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Weston-super-Mare v Dartford

Dartford know victory at bottom of the table side Weston-super-Mare on the weekend will move them closer to securing a playoff place.

The Darts have taken just two points from their last three National South games, drawing their last two against Hampton and Richmond Borough, then relegation battlers Truro City. Consecutive draws followed defeat at league leaders Torquay United leaving Dartford in sixth place.

With five matches remaining Dartford will need to find form again to establish themselves in the top seven. At the moment they have a three-point cushion with Billericay Town and Concord Rangers hot on their heels. Joint Manager, Jamie Coyle spoke to www.kentonline.co.uk this week and said: “If we are going to maintain a play-off position, we need more from the whole team. I don’t think we’re under pressure because it’s still in our hands and we’ve got, on paper, winnable games. But they mean nothing unless we turn up and outwork the opposition. At times, in the last two home games, we haven’t done that and that’s where we’ve come unstuck”.

Last weekend Dartford had the chance to notch an eighteenth league victory when they took on Truro City at Princes Park, the visitors started the day a point above the relegation zone. Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle welcomed back Daniel Johnson to the starting line up at the expense of Mark Onyemah, whilst Elliot Bradbrook returned from suspension with Ben Greenhalgh taking a place on the bench. Nick Grimes who scored against the Darts earlier in the season gave Truro City the lead after 33 minutes. However, Bradbrook netted his seventh league goal of the campaign to earn a point.

Victory for Dartford will complete a double over Weston-super-Mare after winning 2-1 at Princes Park back in September. Both sides hit the woodwork before Lee Noble headed the opener from Greenhalgh’s cross. The visitors equalised in injury time when Gethyn Hill scored from 30 yards, the striker also scored two against Dartford this term. Weston-super-Mare hit the crossbar just after the hour mark and minutes later the Darts had their winner, Bradbrook set up Jamie Philpot to clinch the three points.

Coyle is confident his squad’s quality along with the required work rate should bring the desired result, he commented: “We’ve got an opportunity on Saturday to go to a team that are fighting for their lives. With the quality we’ve got in our squad, if we do turn up and put in that effort and real desire we’ve shown recently to get us where we are, we should have enough to win the game”, he continued: “But there’s no given in this league and all the teams we’re playing are fighting for something, whether it’s trying to get in the play-offs or staying away from the relegation zone”.

Dartford’s last visit to Woodspring Stadium ended in a dismal 3-0 defeat with Hill claiming a brace and Archie Collins scorer the other goal. However, in 2016 the Darts recorded two wins at the Woodspring Stadium beating the Seagulls 2-1 in the National South and 4-2 in the F.A Trophy, Bradbrook bagged a hat-trick. A third win at Princes Park in January 2017 completed the treble over the Somerset club that season.

Unless Weston-super-Mare perform the greatest of escapes, the Seagulls will be playing in the Southern Premier League South next season. The Somerset club are eight points adrift at the foot of the league and eleven points from safety. Relegation can be confirmed on the weekend if Weston-super-Mare lose, Truro City beat Concord Rangers and Hungerford Town avoid defeat against Slough Town. Relegation will see the end of their 15 year stay in the National South since the restructuring of the non-league pyramid in 2004.

Weston-super-Mare’s league position led to former manager Marc McGregor leaving the club by mutual consent just over three weeks ago. The Somerset side are looking for a change of direction by appointing a full-time manager, for now Mark McKeever in charge on an interim basis.

McKeever has only been at the helm for three league games and in his first earned a credible 2-2 away draw with Chelmsford City. The Seagulls showed the fighting spirit they need to survive by coming back from two goals down. In their last home match Weston-super-Mare fell to a late Welling United penalty in a 1-0 defeat and on Saturday they were beaten 3-0 by Concord Rangers.

Despite the league predicament the Seagulls are in, they do have something to cheer and could claim some silverware. Almost two weeks ago, Weston-super-Mare won their Somerset Premier Cup semi-final to give themselves a chance to retain the cup.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 9 / Weston-super-Mare wins: 3 / Draws: 4

Current League Form

Weston-super-Mare (LLDLLL) Dartford (DDLWWL)
Concord Rangers A 0-3 Truro City H 1-1
Welling United H 0-1 Hampton & Richmond H 2-2
Chelmsford City A 2-2 Torquay United A 0-2
St Albans City A 0-2 Gloucester City H 2-0
Hungerford Town H 0-2 Hemel Hempstead Town A 2-1
Wealdstone H 0-5 Dulwich Hamlet A 0-2

Previous Six Meetings

29.09.2018 Dartford 2 Weston Super Mare 1
07.04.2018 Dartford 3 Weston Super Mare 1
23.09.2017 Weston Super Mare 3 Dartford 0
17.01.2017 Dartford 3 Weston super Mare 2
26.11.2016 Weston Super Mare 2 Dartford 4
20.08.2016 Weston Super Mare 1 Dartford 2

Stats 

Dartford have won 8 of their last 11 games against Weston-super-Mare (W8, D1, L2)

Lee Noble started his 350th game for the club on the weekend and Tom Bonner has now made 300 starts.

If featured, Charlie Sheringham will make his 100 appearance for the Darts, the striker has made 83 starts and 16 substitute appearances so far, scoring 53 goals.

Dartford have conceded the most goals (14) in the 15 minutes before the break, whilst Weston-super-Mare have conceded the most goals (14) in the opening 15 minutes of the second half.

Only Truro City have conceded more second half goals (43) than Weston-super-Mare (40).

On This Day

Dartford booked their place at Wembley 45 years ago with a 0-0 draw against Macclesfield Town at Watling Street. The second leg stalemate gave the Darts a 2-1 aggregate victory to claim a spot in the F.A Trophy final against Morecambe. Dartford lost their last fixture on this day at home to Barnet in the National League, Curtis Weston scored the only goal of the game in 2015 in the Bees title winning campaign. Dartford’s last away trip on 6 April came in 2013 when they beat AFC Telford United in the National League, Jason Prior and Charlie Sheringham scored in a 2-0 win.

Dartford v Weston-super-Mare

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Head to Head

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

Current League Form

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

Previous Meetings

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

Stats

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

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

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

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

On This Day

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

National League South Season Preview 2018/2019 – Part Four

Truro City |Wealdstone | Welling United | Weston-super-Mare | Woking

Truro City

Founded: 1889 / Ground: Plainmoor

Seven years ago, Truro City propelled themselves up the football pyramid reaching the National South for the first time in their history. Since then they have had financial problems, relegation back to the Southern Premier and a return to the National South. A much more stable club now, the White Tigers reached the playoffs for a second time in three seasons losing to Hampton and Richmond Borough after extra time. At late notice Truro City will groundshare with Torquay United this season as they plan for a new stadium. They also reached the F.A Cup first round for the first time in their history last season, putting in a credible performance against Charlton Athletic in their 3-1 defeat.

