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Billericay Town v Dartford

Dartford are hoping to get back to winning ways this weekend and be the first team to beat Billericay Town at the New Lodge in the league this season.

The Darts were beaten at home in their last outing against a Hampton and Richmond Borough side aiming for the playoffs. Billericay Town took on league leaders Wealdstone and like so many this campaign ended up coming away with nothing to show.

Despite taking an early lead through Luke Wanadio’s sixth minute header, the Darts lost 2-1 to Hampton and Richmond Borough and manager Steve King was disappointed, he told DFCTV after the match: “We didn’t play at our level, we played nowhere near what we’re capable of and when you do that in this division and when you’re against a good side challenging for the playoffs you end up losing”.

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

Billericay Town have a strong unbeaten home record winning five and drawing six, King added: “Billericay is not going to be easy, their home form is as good as any in the division. It’s a very tough place to go with a testing pitch as well”.  The Darts will go to Essex without Elliot Romain, who has ten league goals in 17 league starts. The striker was sent off against Hampton and Richmond Borough picking up two yellow cards. However, Amrit Bansal-McNullty returns from his suspension after his dismissal at Chippenham Town and new signing Giovanni McGregor is available after making his debut on the weekend.

Dartford have won their last two meetings with Billericay Town both at Princes Park. In December, the 3-2 victory ensured the Darts finished the afternoon ahead of their opponents in the National South as they climbed above the Essex club in the league. Goalkeeper, Alhaji Sesay made his debut and since then he’s made the number one shirt his own. On the same day Steve King handed debuts to loanee Rowan Liburd, who has since returned to Hereford and to midfielder Miloud Djouaher, who made a substitute appearance.

It took just ten minutes for Darren McQueen to give Dartford the lead when he smashed the ball past former Dart, Alan Julian in the Blues goal. A fine attacking move put the Darts two up when Liam Gordan’s cross was met by McQueen, his header was parried by Julian and Elliot Romain followed up. However, Dartford let the advantage slip as another former Darts, Femi Akinwande pulled one back. Romain scored his second of the day from another rebound and Billericay’s Odysseus Alfa netted a penalty.

Last season’s meeting at Princes Park was just as entertaining with both sides challenging for a playoff place. Tom Murphy became the hero with two late goals overturning Jake Robinson’s strike for Billericay Town. Dartford last visited New Lodge in September 2018 and a last-minute Jamie Philpot goal rescued a point for the Darts after Jake Robinson’s spot kick had given the Blues the lead.

This month, manager Jamie O’Hara extended his contract with the Essex club. The former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder will remain at the club until the end of the 2020-2021 campaign. Since taking over as boss the 33-year-old has guided his team to just two league victories in 15 attempts, and one of those was a 3-1 home victory over league leaders Wealdstone just over a month ago.

Although Billericay Town are three points above relegation, they are playing catch up with their games due to the amount of postponements at New Lodge. The Blues have only lost nine times, one fewer than the Darts, and need to find a way of turning draws into victories. Last weekend they faced the daunting task of picking up points at Wealdstone and ended up losing 3-0. To rub salt in to the Billericay Town wound Moses Emmanuel scored, and Ross Lafayette grabbed a brace, two former Blues players.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Billericay Town wins: 2 / Draws: 1

Current League Form

Dartford (WWLWWL) Billericay Town (LWDDDL)
Hampton & Richmond H 1-2 Wealdstone A 0-3
Chippenham Town A 5-1 Tonbridge Angels H 3-3
Dulwich Hamlet H 1-0 Dorking Wanderers A 4-4
Slough Town A 0-1 Slough Town H 2-2
Oxford City H 3-0 Wealdstone H 3-1
Dorking Wanderers A 3-2 Bath City A 1-2

Last Six Meetings

14.12.2019 Dartford 3 Billericay Town 2
22.04.2019 Dartford 2 Billericay Town 1
15.09.2018 Billericay Town 1 Dartford 1
06.03.2010 Dartford 1 Billericay Town 4
02.02.2010 Billericay Town 1 Dartford 0
14.02.2009 Dartford 2 Billericay Town 0

Stats

Dartford last won at Billericay Town in October 2008 with Lee Noble scoring the winning goal. Since then the Darts have lost and drawn one when visiting the Essex club.

The Darts have won their last two matches against Billericay Town both at Princes Park.

Dartford have kept six league clean sheets in their last nine games. Billericay Town have gone 11 league games without a clean sheet.

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

On This Day

Ryan Hayes scored a late free-kick to earn a draw with local rivals Welling United nine years ago. The National South fixture at Princes Park was heading Welling United’s way after Jack Parkinson headed the Wings in front. However, with six minutes left Hayes hit his free-kick with power and swerve to share the points. The Darts last won on 15 February back in 1992 when they beat Trowbridge Town 2-0 at home in the Southern Premier League. In between their last victory and the draw with Welling United, the Darts lost 2-1 at Weymouth in 1997 and 4-1 versus Erith and Belvedere in 2003.

