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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 Slough Town

Dartford will be hoping to get back to winning ways this weekend when they host Southern Premier League Playoff winners Slough Town in the National South. 

It’s not often the Princes Park dugouts are going to be slightly crowded, with both sides being guided by joint managers. Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle will be in the ‘black and white corner’ attempting to record a seventh league win in nine games, whilst the visitors will be led by Neil Baker and Jon Underwood. 

The same two managers were in charge of Slough Town when Dartford last played the Rebels in the 2016/2017 season. The Darts drew the Berkshire side in the F.A Cup third qualifying round with the tie played at Arbour Park. On a difficult afternoon, Dartford were made to work for their 3-2 victory with two late goals, against the then leaders of the Southern Premier League. Elliot Bradbrook made amends for his early own goal with an equaliser and his 100th for the Darts. Deren Ibrahim gave a penalty away for James Dobson, scorer of five National South goals this term, to put Slough Town ahead. With seven minutes to go, Bradbrook scored his second of the game and in the final minute Andy Pugh coolly finished a good move to send Dartford through. 

On Tuesday night, Flanagan and Coyle handed a debut to new signing Dan Darbyshire, when Dartford hosted Torquay United. The striker signed a professional contract with Queens Park Rangers in March 2017, but left the London club this summer. Tom Bonner returned from illness and a hamstring injury, Andre Coker was back in the starting eleven, Kudus Oyenuga replaced Charlie Sheringham and Elliot Bradbrook was rested. 

Despite a 2-0 defeat Dartford could find some positives in their performance as they created chances in the first half. However, second half goals from Ruairi Keating and the National South’s top scorer Jamie Reid fired Torquay United to the top of the league. Coyle spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk after the game and said: “The first half was the best we’ve played all season. I don’t think anyone could grumble if we went in three or four up. They cleared two or three off the line, we’ve hit the outside of the post and we had 14 attempts on target in the first half. To do that against a side of their quality, a full-time team, there’s loads of positives to take out of that but unfortunately it summarises our season”. Coyle described the Darts attacking qualities are ‘lacking punch’, he added: “We still need to look at that area because although the boys have given a real good shift and created some brilliant chances, we need to be more ruthless in front of goal”.

Dartford remain in sixth place and are now six points behind the new leaders Torquay United. Prior Tuesday’s fixture the Darts were on good form with six wins in the seven outings leading up to the 2-0 loss.

Last weekend, the Slough Town exited the F.A Cup in the second round for a second year in a row. Hosting Gillingham at Arbour Park they fell to a Darren Oldaker strike, but made a decent account for themselves against a side sitting three divisions higher. It was the eighth time the Rebels reached the second round of the competition in their history. 

It’s been three weeks since Slough Town’s last league game having beat Sutton United on penalties in round one of the F.A Cup, then losing 3-2 against Weston-super-Mare in the F.A Trophy. Focusing on cup competitions means the Berkshire club with up to three games in hand on those above them. 

At the moment, the Rebels are in fourteenth and five points from a playoff place, which is their target this season. Neil Baker spoke on the Non League Football Show podcast last week and commented: “We’re always looking to try and progress so you have to put the target of the playoffs in there. When there is six playoff places up for grabs it gives you an opportunity. You really need to be in and around the mid-table mark after the Christmas period and in touching distance to have that opportunity”, the joint manager added: “We’ve got one or two games in hand on pretty much everyone, we win one of those and we’re right back in touch. We’re delighted on where we are at the moment”.

Last season’s Southern Premier League playoff winners started their campaign getting used to their new surrounding picking up two wins and two draws in August from seven games. However, Slough Town excelled in September winning all four league matches beating Chelmsford City, Oxford City, Eastbourne Borough and Hungerford Town. Although they have lost three of their last five in the National South over the last two months, they are still in a healthy position. 

Dartford faced an in-form striker on Tuesday night and this weekend they may have to again. Slough Town’s, Mathew Stevens has scored 11 goals in all competitions having made 19 appearances so far, the 20-year-old has found his goal scoring form since the hat-trick he netted against Eastbourne Borough in September. In the National South, the former Peterborough United striker who signed for Slough Town this summer has scored six in his last seven games.