Last Season

National South: 7th

F.A Cup: 1st Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Round

League Top Scorer: Cody Cooke (13 goals)

Average Attendance: 469 (15th in National South)

The Manager – Lee Hodges

In his second spell as manager of Truro City, Lee Hodges has taken the White Tigers to the playoffs in two of the last three campaigns. In his first spell he won the Southern Premier League with the club to complete the Cornwall club’s rise from the Western League, their fourth title in five seasons. As a player he won two league titles with Plymouth Argyle and the promotion to the Football League with Torquay United through the playoffs. Finishing his playing career at Truro City, Hodges first spell as manager ended due to financial problems the club faced, two years ago he returned to Treyew Road to finish off a job.

The Summer

The White Tigers will be pinning their goal scoring hopes on new striker Jared Lewington. A target for manager Lee Hodges last summer Lewington joins from Southern Premier League side Tiverton Town. Midfielder Lloyd Gardner moves from Buckland Athletic whilst Truro City welcome back Louis Rooney from Linfield, who was on loan at Treyew Road in 2016/2017. The Cornwall club have lost some decent players in the process including Cody Cooke to St Mirren, goalkeeper Tom McHale and Ben Gerring to Billericay Town. Fletcher Williams, River Allen and Stewart Yetton have also been released. Alex Hartridge and Max Smallcombe sign on loan from Exeter City, defender Cameron Kelly arrives from Buckland Athletic and goalkeeper Corey Harvey will be on dual registration with Bodmin Town. Hodges has managed to secure the services of Bristol City youngsters Jojo Wollacott and Tom Richards on loan. Wollacott spent time on loan last season with club. Paul Bignot will provide football league experience and has been capped by England at C level.

Head to Head

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

Previous Meetings

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

Next Meetings

Saturday 27 October 2018 at Treyew Road

Saturday 30 March 2019 at Princes Park

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Wealdstone

Founded: 1889 / Ground: Vale Stadium

On 21 August 2017 a monumental change happened at Wealdstone. A generation of supporters would only know the club with Gordon Bartlett at the helm, he stepped down after twenty-two years. A big change after Bartlett managed one win in the five games at the start of the season. In came Bobby Wilkinson from Hungerford Town who led the Stones to their obligatory mid-table position come the end of the season. The new regime started in good form with one defeat in twelve games and then Wealdstone returned to their norm. This summer has seen a major overhaul of players and so after four campaigns in the National South, the Stones will be looking at a playoff place.

Last Season

National South: 11th

F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: Semi-Final

County Cup: Semi-Final

League Top Scorer: David Pratt (14 goals)

Average Attendance: 880 (3rd in National South)

The Manager – Bobby Wilkinson

It came as a shock when Bobby Wilkinson quit Hungerford Town early last season, after all he had spent seven seasons improving the Crusaders. He led the Berkshire club to promotion through the Southern League South & West playoffs and went on to win the Southern Premier playoffs. In Hungerford Town’s first campaign in the National South he guided them to an impressive sixth, missing out on the playoffs due to ground grading requirements. Wilkinson also got the Crusaders to the F.A Trophy last eight on two occasions during his time there. This summer is the first with the Stones for the new boss and has seen many changes to the playing personnel.

The Summer

Bobby Wilkinson went early with transfers this summer having had the majority of last season to assess his players. Plenty of players departed including defender Ian Gayle to Woking, and a squad worth arrived. Former Dartford defender Tom Gardiner will be a Wealdstone player, signed from St Albans City he made 75 appearances for the Darts between 2015 and 2017. Ebbsfleet United missed a trick when they didn’t give Yado Mambo the number five shirt, he will certainly be wearing that number with the Stones. A superb F.A Cup hat-trick put Matthew Lench in the limelight last term, the midfielder joins having scored 15 times for Slough Town last season. Wadah Ahmidi and Sam Hatton follow each other from Staines Town, the same goes for Rhys Tyler, Stefan Brown and James Clark from Wilkinson’s former club Hungerford Town and Godfrey Poku and Freddie Grant from Oxford City. Montel Agyemang from East Thurrock United, Marvel Ekpiteta from Bishop’s Stortford, Jake Sheppard from Reading’s academy team and Connor Stevens from Watford U23’s all join the Stones. Bradley Hudson-Odoi returns to the club, the Stones Junior Player of the Year in 2015/2016 has been away with Hampton and Richmond Borough, Sutton United, Eastleigh and Maidstone United. Goalkeeper Callum Thomas impressed Bobby Wilkinson during pre-season and joins from Charlton Athletic. Striker, Joe White rejoins the Stones on loan from Stevenage, he previously scored six goals in 17 appearances for Wealdstone.

Head to Head

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

Previous Meetings

17.02.2018 Wealdstone 1 Dartford 2
21.11.2017 Dartford 3 Wealdstone 3
28.01.2017 Wealdstone 0 Dartford 4
06.08.2016 Dartford 2 Wealdstone 2
26.01.2016 Dartford 1 Wealdstone 2
03.10.2015 Wealdstone 2 Dartford 1

Next Meetings

Saturday 18 March 2018 at Princes Park

Saturday 5 January 2019 at Vale Stadium

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Welling United

Founded: 1963 / Ground: Park View Road

A new start for the Wings who finished tenth last season, out goes new Dartford boss Jamie Coyle and in comes former Whitehawk manager Steve King. Welling United have plenty of experience in the top two tiers of non-league football going back to the late seventies. The Kent side were amongst the front runners in the first three months of last season thanks to a six-game winning streak. A drop of form in November and December as well as a poor end to the season left the Wings eight points shy of the playoffs. Since relegation from the National League, Welling United have stabilised in the National South and will be pushing for the playoffs under new management.

Last Season

National South: 10th

F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: 2nd Round

League Top Scorer: Bradley Goldberg (10 goals)

Average Attendance: 541 (10th in National South)

The Manager – Steve King

Nothing but a top seven finish will be acceptable for Steve King at Welling United. The ambitious manager was appointed this summer after he departed Whitehawk. To be fair his task of keeping the Hawks up last term was difficult considering the ground he had to make up, despite improvements they still went down. In his first spell at Whitehawk life was rosier, King kept the Hawks up, reached a playoff final and made it to the F.A Cup second round, almost earning a tie with Everton. He had spells managing Lewes, Northwich Victoria and Farnborough before he took Macclesfield Town to the F.A Cup fourth round in 2013.