Dartford v Hampton and Richmond Borough

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Head to Head

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

Current League Form

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

Last Six Meetings

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

Stats

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

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

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

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

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

On This Day

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

Chippenham Town v Dartford

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Head to Head

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

Current League Form

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

Last Five Meetings

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

Stats

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

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

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

On This Day

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

Dartford v Dulwich Hamlet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Head to Head

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

Current League Form

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

Last Six Meetings

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

Stats

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

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

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

On This Day

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

Slough Town v Dartford

Dartford will be aiming for a sixth straight victory this weekend when they take on playoff contenders Slough Town at Arbour Park.

After the festive games in which the Darts took maximum points, the following three fixtures were singled out as tests against sides in the playoffs or in top form. That test continues at fourth place Slough Town and so far, Dartford have passed with flying colours. Another win will put Steve King’s men level on points with their opponents.

Oxford City were comfortably beaten 3-0 at Princes Park despite Dartford ‘not being at their best’ according to Luke Wanadio. The winger told DFCTV after the game: “It shows progression since the gaffer has come to the club, it shows we’re united as a team and it shows that we can grind out results even when we’re not at our best, it’s brilliant we just need to keep the wins coming”.

Prior the Oxford City game, King urged his players not to let standards slip and signed two more players who were named on the substitute’s bench. Defender, Craig Braham-Barrett is a Montserrat international and previously worked with King at Welling United, Whitehawk, Farnborough and Macclesfield Town. Liam Nash is a striker and like Braham-Barrett joined the Darts from Hemel Hempstead Town. Nash scored seven league goals in the first three months of this season for the Tudors. Meanwhile, Cameron Brodie has gone out on loan with Isthmian Division One South East side Sittingbourne.

There was only one change to the line-up that beat Dorking Wanderers, Tyrique Hyde celebrated his loan extension by returning to the starting eleven after recovering from injury, the midfielder replaced Kyjoun Marsh-Brown. Just before half time Darren McQueen scored his fourth penalty in five games and third in a row to give the Darts the lead. Due to a lengthy stoppage earlier in the half, when Oxford City’s Finn Tapp suffered a head injury, Dartford scored a second in injury time through Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong, his second for the club. A third was added just before the hour mark when Billy Crook sprayed a wonderful cross field ball to Wanadio who fired his shot goalward to wrap up a 3-0 victory. The run of five consecutive wins has included 16 goals scored and only two conceded and now King’s side are topping the form table.

The away trip to Slough will be another measure of Dartford’s potential, King told www.kentonline.co.uk: “These are the games where I start to see where we are actually at, like the Dorking game”, he added: “Slough is a tough place to go. They are a solid outfit with some bits of quality in the side”.

Tony Burman was in temporary charge during the reverse fixture back in September when the Darts threw away a two-goal lead. Slough Town came back to claim their first ever win over Dartford after Darren McQueen and Josh Hill scored within two minutes of each other. The rebels pulled a goal back before the break through Dan Roberts and in the second half Matthew Lench and Ben Harris completed the turnaround.

McQueen made his Dartford debut the last time the club visited Arbour Park and he found the back of the net in a 2-2 draw. The striker put the Darts ahead after Ben Greenhalgh’s opener was cancelled out by Ben Harris, but Slough Town’s Ben Fraser scored an equaliser to leave the game all square.

If joint managers failed to work at Dartford it’s quite the opposite at Slough Town. Jon Underwood and Neal Baker have been in charge for almost seven years and in that time, they have won two promotions, a county cup and reached the F.A Cup second round twice and first round once. This season the duo has turned the Rebels into playoff contenders after their eleventh-place finish last term.

The Berkshire club lost their opening three games but took 24 points from the next 30 available in a ten-match unbeaten run. The Rebels may have lost to Oxford City to end that sequence, but they started another one by winning five and drawing two of their next seven. However, Slough Town approach their home fixture with the Darts on the back of four games without victory, picking up three draws in the process.

Last weekend, the Rebels took the lead twice with Lench’s goal cancelled out by Billericay Town’s Odysseus Alfa, then George Wells restored Slough Town’s lead only for Ronnie Henry’s last-minute equaliser to deny Underwood and Baker another victory. Despite the current winless streak, just one team has come away with all three points when visiting Arbour Park this campaign and that was Dorking Wanderers on the opening day. Twelve home matches later, the Berkshire club have picked up eight more home victories and four draws.

Sam Blackman returns to the Dartford squad after a successful loan spell at Hythe in the Isthmian Division One South East, the midfielder scored four goals in his spell there. Rowan Liburd’s loan spell with the Darts ‘didn’t work out’ so the striker has returned to Hereford. Luke Allen remains injured and is likely to be out for longer than expected.

Head to Head

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

Current League Form

Dartford (WWWWWL) Slough Town (DDLDWW)
Oxford City H 3-0 Billericay Town A 2-2
Dorking Wanderers A 3-2 Eastbourne Borough H 1-1
Welling United H 4-0 Wealdstone A 1-2
Tonbridge Angels H 3-0 Hemel Hempstead Town A 1-1
Welling United A 3-0 Wealdstone H 2-1
Concord Rangers H 0-1 Braintree Town H 1-0

Last Six Meetings

28.09.2019 Dartford 2 Slough Town 3
16.02.2019 Slough Town 2 Dartford 2
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

Dartford last won five league games in a row at the end of the 2017-18 season when they agonisingly finished runners up on goal difference. The Darts finished their campaign with nine straight victories and the following season they won their opening two, taking the total to 11 wins in a row.