Head to Head

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

Current League Form

Dartford (LWWWLW) Slough Town (LWDLLW)
Torquay United H 0-2 Woking H 0-1
Hampton & Richmond A 1-0 Concord Rangers H 1-0
Oxford City H 3-2 Hemel Hempstead Town A 1-1
Gloucester City A 2-1 St Albans City A 2-3
Truro City A 1-3 Welling United A 1-2
Dulwich Hamlet H 2-1 Hungerford Town H 2-0

Previous Meetings

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 have a 100% record against Slough Town winning all three meetings.

Dartford’s failure to score on Tuesday night ended a run of scoring in nine consecutive league games.

Slough Town have lost their last four away games in the National South.

On This Day

Dartford came close to causing a F.A Cup upset in 1984 when they drew 1-1 with AFC Bournemouth in the second round. Guided by John Still, the Darts took the lead through Steve Robinson. The Cherries equalised to force a replay which they won 4-1, and so Harry Redknapp’s side went on to earn a dream tie with Manchester United. Aside from the last match Dartford played on 8 December, the Darts have a good record on this day. Defeat at home to Lincoln City in 2012 ended an unbeaten run stretching back to 1962 over eight games. In 2001, Dartford were involved in a nine goal thriller beating Burnham 5-4 in the Southern League Division One East.

National League South Season Preview 2018/2019 – Part Three

Hemel Hempstead Town | Hungerford Town | Oxford City | Slough Town | St Albans City | Torquay United

Hemel Hempstead Town

Founded: 1885 / Ground: Vauxhall Road

It’s been just over four years ago since Hemel Hempstead Town smashed the Southern Premier League, now the Tudors are looking towards the next level. The Hertfordshire based side have held their own in the National South finishing ninth, sixth and twelfth before last season. The Tudors reached the playoffs in the second tier of non-league football for the first time going out to eventual playoff winners Braintree Town on penalties at the first hurdle. Ending the campaign in fifth, Hemel Hempstead Town’s twelve game unbeaten run had them thinking of top spot back around the New Year. The Tudors also lost just two out of the last thirteen, but a division high thirteen draws saw them drop too many points.

Last Season

National South: 5th

F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: 1st Round

League Top Scorer: Jordan Parkes (14 goals)

Average Attendance: 527 (12th in National South)

The Manager – Dean Brennan

A career playing in the Football League career never took off for Dean Brennan, but he had a decent time in non-league football. The former midfielder won the F.A Trophy with Grays Athletic and had spells with Stevenage, AFC Wimbledon and various other clubs including Hemel Hempstead Town. At the age of 29, the Tudors appointed Brennan as interim manager and he kept them in the Southern Premier League. After a spell at Dunstable Town the Irishman returned to the Tudors six years ago. Brennan took the Tudors up to the National South in 2015 and last term reached the playoffs in fifth, their highest ever finish.

The Summer

The Tudors are focussing on attack with a host of signings boosting their forward line. Former Concord Rangers top scorer Steve Cawley signs a two-year deal after scoring 88 times in 225 appearances for the Beachboys. Phil Roberts was on course to win the National South golden boot at one point after spells with Chelmsford City and Braintree Town, he ended up with 18 goals last season. Ex Dartford striker, Charlie Sheringham returns to Hemel Hempstead Town after a spell in Bangladesh and Sanchez Watt signs a permanent deal after a successful loan spell from Billericay Town.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Hemel Hempstead Town wins: 1 / Draws: 2

Previous Meetings

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
08.08.2015 Hemel Hempstead Town 1 Dartford 0

Next Meetings

Saturday 11 August 2018 at Princes Park

Saturday 2 February 2019 at Vauxhall Road

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Hungerford Town

Founded: 1886 / Ground: Bulpit Lane

Promoted from the Southern Premier League two years ago, the Crusaders only had to wait less than a month for their first setback. Long serving manager Bobby Wilkinson left Bulpit Lane in favour of Wealdstone. Not the best preparation for a side hoping to keep momentum going from a sixth place finish the season before. Instead Hungerford Town struggled and survival went right down to the wire. With a one-point advantage over Poole Town going into the final day, the Crusaders clinched a place in the National South thanks to Nicholas Bignall’s winning goal against East Thurrock United. The 1-0 victory was crucial considering Poole Town also won, so now Hungerford Town will compete in this division for a third successive campaign.

