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Dartford v Wealdstone

Dartford’s preparations will be put to the test when they start their National South campaign this weekend against Wealdstone.

The Darts have found the Stones a difficult prospect over the years with the last victory against them coming twenty five years ago. Last term Wealdstone completed the double over Tony Burman’s side in a set of 2-1 wins.

At Princes Park back in January, the Stones came from a goal down to go home with all three points. Dartford, on the back of an unbeaten home run spanning just over four months let a lead slip in the final fifteen minutes.

Andy Pugh neatly finished a cross from Ryan Hayes early in the second half to put Dartford ahead. Late goals from veterans Scott McGleish and Jefferson Louis inflicted defeat on the Darts.

Since a 4-1 home victory back in 1991, five consecutive draws have been played out followed by three straight Dartford losses. The first of those defeats came in a F.A Trophy replay over four years ago, the Stones caused an upset knocking the Darts out at the third round stage.

This weekend could see summer signing Alex Brown make his debut having joined from Leatherhead. The midfielder was part of two promotions with Maidstone United where he made 139 appearances. Brown believes his new side should make the playoffs this season.

Keaton Wood and Tom Bonner return to Princes Park wearing the white shirt. Wood made his loan from last term into a permanent deal whilst Bonner is back for the Darts after spells with Cambridge United, Dover Athletic and Ebbsfleet United. Bonner was integral to the Dartford squad who won promotion in 2012 and played over 100 times for the club in his previous spell.

Bringing pace to the squad will be Ellis Brown and Luke Wanadio who impressed Tony Burman over pre-season. Ellis Brown played for Tonbridge Angels and gained experience with Charlton Athletic and Southend United. Wanadio can play on both wings and spent time with Welling United last term.

Burman’s search for a striker finally ended earlier in the week when he signed Duane-Ofori Acheampong. The 23 year old is likely play the role of a target man and has previously played for Southend United, Torquay United and Dover Athletic.

Wealdstone finished last season in thirteenth, recording the most draws in the division. Experienced boss Gordon Bartlett has been in charge at Grosvenor Vale for 21 years, even outstaying Tony Burman at Princes Park.

Over the summer Bartlett refreshed his squad with the signings of strikers Sahr Kabba from Welling United and Elliot Benyon from Hayes and Yeading United. Danny Green and David Hunt moved from Margate, whilst ex Hemel Hempstead Town midfielder Ricky Wellard and St Albans City defender Eddie Oshodi have also been added to the squad. Dylan Williams joins the Stones on loan from Cambridge United until the New Year.

The Middlesex club also announced changes off the field with new Chairman Peter Marsden being appointed. The Wealdstone supporter held the same position at Accrington Stanley for the past four years. Veteran striker Scott McGleish replaced Leo Morris as Assistant Manager to work alongside Bartlett.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 11 / Wealdstone wins: 13 / Draws: 11

Previous Six Meetings

26.01.2016 Dartford 1 Wealdstone 2
03.10.2015 Wealdstone 2 Dartford 1
21.02.2012 Wealdstone 1 Dartford 0
14.02.2012 Dartford 2 Wealdstone 2
20.04.2010 Wealdstone 1 Dartford 1
29.08.2009 Dartford 1 Wealdstone 1

Dartford have lost three of their last four opening games of the season

Wealdstone have won one of their last eight opening games

 

National League South Season Preview 2016/2017 – (Final Part)

Wealdstone | Welling United | Weston-Super-Mare | Whitehawk

Wealdstone

Founded: 1899 / Ground: The Vale Stadium

The draw specialists of the National South were difficult to beat last season, the Stones lost the same as promoted Maidstone United but only bottom side Basingstoke Town won fewer. A slow start last term left the Middlesex club second from bottom with just a point in their opening six fixtures. The next seven matches set the tone for the rest of the season when they won four and drew three leaving them in mid-table for the remainder of their campaign. 

wealdstoneLast Season

National South: 13th

F.A Cup: 1st Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Round

County Cup: 2nd Round

League Top Scorer: Bradley Hudson-Odoi (11 goals)

The Manager – Gordon Bartlett

Wealdstone were homeless when Gordon Bartlett took charge in June 1995 and playing in the Isthmian Division Three. The long serving manager won back to back promotions and was denied a third consecutive one due to the standards of the ground the Stones were sharing. Bartlett was in charge when the Middlesex club returned home in 2008 and since then guided them to a F.A Trophy semi-final and two playoff semi-final defeats. Finally, Bartlett won another title to earn promotion to the National South where Wealdstone finished twelfth in the first season and fifteenth last term. Now about to begin his twenty second season with the Stones, Bartlett is by far the longest serving manager currently in the National South. 

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 11 / Wealdstone wins: 13 / Draws: 11

Previous Meetings

26.01.2016 Dartford 1 Wealdstone 2
03.10.2015 Wealdstone 2 Dartford 1
21.02.2012 Wealdstone 1 Dartford 0
14.02.2012 Dartford 2 Wealdstone 2
20.04.2010 Wealdstone 1 Dartford 1
29.08.2009 Dartford 1 Wealdstone 1

Next Meetings

Saturday 6 August 2016 at Princes Park

Saturday 28 January 2017 at the Vale Stadium

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Welling United

Founded: 1963 / Ground: Park View Road

When the Wings won four National League games in a row at the end of September, Welling United thought the tide had turned. The Kent club were second from bottom but pulled themselves out of trouble temporarily. In truth, the victories masked a season of struggle. From their highest point of the campaign the Wings slumped into the relegation zone and went on a 23 match winless run. The Kent club finished five points adrift at the bottom of the National League and ended up fourteen points shy of safety. They now return to the National South after a three year absence. 