The Darts have kept four clean sheets in their last five games, their best defensive spell since that winning run at the tail end of 2017-18. Dartford kept six clean sheets in seven back then, and including the two opening games the following season made it seven clean sheets in ten league matches.

Dartford have won six penalties in their last nine league games, scoring five.

Only league leaders Wealdstone (33) have picked up more home points than Slough Town (28). Only Havant and Waterlooville (27) have picked up more away points than Dartford (20).

On This Day

Dartford’s last away win on 18 January came in 1992 when they beat Waterlooville in the Southern Premier Division. It was the second 5-0 victory in three league games after the Darts thrashed rivals Gravesend and Northfleet on New Year’s Day. Since then Dartford have claimed one victory on this day in five more attempts, the 1-0 home win against Sittingbourne in the Southern League Division One East, 17 years ago. Sandwiched between the two triumphs the Darts lost 1-0 to Newport Isle of Wight in the Southern League South in 2003 and two years later were beaten 2-1 by Folkestone Invicta, in the Kent Senior Cup second round. Dartford’s last home game on 18 January ended with James White scoring a late leveller in a 1-1 National South draw against Staines Town in 2011. The last away fixture was three years later when the Darts were defeated 1-0 by Salisbury City in the National League.

Dartford v Oxford City

The Darts have been making big strides recently and hope to continue moving forwards when they host Oxford City this weekend in the National South.

Dartford completed their fourth consecutive victory in their last match beating playoff hopefuls and Isthmian Premier League champions Dorking Wanderers. In an eventful afternoon, the Darts went two up with more goals from Darren McQueen and Elliott Romain. Dartford ‘dominated the game until 2-0’, but ‘switched off’ according to manager Steve King. The home side hit back with goals from Jimmy Muitt and Luke Moore setting up an exciting finale in which both sides hit the woodwork in the final ten minutes. Then eight minutes into injury time McQueen won a penalty, dusted himself off and netted the winner.

The Darts have not had much luck with injuries this season, but manager Steve King has been able to quickly plug the holes when necessary. Prior the 3-2 win at Dorking Wanderers, Jordan Wynter hurt his knee in the warm up allowing Kyjoun Marsh-Brown to step in at late notice. Steve King had already brought in full back Nick Arnold from Wealdstone before the game and he explained his decision to DFCTV, he said: “I’ve always wanted at least three full backs. I’ve worked with him before, he’s a very talented boy who started his career at Reading, played at Wycombe Wanderers and went to Whitehawk with me and played in two playoff finals. He signed for Aldershot Town, won a cap for the England C team and more recently played for Wealdstone”.

Wynter joins a list of players who have recently suffered from injury including goalkeeper Mark Smith, midfielder Luke Allen and loanee Tyrique Hyde, who has extended his stay for another month. King has used the loan market to his benefit by bringing players to the club, equally he is using the loan system to benefit current squad members. This week Ryan Hayes went out on dual registration to Sevenoaks Town and Norman Wabo loaned to Cheshunt. Sam Blackman is already at Hythe Town and the Dartford boss intends to send Lee Noble and Cameron Brodie out on loan to build up his match fitness and gain experience in Brodie’s case.

Ahead of the Oxford City game, King stated: “We will see what bodies we’ve got available and we will prepare properly as we always do. We’ve got a good harmony going on here”. It’s that harmony that has seen Dartford make ‘good strides’, King added: “We’ve scored at least three goals four times in a row. We’re going in the right direction because sides are playing us now and they realise it’s not the Dartford it was, it’s now a completely different Dartford and they know they’re going to be in a game”. He continued: “Whoever we play now that’s the level I wanted to get to, where nobody could come and roll us over and I think we’re getting close to that level”.

The form of Romain and McQueen has been extraordinary with the duo responsible for 17 of the 24 league goals scored by the Darts since King has been in charge. A better brand of football and tighter defence in recent weeks has moved the Darts away from looking to maintain their National South status to thinking about gate-crashing the playoffs. The positivity of Dartford’s form is starting to be mirrored off the pitch, King commented: “The mindset has completely changed for the fans, the boys have done brilliantly to change that. Fans are now coming to games excited about what is going to happen”.

It was an end of an era for two managers last time Dartford played Oxford City. Tony Burman led the Darts out for the last time during his interim spell and Mark Jones was in charge for his last league game as Oxford City’s boss. Equal on points before kick-off, Dartford moved three points ahead by full-time as they secured a 1-0 away victory courtesy of Ben Greenhalgh’s curling effort which found the top corner. Greenhalgh has spent the last two months on loan at Tonbridge Angels and the goal he scored at Oxford City turned out to be his last for the Darts, the midfielder left this week by mutual consent after 62 Dartford appearances and seven goals since joining in at the beginning of last season.

Although Jones led Oxford City to a cup win a weekend later, he left the club by mutual consent after failing to win a league game for two months. Since then, Andy Ballard and Justin Merritt have taken charge. Ballard was assistant manager to Jones and has a 20-year affiliation with the club, Merritt is the Director of Football and managed the Hoops between 2014 and December 2016.

