuesday night at Woking showed the work ethic of the squad, then their weekend’s showing against Bath City added extra quality. It took a Ronnie Vint header deep into injury time to secure maximum points at title chasing Woking, the Darts first ever win at the Kingfield Stadium. Joint manager, Jamie Coyle stated that his side needed to use the 1-0 triumph as a ‘springboard to go on another run’.

That run may just have started because the Darts followed up Tuesday night’s result with a second win in a row. Entertaining fourth place Bath City, Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle named an unchanged side, which was rewarded with a 3-0 win. Lee Noble opened the scoring with a cracking curling effort on sixteen minutes, the midfielder’s third goal this term. Charlie Sheringham made it 2-0 ten minutes later nodding in Ryan Hayes’s cross at the back post and the points were wrapped up in the second half when Phil Roberts bent the ball into the far corner from long range, his fourth goal in his last five appearances.

Dartford have tasted defeat just once in their last eight National South games and have yet to be beaten by Slough Town. In December, the Rebels took the lead at Princes Park when Josh Jackman’s low drive beat Bailey Vose on 37 minutes. In the second half, Andre Coker levelled up finishing a swift counter attack and leaving the points shared.

The Darts last visit to Arbour Park was as recently as October 2016 in the F.A Cup third qualifying round. At the time Dartford were a division higher with the hosts in contention at the top of the Southern Premier League. The Rebels, who were on a nine-match winning streak gave their visitors a run for their money, but Dartford’s determination and two late goals saw them scrape through in a 3-2 victory.

Less than five minutes had gone when Elliot Bradbrook scored an own goal, but the captain made up for it by scoring his 100th goal for the Darts to level the cup tie. In the second half, Deren Ibrahim gave away a penalty which James Dobson netted to give the hosts the lead again. With five minutes remaining, it was Bradbrook’s turn to score from the spot and with the tie heading for a replay Andy Pugh calmly slotted home the last-minute winner.

Since the New Year the Rebels form has been below par with just one league win in 2019. That victory completed a double over third place Chelmsford City, but the other eight fixtures have ended in three draws and five defeats. Management duo, Neal Baker and Jon Underwood have still led Slough Town to a healthy twelfth place, nine points behind the Darts, who occupy the last playoff place available.

The Berkshire club have taken one point from their last four games, losing to Gloucester city on Tuesday night. Matthew Lench, who rejoined the Rebels last month scored after thirteen minutes. Lench signed from Wealdstone, after some injury setbacks and a lack of opportunity, on the same day top scorer James Dobson left for Sutton United. That leaves Chris Flood leading the line who has one less goal than Dobson. Gloucester City came from behind to condemn Slough Town to a third defeat in four, a match which followed the Berkshire club’s 1-1 draw with Hampton and Richmond Borough. On that occasion Lee Togwell’s goal was cancelled out in the last minute by Marcel Barrington, denying the Rebels their first victory since mid-January.

Head to Head

Slough Town wins: 0 / Dartford wins: 3 / Draws: 1

Current League Form

Slough Town (LDLLDW) Dartford (WWDLWD)
Gloucester City H 1-2 Bath City H 3-0
Hampton & Richmond A 1-1 Woking A 1-0
Billericay Town A 2-3 Concord Rangers H 1-1
Weston-super-Mare A 0-2 Chelmsford City A 1-2
Chippenham Town H 2-2 St Albans City H 3-2
Chelmsford City H 1-0 Wealdstone A 1-1

Previous Meetings

08.12.2018 Dartford 1 Slough Town 1
01.10.2016 Slough Town 2 Dartford 3
29.10.1988 Slough Town 1 Dartford 2
10.01.1981 Dartford 4 Slough Town 1

Stats

The Darts named an unchanged side in their last match for only the third time in the league this season. The last time Dartford had no changes to the starting XI was in November when the same eleven played against Gloucester City, Oxford City then Hampton and Richmond Borough.

Lee Noble is now just five goals away from joining four others in the squad who have scored 50 or more goals for the club. Charlie Sheringham reached this milestone this season joining Elliot Bradbrook, Ryan Hayes, Andy Pugh.

Slough Town have conceded just ten of their goals in the first half, the fewest in the division.