Last SeasonWelling

National League: 24th

F.A Cup: 2nd Round

F.A Trophy: 2nd Round

County Cup: 1st Round

League Top Scorer: Sahr Kabba (6 goals)

The Manager – Mark Goldberg

Once owner now manager, Mark Goldberg purchased Crystal Palace in the mid-nineties only for the adventure to end in administration. Since then he has managed Bromley on three occasions and is their most successful manager taking them to the National League. The winner of three senior cups, Goldberg won promotion with Bromley via the Isthmian Premier playoffs and as champions of the National South. In his second spell he left due to an internal disagreement but was brought back when a new Chairman was appointed. In February, Goldberg decided to step down under pressure from Bromley’s owners. Towards the end of Welling United’s campaign in last season’s National League, Goldberg was in charge and now he will be aiming for immediate return to the top flight of non league with the Wings. 

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 16 / Welling United wins: 6 / Draws: 9

Previous Meetings

19.10.2015 Dartford 3 Welling United 1
11.11.2014 Dartford 2 Welling United 1
30.09.2014 Welling United 2 Dartford 2
10.01.2014 Welling United 1 Dartford 1
26.12.2013 Dartford 1 Welling United 2
03.09.2013 Welling United 2 Dartford 3

Next Meetings

Tuesday 6 September 2016 at Princes Park

Saturday 21 January 2017 at Park View Road

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Weston-Super-Mare

Founded: 1887 / Ground: Woodspring Stadium

The Seagulls looked nailed on relegation candidates halfway through November. Weston-Super-Mare had won just three of their opening sixteen games sinking to second from bottom. Suddenly, the Seagulls found their scoring boots in a nine match unbeaten run including three 3-2 wins, a 5-2 and 4-1 triumph and an incredible 5-5 draw with Hemel Hempstead Town. Although the Somerset side returned to inconsistency they ended the campaign strongly beating runners up Ebbsfleet United then winning five of their last seven fixtures. 

Weston-super-Mare_AFC_logoLast Season

Conference South: 16th

F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 2nd Round

County Cup: Semi-final

League Top Scorer: Scott Wilson (19 goals)

The Manager – Ryan Northmore

A rookie compared to the majority of the managers in the National South, Ryan Northmore has playing history with the Seagulls as a goalkeeper. Making over 200 appearances for Weston-Super-Mare he won Player of the Year for three consecutive seasons for the club. Initially drafted in as Caretaker Manager when the Seagulls were in the middle of an eight match losing streak, the 35 year old steadied the sinking ship earning his role permanently. Last term was the former Torquay United goalkeeper’s first full season. After a tricky opening to the campaign he managed to guide the Seagulls one position higher than the previous year. 

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Weston-Super-Mare wins: 2 /  Draws: 4

Previous Meetings 

05.03.2016 Weston-Super-Mare 2 Dartford 1
13.09.2015 Dartford 2 Weston-Super-Mare 1
12.11.2011 Dartford 1 Weston-Super-Mare 1
13.08.2011 Weston-Super-Mare 0 Dartford 4
08.02.2011 Weston-Super-Mare 0 Dartford 1
04.09.2010 Dartford 4 Weston-Super-Mare 1

Next Meetings

Saturday 20 August 2016 at Woodspring Stadium

Saturday 14 January 2017 at Princes Park

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Whitehawk

Founded: 1945 / Ground: Enclosed Ground

A 6-0 win in October over St Albans City put Whitehawk in a strong position, third place after a dozen games and just one loss. An entertaining 5-3 F.A Cup win over Lincoln City followed by a 1-1 draw away to Dagenham and Redbridge in the next round, the Hawks were gaining national coverage then they drew Everton. Unfortunately, the Sussex club lost the replay and during the cup run league form dipped. After the second round exit, the Hawks went nine games without victory. At the start of April, Whitehawk had seven fixtures to fulfil and were in fifteenth, and then they pulled the trick out of the hat. Winning six of their last seven, dropping just two points they grabbed the final playoff spot only to lose on penalties to Ebbsfleet United in the semi-final. 

Whitehawk_F.C._logoLast Season

National South: 5th

F.A Cup: 2nd Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Round

County Cup: Semi-final

League Top Scorer: Danny Mills (23 goals)

The Manager – Pablo Asensio

Born in Argentina and a former professional footballer, it is no surprise Asensio will call upon his knowledge of South American football when recruiting for Whitehawk. The former midfielder took his coaching badges in England and held roles at Droylsden and Accrington Stanley. The 43 year old became an observer to Gus Poyet at Leeds United and Tottenham Hotspur, briefly managed in the Spanish Segunda División B and continued his learning in the North West with Southport, who he took to seventh in the National League. Asensio didn’t have to move far for his next job when he joined Macclesfield Town but now he will work on the South Coast with Whitehawk, where he was Caretaker manager last term.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 2 /Whitehawk wins: 2 / Draws: 0

Previous Meetings 

12.03.2016 Dartford 2 Whitehawk 4
19.12.2015 Whitehawk 0 Dartford 1
28.11.2015 Dartford 1 Whitehawk 2
04.09.1982 Dartford 5 Whitehawk 2

Next Meetings

Wednesday 10 August 2016 at Enclosed Ground

Saturday 4 February 2017 at Princes Park

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Dartford v Wealdstone

Dartford will attempt to atone for their defeat against Wealdstone in October, with a first win over the Stones in 25 years.

The Darts have failed to beat the Middlesex club in seven games stretching back to 1991. Both teams have been evenly matched since, with five draws in a row. However, it’s Wealdstone who have notched up the last two victories, the most recent almost four months ago.

When Tony Burman’s side lost at the Vale Stadium 2-1, pressure to ‘lift the dark cloud’ mounted. Having suffered a fourth competitive defeat in a row, Dartford have since put together a run to turn them in to playoff contenders.

Back in October, goals either side of half time by Tom Hamblin and Shaun Lucien gave Wealdstone a two goal advantage. Tom Bradbrook headed a consolation in off the crossbar but Dartford were unable to fight back.

After the game, the board decided to back Burman and highlight the transition required for the younger players, from the academy to senior team. An unbeaten run lasting three months has seen Ebou Adams and Ronnie Vint blossom and the rest of the squad grow in confidence, Dartford’s season has transformed.

On the weekend, the Darts unbeaten run of 11 games came to an end at Sutton United. Dan Fitchett and Craig McAllister scored within six second half minutes to put the game beyond Dartford’s reach. Depsite defeat the Darts still remain in the playoffs clinging on to the final by a point.