The Summer

It seems to be theme that managers are looking towards their former clubs and it’s no different for Steve King. The new Welling United boss has brought in goalkeeper Daniel Wilks, Jordon Gibbons and Nassim L’Ghoul from relegated Whitehawk. King is also familiar with John Paul Kissock who also had a spell with the Hawks before joining Southport, the pair also worked together at Macclesfield Town and will both be working wioth each other once more. Former Canadian international, Gavin McCallum won the Supporters Player of the Year with Eastbourne Borough last term, scorer of 15 goals in 39 games the midfielder will be a Welling United player this season. Richard Orlu has been signed from Woking, the former Dover Athletic defender could pair up with Anthony Acheampong, who joins the Wings for his third spell after signing from Dulwich Hamlet. Ben Jefford and Jack Parkinson have left Park View Road along with Director of Football, Tristan Lewis. French centre-back Thierry Audel worked with King at Macclesfield Town. Since leaving the SIlkmen he played for Crewe Alexandra, Notts County and Barrow. King also once got the best out of Danny Mills when at Whitehawk, the striker scored 58 goals over two seasons there. Signed from Ebbsfleet United, he went out on loan last term to Dartford where he scored six in 26 games. David Ijaha is another from Whitehawk, the midfielder includes St Albans City, Harrow Borough and Wealdstone as former clubs. Guinea-Bissau international Arnaud Mendy will also be part of the Wings squad this season and has represented Luton Town, Macclesfield Town, Lincoln City and Whitehawk. Hampton and Richmond Borough’s Player of the Season, Brendan Kiernan moves to Park View Road, the 25-year-old has played for Ebbsfleet United, Bromley and AFC Wimbledon in the past.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 19 / Welling United wins: 7 / Draws: 10

Previous Meetings

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
06.09.2016 Dartford 2 Welling United 1
19.10.2015 Dartford 3 Welling United 1

Next Meetings

Wednesday 26 December 2018 at Park View Road

Tuesday 1 January 2019 at Princes Park

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Weston-super-Mare

Founded: 1887 / Ground: Woodspring Stadium

The longest serving club currently in the National South, the Seagulls recorded their highest finish since 2014 and it could have been better. The Somerset club were always chasing the playoff spot without really threatening to break into the top seven. At home, Weston-super-Mare took advantage of those clubs below them in the table tasting defeat just once. They swept aside Eastbourne Borough and Wealdstone 5-1 but were also capable of losing to struggling Whitehawk by the same score line. Those inconsistencies cost the Seagulls a better campaign and when they lost eight of their last eleven fixtures, the Somerset club knew a fifteenth consecutive season in the National South would beckon.

Last Season

National South: 12th

F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 2nd Round

County Cup: Winners

League Top Scorer: Gethyn Hill (19 goals)

Average Attendance: 492 (14th in National South)

The Manager – Marc McGregor

Formerly a player and assistant manager at Weston-super-Mare, Marc McGregor took the step up last summer. He already had experience as a player coach with Worcester City and played for Oxford United and Notts County. The former England C international moved to Forest Green Rovers and was there until Ian Holloway took him on at Queens Park Rangers. Injury forced McGregor to quit playing full time and so he had spells with Tamworth and Hinckley. He guided the Seagulls to a County Cup triumph in his first campaign and the club’s highest finish since 2014 when they ended up in twelfth.

The Summer

Jamie Lucas joins permanently after two loan spells with the club. The striker scored 12 in 21 for Weston-super-Mare at the age of 19. Outside of his spells with the Seagulls, the striker has played for Gloucester City, Boreham Wood, Woking, Bath City and F.A Trophy finalists Brackley Town. He has also made four appearances for Bristol Rovers. Former Dart, Ben Swallow has joned from Bognor Regis Town, the midfielder made 11 appearances for Dartford in 2014. Danny Greenslade has left the Somerset club for Hereford F.C. Tristan Plummer has decided to move onto pastures new, signing with Bitton A.F.C. After a successful trial with the Seagulls, Eli Phipps signs from Colchester United.

Head to Head

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

Previous Meetings

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

Next Meetings

Saturday 29 September 2018 at Princes Park

Saturday 6 April 2019 at Woodspirng Stadium

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Woking

Founded: 1945 / Ground: Enclosed Ground

Relegated from the National South after six years, the Cards needed one more goal entering the last minute of the season. Poised at 1-1 with Dover Athletic and needing victory, Woking conceded instead ending their stay in the National League. The Surrey club were promoted to the top non-league division as champions in the season Dartford went up with them. The Cards held their own until last term and looked to be doing the same again at the end of November. After victory against Ebbsfleet United on 21 November 2017, Woking won just three more games as they slumped towards the bottom four. A win in their penultimate fixture gave them hope but it wasn’t to be for the Cards.

Last Season

National League: 21st

F.A Cup: 2nd Round

F.A Trophy: 1st Round

County Cup: 1st Round

League Top Scorer: Charlie Carter (12 goals)

Average Attendance: 2024 (8th in National League)

The Manager – Alan Dowson

Alan Dowson represented Millwall, Fulham, Bradford City and Darlington before non-league football came calling. He spent time at Slough Town, Gateshead then Waltham and Hersham, where he got his break as a manager. Staying in Surrey, Dowson then took charge of Kingstonian where he won the Isthmian Division One South. He was unveiled as Hampton and Richmond Borough’s manager in 2014 and two years later led the Beavers to the Isthmian Premier League title. Dowson made his former club contenders for promotion to the National League losing last season’s playoff final. Now he will start a new challenge back in Surrey to get Woking back to the National League at the first attempt.

The Summer

Top scorer in a struggling season, Charlie Carter attracted the attention of Chesterfield and moved to the newly relegated National League side. Josh Staunton also makes the step up a division by switching to FC Halifax Town. With a new boss at the helm many more have arrived, mainly from his former side Hampton and Richmond Borough and last season’s runners up Dartford. Nathan Collier worked with Dowson at Hampton and Richmond Borough and now has his man back, Collier joins from Dartford having made 21 appearances for them last season. Struggling with injury, striker Duane Ofori-Acheampong only managed six starts for the Darts last term and along with the impressive goalkeeper Berti Schotterl, who kept six clean sheets in 13 outings the total of former Dartford players reaches three. Dowson has taken Charlie Wassmer with him from his old club, the defender was namesd in the National South’s team of the season and after over 150 appearances for Hampton and Richmond Borough, Josh Casey follows. Jack Cook formed a partnership with Wassmer with the Beavers last term and they will team up again. Ian Gayle adds more strength to the back line from Wealdstone and winger Nicky Wheeler comes in from Billericay Town. Christian Jolley was given his break in 2009 by Alan Dowson at Kingstonian, they now pair up again. Jolley went on to play for AFC Wimbledon, Newport County, Forest Green Rovers, Grimsby Town then Margate. Max Kretzschmar returns to the Cards after one season with Hampton and Richmond Borough, where he scored 14 goals in 39 league appearances last season. Striker, Jake Hyde made 130 appearances in the Football League for Barnet, York City, and Stevenage. Last season Hyde played for Maidenhead United in the National League. Former Burgess Hill Town striker, Greg Luer spent more than three years with Hull City making eight appearances. Loan spells in League One with Port Vale and Scunthorpe United, and League Two with Stevenage followed and now he is at Woking.