On This Day

Two games away from a Wembley appearance in the F.A Trophy, Dartford left Blundell Park needing a miracle. Grimsby Town beat the Darts 3-0 in the first leg with two goals from Craig Disley and one from Andy Cook, Lee Noble was red carded in stoppage time. In league matches on 16 February, Dartford are unbeaten in five games. The last league outing on this day was back in 2008 when the Darts beat Redbridge in the Isthmian Division One North, Jay May and John Guest netted the goals. Dartford also won 2-0 six years earlier in the Southern League Division One South against Chatham and beat Witney Town 1-0 in the Southern League South in 1999. Two draws against Dorchester Town in 1991 and Salisbury in 1980 take the unbeaten run back to 1974, when Dartford were beaten 2-0 at Kettering Town.

Dartford v Bath City

Dartford face yet another side aiming for a promotion challenge when they host an in form Bath City in the National South this weekend.

The Darts last four league games have been against teams pushing for the playoffs or the league title. A result on Saturday will see a decent return from those fixtures, especially off the back of Tuesday’s dramatic victory over title contenders Woking. Ronnie Vint headed home a 97th minute winner at the Kingfield Stadium to record Dartford’s first win at the Cards home and move his side into seventh.

In fact it was a game of cards with the hosts finishing the game with just nine men. Ben Gerring was sent off after the official was reminded he had already booked the Woking defender by the Darts management team. Then Armani Little was given a straight red card for striking Lee Noble. Sensing the advantage the Darts pushed for a goal and were rewarded when Vint headed into the Woking goal at the far post.

After the excellent win, Vint spoke to www.kentonline and said: “I got a bit of stick in the first half down in that corner so I thought ‘do you know what, 90th minute, I’m going to give a little bit back here’ and it was nice to see it go in”, he added: “The gaffers have been on my case about getting on the end of things and what a time to get my first header of the season. I’m delighted for the boys”.

The central defender praised his teammates and exclaimed: “It was a proper Dartford performance and we deserved three points.It’s a massive result for us. We’ve been in and out of the play-offs but we’re going in the right direction now”, he continued: “Recently the boys have been brilliant. Everyone’s getting on, they’re gelling and it’s a pleasure to be in the changing-room. When we get results like this, it can only help us going forward. We’re back in the play-offs now and we’ve got to stay in there”.

The Darts won the previous encounter against the Romans on the opening day of the season in dramatic circumstances. At Twerton Park, Dartford had to leave it late to come from behind and secure a 2-1 victory. Bath City’s summer recruit Adam Mann scored after ten minutes, but his strike was cancelled out by Elliot Bradbrook’s header in first half injury time.

With the game heading for a draw Robbie Cundy conceded a dubious penalty only for Bradbrook to miss the target. A couple of minutes later the Darts were awarded a second spot kick which was clear cut decision, this time new signing Delano Sam-Yorke stepped up and scored the winner.

Dartford did host Bath City in April during last season’s title push and on that occasion, it was a tenser affair. Although the Darts took a first half lead when Danny Mills headed in at the far post, the hosts had to wait until seventy minutes to secure the points through Alfie Pavey, who pounced on Brown’s shot across goal and keep up the decent home form versus the Romans.

In March 2017, Dartford recorded the same score with goals from Bradbrook and Duane Ofori-Acheampong and in January 2016, Dartford won 4-1. Andy Pugh’s brace and goals from Ryan Hayes and Callum McNaughton helped the Darts to victory, David Pratt scored for the visitors.

Bath City have finished ninth in the previous two campaigns and during pre-season manager Jerry Gill was confident the Romans would be challengers this term. The Romans have moved up the standings since the festive period and are currently on a nine-match unbeaten league run. Sitting in fourth place, six points behind league leaders Torquay United, Bath City have not lost on the road in the National South since 1 September.

The West Country side have yet to taste defeat in 2019 and their last outing ended in a 0-0 draw against Gloucester City. Without Kebin Amankwaah and Sean Rigg due to injury, the Romans had to settle for a point. Goalkeeper, Ryan Clarke saved a first half penalty to deny their opponents of their best chance, whilst Fredrick Hinds had the ball in the back of the net for Bath City, only for his effort to be ruled out for offside.

Since the back end of December, the Romans have been on form winning six and drawing three. Notably the Somerset club have thrashed Chippenham Town 5-0 and recorded excellent results by beating Torquay United 3-2 and Chelmsford city 2-0.

Although he has not scored in his last four matches Ross Stearn can be a threat up front, the 28-year-old has scored nine league goals this season. The striker has netted a brace against the Darts before at Princes Park during a 6-3 F.A Cup defeat to Sutton United. Ryan Brunt and Anthony Straker have also been amongst the goals this season with eight and seven scored respectively.