Last Season

National South: 19th

F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: 2nd Round

League Top Scorer: Louie Soares (11 goals)

Average Attendance: 267 (21st in National South)

The Manager – Ian Herring

He experienced two promotions via the playoffs as a player with Hungerford Town and now he leads the team off the field. Ian Herring was appointed as the Crusaders manager just under a year ago having played for the Berkshire club since 2012. The 34-year-old replaced Bobby Wilkinson in September, who had been manager of Hungerford Town since the 2009/2010 campaign. With big shoes to fill, Herring was given the task of keeping the Crusaders in the National South which was just about completed on the final day of the season. Before a career with the Berkshire club, he played for Swindon Town, Salisbury City, Chippenham Town, Forest Green Rovers and Eastleigh.

The Summer

Ramone Rose will be looking to settle at Bulpit Lane having moved around the non-league scene frequently. The former Whitehawk man had a decent run in the Hawks side last term. The 28-year-old has been at Queens Park Rangers, Newport County, Wealdstone, Maidenhead United and Eastleigh to name but a few. Defender Tommy Cooney arrives having previously played for Brentford, Boston United and Margate. Tommy Ouldridge will bolster the midfield and has experience with Cirencester Town, Swindon Town and Chippenham Town. Sam Deadfield is another midfielder joining Hungerford Town from Basingstoke Town. Right back Marcus Johnson-Schuster also had spells with Basingstoke Town and Wealdstone as well as Hampton and Richmond Borough.

Head to Head

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

Previous Meetings

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

Next Meetings

Saturday 25 August 2018 at Bulpit Lane

Saturday 22 December 2018 at Princes Park

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Oxford City

Founded: 1882 / Ground: Marsh Lane

A consistent side since switching from the National North to National South in the summer of 2015, Oxford City have finished their three seasons in this division in twelfth, fourteenth and last term sixteenth. The Nomads had a slow start to their campaign and were in the bottom three at the end of October. The Oxfordshire side woke up going unbeaten for the next two months with the run ending on New Year’s Day. Away from league competition, Oxford City managed to put together a F.A Cup run knocking out a Football League side for the first time in their history. The Nomads defeated Colchester United to reach the second round for the first time in forty-seven years where their run ended against Notts County.

Last Season

National South: 16th

F.A Cup: 2nd Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: Winners

League Top Scorer: Matt Patterson (21 goals)

Average Attendance: 319 (17th in National South)

The Manager – Mark Jones

In the F.A Cup last season, Oxford City knocked out Football League opposition for the first time in their history and it was masterminded by Mark Jones. He also guided City to their first County Cup triumph in fifteen years. Taking charge of the first team in December 2016, Jones came into the role with coaching and playing experience. Not only does he currently head up Oxford City’s scholarship programme he also played for the club. His playing career included spells at Aylesbury United, Harrow Borough and Thame United and after hanging up his boots, Jones worked at Stevenage as Centre of Excellence Manager and Watford as Lead Youth Development Phase Coach

The Summer

Josh Ashby returns to the Nomads on a one-year deal from Oxford United, he already played for Oxford City in 2016/2017 making 21 appearances. Scorer of 15 goals in 44 games, Kabongo Tshimanga arrives at Marsh Lane from Boston United, the striker has also played six times for Milton Keynes Dons. Left back, Ben Jefford had three spells with Welling United but he will be part of Mark Jones’ squad, the 23-year-old has National League experience with Sutton United, Woking and Forest Green Rovers. Four players impressed in pre-season one of which is Luke Ruddick, who had spent time out of the game, the defender previously played for Sutton United and Salisbury City. Kyran Wiltshire won the National South in 2016/17 and joins from Maidenhead United, Belize international Mike Atkinson and Eze Ibrahim will also be part of Oxford City’s squad. There was also a clear out with the likes of Lee Henderson, Godfrey Poku, Freddie Grant, Ezra Forde, Mamadou Fofana and Justin Bennett leaving.