Head to Head

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

Previous Meetings

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

Next Meetings

Saturday 1 December 2018 at Kingsfield

Saturday 23 February 2019 at Princes Park

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Dartford v Weston-super-Mare

Dartford’s title push continues on Saturday when they host Weston-Super-Mare at Princes Park in the National South.

The Darts have just six games remaining to overturn a three point deficit, although they now have a game in hand. With the Easter Monday fixture against East Thurrock United postponed, Tony Burman’s side have had a few extra days rest, much needed after the difficult conditions on Good Friday.

In their last match, Dartford pulled out a superb result against third place Hampton and Richmond Borough with a last gasp Alfie Pavey winner. Victory kept the Darts two points behind league leaders Havant and Waterlooville, who had won their fixture 2-0 against Weston-super-Mare. The Hawks then dropped points on Monday, but managed a 0-0 draw with Whitehawk to leave the Darts three points behind.

Against Hampton and Richmond Borough, Burman named an unchanged side from the 2-0 away win at Oxford City. With the Princes Park pitch waterlogged in patches Burman praised the ground staff for getting the game on. As the top of the table clash progressed the weather conditions worsened turning the pitch into a mud bath. It looked like both sides were about to drop points in a goalless draw until Pavey’s calm dink over the Hampton and Richmond Borough goalkeeper sent the Darts fans wild in the final minute.

Burman spoke to www.dartfordfc.com after the game and said: “I thought on chances we deserved to get a result from the game, I’m delighted we’ve come away from the first game of the Easter period with three points”. The Darts boss applauded match winner Pavey and his teammates, he added: “He’s still learning, he’s a young lad, he’s not been the number one striker at other clubs and we’ve given him a opportunity here to learn from people and try and be a number one striker. He’s scoring goals which is great and if he’s scoring goals that means he’s happy. We’ve got a great strike force here, which I’m pleased and proud of”.

After defeat to Poole Town, Burman questioned his players desire but now he feels the tide has turned, he commented: “I mentioned back at the Poole game about desire, we can’t fault the last three games the desire has been back in the side”. Added to the fans pulling togther, the Dartford manager feels there is every chance to overturn the two point deficit, he added: “A little bit of belief has come back, we’ve had some words said on and off the field, but I have to say the support that the lads got was how it should be, they were the twelfth man and I can’t thank them enough for that and we need that especially at this stage of the season”.

Weston-super-Mare could complete a double over the Darts as they won the reverse fixture at the Woodspring Stadium back in September. The Seagulls toppled Burman’s side who were heading the National South standings at the time. Gethyn Hill’s double and a second half strike from Archie Collins completed a miserable afternoon for the Darts.

Last season Dartford completed a treble against the Seagulls winning both National South fixtures and the F.A Trophy tie. In the league at Princes Park the match ended 3-2 on an entertaining evening.  Alex Brown scored from twenty yards out to claim the winner but the Darts had to come from behind. Hill opened the scoring for the visitors who stayed in front at the interval. Tom Wynter scored and then Danny Harris gave Dartford the advantage, but the lead was cancelled out by Lloyd Humphries. With seven minutes remaining Brown’s effort found the back of the net to clinch victory. At the Woodspring Stadium in the league, the Darts won 2-1 with goals from Luke Wanadio and Ryan Hayes.

Weston-super-Mare are comfortably mid-table with the playoffs seven points away with only five games remaining. Their chances have taken a major dip along with their form, the Seagulls have lost six of their last eight matches only managing wins away to Eastbourne Borough and home to Bognor Regis Town.

The Darts will already know about the Seagulls top scorer, Hill who has managed 16 league goals this term. The striker is level with former Weston-super-Mare midfielder Dayle Grubb, who left in January to join Forest Green Rovers in League Two. Manager, Marc McGregor feels his team has been deserving of more positive results but admits his side need to be more ruthless in front of goal. The Seagulls boss is still confident he can guide them to a top seven finish and into the playoffs.

Head to Head
Dartford wins: 7 / Weston-super-Mare wins: 3 / Draws: 4

Current League Form

Weston-super-Mare (LLWLLL) Dartford (WWWLWW)
Havant & Waterlooville A 0-2 Hampton & Richmond H 1-0
Braintree Town H 1-2 Oxford City A 2-0
Bognor Regis Town H 1-0 Hemel Hempstead H 3-2
St Albans City H 0-2 Poole Town H 0-1
Chippenham Town A 0-2 Truro City H 4-1
Hampton & Richmond A 1-3 Wealdstone A 2-1

Previous Meetings

23.09.2017 Weston-super-Mare 3 Dartford 0
17.01.2017 Dartford 3 Weston-super-Mare 2
26.11.2016 Weston-super-Mare 2 Dartford 4
20.08.2016 Weston-super-Mare 1 Dartford 2
05.03.2016 Weston-super-Mare 2 Dartford 1
13.09.2015 Dartford 2 Weston-super-Mare 1

Stats
Dartford have won five of their last six National South games.

Alfie Pavey’s goal on Good Friday was his third last minute winner, earning the Darts nine crucial points.

The Darts have never lost to the Seagulls at home (W3, D3).

Weston-super-Mare have failed to score in three of their last five games netting just two goals.

The Seagulls win over Dartford in September was their only victory against top five opposition this season, they have lost the other seven.

On This Day
Dartford have won one of their last eight games on 7 April and that was back in 1984 when they beat Welling United 2-1 in the Southern League Premier. The most recent match on this day was hardly memorable as they battled out a 0-0 draw with Chelmsford City six years ago in the National South. In 2007, Eddie McClements scored in a 1-1 draw with Kingstonian and in 1990 the Darts lost 1-0 to Bath City. Thirty eight years ago, Dartford lost 1-0 in the Kent Senior Cup final to rivals Maidstone United.