Since the opening day of the season, Dartford’s squad has seen numerous changes in contrast to the last starting eleven Bath City selected. On Tuesday night, the Darts fielded six players who had joined or rejoined the club after the opening day (Bailey Vose, Daniel Johnson, Jordan Wynter, Charlie Sheringham, Phil Roberts and Ryan Hayes, including substitutes used then Andre Coker can be added to that list). Bath City selected just three new players compared to the last encounter with the Darts, all of which were loanees added to the squad last month.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 32 / Bath City wins: 40 / Draws: 19

Current League Form

Dartford (WDLWDW) Bath City (DWWDWW)
Woking A 1-0 Gloucester City A 0-0
Concord Rangers H 1-1 Torquay United A 3-2
Chelmsford City A 1-2 East Thurrock United H 1-0
St Albans City H 3-2 Slough Town H 0-0
Wealdstone A 1-1 Dulwich Hamlet A 2-0
Welling United H 1-0 Chippenham Town H 5-0

Previous Meetings

04.08.2018 Bath City 1 Dartford 2
21.04.2018 Dartford 2 Bath City 0
24.10.2017 Bath City 1 Dartford 2
04.03.2017 Dartford 2 Bath City 0
22.10.2016 Bath City 0 Dartford 1
16.01.2016 Dartford 4 Bath City 1

Stats

Dartford have recorded six straight wins against Bath City completing a double in the past two campaigns.

The Romans last defeated the Darts back in 1990 when they won 1-0 in the Southern Premier League.

Dartford have kept four clean sheets in the previous six meetings against Bath City.

Bath City have kept seven clean sheets from their last nine fixtures.

Tuesday’s hero, Vint can make his 150th Dartford appearance if selected this weekend.

On This Day

Brendon Cass controversially scored a ‘ghost goal’ against AFC Sudbury to rescue a point and keep the Darts on top of the Isthmian Division One North table. The top two went head to head eleven years ago and it was John Guest who headed Dartford in front. The hosts fought back to lead with two goals from Jamie Rowe. On the stroke of half-time Cass had a shot saved by goalkeeper only for the ball to ricochet of the striker’s leg towards goal, an AFC Sudbury defender slid and cleared the ball off the line but the official awarded a goal to the Darts. The game ended up 2-2 contributing to the 89 points Dartford accrued to win the title, AFC Sudbury finished runners up.

Woking v Dartford

Dartford were without a game on the weekend, but are back in National South action this week when they visit title challengers Woking.

Four and half years have passed since the Darts last visited the Kingfield Stadium, a venue Dartford have yet to record a win at. Last time the two sides played in the National South they were going head to head for the title, with the Cards triumphing and the Darts going up in the playoffs.

Dartford have gone four games without a win on their travels. Defeats to Welling United and Chelmsford City sandwiched draws against East Thurrock United and Wealdstone. Despite the barren away spell manager Jamie Coyle has belief in the squad, he told www.kentonline.co.uk: ““If everyone does their job and wins their individual battles, there’s no reason why, with the quality we’ve got in our team, we can’t go there and win”, he continued: “Everyone’s beating everyone this season and we go into every game believing we can win. It’ll be no different when we go to Woking”.

During the National League years, Giuseppe Sole scored Woking’s winner from the penalty spot in 2012 in a game which saw Lee Noble pick up two yellow cards inside five minutes. The Cards claimed a 3-0 victory over a year later with Jack Marriott, now of Derby County on the scoresheet. In the last meeting Rory McAuley put the Darts ahead, but Sole was on hand again by equalising in injury time.

In the two campaigns Dartford met Woking in the National South they lost 1-0 in the promotion winning season and were involved in an entertaining 2-2 draw in the season before. Ryan Hayes cleverly lobbed goalkeeper Andy Little to put the Darts in front. After Elvis Hammond and Craig Faulconbridge gave Woking the lead, George Purcell produced a stunning half-volley over Little for the leveller.

Dartford were without a fixture on the weekend due to Hemel Hempstead Town’s involvement in the F.A Trophy. In their last outing the Darts were held to a 1-1 draw by Concord Rangers at Princes Park. Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle made three changes to the side that lost to Chelmsford City bringing in Elliot Bradbrook for the injured Billy Crook, Andre Coker replaced Ryan Hayes and Lee Noble was back in league action after serving a three-match ban. Dartford took the lead when former Beachboy, Ben Greenhalgh scored against his former club. Concord Rangers equalised when Jack Midson scored a penalty and after the Essex club were reduced to ten men, the Darts couldn’t turn a draw into victory.