Defensively, Oxford City have been vulnerable but since Jones’ departure they have scored with more frequency turning defeats into valuable points. The interim duo has improved Oxford City’s form with six wins, two draws and two defeats. They got off to a brilliant start winning four and drawing one of their first five matches.

Last weekend, Oxford City followed in Dartford’s footsteps by taking a two-goal lead, letting it slip before finding a winner. Only the Hoops managed their 3-2 victory by stunning table toppers Wealdstone. Joe Oastler and Elliot Benyon helped Oxford City go 2-0 ahead before Jacob Mendy and Adam Coombes levelled the match. Finn Tapp headed the decisive goal to secure Oxford City’s third win in their last four outings.

The Hoops other two victories completed a festive double over Hungerford Town with Kyran Lofthouse scoring the winner in a 2-1 victory on New Year’s Day. In the reverse fixture on Boxing Day, Oxford City netted three times in a 22-minute spell eventually winning 3-2. Sandwiched between those two triumphs, the Hoops lost 2-1 at Weymouth.

Both teams have started to hit form after managerial changes this term, the Darts have the second-best record over the last six games whilst Oxford City have the fourth.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 5 / Oxford City wins: 2 / Draws: 2

Current League Form

Dartford (WWWWLW) Oxford City (WWLWWL)
Dorking Wanderers A 3-2 Wealdstone H 3-2
Welling United H 4-0 Hungerford Town A 2-1
Tonbridge Angels H 3-0 Weymouth A 1-2
Welling United A 3-0 Hungerford Town H 3-2
Concord Rangers H 0-1 St Albans City H 3-3
Billericay Town H 3-2 Maidstone United H 1-4

Last Six Meetings

12.10.2019 Oxford City 0 Dartford 1
27.04.2019 Oxford City 2 Dartford 1
13.11.2018 Dartford 3 Oxford City 2
06.10.2018 Oxford City 4 Dartford 1
24.03.2018 Oxford City 0 Dartford 2
19.08.2017 Dartford 7 Oxford City 1

Stats

Dartford have won their last three home matches against Oxford City including a 7-1 mauling in August 2017.

Dartford under Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle this season

Won 1, Drew 4, Lost 4, Scored 11, Conceded 20, Points per game: 0.77

Dartford under Steve King this season

Won 7, Drew 3, Lost 2, Scored 24, Conceded 12, Points per game: 2.00

Oxford City under Mark Jones this season

Won 2, Drew 4, Lost 7, Scored 11, Conceded 21, Points per game: 0.76

Oxford City under Andy Ballard and Justin Merritt this season

Won 7, Drew 2, Lost 2, Scored 29, Conceded 22, Points per game: 2.09

On This Day

In the summer of 1958 a young Pele helped Brazil win the World Cup, in the same year Dartford won their last game they played on 11 January. The Darts beat a Lovells Athletic side 3-1 at home in the Southern League and are still waiting to win again on this day. Since then, the Darts have played six times all away from home including two F.A Trophy first round ties. Dartford lost to Dover 2-1 in 1975 and drew with Merthyr Tydfil 1-1 in 1992. In 1962 the Darts lost 4-0 against Hastings United in the Southern Premier League and five years later they drew 2-2 with Wisbech Town in the Southern League First Division. Boston United beat Dartford 3-0 in what is now the National League back in 1986 and the last match 23 years ago saw Witney Town thrash the Darts 5-1 in the Southern League Southern Division.

Dorking Wanderers v Dartford

A new ground will be ticked off the list this weekend when Dartford visit Isthmian Premier League champions Dorking Wanderers.

The Darts were in tip top form over the festive period taking maximum points including a convincing double over local rivals Welling United. Hoping to continue the momentum that has lifted Dartford into playoff places, Steve King’s side face a tougher test when they visit Meadowbank.

If the reverse fixture at Princes Park in September is anything to go by, then fans could be in for a treat. Dorking Wanderers ran out victors in a seven-goal thriller, which saw Tony Burman return to the dugout as interim manager. Wanderers scored first when a counter attack was finished from long range by Niall McManus. The Darts took the lead with two Ben Greenhalgh goals in the space of four minutes, then on the stroke of half-time former Dartford striker Jason Prior netted a penalty.

In the second-half, Dartford went in front once again when Charlie Sheringham got on the end of a Ryan Hayes cross. However, in the final six minutes the game swung in Dorking Wanderers’ favour, Giuseppe Sole scored from a free-kick, Lee Noble was sent off and in the final minutes James McShane grabbed the winner.

Dartford managed to score ten goals without reply over the festive season with Elliot Romain and Darren McQueen sharing eight between them. The beginning of a new decade couldn’t have gone any better with the Darts turning over Welling United 4-0 on New Year’s Day. The only change to the starting eleven that beat Tonbridge Angels was Sanchez Ming returning to the side replacing the injured Tyrique Hyde. On loan from Aldershot Town, Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong scored his first Dartford goal in only his second appearance, Elliott Romain added two more to his season’s tally of 11 in 13 games and Darren McQueen scored his tenth of the campaign.