Burman will pit his wits against Stones manager Gordon Bartlett, who has been boss at Wealdstone for the last 20 years. Bartlett’s side finished twelfth last term and struggled at the start of this campaign. A seven match unbeaten run steadied the ship and in the ten games since they have become trickier to beat.

However, three draws and Saturday’s defeat against Eastbourne Borough has dragged the Stones into a relegation battle. The Middlesex club are now two points above the drop zone but they do have games in hand over the bottom two.

The Stones have visited Princes Park on three occasions and each time came away with a draw. Almost four years ago, Dartford were pegged back twice against lower league opposition in the F.A Trophy. Danny Harris and Lee Noble scored for the Darts but Wealdstone’s Richard Jolly and Chris O’Leary equalised respectively. The Stones upset the Darts in the replay and ended up semi-finalists.

In the Isthmian Premier League between 2008 and 2010, Lee Burns rescued a point in the title winning campaign. In the season before, Danny Dafter and Rob Haworth scored in a 2-2 stalemate.

Head to Head

Wealdstone wins: 12 / Dartford wins: 11 / Draws: 11

Current League Form

Dartford (LWDDWW) Wealdstone (LDDDWL)
Sutton United  A  0-2 Eastbourne Borough  A  0-3
Bath City  H  4-1 Gosport Borough  H  1-1
Chelmsford City  H  1-1 Gosport Borough  A  1-1
Margate  H  1-1 Hemel Hempstead Town  A  2-2
Chelmsford City  A  1-0 Chelmsford City  A  2-0
Whitehawk  A  1-0 Weston-Super-Mare  H  2-3

Last League Meeting at Princes Park

29 August 2009 – Dartford 1 Wealdstone 1 – att 1150
Goalscorer: Lee Burns

The Darts Lineup: Andrew Young, Billy Burgess, Adam Gross, Adam Flanagan, Jamie Coyle, James White, Ryan Hayes, Jamie Day, Allan Tait, Lee Burns, Elliot Bradbrook (subs used: Rob Haworth, Lee Noble, Jay May)

Previous Six Meetings (* – F.A Trophy)

03.10.2015 Wealdstone 2 Dartford 1
21.02.2012* Wealdstone 1 Dartford 0
14.02.2012* Dartford 2 Wealdstone 2
20.04.2010 Wealdstone 1 Dartford 1
29.08.2009 Dartford 1 Wealdstone 1
11.04.2009 Wealdstone 0 Dartford 0

League Stats

3 – Wealdstone have gone three games without an away win in the National South.

7 – the Darts are unbeaten in their last seven home league games, winning three and drawing four.

11 – Dartford’s unbeaten run of eleven games, which ended on the weekend, matches that of Ebbsfleet United, Truro City and Oxford City as the longest in this season’s National South.

Dartford have not claimed maximum home points in any of their eight games against teams in the top 14. However, they have won all five against those currently 15th or below, Wealdstone are 17th in the league.

Before Saturday’s loss at Sutton United, the Darts last away defeat in the league came against Wealdstone.

On This Day

Six years ago, on their way to the Isthmian Division One North title, the Darts beat Arlesey Town by a single goal scored by Adam Flanagan. Two years later, Welling United were the last team to play Dartford on 26 January. The 2006 Kent Senior Cup first round tie ended 3-1 to the Wings. The Darts final game on this day, pre reforming, came in 1991 when Dartford brushed aside Crawley Town 6-1 in the Southern Premier League. Bob Makin’s side pulled out a top performance with Colin Sowerby scoring a hat-trick and Simon Quail making his debut. All was well; as Dartford had an open meeting with fans that afternoon, good job they pulled that performance out of the bag.

Wealdstone v Dartford

Dartford face the tough prospect of taking on Wealdstone this weekend on the back of three straight defeats.

The Darts were shocked to have been knocked out of the F.A Cup last Saturday against Uxbridge. The Reds, two divisions below Dartford visited Princes Park and caused an upset, winning 1-0 with a fifteenth minute goal by Jon-Jo Bates. The achievement earned Uxbridge ‘team of the day’ on BBC Radio Five Live.

After losses at Oxford City and at home to Truro City, Burman’s frustrations increased during a disappointing week and a half. The Dartford boss told www.kentonline.co.uk: “In that last third, you’ve got to have that desire and commitment to will the ball in”, he added: “We got behind them enough times but we had a lot of people looking for a pass backwards rather than a pass going across the goal”, he continued: “It’s obviously confidence, especially after the last couple of games. They’ve done everything they should have done but we haven’t put the ball in the back of the net and that’s why we’re in the position now that we are”.

Once again, a run of poor results has put the Darts and Burman under pressure. However, with the board backing their man the club is looking to a more positive future by bringing through academy players.

The last cup upset experienced by the Darts was against this weekend’s opponents Wealdstone. In February 2012, the Stones took Dartford to a F.A Trophy replay and won 1-0 at the Vale Stadium. The Middlesex club went on to reach the last four.

It’s been 14 years since the Darts got the better of Wealdstone, the 4-1 Southern Premier League win is the only triumph the Darts have managed against the Stones in the last eleven attempts. During that time the two sides have drawn seven, including all four contests in the Isthmian Premier League era.

A lack of goals has made Dartford fans suffer of late with four blanks in the last six fixtures. It hasn’t been much better for Wealdstone who have scored only nine times this term, only Basingstoke Town have netted fewer.

For Dartford, Tom Wynter is a new addition to the squad having signed from Dover Athletic last week. The 25 year old full back made his debut in Saturday’s cup defeat replacing the injured Mark Onyemah. Lee Noble also missed the loss to Uxbridge due to personal reasons. Tom Gardiner will be available for selection despite his red card on Saturday, the central defender was dismissed for two cautions meaning he will miss the home match against Hemel Hempstead Town on 17 October. Jack Simmons also returned to action making his first appearance of the month last weekend.