Head to Head

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

Previous Meetings

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

Next Meetings

Saturday 20 October 2018 at Princes Park

Saturday 27 April 2019 at Marsh Lane

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Slough Town

Founded: 1893 / Ground: Arbour Park

In the early nineties Slough Town were mixing it in the top flight of non-league football. The Rebels enjoyed seven seasons in what was then the Conference over eight years. By the end of the decade they dropped two divisions and have since been trying to find their way back. In their fourth campaign in the Southern Premier League, Slough Town took a significant step up winning the playoffs after finishing third. The Rebels accrued a massive ninety-nine points and scored an incredible one hundred and eleven goals. In the F.A Cup they reached the second round losing to Rochdale in front of the television cameras. Promoted after a last gasp playoff winner, the Rebels will look to keep their momentum going.

Last Season

Southern Premier: 3rd

F.A Cup: 2nd Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: Semi-Final

League Top Scorer: James Dobson (21 goals)

Average Attendance: 666 (4th in Southern Premier)

The Managers – Neal Baker and Jon Underwood

Joint managers since May 2013, Neal Baker and Jon Underwood both came from Godalming Town. At 29-years-old a knee injury ended Baker’s playing career so he moved into management with Fleet Spurs in the Wessex League Division One. Underwood was managing Sandhurst Town before teaming up with Baker at Godalming Town. Whilst with the G’s the duo reached the Isthmian Division One South playoffs and lifted the Surrey Senior Cup. At Slough Town, Baker and Underwood have been part of an upward trend by guiding the club to promotion to the Southern Premier League, via the playoffs, the same promotion route as last term to reach this season’s National South

The Summer

The Rebels have managed to keep most of their promotion winning squad together and with it they have added Sam Togwell. The midfielder has Football League experience with Barnsley and Scunthorpe United and signs from Eastleigh. Slough Town have also persuaded Louie Soares to join their ranks having top scored for Hungerford Town last term earning him Player of the Year. Matthew Lench hit the headlines with a sublime F.A Cup hat-trick last season, however he’s been released by the club.

Head to Head

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

Previous Meetings

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

Next Meetings

Saturday 8 December 2018 at Princes Park

Saturday 16 February 2019 at Arbour Park

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St Albans City

Founded: 1908 / Ground: Clarence Park

The early pace setters last season were left disappointed that they failed to reach the playoffs. However, the Saints can be pleased that they achieved their highest finish since returning to the National South in 2014. St Albans City racked up maximum points in their opening six games and were still joint top at the end of October. Four defeats in five games followed as they began to lose ground, but the Saints came again and went unbeaten in December. In the New Year they thrashed East Thurrock United 7-2 and followed that up with a 4-0 win over then league leaders Dartford to put them back in contention. The Saints hit more good form over Easter then ended losing five of their last six.

Last Season

National South: 8th

F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 2nd Round

County Cup: 2nd Round

League Top Scorer: Sam Merson (20 goals)

Average Attendance: 765 (5th National South)

The Manager – Ian Allinson

Out of all the managers in the National South this season, Ian Allinson has one of the biggest profiles due to his footballing career. The former winger amassed over 300 league appearances as a player for Colchester United in two spells, and played over 100 games in all competitions for Arsenal. He also appeared for Stoke City and Luton Town. As a manager, he won the Isthmian Premier League and National South playoff finals with Boreham Wood before joining St Albans City two years ago. Allinson has also managed Baldock Town, Barton Rovers, Harlow Town and Stotfold so has plenty of experience to offer the Saints.

The Summer

If Gary McCann at Hampton and Richmond Borough isn’t taking players from Hendon then Ian Allinson is. St Albans City add 21-year-old Luke Tingey to their squad, a versatile defender who played over a century of games over a three-year spell with the Greens. Tingey will be joined by Senegalese midfielder Dave Diedhiou, the 29-year-old made over 400 appearances for Hendon since 2008. Khale da Costa joins from Concord Rangers whilst former Dart, Tom Gardiner leaves as does Shaun Lucien who has joined Hampton and Richmond Borough. Allinson’s son Lee, has left his assistant manager’s post to take up a role with Biggleswade Town as first team manager. In his place Glenn Alzapiedi becomes the number two, who had three years with Concord Rangers as assistant to Adam Flanagan. Striker, Ralston Gabriel scored over 30 times during Haringey Borough’s promotion winning term and impressed manager Ian Allinson enough to sign a deal with the Saints. David Moyo lacked opportunities at Hemel Hempstead Town and will be given a chance at Clarence Park. National South playoff winner with Braintree Town, Roman Michael-Percil joins and has had previous spells with Concord Rangers, Billericay Town and Dulwich Hamlet.