Relegated from the National League last term Woking are challenging for the title and an immediate return. The Cards are going toe to toe with Torquay United who followed the Surrey club down to the National South. Manager, Alan Dowson was put in charge in the summer and the former Hampton and Richmond Borough boss has guided Woking to second so far, four points behind league leaders Torquay United. The Cards also have two games in hand, built up after a fantastic F.A Cup run which saw Woking reach the third round by beating Tooting and Mitcham United, Kempston Rovers, Welling United and Torquay United before causing a cupset against Swindon Town. The Cards lost admirably to Premier League opposition Watford by 2-0.

On the weekend, like many other fixtures, Woking’s game was called off meaning there last outing ended in defeat at home. Wealdstone ended the Surrey sides eleven-game unbeaten league run, but Dowson and company can still overhaul leaders Torquay United if they win their games in hand. Woking lost 2-0 failing to score for only the second time this term, the only other time was the reverse fixture against the Stones in August.

Likely to come back to Princes Park, utility man Nathan Collier has been a regular starter for Woking this term with 32 appearances. Collier worked with Dowson at Hampton and Richmond Borough and played for the Darts over two spells racking up 21 appearances last term for Dartford. Another former Dart in the squad is Duane Ofori-Acheampong, but the striker has been out of favour and has managed just 15 appearances, ten of those from the subs bench.

Due to the weather conditions Woking have had extra days to recover from their reverse against Wealdstone. Top scorers Jake Hyde and Max Kretzschmar have both been suffering with injuries and the additional respite may help them recover in time. Dowson has also strengthened the squad by adding Rhys Murrell-Williamson and Bradley Hudson-Odoi, brother of Chelsea’s Callum.

Head to Head

Woking wins: 5 / Dartford wins: 4 / Draws: 2

Current League Form

Woking (LDWWWW) Dartford (DLWDWD)
Wealdstone H 0-2 Concord Rangers H 1-1
St Albans City A 1-1 Chelmsford City A 1-2
Welling United H 2-0 St Albans City H 3-2
Hampton & Richmond A 3-0 Wealdstone A 1-1
Eastbourne Borough H 2-0 Welling United H 1-0
Hampton & Richmond H 3-1 East Thurrock United A 2-2

Previous Meetings

03.03.2015 Dartford 1 Woking 3
12.08.2014 Woking 1 Dartford 1
18.02.2014 Dartford 5 Woking 1
12.11.2013 Woking 3 Dartford 0
01.04.2013 Dartford 4 Woking 1
14.08.2010 Woking 1 Dartford 0

Stats

Dartford have picked up an average of 1.15 points per game on their travels whilst Woking have averaged 2.08 points per game at home.

The Darts are yet to keep a clean sheet against Woking in eleven attempts.

Woking have the third best attack with 50 goals and third best defence conceding just 27.

On This Day

Lee Noble scored against his future club eleven years ago as Dartford battled with ten men for 85 minutes to earn a 2-2 draw at Brentwood Town. Jay May was dismissed after just five minutes leaving the Darts up against it. To make matters worse Danny Dafter, who also joined Dartford put the Essex club ahead. Dartford took the lead through goals from Brendon Cass and John Guest before Noble levelled in the last minute. It has been nineteen years since Dartford won on 5 February in a Southern League South contest against Tonbridge Angels, the Darts triumphed 3-0. Since then Dartford drew 1-1 with Erith and Belvedere in 2005, drew with Brentwood Town and lost 3-0 to Gateshead in the F.A Trophy third round.

Dartford v Concord Rangers

Dartford could move above this weekend’s opponents and get back into the playoff places when they host Adam Flanagan’s former side Concord Rangers. 

The Darts dropped out of the top seven on goal difference last weekend and are currently two places and two points behind the Beachboys. It will be the third match in a row where the Darts have faced a team in the playoff spots during a period manager Jamie Coyle described as crucial. 

Victory over St Albans City a fortnight ago was balanced out with a late defeat away to Chelmsford City. During those two games Phil Roberts netted his maiden goal and has now scored three in his last two appearances. The striker scored a brace in the 3-2 home win over St Albans City and he opened the scoring against Chelmsford City last Saturday inside five minutes. The Darts were on course for a rare double over their Essex rivals having beaten them in August, however the Clarets scored two goals in the final five minutes to end Dartford’s three game unbeaten run. 