Combined Tony Burman and Wealdstone boss, Gordon Bartlett have almost 34 years managerial experience for their current clubs. Bartlett, who signed a two year contract at the start of August has been in charge for the last twenty years. The 59 year old has guided the Stones to four promotions and hopes to keep Wealdstone in the National South.

A credible twelfth place finish last season, their first in the National South has been difficult to follow this term. The Stones sit in the bottom three and have become draw specialists of late. One point from their opening six fixtures left the Middlesex club playing catch up, however they are unbeaten in four league games.

Wealdstone’s first victory came at the end of August when they beat Bishop’s Stortford 3-1, since then three consecutive draws against Hayes and Yeading United, Chelmsford City and Basingstoke Town has taken their points tally to seven. Defensively, the Stones have tightened up by keeping four clean sheets in their last six outings.

The Stones themselves were almost on the end of a cup upset last weekend when they were held 1-1 by Biggleswade Town in the F.A Cup. Wealdstone were pegged back by their opponents from the Southern Premier League. The replay three days later ended in more comfortable fashion as goals from Jefferson Louis and Shaun Lucien saw the Stones progress.

Wealdstone will be without left back Ryan Watts who has sustained a foot injury and will be out for a few weeks. Matt Lowe has been signed on a month loan from League Two side Cambridge United.

Head to Head

Wealdstone wins: 11 / Dartford wins: 11 / Draws: 11

Last Meeting at the Vale Stadium

21 February 2012 – Wealdstone 1 Dartford 0 – attendance 770

Darts lineup – Louis Wells, Matt Jones, Adam Green, Tom Bonner, Tom Champion, Jon Wallis, Lee Burns, James Rogers, Jacob Erskine, Elliot Bradbrook, Danny Harris (subs used: Lee Noble, Tony Garrod, Richard Graham)

Current League Form

Wealdstone (DDDWLL) Dartford (LLWDLW)
Basingstoke Town  A  1-1 Truro City  H  0-1
Chelmsford City  H  0-0 Oxford City  A  1-2
Hayes & Yeading United  A  0-0 Weston-Super-Mare  H  2-1
Bishop’s Stortford  H  3-1 Bath City  A  0-0
Sutton United  A  2-5 Ebbsfleet United  H  0-1
Ebbsfleet United  H  1-2 Margate  A  2-0

Previous Six Meetings (* – F.A Trophy)

21.02.2012* Wealdstone 1 Dartford 0
14.02.2012* Dartford 2 Wealdstone 2
20.04.2010 Wealdstone 1 Dartford 1
29.08.2009 Dartford 1 Wealdstone 1
11.04.2009 Wealdstone 0 Dartford 0
30.08.2008 Dartford 2 Wealdstone 2

Stats

The 1974/75 season saw both teams record their biggest wins against each other. The Darts won 5-0 in the MSFL, a feat that was repeated in the 1989/90 Southern League Cup second round second leg tie. The Stones won 4-1 in the Southern Premier League in a campaign where Dartford were relegated.

Dartford’s last win at Wealdstone was in the first leg of the Southern League Cup second round match in 1989, the Darts went on to win 9-0 on aggregate and reach the final of the competition, losing to VS Rugby.

Away from Princes Park Dartford have the fifth best away defence but have struggled in attack with just six goals.

On This Day

Dartford have won their last four matches on 3 October beating Harrow Borough 2-0 in 2009, Croydon Athletic 4-2 in 2001, Folkestone Invicta 2-1 in 1998 and Corby Town 2-1 in 1987. The last defeat came 34 years against Scarborough in the 1981/82 Alliance Premier season.

Wealdstone have won three of their last four on 3 October defeating Canvey Island 1-0 in 2009, Grays Athletic 2-1 in 2004, drawing 0-0 with Newport Isle of Wight in 1998 and beating Gravesend and Northfleet 3-0 in 1992. The Stones last reverse was in 1987 against Kettering Town during a Conference Premier campaign.

National League South Season Preview 2015/2016 – Part Five

Sutton United | Truro City | Wealdstone | Weston-Super-Mare | Whitehawk

Sutton United

Founded: 1898 / Ground: Borough Sports Ground

A famous name in non league football thanks to a F.A Cup third round win, against holders Coventry City in 1989. Sutton United were a Conference Premier side back then but have spent most of their time in the Isthmian League. Joining the Conference South when non league was restructured, the club were relegated in 2007/08. The U’s spent just three season’s away winning the Isthmian Premier League after two playoff attempts, including a runner up spot behind Dartford. The Surrey club reached the playoffs twice in the Conference South in four seasons, but last term finished mid table.

SuttonunitedLast Season

Conference South: 15th

F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Round

County Cup: 3rd Round

League Top Scorer: Jessy Reindorf & Dan Fitchett (6 goals)

Average Attendance: 548

The Manager – Paul Doswell

Making his name at Eastleigh, Paul Doswell led the Hampshire club through three consecutive promotions to take the Spitfires from the Wessex League to the Conference South. Doswell had an immediate impact at Eastleigh, appointed in 2002 he won the Wessex League title in the same year. Two playoff triumphs followed and the first season in the Conference South his side finished a creditable eighth. Leaving Eastliegh in 2006 it wasn’t until two years later he joined Sutton United. Success has continued with two playoff appearances in the Isthmian Premier League before winning the league title. In the Conference South Doswell has made a further two playoff appearances and came runners up against his old side Eastleigh in 2013/14.

The Summer

Connections with Eastleigh remain sound for Paul Doswell by signing a trio of players. Dean Beckwith, Dan Spence and the experienced Craig McAllister move from the Silverlake Stadium to the Borough Sports Ground. Striker Stuart Fleetwood, another former Eastleigh player will provide goals and has had spells with Forest Green Rovers, Luton Town and Hereford United. Last season’s goalkeeper for the Darts, Jason Brown had joined but left without playing a match to concentrate on coaching. That meant Doswell had to search for a goalkeeper again finding AFC Wimbledon’s Ross Worner. Tom Bolarinwa comes in from Cray Wanderers and Ross Stearn from Bath City.