Weston-super-Mare v Dartford

League leaders Dartford make the long trip across the country on the weekend when they visit Weston-super-Mare in the National South.

With the top six separated by just a point the Darts superior goal difference keeps them above the rest for now, but they will be hoping to come back from the West country with a three point haul and their unbeaten away record intact.

Tony Burman was able to rest a number of regular starters on Tuesday night in the Kent Senior Cup tie against Cray Wanderers. The consequence of which was a 4-2 defeat to the Isthmian Premier League side, but the likes of Warren Mfula, Toby Ajala, Ronnie Vint, Alfie Cue, Tom Murphy and Keaton Wood started the match.

It was a second cup game in a few days for the Darts after they beat Barking 3-1 in the F.A Cup thanks to Elliot Bradbrook’s hat-trick. A feat he achieved against Weston-super-Mare last season in the 4-2 F.A Trophy triumph back in November.

Last season Dartford completed a treble against the Seagulls winning both National South fixtures and the F.A Trophy tie. At the Woodspring Stadium where they travel to on Saturday, the Darts won 2-1 with goals from Luke Wanadio and Ryan Hayes. The return fixture was just as close as Dartford edged out 3-2 winners.

After a break in league action, Burman’s side moved to the top in their last National South match against Eastbourne Borough. Victory was Dartford’s third in a row and sixth in the league this term. However, the Dartford boss still found something for his team to focus on, he commented to kentonline.co.uk: “We’ve been excellent with the chances created and defensively we’ve been good, although I was upset in the Eastbourne game”, he added: “We want to have the best defence in the league and we haven’t got that at the moment. It was taken away from us with those two goals”, he continued “It’s showing in the goal difference that we’ve converted a lot of chances and not let a lot of goals in. Being sloppy cost us last year and we’ve got to make sure that doesn’t happen again”.

Burman believes consistency will be important to mounting a title challenge this term, he said: “A lot of teams are playing on the same level and it’s going to be about who’s consistent – not so much creeping away but trying to get those wins. Draws are not going to be good results, you’ve got to win your games”.

Weston-super-Mare suffered a last minute defeat on the weekend as they went out of the F.A Cup to Bognor Regis Town. Tristan Plummer impressed for the Seagulls and his deflected effort off team mate Jake Reid gave Weston-super-Mare a half-time lead. The tables turned in the second half, after Bognor Regis Town equalised Jake Mawford was sent off for the Seagulls. In the last minute the hosts James Crane’s headed goal prevented a replay back at the Woodspring Stadium.

Marc McGregor’s side were involved in an entertaining six goal thriller in their last league outing. Away to Oxford City, Dayle Grubb gave Weston-super-Mare a lead after just two minutes but Oxford City levelled. The Seagulls were reduced to ten men when Aden Baldwin was red carded just before the half hour mark. Grubb put the ten men in front five minutes before the interval but the lead was overturned in the second half. Oxford City’s Reece Fleet equalised, then the Nomads had Freddie Grant sent off, but like the Seagulls Oxford City scored with ten men to lead for the first time in the match. New signing Irnti Rapai saved the match for Weston-super-Mare scoring his second for the club in as many matches.

Before the 3-3 draw, the Seagulls went to Chelmsford City, who were leading the table at the time and came back with a point. Albanian striker Irnti Rapai, who had signed from Olympiacos Lavriou FC made his debut and scored in a 1-1 draw.

The Seagulls, on a two match unbeaten league run showed character at the start of the month following a 4-1 defeat to Havant and Waterlooville. Weston-super-Mare hosted a struggling Wealdstone side and recorded a comfortable 5-1 victory. Dayle Grubb and Jake Reid both notched braces and a fifth in injury time by Jake Lee put the gloss on a decent performance.

Head to Head
Dartford wins: 7 / Weston-super-Mare wins: 2 / Draws: 4

Current League Form

Weston-super-Mare (DDWLLD) Dartford (WWWDLW)
Oxford City A 3-3 Eastbourne Borough H 4-2
Chelmsford City A 1-1 Chippenham Town H 3-0
Wealdstone H 5-1 Whitehawk A 4-0
Havant & Waterlooville H 1-4 Hampton & Richmond A 2-2
Truro City A 1-2 East Thurrock United H 0-1
Chippenham Town H 2-2 Hemel Hempstead A 0-3

Previous Meetings

17.01.2017 Dartford 3 Weston-super-Mare 2
26.11.2016 Weston-super-Mare 2 Dartford 4
20.08.2016 Weston-super-Mare 1 Dartford 2
05.03.2016 Weston-super-Mare 2 Dartford 1
13.09.2015 Dartford 2 Weston-super-Mare 1
12.11.2011 Dartford 1 Weston-super-Mare 1

Stats
It’s been six years since either side has failed to register a goal in this fixture. Dartford beat the Seagulls 4-0 on the opening day of the 2011/12 campaign.

Dartford have scored in each of their last five trips to Weston-super-Mare, last failing to score in 1997 when the Southern League South match ended without a goal.

Dartford’s five game unbeaten away start in the league is their best since the Isthmian Premier title winning side of 2009/10, when they won their opening nine away games.

Elliot Bradbrook is the division’s second highest goalscorer with 7 goals. The Darts captain is one behind Weston-super-Mare’s Dayle Grubb and Philip Roberts of Braintree Town.

On This Day
Dartford beat local rivals Maidstone United in the Isthmian Premier League at Sittingbourne’s Central Park. Steve Butterworth’s low drive from outside of the box made it 1-0 and the lead was doubled with Rob Haworth’s header. The Stones pulled a goal back in the second half through Meshach Nugent. That win ended a three game losing streak on 23 September having been beaten 2-1 on each occasion by Ashford Town in 2003, Histon in 2000 and Fisher Athletic in 1997.

National League South Season Preview 2017/18 – Part V

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

Wealdstone

Founded: 1889 / Ground: Vale Stadium

A late surge coupled with Poole Town and Hungerford Town unable to participate in the playoffs, almost saw the Stones sneak a shot at promotion. However, the Middlesex club were unable to nudge past Hampton and Richmond Borough so ended the campaign in a respectable eighth. Wealdstone will feel they have a greater chance this time around as the top seven will take part in the end of season playoffs.

Last Season

National North: 8th

F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Round

County Cup: Runners Up

League Top Scorer: Elliot Benyon (16 goals)

Average Attendance: 734 (5th in league / 43rd in non-league)

The Manager – Gordon Bartlett

The longest serving manager in the National South having joined the Stones in the Summer of 1995, playing in the Isthmian Division Three without a home. Bartlett was put under pressure last term but still managed to almost gatecrash the playoffs. An experienced manager with three promotions and an F.A Trophy semi-final appearance whilst with the Middlesex club, Bartlett’s chances of guiding Wealdstone to the National League have increased now finishing seventh is good enough to reach the playoffs.