Head to Head

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

Previous Meetings

03.02.2018 St Albans City 4 Dartford 0
28.10.2017 Dartford 2 St Albans City 1
25.03.2017 St Albans City 1 Dartford 0
08.11.2016 Dartford 0 St Albans City 2
30.04.2016 St Albans City 4 Dartford 0
06.02.2016 Dartford 2 St Albans City 0

Next Meetings

Saturday 1 September 2018 at Clarence Park

Saturday 12 January 2019 at Princes Park

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Torquay United

Founded: 1899 / Ground: Plainmoor

A club that flirted with Football League existence for years, the warning signs have always been at Plainmoor. The Gulls have reached an all-time low, playing in the National South for the first time in their history. Torquay United did spend two years in the National League between 2007 and 2009 and made a F.A Trophy final appearance. They managed to head back to the Football League but once again lost their status with relegation four years ago. After four more seasons, the Gulls edged closer and closer to the dreaded drop and then it came. Last term Torquay United started on a thirteen-game winless run and never recovered.

Last Season

National League: 22nd

F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Round

League Top Scorer: Jamie Read and Rhys Healey (6 goals)

Average Attendance: 1731 (13th National League)

The Manager – Gary Owers

F.A Cup runner up 26 years ago, Gary Owers walked up the Wembley steps to collect his medal after Sunderland lost the 1992 final to Liverpool. The former midfielder made over 300 appearances for the Black Cats and afterwards continued his career with Bristol City and Notts County. He moved in to non-league with Forest Green Rovers before playing for Bath City, the same two clubs he later went on to manage. When he left Weston-super-Mare in 2007 he spent the next nine years as a number two at Aldershot Town, Plymouth Argyle and Gateshead. Owers made the step back into first team management with Bath City before replacing Kevin Nicholson early last season at Plainmoor.

The Summer

Gary Owers’ first summer in charge has brought change to Plainmoor. Out go Reece Mitchell, Conrad Balatoni, Sam Chaney, Yan Klukowski and Jake Gosling. Ryan Clarke joins Bath City and Luke Young makes the step up to play for Wrexham. That has left plenty of room to sign new players like experienced 31-year-old Asa Hall who has represented Luton Town, Oxford United, Shrewsbury Town and Cheltenham Town. Former Woking duo Bobson Bawling and Jason Banton move down to Devon, whilst 21-year-old defender George Essuman and ex Bromley right back Ben Wynter sign up for Torquay United. Samir Nabi comes in from Carlisle United having previously spent time in the Indian Premier League with Dehli Dynamos. Two goalkeepers have also been signed with the arrivals of Shaun MacDonald from Blyth Spartans and Alex Bass on loan from Portsmouth. Early in his career Ryan Dickson went on loan at Plainmoor and now he is back at the age of 31. Kyle Cameron came through the Newcastle United academy and after loan spells at Workington, York City and Queen of the South the defender joins Torquay United. Another defender, Jean-Yves Koué Niate brings with him experience of time in France and Belgium as well as Solihull Moors, Oxford City, Ebbsfleet United and Guiseley.

Head to Head

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

Previous Meetings

04.04.2015 Torquay United 1 Dartford 1
23.08.2014 Dartford 0 Torquay United 0

Next Meetings

Saturday 10 November 2018 at Princes Park

Saturday 16 Match 2019 at Plainmoor

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Slough Town v Dartford

Dartford face a tough F.A Cup qualifying tie this weekend when they visit Southern Premier League table toppers Slough Town.

Over recent weeks the Darts have found form going unbeaten in their last six matches. Dartford’s positive run is nothing compared to Saturday’s opponents who have won their last nine fixtures and are unbeaten in 11 games.

It’s been 28 years since the Darts played Slough Town and they will be hoping to repeat the 2-1 F.A Cup fourth qualifying round victory, with the help of player manager Peter Taylor’s finishing. The clubs also met seven years earlier with Dartford running out 4-1 winners in the F.A Trophy first round against the then Isthmian League leaders.

Last weekend, Tony Burman led his side to a 2-1 victory over the National South’s bottom side Concord Rangers. The home win lifted the Darts to seventh in the table to keep up momentum.

Duane Ofori-Acheampong was relieved to have opened his goal scoring account for the Darts with the opening goal against the Beachboys. Danny Harris added a second, his third of the campaign before Concord Rangers grabbed a consolation.