Last Meetings Versus The Darts

14 April 2012 – Sutton United 0 Dartford 1 – view highlights

Dartford may have taken all three points but results elsewhere meant they couldn’t catch Woking at the top of the table. A counter attacking move starting from the Darts own half ended with Tony Garrod scoring the winner.

20 March 2012 – Dartford 6 Sutton United 1 – view highlights

One of Dartford’s finest performances since Princes Park opened. The Darts thrashed eventual runners up Sutton United in some style. Lee Noble and an Adam Green penalty three minutes apart had the hosts two up. Harry Beautyman pulled a goal back then Dartford raced away. Danny Harris before the break, Luke Wilkinson, Elliot Bradbrook and Jacob Erskine turned the match into a rout.

Next Meetings

Saturday 15 August 2015 at Princes Park

Saturday 23 January 2016 at Borough Sports Ground

Last Ten Yearssufc last 10 years

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Truro City

Founded: 1889 / Ground: Treyew Road

If ever there is example of how a chairman can influence a club then Truro City fall in to that category. An F.A Vase triumph nine years ago and promotion the same season was only the start. Three consecutive league titles moved the Cornwall club through the regional divisions into the Southern Premier. After only two attempts the Southern Premier League was won and then wheels began to fall off. A winding up petition in August 2011 caused uncertainty and chairman Kevin Heaney stepped down. The club were relegated back to the Southern League in 2012/13, however they have enjoyed a swift return winning the playoffs in May.

Truro-city-football-clubLast Season

Southern Premier: 3rd

F.A Cup: 1st Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: Did not enter

League Top Scorer: Craig Duff (18 goals)

Average Attendance: 417

The Manager – Steve Tully

At just 35 years old Steve Tully is one of the youngest managers in this season’s National South. The former full back spent his playing days in the West Country representing Torquay United, Weymouth and Exeter City making over 100 appearances for each club. He joined Truro City as a player in 2013 and in March 2014 became player manager. In his first role as boss Steve Tully guided Truro City back to the National League South with a playoff triumph over St Neots Town.

The Summer

It’s been quiet at Treyew Road with only three signings being made. Martin Rice makes the short journey across the Devon/Cornwall border moving from Torquay United, the goalkeeper returns to the club after spending three years at Truro City. Midfielder, Aaron Dawson has limited experience at Exeter City and Torquay United, the 23 year old can also play in defence. On loan left back Conor Riley-Lowe will be at Treyew Road for at least the next six months.

Last Meetings Versus The Darts

28 April 2012 – Truro City 1 Dartford 1
With a playoff spot secured the final match of the season played out evens. Dartford fans made their way across the country to enjoy a celebratory weekend. Former Premier League striker Barry Hayles scored for Truro City with three minutes left. Dartford’s Jacob Erskine equalised with virtually the last kick of the game.

22 October 2011 – Dartford 1 Truro City 2 – view highlights
Truro City took full advantage of slack defending, Adam Green and Andrew Young got things mixed up leaving Andrew Watkins to tap in for the visitors. A couple of minutes later Paul Goodacre scored an own goal giving the Cornishmen a two goal lead. Tom Bonner halved the deficit after Truro City were reduced to ten men.

Next Meetings

Saturday 19 September 2015 at Princes Park

Saturday 13 February 2016 at Treyew Road

Last Ten Yearstcfc last 10 years

 

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Wealdstone

Founded: 1899 / Ground: The Vale Stadium

It may have taken a while but Wealdstone have returned to the level they were at in the late eighties. Whether they can return to the heights of the early eighties is another matter, the Middlesex club won the Alliance Premier League and F.A Trophy double but were relegated from the Conference in 1988. The Stones sunk as far down as Isthmian Division Three before their current manager was appointed. Since then four promotions in twenty years, including the most recent Isthmian Premier League title in 2013/14, has seen Wealdstone get back to the second tier of non league. Three years ago they embarked on a F.A Trophy run to reach the last four and last season finished a creditable twelfth in the Conference South.

wealdstoneLast Season

Conference South: 12th

F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 2nd Round

County Cup: Quarter Final

League Top Scorer: Jefferson Louis, Scott McGleish and Matt Ball (8 goals)

Average Attendance: 720

The Manager – Gordon Bartlett

By far the longest serving manager in this season’s National South, Gordon Bartlett has been in charge of Wealdstone since 1995 and involved in non league coaching for 25 years. At Southall and Yeading before he joined the Stones he guided both clubs to Wembley reaching F.A Vase finals. Since taking over at the Middlesex club he has won four promotions, including the Isthmian Division Three and Premier titles, seventeen years apart. The school teacher also had a playing career with Portsmouth, Denver Dynamos in the United States of America, Brentford, Slough Town and Hayes.

The Summer

Budget plays a part any any level and Wealdstone have had to look at divisions below the National South over the summer. With the exception Ryan Hope who won promotion with Boreham Wood, each signing has come from the National South or lower. Dale Binns has plenty of experience at this level having played for **********, he joins from Sutton United. Tom Cadmore missed out on promotion at Whitehawk last term and he also moves to the Stones. From the Isthmian and Southern Leagues comes in Bradley Hudson-Odoi from Metropolitan Police, Josh Urquhart from Harlow Town and Josh Hutchinson from Potters Bar Town, Oliver Duffy has arrived from Hanwell Town.

Last Meeting Versus The Darts

21 February 2012 – Wealdstone 1 Dartford 0

An upset was caused a week later as Wealdstone’s Lee Chappell scored the decisive goal to take the Stones to the next round. The Isthmian Premier leaguers held on to defeat the Darts, a division higher, and went on to reach the last four in an excellent trophy run.

14 February 2012 – Dartford 2 Wealdstone 2 – view highlights

An entertaining F.A Trophy third round tie ended with the Wealdstone levelling twice. Danny Harris scored first before Richard Jolly equalised. Lee Noble had the Darts ahead once more until Chris O’Leary forced a replay ten minutes from time.