The Summer

Experienced heads have been retained with the likes of Eddie Oshodi, Elliott Benyon and Ricky Wellard signing for another year. Former Dartford full back, Josh Hill made a switch from Chelmsford City, Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick moved from Hampton and Richmond Borough and Jerome Okimo from Braintree Town. Looking towards the league’s below, Bartlett has also signed Benji Crilley from Chesham United and Abobaker Eisa from Uxbridge. Returning to action after time out from the game will be defender Liam Harwood.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 12 / Wealdstone wins: 13 / Draws: 12

Previous Meetings

28.01.2017 Wealdstone 0 Dartford 4
06.08.2016 Dartford 2 Wealdstone 2
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

Next Meetings

Saturday 4 November 2017 at Princes Park

Saturday 17 February 2018 at Vale Stadium

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Welling United

Founded: 1963 / Ground: Park View Road

Relegated to the National South just over a year ago, the Wings were probably expecting to perform better last season considering they gained three years National League experience. The goal scoring form of Adam Coombes who netted 20 times was missed in the latter stages of the campaign. Stability is a word the Wings would welcome after managers have been and gone over the last year.

Last Season

National South: 16th

F.A Cup: 4th Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Round

County Cup: Runners Up

League Top Scorer: Adam Coombes (20 goals)

Average Attendance: 536 (11th in league / 68th in non-league)

The Manager – Jamie Coyle

A former full back with Dartford, Coyle has been part of successful teams including the Darts title winning campaigns in 2008 and 2010 making 140 appearances under Tony Burman scoring 19 times. He also experienced promotion with Maidstone United and played for Welling United six years ago. Coyle started out coaching whilst with the Darts working with the academy and now he’ll be eager to impress in his first managerial role.

The Summer

Welling United will have a familiar look about them to Dartford fans. Coyle has kept in contact with his former club and signed Alfie Pavey and brought back Tom Bradbrook to the world of football, after his brief retirement. Chairman, Mark Goldberg will be overseeing his son’s progress as Bradley Goldberg joins from Bromley. Returning to Park View Road will be Joe Healey and Jack Parkinson both previously with Dover Athletic. Conor Dymond also joins from Bromley whilst Jack Parter and Ian Gayle come in from Tonbridge Angels. After a spell in Ireland with Cork City, Cristian Nanetti signed to join the Wings squad.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 17 / Welling United wins: 7 / Draws: 10

Previous Meetings

28.02.2017 Welling United 0 Dartford 0
22.11.2016 Welling United 2 Dartford 2
06.09.2016 Dartford 2 Welling United 1
19.10.2015 Dartford 3 Welling United 1
11.11.2014 Dartford 2 Welling United 1
30.09.2014 Welling United 2 Dartford 2

Next Meetings

Tuesday 26 December 2017 at Park View Road

Monday 1 January 2018 at Princes Park

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Weston-super-Mare

Founded: 1887 / Ground: Woodspring Stadium

If there is one team guaranteed to be in the National South, it’s Weston-super-Mare. The only side to have taken part in every National South campaign since its creation in 2004. Apart from being reprieved on two occasions they have rarely threatened to leave the second tier of non-league. Last term they finished strongly rattling in the goals, but still finished in the bottom half.

Last Season

National South: 15th

F.A Cup: 2nd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: 3rd Qualifying Round

County Cup: Runners Up

League Top Scorer: Dayle Grubb (19 goals)

Average Attendance: 435 (15th in league / 91st in non-league)

The Manager – Marc McGregor

Excited by his new role as Seagulls boss, Marc McGregor returns to the Woodspring Stadium having played for the club. He’s been player coach at Worcester City and represented Oxford United and Notts County on the pitch too. After a spell at Forest Green Rovers McGregor earned a move to Queens Park Rangers but injury cut his full-time career short. The new Weston-super-Mare boss managed to have playing spells with Tamworth and Hinckley United before going into coaching.

The Summer

Danny Greenslade will be playing in Weston-super-Mare shirt after joining from Bristol Rovers. The Seagulls will miss Bradley Ash who was on loan from Barnsley last season and has returned to his parent club. It took a while for the summer activity to come to fruition and when it did the Seagulls secured the services of Jarrad Welch, Ben Seymour, Jake Mawford and Tristan Plummer.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 7 / Weston-Super-Mare wins: 2 /  Draws: 4

Previous Meetings

17.01.2017 Dartford 3 Weston-Super-Mare 2
26.11.2016 Weston-Super-Mare 2 Dartford 4
20.08.2016 Weston-Super-Mare 1 Dartford 2
05.03.2016 Weston-Super-Mare 2 Dartford 1
13.09.2015 Dartford 2 Weston-Super-Mare 1
12.11.2011 Dartford 1 Weston-Super-Mare 1

Next Meetings

Saturday 23 September 2017 at Woodspring Stadium

Saturday 7 April 2018 at Princes Park

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Whitehawk

Founded: 1945 / Ground: Enclosed Ground

Tough times have hot the Sussex club highlighted by the managerial merry-go-round last season. The Hawks went through five managers and almost 50 players last term alone. For a club that made F.A Cup headlines just over a year ago, Whitehawk have fallen rapidly with a former club president imprisoned and rumours of cashflow issues. The 2014/15 playoff runners up hit their peak in that season almost making it four promotions in six campaigns, now progress has halted the Sussex club need to find stability.

Last Season

National South: 17th

F.A Cup: 1st Round

F.A Trophy: 2nd Round

County Cup: Quarter Final

League Top Scorer: Danny Mills (16 goals)

Average Attendance: 297 (21st in league / 139th in non-league)

The Manager – Jimmy Dack

A former midfielder who knows his way around the non-league scene, Jimmy Dack spent his playing days in Surry and Hampshire with Sutton United, Carshalton Athletic, Aldershot Town and Farnborough Town. Spells in Sussex with Crawley Town means he has already travelled most of the Southern counties. Dack was appointed in January after being Andy Woodman’s assistant and he will be hoping to last longer than the last four managers of the Hawks.