Dartford manager, Steve King told DFCTV that he is pleased with the ‘strides’ his team have taken, but the game versus Dorking Wanderers this weekend could provide more answers, he said: “The test for me now becomes, can we play a team in the top seven and see exactly where we are or where we’re improving or where we’re short?”. He continued: “It will be a tough game, my friend is the owner and manager and he’s done brilliantly. He’s got a good club and players, they are beating everybody at home and have got themselves up to fourth in the division”. Having been out of work before being appointed Dartford boss, King will already know what Dorking Wanderers are about, he explained: “I know how tough it is going to be, I know their players from when I did a bit of commentary work there at the start of the season”.

Dartford’s full back, Liam Gordon has returned to his parent club after ten appearances for the Darts, whilst midfielder’s Lee Noble and Luke Allen may have to wait another two to three weeks before a return. Defender, Josh Hill suffered a dead leg and had his red card successfully appealed against Tonbridge Angels. Hyde has been nursing a bruised heel and Mark Smith will provide competition with in form goalkeeper Alhaji Sesay after recovering from a knee injury.

Dorking Wanderers have risen through the non-league pyramid with five promotions in nine seasons. Founder member of the club, Marc White is the manager and he led the Surrey side to the Isthmian Premier League title last term. This year begun with the Wanderers tasting only their sixth defeat of the season in their first campaign at National South level.

The loss at Eastbourne Borough ended a run of seven consecutive victories in all competitions and their two-month unbeaten run, consisting of seven wins and three draws. During their winning spell they beat playoff challengers Weymouth and Maidstone United, knocked Leatherhead and Bromley out of the F.A Trophy and kept six clean sheets in seven outings.

Looking to complete the double over Eastbourne Borough, following a 4-0 win on Boxing Day against the Sports, White’s side were beaten 3-2 at Priory Lane on New Year’s Day. White made three changes to the side that won 2-0 against Chippenham Town with Sole, McManus and Luke Moore replacing Dan Gallagher, Tom Richards and Jack Barham, who was recalled by Barnet from his loan spell. Matthew Briggs sent Dorking Wanderers 1-0 up at the break, but the second-half belonged to Eastbourne Borough who scored three unanswered goals before Prior grabbed a consolation.

Despite the New Year’s Day setback, Dorking Wanderers are in fourth place a point behind second place and eight adrift of the league leaders. The Surrey club have an exemplary home record taking eight victories from 12. Meanwhile, the Darts are in seventh with an away record of five wins and five defeats from a dozen.

Out of the top ten sides, Dartford and Dorking Wanderers have the worst defensive record, however over the last six matchday’s they have kept seven clean sheets between them, both sides showing signs of improvements at the back. In attack there doesn’t seem to be much of an issue with Wanderers the fourth highest scorers in the National South and the Darts the fifth, helped by Dartford’s Elliott Romain who is joint top of the goalscoring charts and Dorking Wanderers’ Jason Prior who is just two goals behind.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 0 / Dorking Wanderers wins: 1 / Draws: 0

Current League Form

Dartford (WWWLWD) Dorking Wanderers (LWWWWW)
Welling United H 4-0 Eastbourne Borough A 2-3
Tonbridge Angels H 3-0 Chippenham Town A 2-0
Welling United A 3-0 Eastbourne Borough H 4-0
Concord Rangers H 0-1 Maidstone United A 3-2
Billericay Town H 3-2 Weymouth H 1-0
Dulwich Hamlet A 1-1 Welling United H 2-0

Last Six Meetings

07.09.2019 Dartford 3 Dorking Wanderers 4

Stats

Dartford’s 4-0 win against Welling United was the first time the Darts have scored more than three goals in a league game since 24 February 2018 when they beat Truro City 4-1.

The Darts kept a third consecutive clean sheet on New Year’s Day, the first time since April 2018 when they managed four in a row.

Under Steve King, Elliott Romain and Darren McQueen have scored 13 goals in the 9 games when they have both started. The pair have scored 12 in the last 6 in which they were both selected in the starting eleven.

Dorking romped to the league title last season and have settled comfortably in the National South. In 2019 the Wanderers won 31, drew 9 and lost 6 in all competitions.

On This Day

Dartford last won on the 4 January way back in 1986 when they beat Barnet 5-3 at Watling Street, in which is now the National League. The home win rewarded the Darts with two points in the Gola League, bizarrely an away victory was worth three points that season. Victory put some gloss on a difficult period for the club as the financial situation started to unravel, three games later manager John Still resigned. Dartford have played three matches since that triumph, in 1992 they lost 1-0 at Bromsgrove Rovers in the Southern Premier League, were beaten 3-1 at Stamford in the Southern Division One East eleven years later and most recently, lost 2-1 to Kidderminster Harriers at Princes Park five years ago in the National League.

Dartford v Welling United

Steve King once again comes face to face with his former club as Dartford open the New Year against local rivals Welling United.

The two sides met on Boxing Day with the Darts coming out on top by beating the Wings 3-0 at Park View Road. Darren McQueen scored a brace with his first coming from the penalty spot, Elliot Romain also found the net to claim bragging rights for King’s men. In a repeat of the Boxing Day scoreline, Dartford defeated Tonbridge Angels on the weekend with the same pair scoring. This time McQueen opened the scoring and Romain fired in a long range effort. There was still time for Charlie Sheringham to come off the bench to score and Josh Hill to be sent off in the closing stages.