Next Meetings

Saturday 3 October 2015 at the Vale Stadium

Tuesday 26 January 2016 at Princes Park

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Weston-Super-Mare

Founded: 1887 / Ground: Woodspring Stadium

The Somerset club boast a proud record in that they have never been relegated in their 128 year history. Weston-Super-Mare did however come close on three occasions when reprieves saved the club in 2007, 2008 and 2010. Over the last five years the Seagulls have improved into a mid-table side and three season’s ago they recorded their highest ever league finish, two places outside of the Conference South playoffs. The forthcoming season will be Weston -Super-Mare’s twelfth consecutive in the National League South and that comes after twelve campaigns in the Southern League.

Weston-super-Mare_AFC_logoLast Season

Conference South: 17th

F.A Cup: 1st Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Round

County Cup: 2nd Round

League Top Scorer: Dayle Grubb (11 goals)

Average Attendance: 287

The Manager – Ryan Northmore

A career change was forced upon Ryan Northmore when a number of knee operations led to coaching. The former goalkeeper made over 200 appearances for the Seagulls and won Player of the Year three seasons in a row. As a player he turned out for Torquay United before making his way in non league football. Spells at Team Bath, Woking and Dorchester Town before returning to Weston-Super-Mare as boss, he officially retired from playing just three years ago. Northmore has been heavily involved in  working with Weston-Super-Mare’s academy side and in November 2014 was named caretaker manager. The 34 year old impressed enough last term to make the vacant managers job his own.

The Summer

Returning to Weston-Super-Mare for a third spell is 25 year old Tristan Plummer. The winger was unable to hold a first team place whilst at Bristol City, Hereford United and Aldershot Town. Two other signings come from Southern Premier League side Paulton Rovers, Danny Wring is added to the midfield and Scott Wilson could provide goals up front. Joe McClennan returns to Weston-Super-Mare after leaving the club previously for Bath City.

Last Meeting Versus The Darts

12 November 2011 – Dartford 1 Weston-Super-Mare 1 – view highlights
Even with a man advanatge Dartford failed to capitalise. The visitors left when Matt Villis got on the end of a goal mouth scramble.  Adam Green made the game all square with a well driven shot. James Price was red carded with just under twenty minutes remaining.

13 August 2011 – Weston-Super-Mare 0  Dartford 4 – view highlights

The campaign couldn’t get off to a better start for the Darts. An away trip West and Charlie Sheringham’s brace put three points on the board. Elliot Bradbrook and Tom Bonner had earlier put Dartford two goals to the good.

Next Meetings

Saturday 12 September 2015 at Princes Park

Saturday 5 March 2016 at Woodspring Stadium

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Whitehawk

Founded: 1945 / Ground:Enclosed Ground

Only five years ago Whithawk were playing in the Sussex League where they had been throughout their history. Finally winning the title in 2009/10, the club excelled at a rapid rate. A playoff defeat in their début Isthmian Division One South was soon forgotten when they won the championship the following campaign. A consecutive title followed moving Whitehawk out of the Isthmian Premier League to the Conference South. The Sussex club survived their first term finishing nineteenth, six points from safety. Last season the Hawks reached the playoff final with a fourth place finish losing out to Boreham Wood, the clubs best ever league performance.

Whitehawk_F.C._logoLast Season

Conference South: 4th

F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: Winners

League Top Scorer: Danny Mills (18 goals)

Average Attendance: 258

The Manager – Steve King

In the space of just five years, Steve King took Lewes from Isthmian League Division One South to the Football Conference with three titles and that was just the beginning of his managerial career. At this level he has finished in each of the top four positions and in the league below added a further title with Farnborough. Another spell at Lewes was followed by leading Macclesfield Town in the Confereence Premier, who he took to the F.A Cup fourth round bowing out to eventual winners Wigan Athletic. In February 2014, he retunred to management and was denied another promotion this time with Whitehawk losing the playoff final to Boreham Wood.

The Summer

Steve King possesses enough confidence in his squad which very nearly gained promotion to the National League. Rather than bringing in new blood, King has concentrated on securing players in last years squad. Paul Lorraine, who joined Dartford briefly before the Darts were reprieved will be part of the Whitehawk defence. In midfield Sergio Torres brings his experiences with Wycombe Wanderers, Peterborough United and Crawley Town. Last season’s top goalscorer Danny Mills remains at the Enclosed Ground and will be looking to add to the 18 he scored last term.

Last Meeting Versus The Darts

4 September 1982 – Dartford 5 Whitehawk 2

Carl Laraman scored a hat trick and was the star of this F.A Cup preliminary round fixture. The Darts went on to win comfortably against the Sussex club representing their regional division. Dartford were spending their first campaign back in the Southern Premier following relegation from the Alliance Premier League the season before.

Next Meetings

Saturday 19 December 2015 at Enclosed Ground

Saturday 12 March 2016 at Princes Park

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Wealdstone v Dartford

Dartford will be back in F.A Trophy action on Tuesday night when the try and win a place in the last eight of the competition.

A week ago The Darts were pegged back twice as Wealdstone forced a replay to take the tie back to St George’s Stadium. Pressure from the Dartford attack was rewarded on 27 minutes when The Stones goalkeeper Jonathan North spilt the ball, Danny Harris followed up and put Dartford in front. On the stroke of half time Wealdstone equalised courtesy of Richard Jolly’s header.

Five minutes after the break The Darts were back ahead when substitute Lee Noble speculatively volleyed the ball goal wards from a headed clearance. Noble’s shot took a deflection off Stones defender Alan Massey and the ball nestled in North’s goal. Wealdstone pushed for an equaliser and in the last ten minutes managed a second equaliser with Chris O’Leary’s stunning header hit the underside of the cross bar and went in.

The stalemate was not ideal for both clubs, Tony Burman spoke to PURE DFC after last weeks F.A Trophy tie and said: “We don’t want a replay and I don’t think Wealdstone want a replay either. They are doing well and have got an opportunity in their league but nevertheless that is what we’ve got”.

After a fortnight without a match Burman felt his side’s first half performance was ‘excellent for thirty five minutes’, he added “Wealdstone have had a ten minute spell in the first half where we’ve made some mistakes, gave free kicks away and we’ve been punished. In the second half we’ve taken the lead and to be fair to Wealdstone they have come and had a go, that’s typical cup football. It doesn’t matter who you are playing, a team higher than you or lower than you, that’s how cup football works out”.