The Summer

The loss of top striker Danny Mills is a huge blow for Whitehawk, the 26 year old has joined Ebbsfleet United. Experienced midfielder Sergio Torres leaves for Eastbourne Borough and Michael West has gone to Chelmsford City along with Elliot Omozusi. Academy players have been given the opportunity with no less than seven under 18’s joining the senior squad, perhaps a sign of the budget cuts at the Enclosed Ground. Connor Tighe has signed from Brighton and Hove Albion, Alex Tokarczyk from Basingstoke Town and Ed Sanders from Gosport Borough. Boosting the squad number another four signed, defenders Tom Cadnam and Ed Wakley as well as forwards Papa Gueye and Bayan Fenwick joined the list of Hawks players.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 3 /Whitehawk wins: 3 / Draws: 0

Previous Meetings

04.02.2017 Dartford 3 Whitehawk 1
10.08.2016 Whitehawk 1 Dartford 0
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

Tuesday 5 September 2017 at Enclosed Ground

Saturday 27 January 2018 at Princes Park

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Dartford v Weston-super-Mare

Dartford could complete a treble over Weston-super-Mare as they return to National South action this week at Princes Park.

The Darts have already won twice at the Woodspring Stadium in league and trophy. Back in August, Dartford recorded their first win and handed out the Seagulls first defeat of the campaign. Luke Wanadio expertly gave Dartford the lead curling his shot into the top corner. Shawn McCoulsky levelled the match scoring his spot kick but Ryan Hayes netted the winner late on.

In the F.A Trophy the two teams were drawn together in third qualifying round. Elliot Bradbrook took the game by the scruff of the neck to lead the Darts to a 4-2 victory, despite being reduced to ten men. The captain netted a hat-trick to atone for last season’s trip to the Woodspring Stadium where he was sent off, Andy Pugh scored the other.

Dartford last beat a team three times in a season five years ago, when they defeated Basingstoke Town in the National South and in both legs of the playoff semi-final.

Just over a week ago, Tony Burman praised his team’s clinical performance as the beat East Thurrock United 6-1 at Princes Park. Six different goal scorers found the net to lift Dartford back into the playoff places by the end of the afternoon. The win was Dartford’s eighth at home in the league this term.

Weston-super-Mare are currently enjoying the benefits of a new manager since they last played the Darts. Scott Bartlett replaced Ryan Northmore after eight straight losses, and although his career with the Seagulls got off to slow start, the club are moving in the right direction.

Appointed at the beginning of October, Bartlett’s side picked up a disappointing two points from the first 18 in which he was in charge, including a 5-1 thrashing against East Thurrock United. When the maiden win arrived in a 4-3 triumph over Eastbourne Borough it started a glut of goals. A total of 21 were scored in three games even if the Seagulls went on to lose 5-3 to Hemel Hempstead Town and 4-2 to the Darts in the F.A Trophy.

The corner may well have been turned, Weston-super-Mare have tasted defeat just once in the last seven league matches and have won on their last three outings. Much of the good form can be attributed to Dayle Grubb, who recently signed a new contract and continues to play a pivotal role. New signing from Cinderford Town, Gethyn Hill has netted three times in his first four appearances alleviating the pressure on Bradley Ash, who often played as the lone striker this term.

Head to Head
Dartford wins: 6 / Weston-super-Mare wins: 2 / Draws: 4

Current League Form
Dartford (WLWLWW)
Won 6-1 v East Thurrock United (H)
Lost 0-1 v Ebbsfleet United (A)
Won 2-1 v Ebbsfleet United (H)
Lost 0-5 v Maidenhead United (A)
Won 2-1 v Poole Town (H)
Won 3-0 v Bishop’s Stortford (A)
Won 2-0 v Hemel Hempstead Town (H)

Weston-super-Mare (WWWDLW)
Won 3-1 v Concord Rangers (A)
Won 4-2 v Truro City (H)
Won 2-1 v Truro City (A)
Drew 0-0 v Chelmsford City (H)
Lost 3-5 v Hemel Hempstead Town (H)
Won 4-3 v Eastbourne Borough (A)

Previous Meetings
Weston-super-Mare 2 Dartford 4 (26/11/2016 – F.A Trophy)
Weston-super-Mare 1 Dartford 2 (20/08/2016 – National South)
Weston-super-Mare 2 Dartford 1 (05/03/2016 – National South)
Dartford 2 Weston-super-Mare 1 (13/09/2015 – National League)
Dartford 1 Weston-super-Mare 1 (12/11/2011 – National League)
Weston-super-Mare 0 Dartford 4 (13/08/2011 – National South)

On This Day
In four attempts Dartford have not won on 17 January since reforming, losing two and drawing two. It was a day to forget two years ago when Kent rivals Dover Athletic hit six past the Darts. The 6-1 defeat was a low point in a campaign which saw Dartford relegated from the National League. In 2009, Staines Town were held to a 0-0 draw at Princes Park, the Middlesex club went on to win promotion to the National South via the playoffs. In a six goal thriller, the Darts drew 3-3 away to Bashley in 2004 whilst in the Southern League Division One East and six years prior, Dartford lost 3-0 at home to Cirencester Town.

Weston-super-Mare v Dartford

The Darts play their second cup tie in a week when they travel across to Weston-super-Mare in the F.A Trophy Third Qualifying Round.

It’s the first time Dartford have been drawn against the Seagulls in cup competition and the third time this calendar year they will visit the Woodspring Stadium. The last trip to the West Country ended 2-1 to the Darts just three months ago, to give them their first win of the season. Luke Wanadio expertly gave Dartford the lead curling his shot into the top corner. Shawn McCoulsky levelled the match scoring his spot kick but Ryan Hayes netted the winner late on.

Beating Weston-super-Mare put last season’s visit firmly behind them. The feisty contest ended 2-1 to the Seagulls and saw captain Elliot Bradbrook sent off after a mass brawl. Bradbrook, who was rested in Tuesday night’s Kent Senior Cup defeat to Welling United, is likely to return to the Woodspring Stadium for the first time since his dismissal. The captain missed the National South fixture between the two sides in August through injury.

Duane Ofori-Acheampong was another player rested in midweek, and with his partnership up front with Andy Pugh beginning to bloom he is also expected to return. Deren Ibrahim almost had the night off on Tuesday but a late call up because Bailey Vose wasn’t registered in time meant Ibrahim played instead. Dartford’s number one picked up a neck injury and will be assessed before the F.A Trophy tie. Kaka Dembele, Ben Francis and Ellis Brown started as well to get much needed game time but it remains to be seen if Tony Burman will rotate his squad for the F.A Trophy.

Weston-super-Mare suffered their first defeat of the campaign when they lost 2-1 to Dartford in August. Since then the Seagulls have slid down the National South table and eight consecutive defeats led to Ryan Northmore leaving the managerial post. Now Scott Bartlett is in charge and he has begun rebuilding the squad currently in third from bottom. Tommy Anderson made his debut for Weston-super-Mare on the weekend and the 17 year old impressed Bartlett.