King introduced new loan signing Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong having signed from Aldershot Town. The 22-year-old winger has made 13 appearances for the Shots, scoring 3 times. The only other change was in defence where Josh Hill replaced Tom Bonner, whilst Sanchez Ming made way for Berkeley-Agyepong. The Dartford b oss was happy with the midfielder’s debut, he told kentonline.co.uk: “You can see little bits of quality, (with his) finesse on the ball and the way he manipulates the ball”, he added: “Bearing in mind he has been out for two weeks at Aldershot with concussion, so he hasn’t played for three weeks and he’s coming into a league where it’s a little bit quicker than the National League – it’s up, down, up, down – he’s another who will grow. But he brings little bits of quality and left-footed (players) always bring a bit of balance”.

Since arriving at the Darts, King has increased competition for places in the starting eleven and after the Tonbridge Angels win he praised goalkeeper Alhaji Sesay, who has taken advantage of Mark Smith’s injury to get an opportunity between the sticks. Overall, King was delighted with Saturday’s result and felt the game should have been wrapped up in the first half, he commented: “That’s as dominant as we have been and we should have gone in 2-0 or 3-0 up at least. But we didn’t capitalise on all our good play and, at that time, then you leave yourself open”, he continued: “But for me, we were so dominant that the game should have been over at half-time”.

Dartford’s boss came so close to guiding the Wings back to the National League last term reaching the Playoff final. Now King will be up against his old team for the second time over the festive season after the Boxing Day clash at Park View Road. It will be the third consecutive year that the Darts have hosted Welling United on New Year’s Day and the previous two meetings ended victorious.

Bragging rights were shared last season when the home side won on each occasion. King was in the opposite dugout and at Park View Road guided the Wings to a 2-0 victory. The former Welling United boss wasn’t the only person up against his future club, Josh Hill was selected in the starting eleven and scored the opening goal. Hill had a previous spell with the Darts in 2013 and when Danny Mills netted the Wings second the Darts were sunk by two former players.

After the Boxing Day defeat, Dartford were looking for revenge at Princes Park on New Year’s Day. Ronnie Vint’s late winner with four minutes remaining was enough to earn the Darts three points. An excellent delivery by Ben Greenhalgh wasn’t cleared by the Welling United defence and Vint forced the ball home for the winner.

The previous campaign also saw the two sides meet on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day with Dartford completing a festive double. Out of the two clashes the away fixture at Park View Road will be remembered for Alfie Pavey’s superb last-minute strike. After the Darts threw away a two-goal lead given to them by an Andy Pugh brace, the home side pulled one back through former Dart, Callum Driver and with three minutes to go Jeffrey Monakana equalised. It looked like a draw was on the cards until in the last-minute Alfie Pavey produced a stunning scissor kick from outside the box to clinch victory.

The return fixture ended with a convincing Dartford win, their biggest against Welling United since New Year’s Eve in 1983. This time Pavey came off the bench to grab a brace against his old club to secure a 4-1 triumph. Ryan Hayes opened the scoring with a low drive and Elliot Romain headed the equaliser against his future side. Pugh sent the Darts into the break with a 2-1 lead before Pavey’s second-half goals.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 21 / Welling United wins: 10 / Draws: 9

Current League Form

Dartford (WWLWDL) Welling United (LLWLWD)
Tonbridge Angels H 3-0 Eastbourne Borough A 1-2
Welling United A 3-0 Dartford H 0-3
Concord Rangers H 0-1 Hemel Hempstead Town H 2-0
Billericay Town H 3-2 Dorking Wanderers A 0-2
Dulwich Hamlet A 1-1 Braintree Town H 6-2
Bath City A 0-3 Dulwich Hamlet H 0-0

Last Six Meetings

26.12.2019 Welling United 0 Dartford 3
01.01.2019 Dartford 1 Welling United 0
26.12.2018 Welling United 2 Dartford 0
01.01.2018 Dartford 4 Welling United 1
26.12.2017 Welling United 2 Dartford 3
28.02.2017 Welling United 0 Dartford 0

Stats

The Darts have won the last five games against Welling United at Princes Park in all competitions.

Dartford have tasted defeat just once in their last 12 games against the Wings after ninety minutes, on Boxing Day last year. The Darts also lost on penalties in the Kent Senior Cup three years ago.

The Darts have scored in each of their last 17 home games against Welling United, last failing to score on 28 February 1980 in the Kent Floodlit Cup. Dartford have scored in every home league game versus the Wings.

On Saturday the Darts kept back to back clean sheets in the league for the first time since February 2019.

League Record in 2019

Won 16 / Drawn 12 / Lost 15 / Scored 62 / Conceded 67

League Record This Decade

Won 187 / Drawn 102 / Lost 147 / Scored 665 / Conceded 580 / Goal Difference +85

On This Day

Dartford’s last two New Year’s Day wins have been against Welling United. Before those triumphs the Darts had gone six without a win on the first day of the year. In 2001, Dartford brushed aside Sittingbourne 5-2 in the Southern League Division One East, the start of seven consecutive away games on 1 January, in which Dartford lost five a drew two. The Darts lost to Fisher Athletic (2004), Maldon Town (2005) and Welling United (2011) before drawing with Ebbsfleet United in 2013. Defeats against Braintree Town (2015) and Ebbsfleet United (2017) followed before the run was stopped in 2018 against Welling United. That win ended a 28 year wait for a home New Year’s Day win, which came against Gravesend and Northfleet, the final score 5-0 after a goalless first-half.