On the weekend The Darts suffered disappointment in the Conference South as they were edged out by league leaders Woking. The 1-0 defeat leaves Dartford fourteen points adrift from top spot with two games in hand. Alan Inns yet again scored early on to give The Cards the lead on three minutes, a minute quicker than his opener at Princes Park back in December. The Surrey side held out as Dartford dominated but could not find a breakthrough.

Wealdstone had beetr luck on the weekend with an impressive 5-2 home victory against struggling Aveley. Richard Jolly’s first goal was cancelled out by Aveley’s Troy Powell. Lee Chappell put The Stones back in front to leave the score 2-1 at the break. Spencer Harrison levelled the match again but The Stone pulled away in the final twenty minutes. Kevin Mully was unfortuante enough to score an own goal, Scott Fitzgerald netted a fourth and Jolly made it five with his 32nd goal this season. The Stones are now eighth in the Isthmian Premier League and six points behind the play off zone.

The winners of Tuesday nights replay will face Conference Premier’s Cambridge United or Conference North’s Guiseley who also play on Tuesday.

Team News

Elliot Bradbrook left the field of play after just seven minutes in the last meeting between the sides. Dartford’s captain pulled a hamstring and missed the Woking game on Saturday. Matt Jones also missed the top of the table clash on the weekend when he collided with Wealdstone’s Chris O’Leary. Paul Goodacre returned on Saturday and played against the side he was injured against back in December.

Statistics

Dartford (2nd – Conference South) versus Wealdstone (8th Isthmian Premier)

Current Form (league and cup) – FAT = F.A Trophy / KSC = Kent Senior Cup / AET = After Extra Time

Last five Wealdstone matches at home Last five Dartford matches away
Won 5-2 v Aveley Lost 0-1 v Woking
Won 2-0 v Tooting and Mitcham Won 4-2 v Tonbridge Angels (AET) / (KSC)
Drew 1-1 v Cray Wanderers Won 4-1 v Staines Town
Won 2-1 v Barrow (FAT) Won 3-1 v Hampton and Richmond
Won 1-0 v Lewes Won 4-1 v Havant and Waterlooville

Did you know…

Dartford’s failure to score against Woking was their first blank in the league for 21 games and ended a seven game unbeaten run.

Wealdstone have lost just once in their last 19 competitive fixtures and will playing their ninth F.A Trophy tie this season.

Lee Burns made his 100th start for The Darts in all competitions when he lined up against Wealdstone last week.

 

Dartford v Wealdstone

It may be third time lucky on Tuesday night if Dartford and Wealdstone manage to complete their F.A Trophy Third Round tie.

The Darts will be eyeing up a Quarter Final spot when they host The Stones in the last sixteen of the F.A Trophy. Having progressed in one cup competition in their last fixture, The Darts will hope to reach the last eight for the first time since 1989. That season the F.A Trophy run ended in the semi-finals to eventual runners up Macclesfield Town.

Preparation for Tuesday night’s game has been restricted due to the poor weather conditions meaning Dartford have yet to play a match this month. The Darts have met Wealdstone four times over the last three and a half seasons with every meeting ending in a draw. You have to go back to 1991 since The Darts last won against The Stones which ended 4-1 at Watling Street.

 

Lee Burns equalises in the last meeting against Wealdstone at Princes Park

In Dartford’s championship winning season two years ago the two sides played out a 1-1 draw at Princes Park. Chris O’Leary didn’t give fans time to blink when he scored after 47 seconds but a Lee Burns equaliser ensured both sides shared a point. In the return fixture Lee Noble gave The Darts the lead which was cancelled out by Rob Fitzgerald as the scoreline was repeated. Three years ago both sides failed to score in a goalless draw at St George’s Stadium but the earlier meeting at Princes Park ended 2-2 with goals by Rob Haworth and Danny Dafter.

The Darts enter Tuesday’s cup tie a division higher than their opponents. The Stones currently occupy eleventh position in the Isthmian Premier League making them the second lowest team left in the competition. Despite their mid table standing Wealdstone have only been beaten six times in the league only leaders Billericay Town have lost fewer games and conceded less goals.

Managed by Gordon Bartlett and unbeaten in seventeen matches, their 2-0 victory over Tooting and Mitcham on Saturday was their first triumph in the league in five attempts. The Middlesex club’s solid foundations at the back is complimented with a promising strike force. Richard Jolly has scored nine times during the F.A Trophy run so far.

Jolly had scored 117 goals for The Stones in 178 appearances for The Stones before his third spell with the club. This season he rejoined Wealdstone and has netted an incredible 29 goals already in all competitions. Britt Assombalonga had also been a player to watch during The Stones cup run but he has since signed for Braintree Town.

Road To Wembley

Erskine celebrates his hat trick

 

Second Round

Dartford 4 Boston United 2

For a successive season The darts made it through to the last sixteen with an excellent performance against Conference North side Boston United. Spearheaded by former Premier League striker Jason Lee The Pilgrims could not handle Dartford’s work ethic and passing. Jacob Erskine decided to take the cup tie into his own hands and his audacious back heel opened the scoring early on. The lead was cancelled out when Spencer Weir-Daley nodded in from a corner. The second half came to life when  Erskine somehow flicked in number two. Lee Noble reacted the quickest to make it three before Leon Constantine pulled back a goal for The Pilgrims. It was Erskine completing a well deserved hat trick which sealed the tie and the striker took home the match ball.

Wealdstone 2 AFC Barrow 1

The Stones caused an upset when they beat 2010 F.A Trophy winners AFC Barrow. The Bluebirds took the lead just before half time thanks to Richie Baker. Undeterred Wealdstone fought back in a gripping cup tie. Jolly showed his worth with a superb volley to level the scores. Then on the hour Assombalonga made a name for himself when he was lurking at the far post to smash in the winner.