The former Forest Green Rovers academy boss was appointed at the start of October and won his first game last weekend. The Seagulls were involved in an entertaining 4-3 away win against Eastbourne Borough, the club’s first victory in the league since 13 August. During their barren spell, the Seagulls lost ten in a row which came as a surprise considering they won their opening three games to top the table.

Head to Head
Weston-super-Mare wins: 2 / Dartford wins: 5 / Draws: 4

Previous Meetings
Weston-super-Mare 1 Dartford 2 (20/08/2016 – National South)
Weston-super-Mare 2 Dartford 1 (05/03/2016 – National South)
Dartford 2 Weston-super-Mare 1 (13/09/2015 – National League)
Dartford 1 Weston-super-Mare 1 (12/11/2011 – National League)
Weston-super-Mare 0 Dartford 4 (13/08/2011 – National South)
Weston-super-Mare 0 Dartford 1 (08/02/2011 – National South)
Dartford 4 Weston-super-Mare 1 (04/09/2010 – National South)
Dartford 3 Weston-super-Mare 3 (13/12/1997 – Southern League Southern Division)
Weston-super-Mare 0 Dartford 0 (16/08/1997 – Southern League Southern Division)
Dartford 1 Weston-super-Mare 1 (12/04/1997 – Southern League Southern Division)
Weston-super-Mare 2 Dartford 0 (23/11/1996 – Southern League Southern Division)

Current Form (all competitions)
Weston-super-Mare (WDWLLD)
Won 4-3 v Eastbourne Borough (A)
Drew 1-1 v Gosport Borough (H)
Won 4-2 v Larkhall Athletic (A)
Lost 1-2 v Bishop’s Stortford (A)
Lost 1-3 v Hampton and Richmond Borough (H)
Drew 0-0 v Oxford City (A)

Dartford (LWWLLWW)
Lost 2-2 (1-4 on penalties) v Welling United (A) – Kent Senior Cup
Won 3-0 v Bishop’s Stortford (A)
Won 2-0 v Hemel Hempstead Town (H)
Lost 0-2 v St Albans City (H)
Lost 3-6 v Sutton United (H) – F.A Cup
Won 1-0 v Oxford City (H)
Won 1-0 v Bath City (A)

Stats
Dartford went out at the third qualifying round last term for the first time since 2009.

The Darts will play their sixth away cup tie of the season out of seven.

Elliot Bradbrook has scored seven cup goals this term all in the F.A Cup. The captain only made four appearances in the competition.

Weston-super-Mare’s best performance in the F.A Trophy is reaching the fourth round in 1998/99 and 2003/04.

In the last three seasons the Seagulls have made it past the third qualifying round, before that they lost six in a row at this stage.

On This Day
A local derby win over Erith and Belvedere in the Southern League Cup was the last time Dartford tasted victory on 26 November. The 1-0 triumph came in 1991 and 25 years on the Darts are hoping to win another cup tie. Since then, Dartford had a day to forget slumping to a 6-1 defeat to Kent rivals Dover Athletic in the same competition in 2002. Two F.A Trophy ties ended 0-0 against AFC Wimbledon in 2005 and Eastbourne Borough five years ago. The Darts went out against the Dons in the replay but managed to defeat Eastbourne Borough at the second attempt. Barnet were the last team to take on the Darts in the league just three years ago, the Bees winning 2-0. Three games without a goal on 26 November, Dartford will be hoping to make amends this weekend.

Weston-Super-Mare v Dartford

Dartford’s search for their first league win of the season takes them to unbeaten table toppers Weston-Super-Mare on Saturday.

The Darts have had a challenging opening to their campaign with six injuries, two red cards and just three points taken. Without victory, Dartford have managed draws at home to Wealdstone, Gosport Borough and away to Chelmsford City.

Tony Burman remains upbeat ahead of their fifth game against Weston-Super-Mare and feels victory is just around the corner, he told www.kentonline.co.uk: “I’ve never known anything like it. We’re all disappointed with our points tally because it could so easily have been a lot more, but I’m not disappointed at all with the effort and the way the team is shaping up, in respect of what we’ve had to do and what’s happened to us”.

Elliot Bradbrook is the only definite player unavailable through injury whilst Keaton Wood is suspended. Striking pair, Andy Pugh and Duane Ofori-Acheampong will have to prove their fitness and Ronnie Vint could take part with a protective cast on his wrist. Lee Noble has been managing agroin injury and has featured more than expected this term.

Dartford last visited the Woodspring Stadium in March and were involved in a feisty affair with the Somerset club. For only the second time, the Darts lost to their opponents going down 2-1 and ending with ten men. Elliot Bradbrook was dismissed after a mass brawl on a tense afternoon. The Seagulls were two goals up before George Sykes netted a consolation.

Weston-Super-Mare grew in confidence last term having been relegation candidates in November. A run of five wins from their last seven fixtures made sure of a sixteenth place finish. The Seagulls’ form has continued into this campaign with three straight victories before Tuesday night’s 0-0 draw with Southern Premier League champions Poole Town.

Leading the National South on goal difference, Ryan Northmore’s side defeated Whitehawk 3-1 on the opening day followed by two away triumphs. Bath City were beaten 2-1 and Welling United 2-0 as the Seagulls set the early season pace.

Shawn McCoulsky has scored four for Weston-Super-Mare so far with only two players netting more in this campaign. The South Londoner was plucked from Dulwich Hamlet when he signed for Bristol City and now he is on loan in the West Country.

The Darts will hope to repeat their opening day victory at the Woodspring Stadium five years ago. Tom Bonner was amongst the scoring that day along with Elliot Bradbrook and a brace from Charlie Sheringham.

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

Dartford have kept three clean sheets in five visits to the Woodspring Stadium.

The Darts have lost their first and last meetings away to Weston-Super-Mare, the only defeats against the Somerset club.

Elliot Bradbrook, Ryan Hayes and Luke Wanadio are the only goalscorers for Dartford this term, all midfielders.

Weston-Super-Mare has the joint best defence from the opening four games conceding two goals.

Ten points from twelve is the Seagulls best league start for twelve years. In 2004, Weston-Super-Mare drew their opener then won three in a row.

On This Day

Dartford have won their last three fixtures on 20 August, the most recent being four years ago at home to Hampton and Richmond Borough. A 2-1 win put the Darts top of the National South thanks to a Charlie Sheringham penalty and header by Elliot Bradbrook. In the Southern League Division One East, Dartford beat Stamford Town 2-1 in 2005 and Burgess Hill Town 1-0 in 2003.

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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