Burman told www.dartfordfc.com: “It was a good time to take the lead with Duane getting off the mark. We knew the game would open up in the second half and took advantage of that with an excellent goal from Danny. It was disappointing not to increase the lead and to concede a late goal, but the main thing is we added another 3 points to the total”.

Tom Wynter is the only injury concern when the full back was substituted before half-time last weekend, Burman commented: “We had him looked at on Monday and there was good movement in the knee and there is a slim chance he could be involved Saturday, although we know we have to be careful and we may wait for the following week”.

Ronnie Vint has returned to action but still building up fitness levels, he is likely to get a longer run out in the Kent Senior Cup next week. That leaves the possibility of Keaton Wood replacing Wynter if required.

The third qualifying round tie could see more academy players gaining first team experience, Burman stated to www.kentonline.co.uk: “With seven substitutes in the FA Cup it means I could bring a couple of players in. With Ben Francis and Richard Seixas having a chance to get games in elsewhere, a couple of second-year guys here could be called upon”, he added: “Some of them have done well and deserve the recognition and we are confident enough in them to get them involved. We’ve got some good prospects coming through”.

Slough Town were in action on Tuesday and extended there winning streak to an impressive nine in all competitions. The Rebels are five points clear in the Southern Premier League and with a new stadium at Arbour Park the feel good factor could play a part in causing an upset.

Joint managers Neil Baker and Jon Underwood helped the Berkshire side see off Chipstead and Cambridge City in the previous rounds. Chipstead were swept aside 6-1, the only goal conceded by Slough Town at home this season and Cambridge City were beaten 3-1.

Attacking threat comes from the all over the pitch with four players sharing the top scorer tag for Slough Town this term. Lee Barney, James Dobson, Gavin James and Warren Harris have all netted six times, former Hampton and Richmond striker Charlie Moone is just one behind. Defensively, the Rebels have kept four clean sheets in their last five outings.

Slough Town finished their previous two campaigns in the Southern Premier League in 16th and 17th respectively, there is no doubt the move to Arbour Park has been a catalyst to their success this time. The Rebels will be hoping to recreate the F.A Cup run they had in 2013 when they negotiated six games, including one replay to reach the first round where they lost to Mansfield Town on penalties. The Berkshire club has reached the proper stages 16 times in their history.

Head to Head

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

Current Form (all competitions)
Slough Town (WWWWWW)
Won 2-0 v Leamington (H)
Won 3-0 v Biggleswade Town (H)
Won 3-1 v Cambridge City (A) – F.A Cup
Won 1-0 v Weymouth (A)
Won 4-0 v Redditch United (A)
Won 6-1 v Chipstead (H) – F.A Cup

Dartford (WWWDWD)
Won 2-1 v Concord Rangers (A)
Won 3-2 v Chelmsford City (A) – F.A Cup
Won 2-0 v Margate (A)
Drew 1-1 v East Thurrock United (A)
Won 2-1 v Welling United (H)
Drew 0-0 v Maidenhead United (H)

Last Meetings

Slough Town 1 Dartford 2 (29/10/1988 – F.A Cup)
Dartford 4 Slough Town 1 (10/01/1981 – F.A Trophy)

Stats

Elliot Bradbrook remains one goal away from his one hundredth for Dartford

Slough Town have recorded the longest winning streak in the Southern Premier League for two years

On This Day

Cup matches on the 1 October have been a good omen for the Darts going seven unbeaten in a run including five wins. The last cup defeat on this day in 1947 came against Gillingham in the Southern League Cup. Since then the Darts drew 1-1 with Gravesend and Northfleet in the same competition five years later. In the F.A Cup, Epsom and Ewell were beaten 2-1 in 1983, St Albans City held the Darts 1-1 in 1988 and Witham Town were defeated 3-1 in 1989. The only F.A Vase fixture Dartford played on 1 October took place in 1994, when the Darts overcome Steyning Town 3-1. Back to the F.A Cup and in 2000 Abingdon Town were narrowly beaten 3-2 and just five years ago Harrow Borough lost 5-0 to the Darts, James Rogers, Elliot Bradbrook, Charlie Sheringham, Tom Bonner and Lee Burns scoring the goals.