Dartford v Tonbridge Angels

This weekend Dartford close out the year with the second of three consecutive Kent derbies, this time at home against Tonbridge Angels in the National South.

Only three months has passed since the Darts last met the Angels, management duo Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle took charge of the Darts for the last time. Dartford were struggling at the wrong end of the table sitting third from bottom, Tonbridge Angels a place and two points behind. Talk of a six pointer may have come too early, but the result proved to be crucial in another way.

Joe Turner scored twice to help Tonbridge Angels to a 3-2 victory the first coming from a penalty. Against the run of play Dartford levelled before the break when Josh Hill scored from close range. Parity didn’t last long as Turner put the Angels back in front before the break with a driving shot from fifteen yards. The Darts thought they could grab a point with fifteen minutes remaining, Ryan Hayes sent in a free-kick for Charlie Sheringham to equalise. Tonbridge Angels managed to win it with five minutes left, Tom Derry sliding in the winner and ending Flanagan and Coyle’s spell in charge.

Tonbridge’s triumph ended a dismal run against the Darts, who had won the last eight meetings. Four of those were at Princes Park with the most recent Dartford home victory versus their Kent rivals coming in the F.A Trophy second round seven years ago. Harry Crawford, Elliot Bradbrook and Jon Wallis scored that day and the same score was repeated in the F.A Cup four years later at Longmead, Alex Brown, Andy Pugh and Bradbrook netting this time.

Dartford have won the last two league games at Princes Park against the Angels, in 2011 Bradbrook, Danny Harris and Charlie Sheringham found the net in a 3-1 victory and in 2009, Allan Tait and Harris helped the Darts to a 2-0 triumph.

The Darts haven’t hit the heights they expected in 2019, but with recent performances under Steve King with a patched-up squad, there is plenty to look forward to in the next calendar year and on to next season. King has given Dartford a glimpse of the type of players he would like to bring to the club and if the injury list reduces then the Darts should find themselves in a better position.

The Darts will approach this weekend’s match fresh from an excellent 3-0 Boxing Day win against Welling United. Darren McQueen scored a brace at Park View Road with his first coming from the penalty spot, Elliot Romain also found the net to take his tally to eight for the season in just 11 appearances. Tom Bonner replaced Josh hill at the back and Charlie Sheringham came on as a substitute to get his first minutes since October.

Now two points off a top seven place, King still insists that the Darts are not ready for the playoff due to results being inconsistent, he told www.kentonline.co.uk: “The minute we win two, three, four games (in a row) then I’ll think we’ve got a bit of consistency but at the moment we haven’t got that”. Opponents, Tonbridge Angels had their derby against Maidstone United called off, King commented: “What does that mean? Are they going to be fitter, stronger faster? Maybe. We want to back up this win and we’ve not been able to do that since I’ve been here”.

Tonbridge Angels came through two playoff finals last season to earn promotion. Steve McKimm’s side, playing in the National South for the first time in five years, have been battling at the bottom and will be delighted to stay in the division come April. At the time of writing, prior their away trip to Hemel Hempstead Town, the Angels had taken just three points on the road and were still looking for their first away victory of the season.

Derry, who netted in September’s clash against the Darts is amongst the top scorers for the club this campaign along with D’Sean Theobalds and Joe Turner. One player who has had a positive impact is Dartford loanee Ben Greenhalgh. The midfielder scored a free-kick on his debut and has also chipped in with a few assists in his appearances so far for the club.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 67 / Tonbridge Angels wins: 38 / Draws: 24

Current League Form

Dartford (DDWLLD) Tonbridge Angels (DLLDWL)
Welling United A 3-0 Hemel Hempstead Town A 1-1
Concord Rangers H 0-1 Billericay Town H 3-2
Billericay Town H 3-2 Hungerford Town A 0-1
Dulwich Hamlet A 1-1 Slough Town A 0-0
Bath City A 0-3 St Albans City H 2-1
Maidstone United H 2-2 Oxford City H 4-4

Last Six Meetings

03.09.2019 Tonbridge Angels 3 Dartford 2
15.10.2016 Tonbridge Angels 0 Dartford 3
15.12.2012 Dartford 3 Tonbridge Angels 0
03.03.2012 Tonbridge Angels 0 Dartford 1
31.01.2012 Tonbridge Angels 2 Dartford 4
24.09.2011 Dartford 3 Tonbridge Angels 1

Stats

Dartford are five games unbeaten at Princes Park against Tonbridge Angels (W4, D1)

The Darts last lost to the Angels at home in 2004 when they lost 3-2 in the Southern League Division One East

Dartford have conceded just once in their last four home games against Tonbridge Angels keeping three clean sheets

On This Day

Dartford have won once in their last seven games played on 28 December and that was a 2-0 home derby with Erith and Belvedere back in 1998. The Darts last played on this day four years ago when they hosted Margate in the National South. Ronnie Vint, Ryan Hayes and Lee Noble are the only survivors from that game that also featured academy graduate Ebou Adams, now plying his trade at Forest Green Rovers. Elliot Bradbrook equalised six minutes into the second-half to earn a 1-1 draw, cancelling out the opener from Freddie Ladapo, who is now at Rotherham United. Nine years ago, Dartford were beaten by their local rivals Ebbsfleet United at Stonebridge Road, Bradbrook scored for the Darts whilst Derek Duncan and Callum Willock netted for Fleet. The Darts finished the match with nine men after Joe Bruce and James White were both sent off.