First Round

Brackley Town 0 Dartford 3

The Darts negotiated their way into round two with a comfortable display in Northamptonshire. Dartford were awarded a dubious penalty which Elliot Bradbrook scored from placing a powerful shot into the top corner. In the second half Lee Burns and Jacob Erskine traded one two’s up the pitch before Erskine curled a delightful shot in off the bar. Erskine then slid in to make it 3-0 and secure Dartford’s passage to round two.

Wealdstone 5 Uxbridge 0

Yet again Wealdstone made home advantage count in some style when they swept aside neighbours Uxbridge who play in the Southern League Division One Central. Once again Jolly took home the match ball with a successive F.A Trophy hat trick but it took 39 minutes for the deadlock to break when Jolly headed in his first. His second came moments later when he finished from an acute angle. Britt Assombalonga put The Stones three ahead with a fine 20 yard strike then followed the strike up with another goal. The fifth came from Jolly as he also tried his luck from distance.

Tom Champion after his goal on Tuesday night

Third Qualifying Round – Replay

 

Dartford 2 Eastbourne Borough 1

At the second attempt Dartford knocked out Eastbourne Borough in a replay. Tom Champion’s long range effort in the second half was a stunning way to open the scoring. After a second goal from Danny Harris, Eastbourne Borough were awarded a bizarre penalty when two Borough players fell over each other. Former Dart Carl Rook scored a consolation goal which wasn’t enough to complete a comeback.

Wealdstone 4 Banbury United 0

Jolly netted a hat trick to help The Stones cruise into the first round. However the scoring was opened by Chris O’Leary’s volley nineteen minutes into the match. Two minutes later the lead was doubled when O’Leary provided a pass for Jolly who slotted in his first. Jolly scored number three when he received Dyer’s cut back and calmly finished the move. The hat trick was completed when Jolly smacked in Wealdstone’s fourth.

Third Qualifying Round

Eastbourne Borough 0 Dartford 0

Dartford’s F.A Trophy adventures started at Priory Road in blustery conditions. The Darts dominated the first half but had with very few chances. Jacob Erskine powered a header wide and a couple of long range efforts never really tested Clark Masters in the Eastbourne goal. Eastbourne’s Ben Watson squandered a one on one with Louis Wells in the second half and Dartford’s Adam Green hit the woodwork from a swirling cross. James Rogers almost won it in the last minute when his volley was acrobatically cleared off the line.

Banbury United 0 Wealdstone 0

The Stones travelled away from home to draw 0-0 in the third qualifying round against Southern Leaguers Banbury United. Like Dartford at the same stage of the F.A Trophy they were involved in a tense and scrappy affair in blustery conditions. The Stones had to try again and faced their fifth fixture in the competition.

Second Qualifying Round – Replay

Wealdstone 2 Margate 1

Alex Dyer was the hero late on when his winning goal prevented a repeat of the scoreline from the previous match against Margate. Jolly opened the scoring half way from the first period and the one goal advantage was cancelled out on fifty minutes by Kwesi Appiah’s penalty.

Second Qualifying Round

Margate 1 Wealdstone 1

A disappointing game was lit up when Scott Fitzgerald’s cheeky lob at Hartsdown Park earned The Stones a replay. Margate had earlier taken the lead when former Dartford defender Richard Avery smashed in a loose ball to give the Kent club the lead.

First Qualifying Round

Wealdstone 3 Tooting and Mitcham 0

The Stones started their campaign back in October by easing passed fellow league side Tooting and Mitcham. Wes Parker opened the scoring with a header before the break and a penalty was tucked away by Scott Fitzgerald to give Wealdstone a two goal lead at half time. A third was added by Richard Jolly whose excellent control and strength staved off the defender and he slotted home.

Statistics

Dartford (2nd – Conference South) versus Wealdstone (11th Isthmian Premier)

Current Form (league and cup) – FAT = F.A Trophy

Last five Dartford matches at home Last five Wealdstone matches away
Won 6-0 v Thurrock Lost 1-2 v Lowestoft Town
Won 4-2 v Boston United (FAT) Drew 1-1 v Hendon
Won 1-0 v Welling United Drew 1-1 v Horsham
Drew 1-1 v Dorchester Town Won 5-0 v Wingate and Finchley
Lost 2-3 v Woking Drew 1-1 v Leatherhead

F.A Trophy Performances

Season Dartford Wealdstone
2010/2011 3rd Round Proper: Gateshead 1st Round Proper: Newport County
2009/2010 3rd Qualifying Round: Dover Athletic 3rd Qualifying Round: Farnborough
2008/2009 3rd Qualifying Round: St Albans City 2nd Qualifying Round: Tiverton Town
2007/2008 1st Qualifying Round: AFC Hornchurch 1st Round Proper: Weymouth
2006/2007 2nd Qualifying Round: Evesham United 3rd Qualifying Round: Merthyr Tydfil
2005/2006 3rd Qualifying Round: AFC Wimbledon 2nd Qualifying Round: Folkestone Invicta
2004/2005 1st Round Proper: Redbridge 2nd Round Proper: Team Bath
2003/2004 1st Round Proper: Ashford Town (Middlesex) 4th Round Proper: Maidenhead United
2002/2003 Preliminary Round: Salisbury City 1st Round Proper: Harlow Town
2001/2002 1st Round Proper: Braintree Town 1st Round Proper: Bishop’s Stortford

Did you know…

At this stage 23 years ago Dartford defeated Bishop Auckland 2-0 at Watling Street.

Wealdstone were name dropped in our last F.A Trophy ‘did you know’ because they beat Boston United in the 1984/85 final. More interestingly The Stones were the first ever side to complete the non league double of winning the top league (then known as the Gola League) and the F.A Trophy.

The Stones took part in the first ever televised broadcast of a football match in 1946 versus Barnet in the Athenian League. They were also involved in the first showing of a F.A Cup tie in 1949 when they played Colchester United.

Out of the sixteen teams remaining, 10 play in the Conference National, 2 take part in the Conference South, 1 club plays in the Conference North, 2 compete in the Isthmian Premier and 1 in the Northern Premier League