Lee Noble will be available against Concord Rangers after serving a three-match suspension. Meanwhile, Callum Driver has spent the last three league fixtures on the bench after returning from injury. Elliot Bradbrook was not selected against the Clarets in the matchday squad, which paved the way for Joe Healy to make his debut in midfield, having joined from Welling United. Mark Onyemah has been out with injury since he hobbled of on New Year’s Day and Andy Pugh is still making a recovery from his broken leg he suffered in pre-season. 

Having started the previous two league games, Ryan Hayes could face the side he joined in the summer. The creative winger came back to Dartford after he started to be left out of the Concord Rangers side. Hayes played an hour against the Darts back in August, that day the 32-year-old came out on the winning side when Alex Wall and D’Sean Theobalds scored for the Essex club. On the other wing Ben Greenhalgh is likely to come up against his former team, the midfielder had to go in goal on Tuesday night after Bailey Vose was red carded in the Kent Senior Cup penalties defeat against Maidstone United. 

Wall will miss out on a return to Princes Park for the first time since leaving in the summer. The striker opened the scoring and was sent off last weekend meaning his two game ban will start this weekend. Wall impressed for the Darts in pre-season and had initially signed for the club, but due to Andy Pugh’s injury a rethink by Jamie Coyle and Adam Flanagan saw Wall move on and picked up by Concord Rangers. The 28-year-old has scored 14 National South goals this term, only two away from the three top scorers in the league.  

Two other familiar faces likely to return to Princes Park are Connor Essam and Tyrone Sterling. The defenders both played for the Darts with Essam having two spells with the club, the first whilst on loan from Gillingham and the second when he was on loan from Crawley Town. Sterling made 36 appearances during the 2013/2014 season when the Darts finished in the bottom four of the National League but were reprieved.

Concord Rangers are still waiting for their first league win of 2019 and have drawn their last two fixtures 2-2. The Beachboys shared the points with Wealdstone thanks to a Wall brace and his equaliser six minutes from time. Against Billericay Town they left it late once more, after Wall’s third goal in two games Billericay Town levelled the match before both teams were reduced to ten men. The Blues took the lead on the hour and led until the final minute when Jack Midson earned a point for Concord Rangers. This month Sammy Moore’s side have drawn three and lost one, but that defeat is the only one in their last ten outings, they have drawn five of their last eight matches. 

At Princes Park, Dartford have lost just once against Concord Rangers winning the other four and drawing twice. The previous two home games against the Beachboys have finished with the Darts coming out on top. Lasts season goals from Elliot Bradbrook and Lyle Della-Verde secured three points and in the campaign before that Duane Ofori-Acheampong and Danny Harris netted in a 2-1 triumph.

Head to Head

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

Current League Form

Dartford (LWDWDL) Concord Rangers (DDLDWW)
Chelmsford City A 1-2 Billericay Town H 2-2
St Albans City H 3-2 Wealdstone H 2-2
Wealdstone A 1-1 Hungerford Town A 1-2
Welling United H 1-0 East Thurrock United H 1-1
East Thurrock United A 2-2 Welling United A 1-0
Welling United A 0-2 East Thurrock United A 2-0

Previous Meetings

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
27.02.2016 Dartford 1 Concord Rangers 2

Stats

Dartford have lost just one in the last ten home league games (W7 D2 L1).

Concord Rangers have scored the most goals in the 15 minutes before half-time (10), the Darts have conceded more than any other National South team in that period (13).

The two late goals conceded at Chelmsford City takes Dartford’s tally in the final 15 minutes to eight this season, six teams have conceded more in this period.

On This Day

Current Dartford boss and former Concord Rangers manager, Adam Flanagan headed home the winner from a Ryan Hayes corner against Arlesey Town eleven years ago. A 1-0 Isthmian Division One North victory kept the Darts four points clear at the top of the table. The last two fixtures on 26 January have ended in defeat, against Welling United in the Kent Senior Cup nine years ago and Wealdstone in the National South three years ago. In 1991, Colin Sowerby scored a hat-trick at Watling Street to help the Darts thrash Crawley Town 6-1 in the Southern Premier League, Simon Quail made his debut in that game. Sowerby ended up playing 217 games for the club scoring 48 times.

Dartford v Maidstone United

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Head to Head in the Kent Senior Cup

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

Stats

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

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

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

On This Day

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