Welling United v Dartford

Steve King faces his former club on Boxing Day and there will be no room for sentiment, when he returns to Park View Road to take on local rivals Welling United.

A point will keep the Darts ahead of the Wings in the National South standings, whilst victory will move Dartford five points ahead of their rivals. For the third consecutive campaign the two sides meet each other over the festive season, the Darts will hope to avenge the defeat they suffered at Park View Road a year ago.

Frustrated with his side’s inconsistency, Steve King guided the Darts to a 3-2 home win against Billericay Town before watching on as Concord Rangers took all three points on the weekend. The Dartford boss described his team as ‘chalk and cheese’ when speaking to www.kentonline.co.uk, he commented: “We deserved the plaudits and to win the game against Billericay”, before adding his thoughts after the 1-0 defeat against Concord Rangers, he explained: “I felt there wasn’t enough quality,” he continued: “Normally you can have five or six off their game and the other six can carry you through but I thought nearly all of them were off their game”.

Crowd favourite, Ryan Hayes was praised for his efforts when he came on as a substitute as he ‘lifted the side’ in the final quarter. However the game hinged on two penalties, in form Dartford striker Elliott Romain hit the post with his spot kick, whilst Joel Nouble scored his penalty to earn the Beachboys victory. Two new signings were introduced to the Dartford faithful and one could be in line to face his former club on Boxing Day.

Sanchez Ming left the Wings a day before he was selected in Dartford’s starting eleven on the weekend. The full back was brought in on loan by King whilst at Welling United from Dulwich Hamlet, Ming signed permanently for the Wings in the summer but has now decided to team up with King once more, he was the only change to the team selected against Billericay Town. Appearing as a substitute on the weekend, Marcel Barrington has joined the Darts from Concord Rangers. The 24 year old was part of the Braintree Town side that beat Dartford in the National South playoffs in May 2018. The striker will already be familiar with midfielders Billy Crook and Luke Allen who were also in the Irons team that were promoted that season. In the three months King has been in charge the squad has a different look with over half of the players involved on Saturday new signings.

Welling United haven’t hit the heights of last term when King led them to the Playoff Final. Mark Goldberg has been in charge since the summer and now the Wings are down in sixteenth place, two points behind Dartford in thirteenth. Last season with King working under Goldberg, Welling United won on Boxing Day beating Dartford 2-0 after goals from two former Darts, Josh Hill and Danny Mills. This time Hill will be back in a Dartford shirt for the festive derby hoping to win at Park View Road again.

After a barren run in the league without finding the net, The Wings found some spark in their 6-2 victory at home against Braintree Town just over a month ago. A 2-0 away defeat at Dorking Wanderers followed in the league then a 2-0 win at home to Hemel Hempstead Town, former Dart, Nathan Green found the net. With their game at league leaders Wealdstone postponed on the weekend, Welling United last played in the National South almost three weeks ago.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 20 / Welling United wins: 9 / Draws: 10

Current League Form

Dartford (LWDLDW) Welling United (WLDLWL)
Concord Rangers H 0-1 Hemel Hempstead Town H 2-0
Billericay Town H 3-2 Dorking Wanderers A 0-2
Dulwich Hamlet A 1-1 Braintree Town H 6-2
Bath City A 0-3 Dulwich Hamlet H 0-0
Maidstone United H 2-2 Chippenham Town A 0-0
Hampton and Richmond A 2-1 Slough Town A 0-1

Last Six Meetings

01.01.2019 Dartford 1 Welling United 0
26.12.2018 Welling United 2 Dartford 0
01.01.2018 Dartford 4 Welling United 1
26.12.2017 Welling United 2 Dartford 3
28.02.2017 Welling United 0 Dartford 0
22.11.2016 Welling United 2 Dartford 2

Stats

Dartford have lost just one of their last six away league games (W4, D1, L1)

Over the last 15 years the Darts have won three out of 11 against Welling United at Park View Road (D4, L4).

Welling United have won just two of the last seventeen meetings between the two sides in normal time, the Wings did win a Kent Senior Cup tie on penalties.

On This Day

Last season’s 2-0 Boxing Day defeat against Welling United ended a run of three Boxing Day victories in a row. The last of those triumphs came in dramatic circumstances as Alfie Pavey’s last minute wonder goal separated the two teams two years ago. After the Darts threw away a two-goal lead given to them by an Andy Pugh brace, the home side pulled one back through former Dart, Callum Driver and with three minutes to go Jeffrey Monakana equalised. It looked like a draw was on the cards until in the last-minute Alfie Pavey produced a stunning scissor kick from outside the box to clinch victory. This year will be the fifth time in nine years in which the Darts have faced Welling United on this day. In 2011 the game ended 1-1 at Park View Road and in 2013, the Wings won 2-1.